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Thread: Controlled Crying - needs defining?

  1. #1

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    Default Controlled Crying - needs defining?

    I just want to say a few things re. all the anti - controlled crying stuff.
    I think it's important to say that I believe there is a difference between letting a baby calm down and controlled crying/training per se.

    The whole theory of "controlled crying' is NEVER meant to apply to a baby younger than 6 weeks, and really shouldn't even be considered until a baby is at least 3 months old.

    I think there is value in learning your baby's tired signs and responding to them, and recognising if your baby is overstimulated and acting accordingly.

    Sometimes when put to bed my Ruby will cry for a LITTLE while if she is overstimulated and over tired. As an adult I get the same way. If held at this time and she won't bf - she tends to just keep being cranky as being held is too stimulating for her.

    I just think situations like this should be clarified for first time mums who may think that if their baby cries for 30seconds to 2 minutes when put to bed, that they are bad mothers and they are doing controlled crying. I would encourage all mothers to LISTEN to their child's cries. You CAN tell the difference between upset babies who are saying "where are you mum? I'm upset" to babies who are saying "don't know what I want, just feeling out of sorts" and who are calming down. Believe in yourself and listen to and watch for your babies cues. I suppose this is really the hard part hey?



    I probably should say that I have never had to "walk the halls" at night with either of my children crying whatever their age (unless teething or sick) so I guess I'm a bit inexperienced in that regard. I just don't think 2 minutes of crying or even 10 minutes of whinging (ie. squawk for 30seconds, quiet for 2 minutes say) is controlled crying- what do others think?

  2. #2

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    I just want to say I am not anti- anything. But I am pro-comforted sleeping, whatever way that is interpreted. I am also pro- information and making informed decisions. Whenever someone asks about something, I always post information and studies, I never judge or say it's a bad thing to do or anyone is a bad parent.
    Kelly xx

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  3. #3

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    Hey Nickel. Controlled crying can have a pretty broad definition hey, some people might say it's leaving them to cry at all, while others would save that term for a 'settling program' of sorts.

    In the end, I reckon, no matter what philosophy we start off with, be it 'I'll never leave them to cry for more than a few minutes' or 'I'll go in after 10 minutes' - we end up doing what works for us and our babies hey. Like you said, we learn their signs eventually, we can often nip a whinge in the bud, or have to leave them for awhile because there's nothing we can do to settle them and we need to pee

    I guess as long as our babies are generally happy, we shouldn't beat ourselves up over what parenting style we end up with - when I'm tempted to worry about a decision I tell myself that Albert Einstein and Jesus' parents didn't have half the information and baby gadgets that we do and their kids still made some pretty positive contributions to our society :P

    ETA: Tanya, I think you're right, the term 'controlled crying' came from the 'program' as such, but now I guess it gets used for all sorts of related things, hence the confusion sometimes. Like how some people say 'Kleenex' when they mean any type of tissue.
    Last edited by Nelle; January 2nd, 2007 at 08:52 PM. Reason: Agreeing with Tanya

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    The articles are certainly not pro-controlled crying which is why I used the word anti, I think makes them "anti" ? which isn't neccessarily bad, as we are all anti-negative effects on our children. Perhaps I should say pro-choice or something? Sorry for ANY offence caused, and any appearnace of judgement not what I'm tyring to do!! Anyway, I'm glad the articles are there, this is not against them being available as they have important valuable information.

    We all have to mother in a way that works for us and not judge - as Kelly said. Just join each other in support as mothers. Hence this post -->

    But at what point is controlled crying - controlled crying and therefore causing the potential harm? which is why thanks for the definition Tulip. This may be the same as saying "how much alcohol can you drink before you damage your unborn child"

    I agree that information is empowerment, which is why I was asking for a clearer definition of controlled crying to be available and what members here think it is, and their experiences with it/or whatever. I guess I wanted to start a discussion as I have come across a lot (ok only 6!) of first time mums who have heard/misheard about the potentially harmful effects of "controlled crying" and think it means that if your baby cries and you don't hold them you are practising 'controlled crying' . I've met at least 2 mums who are sitting up all night with their babies on their laps as the baby may cry a little if they put them in their cot. I don't criticise this, if this is what they want to do and it works for them etc. but often it's NOT working for them in terms of they are SO tired from dozing all night, the bub appears to be tired too and so on. They mention articles like the ones on this site as why they are doing what they are doing, and ask me what to do/what I did.

    I find it difficult to support/advise mums as I have never had any real trouble settling my babies they don't seem to cry for very long and I didn't see this as controlled crying (see previous post)

    Does Pinky McKay have some stuff on this- or do other readers have any recommendations? Has anyone else heard of mums like these or do I just find them??

    thanx guys in advance.

  5. #5

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    Thank you neverplan - that was really helpful.
    I also found a great/similar thread
    http://www.bellybelly.com.au/forums/...ad.php?t=27231
    which I read as well.

  6. #6

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    LOL I was just about to give my comments but it seems you've already found them

    I think controlled crying is a program of sorts used to train a child to sleep through leaving them to cry, whereas comforted sleep is still a routine but instead of leaving the child you comfort the child to sleep. For us we did a bit of both with Paris, and only comforting with Seth. Although we aren't AP'ers or co-sleepers we still comforted rather than using Crying It Out methods.

    I look at my sleep patterns (I was CC'd as a kid) and I always used to think "It never hurt me" and now I question that as I often have anxiety attacks at night in bed, when I worry... and I need a good 15 mins of worrying every night before sleeping unless I'm dog tired. Whereas my husband who was comforted to sleep falls asleep at the drop of a hat and is a heavy sleeper. Is there a connection? I dunno but it only just dawned on me that this occurred...

    Off track a bit... but food for thought I guess And like kelly I leave judgements at the door when I post in these topics I only offer suggestions based on my own experiences and what I personally have researched, and have developed opinions based on.

    *hugs*
    Cailin
    Last edited by Rouge; January 2nd, 2007 at 10:15 PM.

  7. #7
    Debbie Lee Guest

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    I would encourage all mothers to LISTEN to their child's cries. You CAN tell the difference between upset babies who are saying "where are you mum? I'm upset" to babies who are saying "don't know what I want, just feeling out of sorts" and who are calming down.
    So true and I agree.... however classic controlled crying techniques don't really support or encourage the "listening" part... more the "controlling" part. I think that's where the main issue lies. I worry that a new Mum being shown controlled crying techniques (possibly at the end of her tether) is also being encouraged to get used to or ignore the real urgent crying... the crying that isn't just a settling down/winding down cry.
    I worry that there is a set "schedule" or a set amount of time to leave a baby to cry... I worry about the routine-ness of it all.
    Sounds to me like you are really tuned into your children and that's great! To me it doesn't sound like you're following controlled crying much at all... but doing what works best for you and your babies (as it should be).
    Every child is different and every parent is different.
    Gabby has always been a great sleeper but she does have her moments. If I leave her to cry she just gets more and more upset so I do have to go in and pick her up and give her a reassuring cuddle. She has never co-slept with us (just didn't work for us) and she's always slept great on her own. I just find that when she's upset (usually when she's sick) that she needs that extra comfort. It takes a while to discover what works for your own baby tho... any money this next baby is completely different!
    Last edited by Debbie Lee; January 2nd, 2007 at 10:22 PM.

  8. #8

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    OK - the general feeling/advice I'm getting from both threads is that "controlled crying" means leaving the child to cry regardless of the type of cry, and being ruled by the timer so to speak rather than listening to our OWN intuition and baby's cues. I think our time-poor western society contributes a lot to the pressure to control our children in these ways. In some ways I admire these mums for sitting up all night with their babies because they believe it's best, I doubt very much that I would do it.

  9. #9

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    Yes controlled crying is leaving your baby to cry in increasing amounts of time until they fall asleep. Some babies do need a little cry to sleep - even Pinky knew of a baby who would cry to be held, so mum would put her down, she'd have a very short outburst and then magically fall asleep, so it was as if she had some energy to burn.

    The point I chose to go to the MBU was when Marisa would be distressed down in the cot, hated her carseat and she would also cry in my arms so you can imagine my distress when even two weeks at the MBU did not work. So I completely understand desperation and exhaustion that leads to trying all sorts of things. There are no more options offered for those who fail sleep school.
    Kelly xx

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    Yes controlled crying is leaving your baby to cry in increasing amounts of time until they fall asleep. Some babies do need a little cry to sleep - even Pinky knew of a baby who would cry to be held, so mum would put her down, she'd have a very short outburst and then magically fall asleep, so it was as if she had some energy to burn.

    The point I chose to go to the MBU was when Marisa would be distressed down in the cot, hated her carseat and she would also cry in my arms so you can imagine my distress when even two weeks at the MBU did not work. So I completely understand desperation and exhaustion that leads to trying all sorts of things. There are no more options offered for those who fail sleep school.
    Kelly xx

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  11. #11

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    Then you have the extreme of my MIL who put her kids away in the laundry and just let them "cry it out"! And shes been insisting this is what I need to do!(I don't think so) Anyway as said there is a whole spectrum of the settling world. Its already been pointed out the differences between controlled crying and comforted sleeping. Mothers need to follow their instincts rather than what people tell us to do. I know I get so much conflicting advice I just go with what suits me and my baby. Every baby and situation is different so just go with what feels right at the time.

  12. #12

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    The routines that involve just leaving the baby is called 'extinction' there is also 'graduated extinction.'
    Kelly xx

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  13. #13
    Fraser Guest

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    I agree Nickel - I think the term controlled crying has been diluted into something else - I let Charlie grizzle when he goes to bed - because he hates being away from the fun stuff! but I can definitley tell the difference between a 'I don't want to go to bed' grizzle and a 'I'm really upset and scared' cry - I couldn't tell the difference when he was really young and it was very exhausting - having said that I will only let him continuously grizzle for 10 minutes before going in for a chat and a stern word about going to sleep!

    I find it a little difficult in here sometimes when on the one hand everyone is sayong to you - 'each baby is different, go with what works for you' - but then in the next breath they say - 'unless it's controlled crying or feeding solids before 6 months old - then all babies are the same and you shouldn't do it.'

    I don't believe in letting your baby become hysterical and overwrought - but honestly - Charlie does play me! he knows the right sounds to make to get me to come running and then giggles when I get there! So where you may not want to call it manipulation - it's babyulation!!

  14. #14
    Debbie Lee Guest

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    Emily -
    I let Charlie grizzle when he goes to bed - because he hates being away from the fun stuff! but I can definitley tell the difference between a 'I don't want to go to bed' grizzle and a 'I'm really upset and scared' cry
    Well then I'd say you are not using controlled crying really at all. It's something that you and Charlie have negotiated through you listening to him... not trying to control him. You have gone with what works for you... and tho some elements might be similar to controlled crying, I personally don't think it's anywhere near it.

    'each baby is different, go with what works for you' - but then in the next breath they say - 'unless it's controlled crying or feeding solids before 6 months old - then all babies are the same and you shouldn't do it.'
    I do think that the arguments that people put forward against these are far more complex and varied. I don't think "everyone" on this site agrees 100 percent on these issues at all! We all vary in our stance so it's not fair to lump everyone into the one pile.
    Last edited by Debbie Lee; January 3rd, 2007 at 08:50 AM.

  15. #15
    Fraser Guest

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    Sorry Debbie - not everyone - I was generalising - sorry - I guess what I mean is that lot of peoples opionions against controlled crying and giving solids before 6 months are very very strong and it's hard to give an differing opinion

    I don't think what I do is controlled crying - what I was trying to say is it is a watered down version that takes Charlie's crys and my instincts into account - I was agreeing with Nickel - in that you have to listen to your baby

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    Every baby is different, but if someone has experience with a certain method sure they are going to give their opinion of it especially when it may help another. The only reason I promote 6 mths solids is that I have experience first hand how starting solids can affect a child. And same goes for sleep... what we did worked for us, and the way we do it isn't something that alot of people do so I often offer it up as something new to try. But I've also seen how children *are* different with regards to sleep, some kids try everything and it makes no difference others need try nothing and are sleeping through in their own beds by 8 weeks. I think so long as we all remember we are here to support and not attack people for their choices we're doing the best we can.

    We alllllll love our babies

    *hugs*
    Cailin

  17. #17
    Fee Guest

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fraser View Post
    I agree Nickel - I think the term controlled crying has been diluted into something else - I let Charlie grizzle when he goes to bed - because he hates being away from the fun stuff! but I can definitley tell the difference between a 'I don't want to go to bed' grizzle and a 'I'm really upset and scared' cry - I couldn't tell the difference when he was really young and it was very exhausting - having said that I will only let him continuously grizzle for 10 minutes before going in for a chat and a stern word about going to sleep!

    I find it a little difficult in here sometimes when on the one hand everyone is sayong to you - 'each baby is different, go with what works for you' - but then in the next breath they say - 'unless it's controlled crying or feeding solids before 6 months old - then all babies are the same and you shouldn't do it.'

    I don't believe in letting your baby become hysterical and overwrought - but honestly - Charlie does play me! he knows the right sounds to make to get me to come running and then giggles when I get there! So where you may not want to call it manipulation - it's babyulation!!
    Fraser, Cooper is the same! I will go in and then he just laughs at me!!!!!!!!! So frustrating.

    Like now he is in his cot and he is grizzling. He's been grizzling for a while now. But not crying. So I just leave him for a while. Then I may go in to give him a pat etc. If he was really crying and sounded distressed I'd be in there in a flash and would probably cuddle him.

    I don't think what I do is "control crying".

  18. #18

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    Fee- your right that isn't CC. As explained CC is when you leave your baby to cry for x amount time, most babies i think will have a grizzle, just their way of winding down but as you and others have said if your baby is upset you go in. You have gotten to know your baby and what works for you.

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