Wednesday

ferber and teenagers

Today someone was telling me how hard he finds it to hear the baby of a friend cry herself to sleep. This friend brings her baby to work with her and at naptime, she shuts her in a spare room in her portable crib and lets her scream and sob herself to sleep. So other people in the office have to listen to it and it's really hard to hear.

I have always just HATED hearing babies and very young children cry. If I am in a store or waiting room and I hear a baby crying and can see that no one is picking the baby up or offering any comfort, I feel like my head is going to explode and I often have to leave. I just cannot bear it.

I always want to go up to the mother or father of the crying baby and tell them how short the time is in their child's life when all it will take to soothe him/her is some cuddling and holding. As the mother of three complex, very different children who are now 15, 11 and 8 years old, I long for the days when I could make my children's tears stop by simply rocking them or nursing them. It was all so much simpler then, and I wish I had appreciated that period of mothering more at the time.

Now, I'd give anything for one more chance to go back in time and rock a sleepy, baby Henry until he nodded off. I wouldn't miss a single opportunity.

14 comments:

becky said...

Amen to that.

Anonymous said...

fuck off Katie. save your energy for stuff that matters. it is none of your business how other people parent their kids unless it is abusive. I know "you" think that letting a baby cry is abusive but it is not. there are times to sooth and times not to. I have a friend, a single mom, who is very ill because she has been soothing at all hours of the day and night instead of laying down the law with her two year old. she finally did it and she is feeling better. which is, actually, better for said kid, not to mention her teenager who was being overly parentified because mom was too tired to do anything but sleep all day.
so screw off bitch. if you or your ilk had EVER said anything like that to me when my kids were little I would have probably created a new anal orifice for you.

Anonymous said...

My goodness, to the person posting above me, I hope Katie erases that message. I can't take seriously anyone who uses language like that to express an opinion.

Katie, thanks for giving the perspective of a mother of teenagers. That just strengthens my resolve to answer my baby's cries.

IYour Anonymous mother said...

F U C K O F F Anonymous.
You sound like you buy into that piece of shit book "The Aware Baby" by Aletha Solter. Like you, she thinks babies need to cry.

There is not one reputable human development theorist, or psychologist that believes or claims babies need cry and should be ignored when they cry. Adults need to address a child's needs. Uncomplicated as it sounds it is that simple. You address their needs for healthy human development...
It is part of parenting, you don't need a college degree, nothing to figure out, just attend to the baby when it cries!

Seems as if no one ever addressed your needs and attended to your cries for so you turned into this angry psycho!

Anonymous said...

It really does hurt to hear them cry! I think we must be genetically programmed to DO something about it. I think lots of comforting when they're small teaches them to comfort themselves. I do not believe it is refusing to set limits.
However, when a slightly older kid is out of control, ignoring their crying is sometimes the best option. Each parent must decide for themselves at that point how much soothing the kid needs. But I'm talking 3 and up. Babies and little kids need a lot of help! Just because they can walk and talk doesn't mean they should be in control of their emotions. Apparently some adults, like F-U anonymous #1 have yet to learn that skill!

Anonymous said...

no sometimes they need to. not always but sometimes. to you bunch of rocket scientists (NOT) one of the reasons babies and little kids cry is that they are TIRED. and guess what, if you are in there fussing with them they will cry. its not all black and white you dim bulbs. its like you people make out like people are letting babies cry for hours on end or else they never ever ever let them cry. do you people not have any discrimitory thinking or is it like all or nothing? guess so.
as far as the teenagers thing, guess what??? I let my now thirteen year old cry and she is FANTASTIC. it really pulls my chain when people gripe about teenagers because mine is great. it doesnt matter if you let a child cry it out in a controlled fashion or not. more power to ya if you are able to pull it off and remain semi sane from lack of sleep or if you luck out and have a kid that goes to sleep without resorting to any of this stuff. your good fortune allows you to be very smug about it. what DOES matter is that when said kid is old enough to be taken seriously that you do so. LITTLE kids most of the time say all kinds of stuff and well, you humor them. the older they get the more you take them very very seriously. I have seen that a lot of the people who are so wrapped up in answering baby's every mewl dont really communicate that well when the kids are teenagers. because just basic common sensical stuff eludes them.

Leslie said...

Totally agree with you, Katie. It physically hurts me to hear a newborn baby cry. I always want to go tell the mother, "Feed the baby already!" I remember once I was in a checkout line at Target with my newborn who was crying because he wanted to nurse. I was trying to get out of the store as fast as I could because I felt self-conscious about nursing in public while trying to check out, and my then-seven-year-old son told me to feed the baby, that I shouldn't let him cry. So I did. :-) My kids are so compassionate--none of them can stand to hear babies cry.

spiney said...

Well, that made me kinda teary.


Then I read the comments and wanted to smack anony#1.
Hey asshat, be brave enough to sign your name.

Anonymous said...

if anyone ever said "feed the baby already" because I was waiting to check out and did not want to a)stop to nurse in the store either publically or in a private location or b)ditch a full cart to leave immediately I would probably smack them upside their sorry head. no I would want to and the only thing that would stop me would be that it would probably constitute assault. no matter how well deserved said assault was. I am so fucking sick of idiots with no brain space feeling they have to mind the business of parents who are doing what they deem to be right. ESPECIALLY when you can google them, like Katie and see how very very far short they fall as parents themselves. perhaps if Katie is so concerned for child welfare she should clean her own house first and start by taking drivers ed. then she should study up on internet safety and privacy issues.
just beause I dont put my name to my post..well so what...its a cheap shot when you know I made a point. personally I like the cloak of anonymity and I am not about to change that.

tracy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
tracy said...

tracy said...

Quote anon with chip on shoulder - it is none of your business how other people parent their kids unless it is abusive.

ermm...I think you'll find leaving a baby to cry is abusive! There's an awful lot of research documenting the damage leaving a baby to cry can do. Every child mental health expert I know of condemns such detachment and treatment of a baby. The hormones released have a negative influence on the neural pathways being formed (at a tremendous rate in a baby). Also the brain can be built in a way that fails to respond to our natural calming chemicals. Long term you are looking at a tendency to turn to drugs to keep calm, stress related conditions, dissociation, heart problems, digestive disorders, depression... the list goes on.
You are taking a big risk for baby's physical and mental wellbeing for their entire lifetime if you are not a responsive parent in the early years.
I don't need science to tell me it's wrong (it's handy though) my heart tells me to hold and comfort a crying baby. If it didn't then something has gone wrong.
It literally brings me to tears to hear a baby crying alone.

Anonymous said...

give me a break bitch. there is a HUGE difference between a kid crying for hours and a mother deciding that she is going to get out of that grocery store even if it means fifteen minutes. I am sure that if you take the pulse rate of a toddler who has been denied a new beanie baby you get stress recorded too. So obviously you are damaging them. Give me a break. If I encountered your ilk when my kids were little and you opened your big mouth I would probably be containing myself to keep from dumping my latte over your head or something. Only fear of punishment would probaby keep me from decking you. If a baby crying for a few minutes while mom finishes something constitutes abuse to you then you not only have serious issues but you are belittling people who truly were beaten, starved, etc etc and deserve to have the label of abuse placed on the treatment they recieved as children. not answering every whimper doesnt constitute "abuse".

Anonymous said...

and if it brings you to tears to hear an infant crying for a few while mom finishes shopping then you need some SERIOUS therapy. Or maybe medication. Or maybe both.

tracy said...

Therapy, for what exactly? I'm not the one all defensive and angry when faced with alternative views on parenting. I just get sad and upset, and hope other parents are fully informed before choosing an approach to parenting. Most don't realise the lasting consequences to detached and baby training type methods.
I see no need to leave a baby to cry while you shop. I have a sling so can always hold or feed and get on with my shopping. I have 2 others, school runs and allsorts to get on with. Never need to leave my baby to cry though.
We are supposed to be disturbed by a baby's cry so we see to them. Oh and by the way it's cortisol levels they monitor to see how stressed a baby is, not pulse.
Obviously I don't go buying every toy my children want, and as toddlers they are not best pleased. But I don't ignore them leaving them to cry, they need help to regulate their emotions. Cuddles and distraction seems to work. Later on an explanation...and cuddles and distraction. Often with my boys just an acknowledgment of the fact they are angry, that despite how trivial it is to an adult they are feeling overwhelmingly cross about it all and they are not being "stupid" in feeling this.
It's the ignoring, disrespecting and misunderstanding of a child's current developmental stage, that gets me.
Just imagining myself in my child's place helps alot when caring for them.