Monday, January 30, 2006

Baby Training? Is this a Circus?

I just have to vent a bit about something that really confuses and perplexes me. Of course, its probably going to step on some people toes but we are all entitled to our own beliefs.
This whole parenting style of "Baby Training" or the idea that this baby came into my house they can fit around MY schedule is somewhat disturbing to me. First of all, did the baby get a say in whether or not they came into this family, second, they're a baby, isn't this the time in our lives (as parents) that we are learning to be selfless as opposed to selfish. Aren't children Gods little way of teaching us the the world doesn't revolve around us and we should put our children BEFORE our own selfish wants. So, that said, the whole baby training, ie, letting our babies (babies being the operative word) Cry it out because they should learn to do things on our schedule is somewhat ignorant. Why should we expect a baby to act like anything But a baby?? A baby cries because it is the ONLY way to communicate his/her needs. If we ignore those cries we are, in turn, ignoring their needs. A 6 month old doesn't have the capacity to manipulate. Yes, it may cry because it wants to be held but that is a need to a 6 month old. They wont be babies forever and I don't believe that we are "spoiling" them by giving them what they need. After all something that is spoiled is typically left alone untouched on a shelf somewhere. Now, I'm not saying that Baby training doesn't work, it does, if you let your baby scream he/she will eventually get tired because no one is responding to its call, she will give up and at this point begins to learn not to trust his/her own feelings or his mothers. How frightening would it be to be so helpless and it seem that your very basic needs are being ignored. OK so I'm ready to hear your opinions...dont hold back. :)

29 comments:

Kiki said...

I agree Sara! Why let a baby cry? I can see letting a 1 year old cry when they don't want to go down for a nap, but really, pick up the baby!!

Annette said...

well, sara, you know that we have never seen 100% eye to eye on stuff. I am some where in the middle between "baby training" and responding to every demand your child asks for. I in no way am saying "ignore" your child. I do believe though that a baby does need to learn to self sooth. It is in the babies best interest for the parents to be able to live as "normal" a life as possible. If you respond to every cry and never allow your child to self sooth, how much sleep do you get. If you are exhausted, how well can you care for your child...or your toddler who didn't cry all night and needs you during the day. I believe there are many ways to "care for your babies needs" and care for your own. Being a parents isn't easy...I believe that with all my heart. Learning starts from birth though. Children are much stronger than they are given credit for. Your child will be much happier, if they can have the best of both worlds...the love and cuddling of their parents and the ability to self-sooth. JMO. No way does this little box give me room to explain myself nor do I have the time. However, I felt the need to comment. Along with that...a baby/toddler who has learned to self sooth and that the world does not revolve around them is much more pleasant to be around for not only the parents, but your friends as well. Laurie always told me..ask yourself a question...when you are with other people..."is your child a blessing or a curse to them" A demanding, crying, etc child...eventually wears on people. No one likes to invite the family over with the destructive, sobbing, demanding toddler. The sooner you can begin to give boundaries and cuddle and care when it is really needed..the sooner your child will be well adjusted to life and the world.

Sarafu said...

Your right, we dont see eye to eye and unfortunaltley most people in todays Modern American culture dont see eye to eye with this idea either. This whole idea of baby training is very new and Very American and I used to agree with it before I had my own children and actually had to educate myself and make decisions for my own family. I dont really agree with the whole self soothing thing. I think we are trying to promote independance Way too young in our children. THey will eventually get it but they are only babies once , right? Why do I want my 6 week old to cry himself to sleep? First of all they arent soothing themselves, they have just given up and been conditioned to not expect more from its parents. I also dont beleive that children who are brought up being responded to makes them a less well behaved toddler. I by no means think we should Never let our kids cry. And, I am talking about BABIES not toddlers.There are times when I just cant get to Asher and he has to cry but I dont make it a point just to Let him cry when I KNOW that he is hungry, I' available and I just think he needs to learn to wait. I feel that puts us in danger of not being in tune to our baby cues.....kinda de sensatizing us. I do agree with what you said about us having to do what works for us as individuals to make us a good parent. To answer your question about how much sleep I get at night. I get plenty now that Asher is getting the hang of nursing. Thats the beauty of breastfeeding, I dont have to be awake the whole time now, I can just latch him on and snooze away!!But lack of sleep kinda comes with the territory of having a newborn, Again, I just think its selfish to expect any less than that. All that said, thanks for your response, I like to hear other peoples views!

Sarafu said...

Preach it, Girlscout! Thats alot simpler way to say it! LOL!

Annette said...

see, sara. that's why i wasn't going to even respond. my thoughts and feelings apparently didn't across the right way. I firmly believe in attending to your childs needs. If you know your child is hungry, dirty, hurting, scared, etc..then by all means walk away from whatever the heck it is that seems more important than your baby. I didn't mean that at all to sound like you should just let your baby cry for no reason. I think you are reading way too much into the whole "baby training thing" I know some people are over the top with it, but those people in my opinion had kids for all the wrong reasons. I wasn't trying to say that *you* weren't getting enough sleep, Sara. I was using a blanket "you" as parents. I am completely aware that being a parent means selflessness, lack of sleep, financial struggles, etc. I can't tell anyone how to raise their children and hope that they won't tell me how to raise mine. I don't have children yet and I'm sure that some of my views will change when the time comes.

Annette said...

I love you, Fu. I didn't mean for any of that to sound like an attack on you!

Sarafu said...

No Worries Girl, I didnt feel attacked and I hope that you didnt feel like I was attacking you. You know how I get when I am passionate about something, ie, Alias, Jennifer Garner, X Files, etc....! Ijust love my soapboxes! :) I understand that people have different ways of child rearing and I cant expect Eveyone to agree with me (though it would be nice, LOL!). I Really did want to hear other peoples point of view, its why I posted it so I appreciate you stating yours!! Love Ya! :)

Miss Sara said...

I believe that self soothing is something that an older child can, and should, learn at the appropriate time. No way should a six week old be left to cry.

When you said that a six month old is not capable of manipulating, I'm not sure if it was just a typo and you meant a six week old, but I think that a six month old is very capable of manipulating, and parents have to find a line between caring for their needs and allowing their demands to interfere with our ability to properly care for their needs. It was probably just a typo, though. :)

leviathen said...

i think it just depends on how old the child is. I would never think that a six Week old baby should be left to cry.

But a six month old could possibly be at that place depending on the place they are in.

For example, we didn't start doign any self soothing until cedar was almost 14 months. Simply because he developed at that pace, where with afton we are already starting her at 9 months because she has clearly developed faster and can be very manipulative.

I think the comment about how your children are percieved around other has a lot of merit as well. If your children are learning bounderies early i think the entire stress level of the household is at a much better place.

JMO

l.

Sarafu said...

I agree that you have to go by where your child is at and deal with them differently according to their different personalities. I think that is one of my main issues with the whole baby training philosophy as a whole. It teaches you to ignore your intuition and ignores the fact that Every child devolops at a different pace and they need different things. I think the main thing is that we listen to ourselves. If we start to numb ourselves to what our basic instint tells us then then we numb ourselves to our babies needs. Does that make sense? Anywho THanks for bringing up all these good points and for your opinions!

Tammy said...

I still can't stand it when my kids cry...lol!! I still run to them and try to soothe them and the youngest is almost 17.....haha!! I say that everything like that is unique and you do what you feel comfortable with. What really bothers me is when my granddaughter cries, breaks my heart and I will do anything to help her feel better....candy, popsicles, fruit snacks, a story, play toys, whatever it takes. I love being a grandma!!

Elizabeth F. said...

I agree with Sara on most points, and I think that Levi is right in that you as a parent can determine why your child is crying at different ages to determine if a need/want needs to be met. For example: My 3 year old can cry it out and self soothe when he's crying because he wants a sucker...but when he "wants" to be held...that is a need people!!! So what if a baby wants to be held or wants to sleep with you. They're certainly not going to do it forever. Sometimes I "Want" to be held too! Sometimes I don't want to sleep alone. The difference is I can say "John, I need _________." A baby cannot! (Even my 3 year old struggles to put his feelings into words!)I have learned through having 3 children that each one is different!!!! Human babies have the need to be close to their parents. It's how we survive. It is a very Western idea anyway for babies to sleep rooms away all alone or to Stay with sitters, etc...

Secondly, If people don't want to hang out with me because my kid is not acting how they find acceptable...well, then we can not hang out as much!! Sometimes, no matter what you do your kid may not cooperate. It's easy to be judgemental on other people's kids...especially when you don't have any yourself. You just plain don't really know what you are talking about. I used to do that. I think that's why friends seem to disappear when you have kids...you are in different stages of life! You need to be with people like yourself. The #1 lesson I have learned as a parent is that I cannot control my children's thoughts, desires, or all of their actions! They are human beings, and though they came from my womb they are their own person.

(Just an FYI: there are lots of books on Baby Training, etc...and the reason that they are so DANGEROUS is that a new mommy with little confidence may read the book and follow the suggestions and never learn to listen to her intuition about mothering and her child's needs go unmet needlessly.)

Desiree said...

If you decide to let your baby self soothe by crying, how do you know that that crying is from sadness or if he/she is hurt? If you answer"you just know" then that would be using your intuition and why wouldn't you use that intuition to know that he/she needs some lovin from you in whatever way it needs? Also, in regards to the "is your child a blessing or a curse to those around you" comment, I agree that if your child is going through a phase of adjustment and growth where it would be wearing on those around you....DON'T TAKE THEM OUT! That is just part and parcel of "choosing the highest good for your child and for those around you." If you aren't able to put aside your going out time for a short span in your childs life...choose not to have a child until you can. Flexibility is one of the major things I have learned since I have had Daniel and especially now that I have had Tori. I may want to go out at different times but they may have other ideas so I put my wants aside in this situation and work with where they are at. There are plenty of ways to work things out. There is a season for everything and I am able to say that "this too shall pass," whether it is good or bad and I will enter a new phase bringing it's trials and blessings. But in all things my children and their well being comes first.

leviathen said...

eliz

the only thing i would say for us is that if we let the kids sleep in our beds neither of us would get any sleep. Therefore making liffe for everybody in teh house very bad.

Both our kids tend to sleep either light or (like cedar) playing soccer in his sleep.

it's just bad.

sorry, i'm all for holding your kids when the just need to be held, but not at 3 in the morning.

l.

Sarafu said...

I understand that some people cant sleep with their children because it causes them to get less sleep and it doesnt benefit the entire family. That makes complete sense. I beleive with some children though it makes life easier if your child has a need to be close to you at night. Not all children are like that. I just hate it when people tell me that I Shouldnt be sleeping with my kids because its bad for them or for all of us. First of all, most likely they are just saying that becaus etheir Dr told them that or they read it in a book. I figure whatever situation gives your whole family the most sleep is what "Works Best". We are all much happier when we all get sleep.

Elizabeth F. said...

L-
I think we should all do what works best for ourselves. All of my children have not co-slept with us. Zachary sleeps beside us in a pack-n-play. You should do what gets you the most rest. But, if my kid is in the other room at 3am crying...I'm not sleeping anyway. So, we all have to figure out a plan that lets the entire family get rest. My other kids would be awake too! Different things work best for different families. Sometimes we have to choose what the majority of people in our culture find wrong or out of the norm.

John F. said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
John F. said...

Wow Great post but I have to back my wife on this one. First It take a parent to really make a valid point in this case. I could talk about the rise in gas prices all day long and make some great points but at the end of the day I would be talking out my ass because I don't know JACK about the oil buisness. Somethings you have to just learn by doing and not reading or watching!!!
Second a baby and a Toddler are two differt things but needs are needs. A need to be held can be a grey area but look at the kids in some third world orphenage that never gets held they don't thrive. I think we as Humans need other human contact to thrive. The more babies trust we will meet there need the happier I think they are. I will be the first to say I don't think life should stop after you have children but it does change and for every one that thinks it shouldn't simply shouldn't have kids!!! Life has meny different roads we are the ones that chose the ones we travel down.

Sarafu said...

Preach It Brother!!

Daniel said...

In the words of the great Rush Limbaugh, (yes, great, Levi) mega didos to Elizabeth and Des. Right on! Re: Johns comments, I think John is just reaching out for a hug. Come on over John, I'll give you a big ol' hug!

John F. said...

I'll be over Sunday for the SUPERBOWL you can hug me then!!!

Daniel said...

Sounds good, let's just not let anyone see.

Sarafu said...

We will all be watching!

leviathen said...

dan

i knew you listened to that racist drug dealer! ;) hehe!

l.

Daniel said...

Levi.....
He's not a drug dealer (in italics), he's just an addict (in italics) ....surprised you didn't know that. I also didn't know he was a racist. Now I hate all his good ideas, and common sense, and I'm converting to the dark side....er, ah...demoractic side.
By the way, my name is Daniel, not Dan. Let's not confuse the issue again.
Go Bears!

leviathen said...

dan, if you remember he was kicked off the ESPN news crew because he made suspect comments about Donovan McNabb.....

I was actually being facicious, i can't stand the guy but i did think he was getting unfairly baggaged on those two things.

l.

Elizabeth F. said...

There was an alleged hug last night after the Super Bowl. We didn't see it, but we were told that it happened.

Secondly, I am SOOOO PROUD of my hubby (John) for his comments. Wow...some of my preaching has gotten through to him...he..he..

Levi, Daniel's name is DanIEL!!!! Get it straight!:-) Or we are going to start calling you Lee...

Liz said...

I would just like to say that I witnessed the infamous hug! It really happened. I was behind on my blog reading and was quite confused as to what I was witnessing and why....but it all makes sense now!

Sarafu said...

I just missed it by seconds......SNAP!!!