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"Tough Love' Rss

Hi Ladies
I just wanted to voice my opinion on tough love tatics!
When Lucy was first born, of a night time if she had trouble settling down the nurses would come take her away and settle her - bring her back when she was asleep. The first night that we came home - I was a mess, Lucy wouldnt settle for no one! At 4.30am I rang my mum and she came around(god bless her) and got Lucy to sleep and then she sat me down for a chat - We found that getting Lucy to know her day/night sequence has helped, try and keep her awake as much as possible during the day and then wrap her up tight at night. She used to cry for about 20 minutes (we wouldnt let her cry any longer than that) and she would go to sleep. If you keep going and picking them up - they won't settle. To the point - Lucy is now 10 weeks and sleeps 11 hours! As soon as she is put in her cot wrapped tightly and lights out, she doesn't even grizzle because she knows it is night time

Babies aren't silly - they learn very quickly! and know when we are frustrated. If they wake for a feed during the night, dont talk to them...just do what you have to do and then put them back...its hard (specially when they start smiling) but its tough love and it works!

I really thought my mum and sisters were mad because I thought how cruel letting them cry...but as long as you are in control - you are fine. No baby has ever died of crying and it exercises their lungs!

Hope this makes sense...

Kristin smile
Hi Kristin, I agree! The best thing my pediatrician ever said to me (and he said it with both kids) is "You didn't order a high-maintenance baby. Let him/her cry for five minutes before you go to them." Now, the first time he told me I forgot everything he had told me after my first sleepless night. With my second, I remembered and started practicing from the day he was born. Even in the hospital, if he cried I would look at my watch, time him for five minutes and then go to him. Of course, if the cry was a cry of pain or trouble then I would go straight away. Often, in the early weeks, a baby will cry as a sign of tiredness, so five minutes of crying and they quickly fall asleep.

You are right though - as long as your are in control letting a baby cry won't hurt them. No baby has ever self-combusted from crying!

Kate

QUOTE: "I have now decided that I think that a child settling/sleeping times have more to do with the child and less to do with the settling techniques! "

Oh how true this is!! It actually used to really annoy me to read posts from mothers that had been blessed with easy sleepers that if you do X + Y + Z your baby will sleep. Now it just makes me laugh!! (or cry for the poor babies as in this thread)

After 2 challenging but different sleepers, all I can say is that you can do everything to envourage sleep but babies will sleep shen they want to!

My PAed has an interesting theory on sleep issues and babies based on his many many years or practise (he speciallises in sleep related problems) He told me that babies who are challenging in the sleep department show all the traits that you want in an older child/adult ie determination, leadership skills, self relience etc. Its just that htese things make it harder while they are a baby. Also interestingly, studide have shown that adults with hight IQ's need less sleep then those with average IQ's.

Anyway I just couldnt go past repliying to a few things the OP said:

1."If you keep going and picking them up - they won't settle"

FALSE: I always pick/picked my young babies up and they learnt to self settle just fine

2."but as long as you are in control - you are fine"

Thats right YOU are fine but the BABY at such a young age has NO comprehension that you are going to return (read about object perminence). Babies dont have a "fight or flight" response to stress as adults do, rather in times of continued stress and fear, they shut down to conserve energy, what is the easiest way to do this? Sleep!

3."it exercises their lungs! "

FALSE! This statement is right out of the dark ages. If you have studied even basic human biology you would know that the lung is not a muscle, it doest need strengthing or excersise. Babies cry for a reason COMMUNICATION. By ignoring all your babies cries you are basically turning a deaf ear to them trying to communicate.




Mumma to DD1 Jan 04 and DD2 Mar 06

I'm sorry but I couldn't disagree more with the OP. Have you researched the reasons that babies stop crying and start becoming seemingly calm and settled babies after they're left to cry? It's because they've given up and they realise that there's no point crying because no one is going to come to them. They shut down their emotions and sleep. Babies aren't supposed to sleep for 11 or 12 hours a night. Some people have babies that do (without using 'tough love') but it's not common. It's not too late for you to change your techniques and gain back the trust of your baby. It's not my intention to make you feel bad, but you really need to do some reading before continuing using 'tough love'. We co-sleep and I wear her in a sling every day. She's never ever been left to cry and she is a beautiful and calm little person.

ETA Keeping your baby awake during the day is NOT a good idea. They need sleep!!! They're growing and it's essential for their health to get enough sleep. Letting your bub sleep through the day won't make her not sleep at night.
[Edited on 14/04/2007]
Hey all I just wanted to say that I have 3 bubs and they are all different and respond to different things. My little boys are a little more sensitive to sounds etc and get overtired so easily let my little girl was not and a really excellent sleeper from a very young age. All babies are different but I do have to disagree with you that controlled comforting or controlled crying (whatever you want to call it) is not what is seems in particular I agree with the last poster.

QUOTE
1."If you keep going and picking them up - they won't settle"

FALSE: I always pick/picked my young babies up and they learnt to self settle just fine

I second this - my eldest is now 3 and is a perfect sleeper - he was NEVER left to cry (no even a grizzle really) and he sleeps all night. My DD is coming up 2 and sleeps most nights all the way through now although does wake up for a cuddle sometimes - my 3 month old is carried and feed according to his need overnight and in the day and he barely makes a sound before his needs are met - he will grow up with a different sleep pattern again! It is just not so cut and dry!


QUOTE:
2."but as long as you are in control - you are fine"

Thats right YOU are fine but the BABY at such a young age has NO comprehension that you are going to return (read about object perminence). Babies dont have a "fight or flight" response to stress as adults do, rather in times of continued stress and fear, they shut down to conserve energy, what is the easiest way to do this? Sleep!

Again I second this - this is not a power struggle between you and your bub - your bub NEEDS something that is why he/she crys not to irritate you! That is his/her only form or communication - all letting them cry it out teaches them is that no-one is coming! You wouldn't let your partner or friend lay there and cry - well I certainly wouldn't so wouldn't expect my baby too.


QUOTE:
3."it exercises their lungs! "

FALSE! This statement is right out of the dark ages. If you have studied even basic human biology you would know that the lung is not a muscle, it doest need strengthing or excersise. Babies cry for a reason COMMUNICATION. By ignoring all your babies cries you are basically turning a deaf ear to them trying to communicate.

I second this - This is something my MIL would say - breathing exercises their lungs not crying!

Sorry to disagree but I feel very strongly about this and feel mums are bombarded with CC info and not given the other side alot - I know I was. In my circle of friends I am definately the "outsider" with regards to my parenting choices - We co-sleep, BF long-term - homebirth - you know the crazy hippie types!!! LOL thats me! smile & I would have loved someone to back me up with my decision not to CC.






[/quote]
Sorry but I did reply after Woolly Wombat and was refering to that post although I do agree with the poster in between us!!! Hope that makes sense
Statistically speaking babies who are tended to more and NOT left to cry at a very young age will cry less once they get older. Babies should not be left to cry before 6 months of age as they have no concept of manipulating a situation etc and REALLY are crying for a reason. Sleep encourages sleep in a young baby/newborns and this is proven. Yes babies will cry because they are tired but the more upset they get the less likely they are to sleep, so if you know that giving your baby a cuddle or a pat is going to calm them to sleep, then you really should be doing it. Babies need to feel safe and secure and I think the message that 'tough love' sends them is rejection even though this isn't what you think that you are doing. Babies need to feel love and thrive on love, why be so tough on a brand new little person??

Everything that I have written is based on years and years of research and had proved to work.
In the words of Dr James McKenna ...
"although infants can be conditioned to sleep long and hard alone, and without intervention and, hence, fulfill the cultural expectation that the should sleep through the night, the fact remains that they were not designed to do so, and it may not be either in their best biological or psychological interest."

For more of Dr James McKenna - a TRUE sleep expert! http://www.nd.edu/~jmckenn1/lab/index.html

Read about the Con of Controlled Crying - Pinky McKay http://www.naturalchild.org/guest/pinky_mckay.html

And wise words from Professor Dettwyler - re' Sleeping through the night http://www.kathydettwyler.org/detsleepthrough.html

<span class="emoticon smile">smile</span>
I used controlled crying with my baby. I went to a "sleep school" when she was 3 weeks old. She is now 2yo and has always been such a happy and content baby. It took a week of hard work and tears from both her and me, but it was worth it. As long as you know there is nothing else they need (the are not hungry, need nappy changes etc.) it is perfectly safe to leave a baby to cry. We went into her and resettled her first after 2 minutes then 4min, then 6, then 8 then 10. Mostly we didn't get up to the 8min mark even. We all do whatever we feel is right.

But what we have to remember is that the baby will get used to whatever settling technique we use and will expect and need that to go to sleep. So if you are happy with for instance rocking your baby to sleep, that's fine as long as you are willing to keep doing that.
As long as you know there is nothing else they need (the are not hungry, need nappy changes etc.) it is perfectly safe to leave a baby to cry.


What if they need a cuddle?? It maybe safe to leave a baby cry, but what if all they want is a cuddle and to feel comforted??
That's fine, if you are prepared to keep doing that. I didn't want to rock or cuddle my dd to sleep all the time, so I had to teach her how to go to sleep by herself. Babies don't know that automatically and whatever you do for the baby to go to sleep is whatever he/she will need, to go to sleep. It's called sleep associations. Nothing wrong with it at all.
I think we need to remeber here that Kristi didnt wake up one day and say "i'm goign to leave my baby to cry tonight until she goes to sleep". No, this was a sleep deprived mother who desparetly needed a solution and some sleep, so she left her baby to cry, for no longer than 20 minutes and this 1st time Mum was able to get some much needed sleep.

Now it is fine to co sleep, carry your baby in sling where ever you go, rock your baby to sleep but in reality this is not always possible! A baby who crys for a while, while learning to go to sleep on its own is nothing compared to a mother who gets NO SLEEP for weeks and weeks on end. This mother does not function properly, is stressed out, is edgy, is moody, gets snappy, pays out on everyone around her and is a very unpleasnt person to be around. SO tell me what is better: A baby who cries in a controlled environment (meaning hysterical cries will be seen to) while he/she learns to settle or a mother who is not an effective, loving mother because she needs some sleep?

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