Re: Console or ignore a crying baby at midnight

StephanieTheGoofy wrote:

cruel. But on the other hand, i Have experience with children in my care who
are perpetually over tired from the parent's failure to put their feet down
about bed. They play games all night long, then try to get me to refuse naps
in the hopes that the kids will die of exhaustion at nighttime. Their
learning suffers; their play suffers. Now it happens that I have a small
number of kids with a large percent having this problem (whihc still makes a
ridiculously insiginificant data point)

I guess I'm not sure how this colors your perspective that letting a
child cry-it-out is OK. The above parents haven't done a good job
parenting their children to sleep. That has very little to do with
whether those kids would be helped by cry-it-out or not.

but you never hear this risk raised
in the newsgroups when discussing the horros of making your children
understand the necessity of going to bed.

Having good bedtime discipline skills is a good thing. And letting
parents know that if they don't do a good job, and their kids are
underslept, then they will suffer is valid. However, you can instill
good sleep habits and good discipline without crying-it-out.

Now some would choose not to teach
this lesson with any teeth, if you will, at 13 months. And I think that is
more than reasonable. But at some point, I think it is a parenting failure
not to make sure that

- a child can go to sleep when tired without a ridiculous set of props
without falling down in exhaustion
- a child understands their position in the household is not Center of the
Universe and when they are awake at night so are mom and dad.

So.. if my daughter woke me up at 2:00 am for a quick feed, a hug, and
a cuddle before going back to sleep (total awake time was 5 minutes)
that means she was the center of the universe? We took steps throughout
her baby and toddlerhood to ensure that she knew that nighttime was
time for sleeping, and it was a rare event (usually associated with
teething or illness) that caused her to not go back to sleep quickly
and easily. And I always nudged her in those directions (not always
without strife and stress, I might add).

There were a few things that struck me funny. One was that they could scream
bloody murder for what seemed like eternity. When you looked at your clock
you found out it was only 5 minutes. Now grant you, the first night, with
our first child, it was a full evil 15 minutes.

Why does the duration matter? You really think that child - because it
was only 15 minutes - wasn't scared and upset? I've seen my daughter
-at age 4- cry horribly because she thought her friend Maddy didn't
like her anymore, only to turn around and be back to normal within 5
minutes, and be running and playing. That doesn't mean she wasn't
genuinely upset during those moments she was crying.

For what it's worth, I don't think that 15 minutes is the end of the
world, nor do I think you were a horrible parent or anything. And if
all cry-it-outs were as easy as that, I might not be so against it.
But, I've heard too many stories like that of my little brother (who
was the 5 hour kiddo). And it seems like that often the people who
*do* cry-it-out didn't bother to try anything else first (I'm not
suggesting this of you).

So you see, both of our opinions are colored by our experience that
makes us unable to make global statements.

Fair enough.

But your inclination to remove
crying from the toolbox except for the Most Dire of Circumstance is not a
winner in my book.

Ok... so perhaps I should rephrase things. I would suggest crying as a
last resort only. When a) sleeping all night is really important (not
just because someone else says so) and b) the parents have really tried
the other tools first. Does that sound more reasonable than the Dire
Consequence wording. :-)

Cathy Weeks


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