Poor babies and selfish mothers!

Renae - posted on 03/30/2011 ( 33 moms have responded )

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I just had the most unbelieveable 3 client consultations in a row that you guys just wont believe either.

First I get this 1st time mother of a 2 month old who wants me to "train her baby to stay awake for a reasonable amount of time". I'm thinking - what the hell, is this baby falling asleep every 5 minutes or what??? So I meet with her and she proceeds to tell she cant believe that a baby should need to sleep so often and how is she supposed to even go out to lunch or go shopping if he needs to nap every 1.5 hours and her life cant stop just because she had a baby. REALLY???? I nearly fell off my chair. I told her I'm sorry her baby is such an inconvenience - she wasn't happy!

Then the next one wants her 1 year old (who there is nothing wrong with and sleeps 11 hours a night) to sleep to 9am (no that's not a typo, I did mean to say NINE) because she doesn't think she should be "expected to get up at the crack of dawn". Ah, kids get up early, its part of parenting, DEAL WITH IT! OMG!

Next, and this one is the worst - 3rd child, 9 weeks old (yes weeks, not months) has slept through the night (10 hours) a few times so mother thinks obviously baby is just waking to comfort feed and doesn't really need it and the mother wants me to pat her on the back and tell her she is doing the right thing by leaving baby to cry ALL night for hours and hours, I'm talking like 6 to 8 hours of crying, because she "has to learn". (BTW - its physiologically impossible for a baby or any human to "learn" while crying). The first 2 kids slept 11 hours from 6 weeks so mother thinks this one should too. (Most of my clients are on 3rd or 4th baby so that's nothing unusual.)

I dont know what goes on in some people's heads, seriously. And usually I brush it off but it has been just one after the other lately. Your baby is only a baby for a year out of your life, put them first for 365 days, is it really that hard.

And BTW none of these people had extenuating circumstances like PND or anxiety disorders or other high needs children, they were all just being plain old selfish! Sometimes I wish I could introduce them to people who have real problems, like a client of mine who when I met her took 6 hours to put her 22 month old to bed every night and he had never slept for more than an hour in his whole life - now THAT's a sleeping problem :)

Ok, feel better now. :)

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User - posted on 08/27/2012

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My mom wouldn't even stay home with us for most of my childhood. I remember the day she said I was an accident and the day we saved her butt when the child protective services came to the door when she was gone AGAIN. They knew she was gone. she was a hoarder that never bought things for us at thrift stores bc she needed to money to buy rings and record players. the only time we got something new, was from the trash in our neighborhood( no joke). yep thats right. I am now 25 years old and My son is about to be 2 and shes only seen him 2 times in the past 2 years and her reasons were that she need to go back to watch over her stuff. she only stayed for TWO days and dared to make fun of him, like how she use to make fun of me, when I was a child. Yep I kepted my cool for most of the time she was there despite our terrible relationship, but I snapped at her to never emotional abuse him EVER. My mom even told me all my life that my whole family hated me and that my own father was out to sea (bc he was in the Navy) because he didnt want to be home with us. lets see, she called me a bitch since I could remember and I remember her screaming at me when I was too young to even roll over.... my sense of self worth was messed up until I left her house and went to college far far away. I always felt sorry for her bc she said that my older brother and I were going to kill her due to us being kids and her having kidney problems so I feared I would loose her all my life and she never took responsibility ever for her action- not even once. I didnt even cover all of it. I now know what NOT to be like. I have people tell me im a wonderful mom, so I guess that says something. I dont have to yell at my kid and my son is a happy balanced boy. I wont be invited my mom to his Birthday party this month...not for my sake, but for my son's.

Barb - posted on 04/06/2011

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Sure!! Rub it in that i missed! my aim is getting better! LOL



Edited to add: given the title of this thread: I mean i've shot at my husband with an airsoft pellet gun and i've given the advice to other women to shoot their husband with an airsoft pellet gun.. i'm NOT suggesting for anyone to shoot their babies to sleep, cuz that is not going to work, it's just really going to anger them and other people.



Pretty soon you might have green hulk baby crawling out of the crib to come teach you a lesson, i don't know.. you just don't know what could happen, so don't shoot em!!

Amber - posted on 04/05/2011

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Barb~ I thought you didn't actually shoot him, that you just tried to ;) haha

Barb - posted on 04/05/2011

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aww Tracey! you are going to ruin my mean girl "shoot him with a airsoft pellet gun" reputation!!

Sneaky - posted on 04/04/2011

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Barb, you always manage to put a wonderful positive spin on things :o) I like it!

Renae - posted on 04/03/2011

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Thanks Barb. Yes you are right and that is how I need to look at it. I think when I get so many in a row is when I start to forget that my job is to educate parents, help babies and remain patient with both.

It also gets to me that people like this are the reason that people with genuine problems get ignored and told to just go home and cope with it. The child health nurses and parenting help line staff tell me that the great majority of "problems" they hear are not problems at all, they are just normal babies doing what babies do, the problem is the mother's ridiculously unrealistic expectations. So when someone comes along who does have a genuine problem noone listens and it gets assumed it is just another case of misguided expectations.

I am hoping that all 3 of these ladies turn up to my info session this Thursday. I run free info sessions and most people leave having realised that their baby isn't actually that bad! Or its the opposite and they realise that their baby does really need help.

The most difficult thing to get through to people is that you can do all the "right" things and still get a baby who doesn't sleep. Most people whose babies slept well think that it was because they knew what they were doing, when in fact the baby was probably going to sleep no matter what they did. So its hard for someone whose first 3 slept beautifully to understand that there is nothing they can do if they are going to get a baby who is in the 10% of bad sleepers, they cant avoid it and its not anything they did or didn't do. I've got a feeling only the last one will turn up to the session.

Barb - posted on 04/03/2011

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Wow.

Well, the good thing about it is at least they are reaching out to a professional for help. There is at least a chance you can step in and say something and make it better for these babies and maybe the moms too if they can get it through their thick heads.

My husband and i were staying at some floating cabins in Oklahoma. The cleaning lady for the cabins was in her 50's and had an infant. We asked her about the child. She said the child belonged to her daughter's young friend who accidentally got preggers and didn't want the child or how to handle her. The young mother, to make her life easier, had been giving her nyquil to make her sleep all the time. This lady said "i'll take care of her for you." To keep her from getting nyquilled all the time. While we visited with her and she told us this lovely story, and let us know the baby, now 9 months old, never takes naps now. Really!! Because now she enjoys chocolate coffee spoons as treats. Can't imagine why she doesn't take naps now.. such a mystery really.

So i think it is wonderful Renae that at least these ladies reached out to you, even if their reasons were purely selfish, at least they heard from a professional and maybe something will get better.

[deleted account]

wow......thats intense...

gabby never got up at the crack of dawn though...she gets out of bed around 9ish...

Sneaky - posted on 04/01/2011

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Yeah, I'm finding it hard to keep on track with my journal reading because they are about subjects I have a limited interest in and then I get distracted by that journal article over there that sounds interesting but has nothing to do with my assignment :o)

I hope I don't lose my love of reading - at this point it would be like losing a limb I think, I read every day!

[deleted account]

Wow you really get some great potential clients, a first timer who doesn't want to change her lifestyle even a little to accomodate her baby - I'd have told her the beauty of young babies is they generally sleep anywhere if they need to sleep!

I can't really comment on the second one I had to start setting my alarm clock to wake my 17 month old up at 8am because he was sleeping until 9/9.30am every morning and then was refusing to nap and go to bed at night (as he was over tired by the evening). But I know we was blessed with an amazing sleeper with our first child - I'm a little worried that the second will really test us and be a crap sleeper (as we've had it sooooo good) oh well nothing I can do about it now.

The third OMG what the hell is she thinking NOBODY should EVER leave a baby or child crying for anywhere near that long - and I'm in no way opposed to using a crying method of sleep training and in fact did (a modified version of Ferberizing).

Renae - I studied Psych and I still love reading - I have however lost my passion for reading journal style writing lol!

Renae - posted on 04/01/2011

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Wow that has changed too. You used to be able to do a psych degree online, well it was called "correspondence", but you couldn't be registered with it because all stats units had to be done on campus. I did a few units by correspondence cos I worked through most of both degrees and had to be careful which psych units I did externally. Sure its all changed though. By second degree was business in the mid naughties and wow that was different, and OMG so easy by comparison (no offence to anyone with business degrees!). Do you still need a minimum of 15 references, 13 of them journals, for every assignment? Oh, and loose 5 points for a comma out of place in your referencing! The only bad thing about psych, and you have probably heard this, is it will kill any love of reading you ever had. You are forced to do so much reading it takes decades for it to become enjoyable again. I've heard the same about medical and other human science degrees. But I dont know what your first degree was in so maybe your reading for fun days are long gone! :)

Sneaky - posted on 03/31/2011

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Yeah times have changed - I'm doing this online, so I am in NSW and I'm attending Swinburme University in Melbourne :o) I just handed in my first assignment too and it was awesome to find all the journal articles I needed online, MUCH different from the first time I did the uni thing 10 years ago!

Renae - posted on 03/31/2011

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@Tracey, good luck with the degree! I dont know if there will be much left there to pick at but you are welcome to try! We used to joke that there is so much you have to learn in psych that by the time you get the end of the second semester you cant remember anything you learnt in the first. But I believe its easier now that you dont have to spend weeks researching for every essay.

When I did it (started 1998) none of the old journal articles or research had been put online. We would camp out on the library floor trauling through journals for weeks. At my job before I became a mum most of the staff were psychs and our accounts manager was studying psych for a career change. I remember her doing research and just being able to find everything online with a few keyword searches - god that would have been nice! At my uni we had our own building with a lounge, labs, computers with internet! etc and there were always people there at any time of day or night. Always people passed out asleep in the lounge! All our assignments were 10,000 word essays or lab reports. Now they do presentations and multi-choice quizzes and all sorts of interesting assessments. It needed to change and I'm glad it has.

Renae - posted on 03/31/2011

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You guys know what my all time favourite question is??? And I get emailed this all the time....

"We have been co-sleeping since we got home from hospital. When will my 10/12/14 month old ever want to sleep on their own, they STILL want to sleep with me."

I actually wonder whether there is a book or website out there I dont know about that is telling people their baby will suddenly wake up one day at 12 months of age and decide to sleep on their own. Why else would people think that? I think you're right Katherine - braindead is the only reason I can think of!

Stifler's - posted on 03/31/2011

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I think it's a great idea. I need to behaviour modify my husband.

Sneaky - posted on 03/31/2011

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That's awesome Renae! I've just started my psych degree (seriously, I'm about five weeks in) and so far I love it! I would love to pick your brain!!!

I get the 'behavior modification' dislike - I was a bit freaked when I realized that was what I was doing discipline wise with my kids (praising good behavior and ignoring bad) so now I just call it brainwashing instead, lol :o)

Renae - posted on 03/30/2011

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@Katherine - I call myself an "Infant Sleep Specialist". I'm basically a private sleep disorder consultant who specialises in infants and toddlers, which I decided to get into when I discovered that there is noone with a psychology background doing infant behaviour stuff in my state. All of the"infant behaviourists" in my state are ex-midwives and all of them use either control crying or leaving baby to cry and noone offers any other options. There is also only one sleep centre where parents and babies can go for help and they also only use 2 methods, CC and CIO with parental presence (stand there and pat their head while they scream).

I have changed what I call the methods I use a few times, because of bad responses I sometimes get. I'm currently referring to it as "no-cry alternative technique". If anyone has any good ideas of what to call it feel free to suggest them!

I basically use what would clinically be called "behavioural therapy" in that I follow the basic principles of behaviour modification. But if I say "behaviour modification" people get all upset that I am trying to make babies do things that are unnatural. And as much as I love Dr Sears, he outted a few people mis-using behaviour modification to make very young babies sleep for long periods of time and wrote some negative things about it and now some people think behaviour modification is the same as sleep training.

In a nut shell, I write programs for parents to follow that slowly shows a baby that its ok to feel calm and relaxed in their bed and that they dont need to feel anxious or stressed (which is what makes them cry or want to be picked up) - and/or to withdraw them from very strong sleep onset dependancies (for example- their brain has learned that it can only release sleepy chemicals like melatonin when lying on mums chest - so we gradually withdraw them from needing mum and reteach their brain to release those chemicals when lying in bed).

My clients have usually tried everything, been to the sleep centre, been sedated, sometimes hospitalised and nothing has worked. That's because the baby hasn't learnt anything and still freaks out when they are put in their cot. The other sleep trainers think its all a waste of time (average program takes a couple of months) and babies just need to be forced into doing the "right" thing by being left to cry. But the results from crying methods are non-permanent and last an average of 3 months before having to do it again, but they dont tell people that.

I only work with people who have real problems. Most sleep trainers will take any baby not sleeping 11 hours straight from 8 weeks. I only take cases where the behaviour is abnormal and detrimental. E.g. a 12 month old waking every 2 hours is detrimental (to the child and parents and anyone else in the house), a 10 week old waking every 2 hours is normal.

Kate CP - posted on 03/30/2011

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Renae: Yea, that's what I figured. Doesn't hurt to ask though, right? ;)



I love my little man and he's growing like a friggin' weed. He was 6 lbs 13 oz at birth. 3 days later at his first check up with the ped he was 7.2, and just last week he was 12.1 and 21.75 inches. The nurse and the doctor were both shocked when I said "Oh no, he's exclusively breast fed." I think they thought I was giving him cereal or formula or something. Nope. Just the boob.



He's also the messiest eater I have ever seen. He'll nurse until I have let down and then he takes 3 big gulps and suddenly pulls away. So I'm spraying milk EVERYWHERE and all over his face. Then he rubs his face back and forth on my boob and then re-latches. I finally started keeping three burp cloths with me: one for the other boob when it starts to leak, one for under his chin for when he pulls away, and an extra one for "just in case".



I know, TMI and a little off topic but it's been driving me nuts. ;P

Katherine - posted on 03/30/2011

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WTF?????

Are they ....like......brain dead? Especially that last one. What exactly do you do? I mean what's your title? Because I would be banging some heads off of walls.

Allicia - posted on 03/30/2011

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OMG i feel so bad for the baby that is crying 6-8 hrs. what the hell is wrong with that mother. the baby is hungry get the hell out of bed and feed it. someone should make her go with out any food for a whole day and see how she feels.

Renae - posted on 03/30/2011

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@Amber - I know, you need a licence to drive, you need a licence to keep a pet turtle...



@Kate - nope, your within normal (2-4 hours). 75% of babies sleep for longer stretches as they are physiologically and developmentally ready regardless of what the parents do, you can do everything "right" or everything "wrong" and your chances are it wont make any difference. Or you can be in the 10% who never sleep well without help regardless of the parents doing all the "right" things. Hang in there :) - I know you knew all that already!



What we do actually has a lot less influence on baby's behaviour and development than we like to think, instinct is their strongest motivator.

Stifler's - posted on 03/30/2011

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My kid is 14 months and I don't even remember the waking up every 4 hours during the night. In 7 weeks I'm gonna know about it!

Kate CP - posted on 03/30/2011

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Just out of curiosity...is there anything I can do to get my 8 week old to sleep more than 2 hours at a time at night? I know there probably isn't but man I'm tired. :P

Jackie - posted on 03/30/2011

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I would also like to add that I didn't really WANT to put my life on hold for a newborn but I did because that's what being a MOM is about! You blink, and their grown.

Jackie - posted on 03/30/2011

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disgusting - I give you much credit for keeping a professional tone. I couldn't do it - but that's why you do what you do, and I do what I do :)

Amber - posted on 03/30/2011

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My SO gets really stupid patients too....and you can't make them listen or understand. They either get it or they don't.

Once more reinforcing the fact that we should have to take pills to get pregnant, not to prevent it!

Renae - posted on 03/30/2011

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@Mel - in some countries it would be considered child abuse, but not in Aus (or US or UK).

@Emma - about 1 in 4 of the calls I get is a real issue that needs help. The rest are just people who either have no idea, or they had perfect babies the first and second so they thought they did everything right when actually it was nothing they did, 75% of babies sleep through at 8-12 weeks no matter what the parents do or dont do, they just got lucky.

Whats even sadder (is that a word?) is that if I cant talk these people around, they will just open the yellow pages and call one of the "infant behaviourists" (ex-midwives who do control crying or straight CIO and nothing else) who will sleep train a perfectly normal 8 week old for $500 a session - thanks for coming. I think they lost their ethics 20 years ago. And they seriously see nothing wrong with what they do. Even worse - I get hammered by the AP crowd cause they stereotype me in the same boat!

Sorry - more venting - I just got hammered by a newborn yoga instructor (yeah - go figure - newborns can do yoga now???) that I should rethink what I do and that I'm causing damage to babies and they will be emotionally stunted adults. Annoys the crap out of me! Get a fricken clue before you go shooting accusations! I help babies realise that their bed is a safe and secure place - as a result they are happy to go to bed and content to lie there and fall asleep - that doesn't cause any damage to anyone. Hell maybe baby yoga causes damage for all he knows! Argh. I actually asked him if we can meet and talk one day because I think if he shut up and listened for 5 seconds he would find we are actually on the same page. I get that a lot. :)

Stifler's - posted on 03/30/2011

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I wish my kid had been like any of those 3 kids. I spent like 3 months trying to get him to stop crying!! People have so many unrealistic expectations of their kid :(

Mel - posted on 03/30/2011

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aww no that last one breaks my heart should that not be termed child abuse shes neglecting the poor thing, probably so hungry, oh this makes me so sad :(

Sneaky - posted on 03/30/2011

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WOW!

Seriously, I have nothing but WOW! That is some of the dumbest stuff I have ever heard!

Louise - posted on 03/30/2011

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I have no idea how you bite your tongue and remain professional. Well done you I don't think I could stay that professional they would get a peice of my mind and I would be out of a job!

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