To cry or not to cry?

Jenni - posted on 08/02/2010 ( 7 moms have responded )

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I'm reposting this on this forum for lack of replies on the afterbirth forum... :( i found it extremely interesting and helpful. Wanted to get some feedback from other moms so here it is....
I am a mother of two children. Benjamin (2 yrs old) and Morgan (11 weeks old). Both of my children have experienced what is loosely referred to as "colic" or unexplained crying (rather screaming) fits. With my first, I fumbled through many forms of pacification; rocking, walking, nursing, gripe water, massage, helping to release wind, burping etc. I searched desperately for answers from doctors, books, internet, family, friends who had experienced "colic". No one seemed to have the answers to what exactly caused it or what to do about it.
Unexplained crying after all other needs have been met is experienced by most younger babies but is considered "colic" when it occurs at least 3 days a week, for at least 3 hours a day, and for at least 3 weeks. It seems to be written off as abdominal pain from an under developed digestive track. Although doctors have little proof that this is indeed the cause of the crying.
I recently came across an article that made complete sense to me and I had already found myself doing what it suggests instictively with my daughter which is doing nothing! Not trying to pacify but letting her cry naturally. In my arms of course. When i tried pacifying her it only seemed to postpone the fussiness. She would fall asleep and then wake as soon as I laid her down (or shortly after). She would nurse frantically and then release and begin screaming, then latch, then release until eventually she'd fall asleep just to awaken shortly after just as cranky as before. You get the picture. When I let her have a good cry in my arms she sleeps deeply after, does not wake when I lay her down and takes full naps. She awakes well rested and happy. Now i'm not saying this is a solution to the crying, there really is no solution. She is going to cry more when you let her than she would had you tried to pacify her. The article explains it as a need to release stress. I believe it is a healthy way for her to release stress and leads to better napping and sleep for her. Once she lets out all the stress she can get the sleep she needs. And it takes the frustration out of trying everything in the book to stiffle it. Although you may want to put in the headphones!
Upon thinking about it more it explains away alot of addictions experienced in adulthood. If we're taught by our mothers as babies to eat when we are emotional will that not be carried into adulthood? Or will we not find some other form of pacification in adulthood (such as alcohol, shopping, cleaning, etc.) to distract ourselves when we are feeling emotional because we were taught as young children that we should bury our emotions with some other activity?
Anyways, would love to hear other mom's feedback and here is the article if you're interested in getting the full picture of what i'm talking about http://www.instinctiveparenting.com/flex...

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7 Comments

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Barbara - posted on 08/19/2010

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I think the holding is very important. It says, I know you are going through something, and I'm here for you, even though I can't fix it. Putting them down just adds to their misery.
I read about that before. My son went through a period like this, where he would be overwhelmed by the end of the day and just needed to cry a bit. We did notice a big difference between trying to "fix him" and just being there. God knows I know the value of having someone there to "just hold me." Sometimes, when you're super stressed out especially, that's exactly what you need.

Jenni - posted on 08/03/2010

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I actually feel more comfortable holding her through it. At least letting her know i'm there for her. None of us can say for sure if it's a physical or emotional pain for them. But at least she'll know mommy's there for her.
I do have a 2 year to take care of as well and of course you do need 5 mins to regroup every now and then. I'm not opposed to putting her in her swing for 5 mins to tend to myself or my son.

Shelley - posted on 08/03/2010

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Firstly i'm so sorry you had to go through colic it is so hard having a baby cry and not being able to do anything to stop it's pain. A baby is supposed to cry and crying for a new born is their only form of exercise/physical outlet. To be tired and to need rest involves a mental tiredness and a physical tiredness that's why people who exercise sleep better. It makes sence that this would carry over to babies.
I'm not sure what difference in your arms makes as apposed to in her cot but whatever you feel comfortable with

Stifler's - posted on 08/02/2010

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Oh good I read that it makes me feel so much better! When I was the mother of a 2 week old that never stopped crying people said to me... babies cry, Emma... babies cry.

Jenni - posted on 08/02/2010

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it is a bit tricky though because you have to absolutely be sure it's not crying from some ailment. You have to really know your baby's cries and make sure it isn't possibly hunger, illness, gas, etc. as well as routine. my daughter's cries are right before her naps when she is tired. It says in the article babies tend to be fussiest then because when ur tired it's harder to hold back your emotions. My daughter tends to have 2-4 days in a row that she is collicy and is right before her sleeps. On days she isn't she is a very happy baby and drifts off to sleep on her own sucking blissfully on a paci or her fingers with little more than a few wimpers when she loses her paci or misplaces her fingers. You have to know your baby for sure and make sure she isn't crying for any other possible reason. Since she is my second with colic I have a better feel for it this time around.

Stifler's - posted on 08/02/2010

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The document wouldn't come up :S But my kid has reflux and it has a lot of the same symptoms as colic. hating tummy time, waking up every 45 minutes, screaming for no apparent reason and i agree when i let him cry a bit it made for more peaceful sleep. i gave him his dummy again after 3 minutes and stuff but yeah he slept so much better and for longer and didn't wake up cranky like he did when i attempted to rock him to sleep for hours and by the time he was asleep he'd be ready for a feed again and it'd all start again.

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