Sunday, May 17, 2009

Crying, crying, crying

On Thursday last week, Tinysaur and I embarked on the mammoth 4 hour trip down to my Mum's for a holiday. Last time I had done this trip was when Tinysaur was only a few months old and it was great: she slept most of the way. I was expecting pretty much the same this time around.

Well, like the baby she is, she threw me yet another curveball. I have never had a 4 hour trip go SOOO slowly! About a quarter of that trip was spent with me twisted around in my seat (thank God my big Sis came with me for the drive) trying to calm down a cranky unhappy baby. As well as Tinysaur chucking the tantrum of her life (I actually feel pretty sorry for her cos it must SUCK to be facing backwards with no scenery to look at for 4 hours), I had my Sister (mother of two) telling me my baby was 'spoilt' and that I should start doing 'controlled crying' and that I was too edgy when Tinysaur was crying.

However, the holiday was great - I got to catch up with my Mum and my 3 year old nephew, did lots of shopping and managed to freeze my butt off (why did I choose to holiday to a destination only 40kms away from ski slopes??). But the whole time I was given advice and told that Tinysaur was spoilt, and that I shouldn't hold her constantly and that I should learn to put her down while she is screaming and upset and go back in a few minutes to pat her bottom and teach her to 'self soothe'.

Well after the 4 hour return journey (complete with Tinysaur's constant whingeing, and sobbing followed by deadly silence where she had cried herself to sleep) I dove into my latest collection of library books, including 100 Ways to Calm the Crying by Pinky McKay.

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My personal opinion is this: everyone has differing opinions on whether or not to do 'control crying'. You can find a million books for and a million books against, but in the end it's what YOU as the mother thinks you should do. And what works for others might not work for you. In the end I have decided that the times when I know she is overtired and cranky I will swaddle her tight, put her in her cot and let her cry for 1 minute at a time before going into soothe her. And the other times when I don't know why she is crying: I will give her as much love and cuddles as she needs for her to feel better. And who knows: what worked today might not work tomorrow or next week. But it's all a learning curve, and ultimately: its what you are comfortable in doing with your child - and Tinysaur won't remember when she is older that I let her cry for a few minutes in her cot when she was 4 months old.


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