Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Baby Wearing: to hold or not to hold

A couple of days ago I posted this status:
Children all over the world have to self soothe because they don't have the loving arms of a mama....2 of my children never had anyone to rock them to wipe their kiss their sweet cheeks and to hear 'I love you'. I use to buy into the "let them cry it out" but never again. The season that our babes want to actually be held and cradled is short. Don't ever let anyone tell you that you are holding your child too much...that is the most absurd could possibly love on your babe TOO much?? How could offering comfort, safety, love, and promoting healthy attachment & bonding be a bad thing? God designed our children to need us...they will be on their own soon holding your babies, your are giving the gift of security and assurance. Such a funny world we live it!

What prompted that fb status? My heart was burdened as I heard a young mama, with great pride, talking about how she is 'finally' letting her daughter cry-it-out. She shared about how the first night it took over 2 hours of her daughter crying before she fell asleep...then 1.5 hours of crying for her nap the next day....then 2.5 hours that night of crying...she was so proud of herself for not giving in and picking up her daughter.  My heart BROKE!!  Was I upset with her...absolutely NOT...society tells her that she is doing what's best for her and for her baby...and she desperately wants to do what is best for her daughter.

You see...I was that mama the first time around....dare I say, almost 15 years, seeing that in writing makes me feel very old!!! Everyone told me I was spoiling my son because I always held him...that he'd never fall asleep on his own if I always rocked him...that I would never have my own space because he would suffocate me with needing to be held all the time....that he'd never know how to be independent.  It was all well-meaning advice but it was wrong advice.

But being a first time mama and wanting to do everything right, I believed them. I sat on the other side of the door and wept as my baby wept and longed for his mama's arms to hold arms longed to hold him...I remember asking my hubby, 'what am I doing...he wants me...he needs me...' needless to say, that put a quick end to our cry-it-out attempts.

I allowed older, well-seasoned, who honestly wanted-the-best-for-their-children mom's influence my better judgement for our family. I fell into the trap of 'they must know best'. But here is the bottom-line and the reason I am writing this blog post.....

~Only you know the dynamics of your family...only you know your child...if you don't want to have them cry-it-out, then DON''s that simple. The Lord has entrusted you with your child, not your loving friends that are offering advice.  Be confident in your choice, either way and don't feel bad.  I felt so insecure in my decision and I don't ever want another mama to feel that way. Seek the Lord, He will guide you.
~Do I believe that the cry-it-out movement is bad...for my family, ABSOLUTELY...for your family...only you can determine what is best.
~Whether you let your child cry-it-out or not doesn't determine your depth of love for your child...nor does it mean that I think you love your child more or purpose in this post is to offer support for those mama's who are struggling with this decision.

I will say that the cry-it-out method is very dangerous for children that have been adopted older than birth so I beg you to please pray before considering this method. Many have spent their first days...months...years...learning to self sooth and to cope on their own...learning that they don't need anyone in their lives. With lots of love, patience, and time, your job is to teach SHOW them that they indeed do need someone to care for them, especially when they are scared and hurting. By allowing these kiddos to cry-it-out, you are confirming that you aren't going to be there when they need you. Nighttime is a very vulnerable time for most people, especially our kiddos that were adopted after birth.

I urge you to follow your heart and the Lord and be confident in your decision.

Baby wearing has become something very serious and special to our family. Understanding the need for our children to be able to safely explore their environment is also important to us, too Having a child with pretty significant sensory issues, we also know there is a balance...finding that balance will be individualized to each family.

Love your babies...hold your babies...rock your babies...wear your babies...God designed them to need their mama's...God designed you with a special love that only you can give...a special comfort that can only come from you...He also will guide you on the best way to care for your child.

Would you believe that 7 kids later...15 years (eekkk) later...people STILL tell me I hold my babies too much.  I just don't understand how you can hold your baby too weird!!! She doesn't seem to mind being held and I DEFINITELY DON'T MIND holding my babes...I LOVE IT!!!!


Esty said...

I used a sling with all four of my children. At one time I had both Macen and Genieva in slings at the same time. I also got the same comments... you are holding them too much... you are going to spoil them. Studies show that holding a baby stimulates brain growth. I completely agree that our children are meant to be held, why would one expect them to go from a nice warm and soothing womb to a cold and hard baby seat or crib. The best was watching peoples expressions as Macy my husband would wear one of the babies in a sling....

Esty said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Trisha said...

I love this post girl..i too was that mama and I too am bugged by the CIO method...I have a horrible back to this day because I wore my kids, all five of them! Even when they were toddlers i resorted to doing lots of stuff, grocery shopping,dishes, gardening, all with a baby on my back like i was going hiking.....While I did learn a gentle method with my fourth, to help him learn to get to sleep on his own, and I recommend the baby whisperer to anyone, with adoption I can totally see, why you wouldn't let them cry....thanks for the reminder to mamas, that they are doing what is 'natural'......what 'feels good' as a mama...i will be passing this on to a few of my friends that have babies....much love friend...xoxo..Trisha

Karen said...

We have a wonderful pediatrician - he told us day 1 - it is impossible to spoil a child under the age of three - and you can NEVER spoil a child by loving them too much. You can spoil them by giving them too much - but not by LOVING them too much.

Karen said...

We have a wonderful pediatrician - he told us day 1 - it is impossible to spoil a child under the age of three - and you can NEVER spoil a child by loving them too much. You can spoil them by giving them too much - but not by LOVING them too much.

Sun Valley Homestead said...

I totally agree....our children never CIO ever...and now our daughter is a mom and she couldn't imagine allowing her little guy (our grandson) to cry and cry until falling asleep. What a horrible way to fall asleep.

So you keep doing what you are can never hug, hold, cuddle too much.

I do know of some who did the CIO method and they do not have a tight cuddly bond with their those moms who don't. So something to be said for that.

Great post.


Talley Images said...

I did the CIO method and it worked like a dream for our bio kids - wouldnt have done anything differently, so I think it really depends on how well you know your kids... one of our main goals of our kids is making them super independent and at 5 and 7, they are - they can take care of themselves if they had to, and they can also think for themselves and are usually unbothered by peer pressure.... do we make them take care of themselves? No, but its a comfort to know that they could if they needed to.

We also adopted a boy when he was 6... we did not do the CIO method with him... we wouldnt have anyway, but thankfully we didnt have to do anything, he was already used to sleeping in a routine and by himself.... although I seriously doubt if you are adopting, anyone would use the CIO method - its drilled into your brain that these are hurt children.

Anyway... just wanted you to know that the CIO method works for some of us

Brittany said...

This is a beautiful post. I can't tell you how much this spoke to me. I'm so excited for your family, and I can't wait to see pictures of your newest baby. My family is praying for you, and hoping for the best with your newest adoption.


excitedtobeafamily said...

I completely agree we carry and wear our babies alot. We also cosleep and wouldn't do it any other way. We currently have a 15 month old and we have a 24 month old coming home real soon. I am trying to figure out how to carry them both. I think I may have to take turns. I never have understood the CIO method. They are babies and they need their momma.

Wife of the Prez said...

Can I just say AMEN! Preach it! I have begun some holding with S, who is 6 1/2, but she is needing it and big brother, 7, says now, "Momma, will you rock me like a baby?" SURE I WILL!

This needs to be shared! Please consider emailing it to NHBO's Stefanie and seeing if she can use it in a future link list. So important especially for APs to read. And if I had it to do over, I owuld wear my bio boys, just didn't know about it back then. :( I think for one it really was needed so much and he missed out. :((( Thanks for taking a stand and sharing.

Sara Cassidy said...

I just came across your blog, and I take what I read as an answer from God. I began babywearing my first baby, two month old son, today, and I can tell a difference already. He needs to be held, wants to be held, so much of the time. I received all the same advice, don't hold him to much, teach him to sleep on his own, etc, etc, and believe me I tried it. Learned very quickly it wasn't gonna work with this baby and momma! At my wits end I prayed and asked God for wisdom, I was desperate for an answer to my fussy baby! So I started what I always said I'd never do, babywearing! The more I research and think about it, the more it makes sense to me, not to mention the happy baby I get out of it! Your article only confirms what I feel God gave me as wisdom from him... thank you for sharing.

Sara Cassidy said...

Thank you for this article, was really timely for me.

Shiloh said...

That's wonderful that you hold your babies!! My mother has seven children are as held all of them that have come as babies. :) She tells all of her daughters to hold our babies when the Lord brings us a family. :)

When we had a baby in the home- I loved holding him when Mommy wasn't!! :)