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  1. #1
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    Default Crying baby spin-off - question from a childless person

    Does anyone know how/when/why it became the custom to put a baby in a room separate from it's mother, to sleep?

    It just seems the most unnatural thing in the world to me; to take a baby away from it's mother.... stressful for everyone!

    Letting an infant "cry it out" is just as strange an idea for me...

    Anyways, does anyone know how/when/why this came to be?
    Jigga:
    Why must you chastise my brilliant idea with facts and logic? **picks up toys (and wine) and goes home**



  2. #2
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    It's cultural. I only heard about self-soothing here in the States. I don't know if it's an American thing, a First World thing, or a European thing, but it is not a Third World thing. I don't have kids, but the idea of letting a baby cry it out was not something I was raised with either.

    I wonder whether it became the thing to do as a result of two income dynamics? I mean short or no maternity leave seems to be as a result of this.

    Paula
    He is total garbage! Quick! Hide him on my trailer (Petstorejunkie).



  3. #3
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    We get a year of maternity leave here in Canada and it's the same thing... baby in crib in separate room. Although you could be on to something... if it was started as customary where the hired help would attend to the children?
    Jigga:
    Why must you chastise my brilliant idea with facts and logic? **picks up toys (and wine) and goes home**



  4. #4
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    I totally agree, it is very strange. Our neighbor's had a little girl my daughters age and that little girl cried so much. I felt so bad, I kept my babies with me until they were about a year old but I never let my children cry even in their cribs at night. I brought them to bed with me and I would sleep with them in their beds when they were older and had a bad dream.

    Never understood the concept of letting children cry themselves to sleep.


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  5. #5
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    I don't think it's a hired help thing. My theory is that with two parents working and the emphasis on the nuclear family dynamic baby just had to get independent faster. Shorter breast feeding (if at all), shorter maternity time, and self-soothing. In an extended family (for example), somebody could take care of baby while you worked or slept so I'm speculating that self-soothing becomes less attractive. For example, at an early barn with people I knew for years, when the daughter had her baby she lived very close to her mom, Grandma would take him so she could sleep. So there were many adults caring for one child.

    Paula
    He is total garbage! Quick! Hide him on my trailer (Petstorejunkie).



  6. #6
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    Default

    I think the cry it out theory originated long before the 1970s when it became more common for women to work outside the home.

    But it is probably also a middle class thing. Lots of theorizing about child development is tailor-made to suit those folks. I do think that in the rather isolated nuclear family where the mother is made the primary care-giver, the self-soothing thing seems appealing. So if you are wealthy enough to have nannies be part of what's normal, or poor enough that you regularly depend on many family members sharing the work and have those people around, different child rearing applies.

    I'd guess that kiddo sleeping alone and learning to make himself chill dates to the 1950s when we got a superlative notion of the female superhero: Great wife who caters to the husband (in bed and so sans kid there) and perfect mother who never lets anyone see her kid-- her primary product-- put a foot wrong.

    And it may be an American thing: Everyone wanting to somehow make sure that their kid is a tough-minded, independent success.
    The armchair saddler
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  7. #7
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    I am not sure about the veracity of this source but here is an article on the history of this practice: http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/...-crying-it-out

    I am not a parent, but I did have a professor of child psychology that had kids and hated the practice. That doesn't mean he was necessarily right, but he made a big enough impression on me that I cringe a little when I hear the expression.



  8. #8
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    I have no idea why it originated, but several "new" parenting methods do not subscribe to this sort of thing. Both Little Breeches bed shared with me. Half the world's population sleeps in one room huts, but a 'civilized' nation thinks it is a good idea to take a baby that rested under it's mother's heart for 9 months and leave it in a room by itself? That doesn't even sound right to me. I never had the bleary eyed days, I never had a baby that was a screamer, or cried for long periods of time.
    It was really easy to pat them back to sleep, or roll over and nurse them if they were actually hungry when we bed shared. There have been studies to show that bed sharing actually instills regular breathing patterns to help avoid SIDS.
    But many things about American family life is structured around parents not really having to be around their children. Look at all the after school programs, summer camps, etc.

    I had a friend give me a copy of Babywise, but since the premise of that book is putting children in a crib in a nursery by themselves, we never tried any of it
    From AliCat518 "Seriously, why would you NOT put fried chicken in your purse?!"


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  9. #9
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    Not my thing... I don't get it either. I loved having Gavin in his room and if he is having a tough time he either comes in my bed or I sleep on his floor. Now Parker, the younger one, is extremely independent. He will go to sleep on his own if he is swaddled with a pacifier and I think he is ready for his own room but I wait a minimum of six months to reduce the risk of SIDs.

    I could never sleep with Gavin in another room, I still rarely shut his door. I like to leave it a crack and leave mine a crack even though they are right next to each other... I still worry I won't hear him. He didn't go into his own room until Parker came home. That wasn't intentional but he is an awful sleeper and, not to hate on DH, but I don't have any help with him at night so I was too exhausted and pregnant to do it... I pictured this awful transition although it really wasn't bad.

    I would like to think this is actually coming more into favor again. But cosleeping isn't as rare as you would think... I know I went in a crib but DH slept in bed with them until age 5, my step MIL kept her kids in bed with her, my cousin did, I have friends that do and did. Over all I coslept for short periods of time but kept Gavin in a pack n play in our room instead so he was right there (his crib is a huge furniture crib with an attached changing table so moving it into our room was not an easy task!)

    I don't think its an awful thing to have your kid sleep on his own crib if he is emotionally ready for it but why push?

    ETA... glad the PP didn't try Baby wise... there have actually been deaths attributed to those theories. Obviously they get misused but enough for me not to do it.


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  10. #10
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    I heard an interesting cultural explanation about the traditional Japanese parenting and how it stands in sharp contrast to more modern western ideas. I did not hear this from a Japanese person, and I don't know how true it is- it's just what I heard.

    The idea was that when a baby is born, it is like a little wild animal with no culture and in order to nurture that little wild animal into a human being- they must be brought close and bonded to the family- that it is in closeness to the family that the baby learns what it is to be human.

    we seem to have the opposite ideas- that the baby is a dependant little parasite- and it must be cut off and pushed away in order to become human.



    This is also an interesting cultureal perspective:
    http://www.naturalchild.org/guest/claire_niala.html

    "My second observation was a cultural one. In the UK it was understood that babies cry - in Kenya it was quite the opposite. The understanding is that babies don't cry. If they do - something is horribly wrong and must be done to rectify it immediately. My English sister-in-law summarized it well. "People here" she said "really don't like babies crying, do they?"



  11. #11
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    i also don't get the whole put-the-baby-in-another-room-and-shut-the-door thing. i don't have kids yet and not sure if i will, but i just can't see myself doing that. it seems almost cruel somehow, especially with a very small baby.
    My mare wonders about all this fuss about birth control when she's only seen a handful of testicles in her entire life. Living with an intact male of my species, I feel differently! WAYSIDE



  12. #12
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    Maybe it's all part of the early-independence/separation philosophy? The same philosophy that sends a kid off to daycare the instant maternity leave ends, that used to send kids off to boarding school?

    I don't know.

    Maybe it's related to the philosophy that says get a puppy, dump him in the kitchen/laundry room/doghouse starting with the night you bring him home, stick an alarm clock in there with him, and let him howl himself to sleep?

    Maybe it's the philosophy that says if the baby sleeps in the parents' room he/she will end up sleeping in the parents' bed and get accidently smothered/suffocated?

    Maybe it's all related to the same child-raising philosophy that makes men afraid to say that one of the things they want in a woman is someone who's willing to snuggle-cuddle.
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  13. #13
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    RE: I do think that in the rather isolated nuclear family where the mother is made the primary care-giver, the self-soothing thing seems appealing. So if you are wealthy enough to have nannies be part of what's normal, or poor enough that you regularly depend on many family members sharing the work and have those people around, different child rearing applies.

    This is one of my pet seethes -the idea that the nuclear family dynamic is ideal and should be pursued is the biggest bill of goods sold to the middle class in a long time. The nuclear family is brittle. It does not cope well with child rearing (somebody suffers from a lack of time and attention -either the parents or the child), and it is not flexible (a divorce, death, or job loss can often fracture the family economics).

    Casey09, thanks for the link. Isn't it interesting that we have to be convinced with scientific findings to re-discover what is intuitive? Baby cries pick it up. How the notion of stressing a baby out for its own good (and the physiological, emotional, a psychological repercussions of chronic stress) lasted this long I do not know. I feel for all the parents who fought against their nature to subscribe to the notion.

    Of course I don't have human children so my only experience to bring to this discussion is the culture I was surrounded by, my parent's training of me, and dog rearing. The funny thing about dogs is that somewhere along the line the idea was you bring a puppy home and you put it to bed in a kitchen, in the den, in the laundry room, somewhere you were not and then let it cry until it stopped. Did it take the Monks of New Skete (among others) to discover -hey if you crate puppy in the bedroom with you he'll settle down right quick?

    I think it's a typical dynamic -the more affluent you get the more "civilized" you get until you have to re-discover what primitive you knew all along.


    ETA PlainandTall, I've also heard about cultures where babies don't cry. I can't think of them specifically, but they were "primitive" cultures. I wonder about the evolution of it. I imagine, as with other animals, crying young are just advertising their vulnerability to predators so the quiet young probably out competed crying young. Therefore the behavior of the parent to that end is inherited.

    JMO of course
    Paula
    He is total garbage! Quick! Hide him on my trailer (Petstorejunkie).


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  14. #14
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    Well I had to work and both my children went to daycare. Both loved their daycare provider and that was/is a good thing. However, when they were with me I held them and touched them, and I never let them cry alone. Daycare does not mean "boarding school" we all must be the best parents we can be, I did not marry a wealthy man and so I work.



  15. #15
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    @ Wellspotted.

    FWIW, I don't know *any* parents who are happy about sending a baby to daycare when maternity leave ends, say 8 or 12 weeks. Usually it is done in order to keep a job.

    And my dad thought (in a half-a$$ed way) that he'd roll over on the first kid (me) and do some smothering. My mom figured that no species could be that stupid. She was really good at figuring out what worked and doing it without fanfare. She was also an early fan of letting kids grow up with a certain amount of dirt around.
    The armchair saddler
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  16. #16
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    I think I was always put in my own room (it was mine until we sold the house after I graduated college.) My parents could HEAR (it was probably like ten feet at most from their door) but plenty of room for a crib, changing table, etc. I don't think they did the 'cry it out' thing, but it was a lot less cramped having a separate room for baby + baby stuff.


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  17. #17
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    I'll join you - I hate to hear a child cry (my friend was told to 'let him cry'
    and the baby ended up with a hernia - so much for advice).

    We want our children close to us, to love, and them to love us. I don't get it either.

    And regarding the woman in the apartment block who did not soothe her
    baby, it is about consideration for your neighbous, comunal living, and everybody trying to be as aware of her neighbouors as possible.

    And I do have kids - and grandchildren.
    Proud member of People Who Hate to Kill Wildlife clique



  18. #18
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    Of course we hate to hear a baby cry -it's evolution. Across species the sound of distressed young will stress out the adults. It is not a good thing. It makes me think that parents who endured this advice suffered as much as the babies did.

    I feel for the woman in the apartment building because the whole situation spoke to me of how isolated we are (speaking in general terms). Of course I don't know her, her life, or her business, but I couldn't help but think how it was really too bad she didn't have anyone to support her, to spell her with the baby so she could rest.

    What a legacy.
    Paula
    He is total garbage! Quick! Hide him on my trailer (Petstorejunkie).


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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by paulaedwina View Post
    Of course we hate to hear a baby cry -it's evolution. Across species the sound of distressed young will stress out the adults. It is not a good thing. It makes me think that parents who endured this advice suffered as much as the babies did.

    I feel for the woman in the apartment building because the whole situation spoke to me of how isolated we are (speaking in general terms). Of course I don't know her, her life, or her business, but I couldn't help but think how it was really too bad she didn't have anyone to support her, to spell her with the baby so she could rest.

    What a legacy.
    Paula
    Or perhaps a spine ? Really, I had more people telling me that I was "ruining" or "spoiling" my children by holding them and having them in a basinet next to me during the night. And I have really nice young adults who are caring, considerate and compassionate. My son loves his sister and cares deeply for his pets, even when I have to chase other boys his age out of our barn for agitating the horses.

    I am amazed to see some of the parenting crap ideas that people buy into. Love your children, no child ever suffered from too much love from a parent or anyone else. Teach your children how to love, it needs to be taught and reinforced in terms of what is love. Working hard and having good work habits is also important but children need to know that they are wanted, loved and the best part of your day as a parent.

    Sorry, I just love my children and they are the best thing that ever happened.


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  20. #20
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    Agree. Strongly.
    Proud member of People Who Hate to Kill Wildlife clique



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