A mother had shared her story on Reddit’s r/beyondthebump subreddit. With her username, u/Abc123xyz789qrs456, the mother had stated that after a night out, which she had breastfeed her baby, and left her mother with the baby, they returned and her baby was sleeping, then she doesn’t remember that she closed the voice of the baby monitor, and later found out that her baby was woke and screamed for a while, until fell asleep.

“Last night, we went out and left our 6 month old baby at home with my mom. I breastfed him around 6 and we took off. Came back around 11 and he was fast asleep- had been since 8:30. Mom let me know that he hadn’t been very interested in the bottle and didn’t eat much before bed. No problem, he’d eaten a lot during the day- perfect job, Grandma. All was well. I poked my head into the nursery, closed the door, and went to bed with the monitor.” she had started to her story.
Then she explained that she doesn’t remember the closing the voice on the baby monitor. “Here’s where it gets fuzzy. Sometime after midnight (could have been 1230, could have been 2, I don’t know) I disabled the sound on the monitor. I don’t even clearly remember doing it. I think I recall hearing him shift in his sleep and clicking off the sound for a second to see if he was waking up so it wouldn’t disturb my husband. (I sleep with the monitor under my pillow to muffle the static and sometimes turn it down if I pull it out to check it.) I must not have turned it back up when I put it back.”

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

Then she had stated that they couldn’t hear their baby from their room, if the monitor was off. “If the monitor is off, you can’t hear the baby from our room. Baby’s recent pattern has been 2 overnight wake ups. I especially anticipated him waking up to eat since he normally gets fully fed right before bed. I woke again at 4am.”
As she woke, she went to the baby room, and saw that her baby had woke, screamed, cried, turned 180 degrees and fell asleep again. “Baby was asleep, but he had clearly been awake. I found him all the way down in the corner of his crib; he had rotated 180 degrees and flipped onto his belly. He doesn’t move around in his sleep. He only moves that dramatically when he’s awake and crying. He would have had to be screaming, thrashing, and upset for quite a long time to get that way. And I didn’t come.”
For illustration purposes only | Source: Unsplash

Then her baby woke up again on the morning, “He woke up around 6:50. He’s usually full of huge smiles in the morning. Those are gone. He’s subdued. He hesitates to hold my finger. He seems confused and his activities are halfhearted. Worst of all, he’s clearly hoarse.”
She had recalled that she once accidentally slept for an hour too, “I’ve screwed up before, but never this badly. For example, I once woke up because I heard him stirring a little, muted the monitor to watch for the noise-sensor lights to indicate if he started crying, shut my eyes for a second and accidentally went back to sleep for an hour. At the tine, that was by far the worst thing I’d ever done, and I swore I’d never let it happen again.”

Then she had accused herself, and was scared that if that experience would leave her baby scarred, “This time, I cannot account for what may or may not have gone on for a four hour period, and I know that at BEST, I let him cry himself hoarse- and it wasn’t a random wake up where he just needed to soothe back to sleep either. No, it was a wake up because he was obviously hungry. And I let him scream and starve.”
Then explained that her babies actions towards her had changed, after the event. “I just want him to be ok. I’m terrified that he’s going to be affected by this long term- that on some level, this abandonment will erode his trust and security and he won’t be the same outgoing, joyful baby. I’m so afraid that I’ve damaged him. I feel like this broke his spirit, because he is so far from himself this morning- and his response to me has most certainly changed.”

“I just want to believe that one night isn’t enough to cause lasting emotional/mental harm, that it’s not going to impede his healthy attachment, that he’s going to go back to giving me those big gummy smiles, that he’ll be himself again, not hesitant and reserved. I just want to be able to tell myself truthfully that- for him- it won’t make any difference.”
Here are some of the comments of Redditors.
“If your baby had a bad accident during the day and was distressed and crying for 4 hours, would you be as worried? Of course you’d still feel bad, but you wouldn’t worry that it broke his spirit or attachment.”
“Accidents happen. Apologise and move on, I bet he will. Give him a few extra cuddles over the next few days to reassure him, and make sure to be responsive at night.”
“One incident in the context of a healthy loving attached relationship is not going to damage him or hurt your relationship. Adoptive parents often get kids later than 6 months and manage to build a happy loving attached relationship with their babies, even when they are working from scratch.”
What do you think? Let us know.

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