Spiritual Attacks on Children?

Discussion in 'Family Forum' started by Ryan&Amber2013, Aug 22, 2016.

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  1. Ryan&Amber2013

    Ryan&Amber2013 Puritan Board Junior

    Our son is 7 months old, and sleeps in his own room. He often wakes up and starts to cry, and he sometimes will cry for at least a half hour. This seems to be normal and we know how to handle it through the doctor's advice, but what if there is something spiritual going on that we don't consider? What if he is seeing something, or being spiritually attacked, or frightened by something, and he is just laying there trying to cry out for help, but we just excuse it as normal and him having a hard time sleeping? This has been a concern as of late, as I want to be a protector in every way. Could it be possible that he is crying out at times for a legitimate spiritual reason, and we are just living by sight? We have been letting him cry it out and we go in every 10 minutes to assure him it's okay, but I'm wondering if I should be precautious and do more.
  2. earl40

    earl40 Puritan Board Professor

    Please perish the thought that some kind of demon is doing this. :) Many children are just pain in the rears in many ways. Vipers in diapers.
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2016
  3. Soonerborn

    Soonerborn Puritan Board Freshman

    We have 6 children. I am by no means an expert. My only advice is don't be afraid to hold your child - sing to him, pray with him, whisper to him, read to him, comfort him... I regret not holding my children more when they were little. You cant hold him and reassure them enough in my opinion...
  4. Romans922

    Romans922 Puritan Board Professor

    Why have you been letting him cry it out (is it secular/popular parenting that makes you do this)? There also seems to be resources that would say that letting baby cry it out may cause brain damage. What makes you think that is the best for a baby? Usually when a baby cries it is because he/she needs something, like what Mike has stated above (not just feeding, sleep, but held, touched, and know that mom/dad are near). Isn't a great comfort to us to know our Father is near us?
  5. Edward

    Edward Puritanboard Commissioner

    Are you able to rule out third party abuse? You are focused on spiritual attack, but it seems that temporal attack must also be investigated and ruled out.
  6. Tom Hart

    Tom Hart Puritan Board Senior

    Babies cry. There's always a reason, I hear, even if you don't know what it is. You might never know, because babies can't talk. But if your baby cries, sing to him, comfort him. There's nothing a baby fears more than being alone. (On that note, at seven months old, what's the reason for having him sleep in a separate room?)

    If your baby cries for more than 20 minutes at a time, you do have cause for concern, because at that point a baby becomes so stressed that brain development (which is crucial at this stage) is impeded.

    Frankly, we need more information to be able to try to determine what the problem is. (Ie. When is his final feeding time? How long has this been going on?) But I think you can rest assured that your son is safe from demonic attacks.
  7. Ryan&Amber2013

    Ryan&Amber2013 Puritan Board Junior

    Our doctor is a Christian, and she has taught us to sleep train him in order that he can learn how to self soothe. After feeding him we lay him down at 8. She said they need to learn how to sleep through the night without being dependent on us. So when he cries, we are to show him we are there for him by going in every 10 minutes or so, but we were advised to not pick him up. This is so they will learn to sleep and stay asleep on their own. I thought this was the norm, is it not? We always end up picking him up after a while and comforting him through all of the things above, but he starts to take advantage of it and will cry every time he wakes up and expects us to come in and do everything all over again.
  8. Ryan&Amber2013

    Ryan&Amber2013 Puritan Board Junior

    He is an extremely happy baby and there is definitely no sort of abuse. He just gets anxious at night when he goes to bed because he has to separate from us. He is also learning to move around a lot so that may affect his sleeping habits.
  9. Ryan&Amber2013

    Ryan&Amber2013 Puritan Board Junior

    He is not sleeping in our room because he sleeps better in his own room. When in our room he wants to nurse every hour and wants to sleep in our bed and not his crib (which we do not feel comfortable with). His room is right next to ours, so we hear every little peep.
  10. Ryan&Amber2013

    Ryan&Amber2013 Puritan Board Junior

    He goes through seasons with his sleeping. He can go a whole week of sleeping 10 hours through the night without waking up once. Right now he is waking every 4 hours. Sometimes he goes back to sleep on his own within 5 minutes. Other times he will cry for a long period of time, in which case my wife goes in and comforts him via nursing. I think our main concern is, is he creating "bad habits"? We can't seem to comfort him without my wife nursing him back to sleep, but she does not plan on nursing forever...so what then? We are hoping that he is just going through another season (learning how to crawl, possibly teething again).
    I do like the advice of "you can never show them too much affection". So thank you for that. I guess secular advice/ our doctors advice says that if he doesn't learn to self-soothe when he is young, he will have problems sleeping when he is older. We are just trying to figure out what is best for our child.
  11. Romans922

    Romans922 Puritan Board Professor

    You do know that nursing is a great comfort for a baby right? The kid isn't just trying to be a glutton... There is biblical imagery of nursing mothers in Scripture for a reason.

    Our kids sleep just fine. What does self-soothe mean? The kid is a baby, parents were made to sooth an infant...
  12. Frosty

    Frosty Puritan Board Sophomore

    We let our first boy cry it out. Our thought was that it would help him in the long run. Did it? I can't say. At 7 months he moved into his own room. He turns 3 tomorrow and has slept a full night literally every night since then.

    We were a little more sensitive with the second one, which was mostly due to him being in our room a lot longer than his older brother. He is 14 months. Thankfully now he doesn't get up until 6:30 at the absolute earliest. If he does, my wife nurses him and lays him back down.

    The two pediatricians they've had have agreed with/promoted this strategy. I have never thought of this as secular/popular parenting. We've just thought of it as being best for our kids. My guess is by the time they're 4 or 5 it won't matter whether you were a cry-it-out parent or a "soothing parent.
  13. Romans922

    Romans922 Puritan Board Professor

    Except that while you let your baby cry it out and cry it out with absolute stubbornness on your part so that they'd learn to sleep on a 'schedule', your baby was left alone on his/her own when all they wanted was a nurturing parent and/or mother to comfort them.
  14. Frosty

    Frosty Puritan Board Sophomore

    After a few nights or the most no more than a week or two they got on a good schedule. We did not do this from birth.

    And if following their pediatricians advice, listening to other more-seasoned parents, and doing online research ourselves in order to lovingly make what we thought the best move for our kids means absolute stubbornness on our part, then that's us!

    So do you give the child a chance to fall back asleep at all? Or once crying/whining is heard you jump out of bed immediately?

    Also, do you disagree with the statement that you quoted?
  15. ValleyofVision

    ValleyofVision Puritan Board Freshman

    Romans922 I find your responses to be a little blunt rather than helpful. Everyone parents different because every child is different. What worked for you may not work for everyone. Do you honestly believe that these parents on here are any less nurturing than you just because you didn't let your child "cry it out"?

    I tend to shy away from creating an argument but I had to say something on here as my wife and I have done the same thing with our daughter. We allowed her to "cry it out" in the gentlest way. We would go to her room the moment she cried to allow her to know we were there, BUT we did not pick her up because that would have created a habit of crying=get picked up. My wife would rub her back, comfort her and sooth her and eventually, she'd fall asleep.
  16. Romans922

    Romans922 Puritan Board Professor

    Bluntness is not an issue if it is true, especially when it deals with the life of one made in the image of God. We are not talking about how to potty train a puppy here. If it is not helpful to you, then it is not helpful. If you disagree, you disagree. I agree every child is different, but that doesn't mean parents should or should not let a child cry it out. That statement has nothing to do with what one should or should not do.

    I disagree. Though I admit a parent would not be able to tell what damage has been done to a child physically/spiritually necessarily by their previous decisions since their children were babies at the time and can't communicate except by crying. I do admit however that our Father responds to our cries and doesn't let us just 'cry it out'.

    I acknowledge that much of how we parent in our society is based on secular theory and not the Scriptures even if it be a Christian pediatrician or Christian friends. If you disagree, you disagree. I stated what I stated so people would not be defensive but rather that parents would think about what they are doing and why they are doing, including possible damages that could be done by letting an infant 'cry it out'.

    It would also be wise in one's research of this topic to consider that "crying it out" has been shunned by the American Academy of Pediatrics and La Leche League as it is correlated with failure to thrive. Not that such a statement should be the foundation of one's decision, but since it is popular to think of the opposite it's wise to know the unpopular view.
  17. Ryan&Amber2013

    Ryan&Amber2013 Puritan Board Junior

    So what would you recommend when what Joshua says happens, that the child automatically starts to cry knowing they will receive instant attention? Does the parent go in 10 times a night to soothe; does the child sleep in the same bed? I ask because it breaks my heart to see our little one crying, but we don't know the wisest way to go about this. Thanks!
  18. Frosty

    Frosty Puritan Board Sophomore

    "If you disagree, you disagree."

    Well said. I'll go with this one.
  19. TylerRay

    TylerRay Puritan Board Senior

    Sometimes it's just a phase. Or teething. Or gas. Also, babies will get upset sometimes over something small, and then get so worked up that when that issue is resolved, they're still crying.

    I say stick it out. My children both learned to sleep through the night as infants, and part of that involved letting them learn to comfort themselves. I would not, however, let the crying last more than 20 minutes. At that point, the child is more likely to eventually collapse from exhaustion than self-sooth. If you stick with it, your child will adjust, even if you have to help calm him down sometimes.
  20. Romans922

    Romans922 Puritan Board Professor

    Yes, and Yes or perhaps in the same room near your bed (see co-sleeper)
  21. Reepicheep

    Reepicheep Puritan Board Freshman

    I love how extra biblical all this advice is...then the HUGE LEAPS people make to justify what they do biblically.

    Every child is different. I have raised four infants. We put all of them "on a schedule" and let them all 'cry it out' for a season. They quickly slept through the night very well, unless they had a cold or were sick.

    I'm not going to make some biblical leap to tell you why you should do what you do. I just know the baby needed sleep and so did we. They're all semi normal now. :eek:

    Our last child (so far...) was adopted. We got her as a foster child at 7 weeks old. She was a total mess when we got her on many fronts- broken bones, scabies, thrush on her tongue, etc.etc. We put her on a schedule too and she did great after a while...we think it helped her immensely going forward by having more rest and growing in confidence that her parents would feed her regularly, she could trust us, etc,etc.

    We can over Puritan stuff...this is one area.
  22. Andres

    Andres Puritan Board Doctor

    Ryan, everyone seems to be an expert on parenting (including those who've never had children)! I'd also note that children are often very different so what works for my kid might not work for yours. I just wanted to add that to (hopefully) encourage you. I think it's great you show true concern for your little one. Not to sound cheesy but follow your heart/gut/instincts. If you think your kid needs to be picked up, I'd suggest doing it. I'm sure your pediatrician is wonderful, but again what works for one child may not for others. This can be in relation to sleeping or any number of things. Prayers for you, your wife, and especially your little one.

    P.S. It seems no one has really given an answer to your actual question regarding spiritual attacks on infants. I'll give my best answer: I don't know. I do know we have a very real enemy. I do know we are commanded to pray for, care for, and protect our children. I also know when my oldest would get scared at an older age - 3 or 4 - I'd go in his room at night and he'd ask me to pray for him. I'd of course gladly do it and I also encouraged him to pray himself whenever he felt afraid.
  23. earl40

    earl40 Puritan Board Professor

    I think the answers given were very good in that I know his child is not under any type of spirtiual attack as posed in the OP, and you advice to pray for our children many times are usually to attend to the temporal affairs of the world.
  24. Ryan&Amber2013

    Ryan&Amber2013 Puritan Board Junior

    Thank you all so much for your input. I will surely take it all into account and use it for God's glory. Last night he woke up twice. Both times we didn't hold back an ounce of affection.
  25. Leslie

    Leslie Puritan Board Junior

    My daughter had this problem with her first-born. I suggested that she stand in the door of her room at bedtime and say,out loud, "In the name of Jesus, I forbid evil spirits to bother this boy." She replied "That's weird; it sounds stupid, what if nothing happens?" I pointed out that she had nothing to lose, and feeling stupid was not the end of the world. So she did it. End of the problem; he slept fine after that.
  26. kainos01

    kainos01 Puritan Board Senior

    You are blessed!

    Salt is the seasoning - grace is the substance! (Col. 4:6)

    "How long wilt thou forget me, O LORD? for ever? how long wilt thou hide thy face from me?" (Ps. 13:1)
  27. Romans922

    Romans922 Puritan Board Professor

    You should consider the context and read the entirety of the Psalm...

    I think the OPer benefited from all people who posted as he expressed. Bluntness or asking straightforward questions at proper time can be beneficial. ...
  28. kainos01

    kainos01 Puritan Board Senior

    The point is that there are times when God seems to be silent (even though we should know that He is not absent). Likewise, when the OP - or any parent - does not immediately respond to the cry of the child, it is not that they are "absent" or uncaring.

    Sometimes tenderness is also appropriate - especially when the person to whom you are responding is demonstrating such
  29. Romans922

    Romans922 Puritan Board Professor

    To man, correct. I agree with the rest of that statement you made.

    Sometimes, yes.
  30. zsmcd

    zsmcd Puritan Board Freshman

    Looks like you already have plenty of advice to look into and think through, but I'll share from very recent experience. We have a 9 month old, so we are in the same arena as you currently are. She slept terribly for the first few months, we think because of gas and probably just because we were new parents and didn't know what we were doing, viz. being inconsistent and fearful. When I say she slept terribly, I mean that she did not sleep at night, sometimes for a few days in a row. We tried multiple different methods, eventually deciding to slowly shepherd her through sleeping alone in her room. We would read her a psalm, pray for her, nurse her and than immediately put her down to sleep. If she started crying, we would let her cry but only for 10-15 minutes tops. We would than go in, kiss her, rub her back and tell her that she was loved, that she could trust Christ, and that, although sleeping alone is hard, it is all for her good. We would than leave the room and repeat for up to an hour (so we might go in there 5-6 times). Most of the time, she would fall asleep at right around 50 minutes. If she cried for over an hour than we would finally pick her up and let her fall asleep on our chest. After a few weeks of doing this she was sleeping through the night and taking two 1-3 hour naps throughout the day, all by herself. Here's the thing though, she is now cutting three teeth, so we are back to stage one again with her crying for a good chunk of the night, even screaming while we hold her. Could something spiritual be going on? Of course, brother. But as others mentioned, this is why we pray for and have faith in God's promises to our children. Your prayers, godly discipline, and affectionate love are the greatest weapons against any wicked schemes. Sometimes this means letting your child cry for 15 minutes while you pray for him in the other room, sometimes it means holding him and talking to him.

    Hope that helps, blessings.
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