For the last three weeks, my husband and I have put our daughter to bed and when she cries, we let her cry till she cried herself out and fell asleep.
I DID NOT WANT TO DO THIS. I fought it. HARD.
I felt like it would make me a bad mom, that it meant we didn’t love her and a variety of other very irrational but very REAL things (to me) that I made up about what it would mean to not pick her up when she cries after we put her down for the night.
Every time she cried, my husband and I went in and picked her up (taking turns) to calm her down and she calmed and then we would lay her down and she would be okay for a bit but a few hours later, the whole horrible cycle would start again. I finally hit my breaking point and said, “okay, we are going to try this.. and if we can’t take it for one night, we can always go back to what we were doing before” It’s always an option, but we HAVE to try something else right now or I am going to LOSE my MIND from lack of sleep.
I had this crazy notion in my head that she would feel unloved or abandoned if we did not go comfort her if she was crying. The truth is, each night it has taken her less and less time to soothe herself and drift off to sleep.
I want to say something very important here.
If you choose not to let your child “cry it out” I am not judging you. If you choose to let your child cry it out, I am not judging you. You have to do what feels right for your kid. As a fellow parent, (we are ALL in this together) I give you permission to parent as you see fit, and how you see fit. It’s not my job (or anyone else’s job for that matter) to tell you how to parent, if they try, smile and nod and do what the heck feels right to YOU.
I think a big problem we all have as parents is wondering if what we are doing is helping our society is super quick to give us things to have a complex over…
Do you co-sleep?
Do you have the most up to date flingity flangity bobbity wobbity toy? Oh, you don’t. I guess you don’t love your child as much as we love ours.. hmm..
Are you breastfeeding? Why ? Why Not?
Are you feeding them organic food or that packaged stuff?
Why? Don’t you love your child?
To name but a few, there are many many more but I don’t have time for that. I have time to think about what is good for my kid and what I can live with so I didn’t let her “CRY IT OUT” till I was ready.. that was exactly 12 months and 2 weeks into her life, I couldn’t take it any longer so we let her cry for 45 minutes (that was agony) and then her nap the next day was 43 minutes, and then that night it was 38 minutes and then bed time that night was 35 minutes, and slowly but surely it got to be shorter and shorter and for the last two days she has not even whimpered and rolled right over to sleep.
Truthfully, on this occasion, I got nothing but support for this method when I reached out to other parents on social media so that was wonderful.
“UGH. That is the first time my husband and I let our 13 month old “cry it out”- We gave her Tylenol, Orajel, milk, water and nothing would make her stop. I felt so incredibly heartless but nothing we were doing was helping, so we let her cry and cry she did for 45 minutes. Please tell me you went through this and your babies are older and fine. Feeling a lot like a mean mommy right now but she is asleep.”
The support from other moms was amazing! Especially my own who said, “let her cry”
(I finally listened, but you know I was a little stubborn, AND I realize I wasn’t ready to do it until I was ready to do it, and if I had rushed it, I wouldn’t have been so sure it was the right thing to do.
I certainly hope your child sleeps through the night and you are not faced with this, but if you are, I would recommend it. It’s hard that first time, but it’s teaching them to self-soothe which is a skill they need.
If it’s not for you, that is completely okay too, AND I think if you are going through what we were… it might be worth a shot. At the very least, it’s something new to try.
Like my Mom says, “Motherhood is following your instincts and experimentation”
Think About It…