Monday, February 6, 2012

Crying It Out: Then and Now.

I always knew we would let Henry cry it out when he was a baby.  I read plenty online about different techniques and styles and finally settled on a plan that worked for us.  Starting around 7 months I began a long process of transitioning him to fall back asleep at night without nursing.  I was quite systematic as I nursed and rocked incrementally less for a couple of months until I felt like I had pushed him as far as I could on my own and that was the point where we let him cry.  I remember letting him cry for just a few minutes as a time and going in to pat him on the back and tell him everything is okay and then leaving the room again.  Then at some point, it got to where he would cry and then go to sleep.  Wake up.  Cry.  And, then go to sleep again.

Then Liza is born.  And, the crying it out was instantly banished from our house.  Crying is still quite fashionable for my children but crying it out in a lonely room just so the kid will go to sleep is no longer an option for us.

When I look back on Henry crying it out, I think about how cold our house gets.  How snuggly he is.  How he is very particular about his blanket arrangement.  How sometimes his jammies get tangled and he needs a little help to get everything straightened out.   But mostly I think about how much he loves sharing his bed with his daddy and how glad I am they have that time together and I try to push the regret of all those tears into a place where I can focus on today.

I don't want to sound preachy.  I don't want to sound judgey.  I'm not even going to write all the things I have to say about crying it out, and trust me there is a lot, because it probably will sound preachy and it probably will sound judgey, even if it isn't meant in that way.

I just want for mamas and daddies to focus on the big picture and then decide if they want to let their babies cry.

If it is still right for your family, fine.

But, if you have even a glimmer of doubt, pick that baby up and keep on rocking.

I promise you will have a sleeping baby eventually.


The Quinns said...

You don't sound preachy Laura! And I don't even agree with you 100%! Chesley had gotten to the point that it was obvious she was only waking up out of routine. I had gotten to the point that I needed it to stop for my sanity and to be able to be the best mom I could for her. I let her cry it out one night after checking on her and making sure she was fine. She was- and she cried on and off for an hour and ten minutes. It was awful and I just didn't think I could do it again the next night. I didn't have to! She woke up right on schedule and made noises- grunting talking kind of fussing but no screaming or crying just talking. This lasted 10 minutes tops and she went back to sleep. Next night same thing just a little noise that I only heard bc I was awake right on schedule too then she was out. That was it. She slept through the night from then on! Baby #2 never even got to that point- my little angel just started sleeping through the night on her own before I ever got to that 'this has to stop' point. So I agree with your statement about thinking carefully about it and deciding what is best for your family and your baby- my two girls were completely different and have such unique needs. As much as I hated letting Chesley cry it out that one hour- it worked for us and I don't feel that the upset she endured for that hour had enough of a negative impact on her to not be worth it for her to start getting a solid nights sleep. Now- if it hadn't worked so quickly I would have scratched it and figured something else out. That's my thing in regards to methods like this- if your baby takes to it then great! But don't push something that's not working just bc a book or doctor or friend says it ought to! Your baby's natural instincts should be your parenting guide- they are so much smarter than book authors with PhD's!

Karifanguy said...


Love your thoughts
Kari Street Fanguy

Vika said...

You always learn on your first child.  We did the same with the first one.  And it didn't work for us.