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.