Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Crying It Out

I am writing as my daughter cries and every once in a while screams "mama" from her crib in the next room. Letting her cry it out is the hardest thing I have had to do so far as a parent.

Since she was born she has been the best sleeper. She was usually asleep by the time she finished her nightly feeding or would fall asleep after being rocked for a few moments. In parenting terms, this means I commited a cardinal sin. I let my daughter fall asleep in my arms every night. There was no problem until she turned about 7 1/2 months old and now falls asleep in our arms and then wakes up as soon as we put her in her crib. If we pick her up, she stops crying immediately but once we put her back down it starts all over again. Our only choices now are to move her into our room, sleep on the recliner with her in our arms all night, or let her cry it out. We have chosen to let her cry it out and this has brought both Paul and I at one point or another to tears.

I know most parenting experts recommend not rocking your kids to sleep for this very reason but I still can not recommend that. I love holding my daughter while she falls asleep and watching her little angelic face as she dreams away in my arms. I just want to warn you parents who are like me, you will at some point pay for those precious moments. The up side is that although at night it is torture, she still wakes up a sun shinny baby in the morning.

I have faith that some day the crying it out stage will be behind us. How long did it take all you moms out there to get through it? Any tips? It sounds like little Ava just fell asleep. Tonight it took a half an hour.


Zac's Mommy (Amy) said...

I have a tip for future children :). Try giving the baby 50/50 treatment... allow her to fall asleep in your arms only 50% of the time. This gives you special moments with her while also allowing the other 50% for her to practice falling asleep on her own. :) As far as the cry it out method, if you are very good about being consistent with it, it is supposed to take only 3 days to break a sleep pattern. Good luck!

Summer said...

It seems like with any transition with Jack we take two steps forward, two steps back. So maybe he would start falling asleep (without crying!) on his own for three nights straight, but then going back to crying for two nights. Resist the temptation to do what is most convenient and go for what's best for her (and you) in the long run. Be strong, Megs! Give it chance - she'll get there, and you guys will, too!

P.S. That said, I snuggled Jack to sleep on the couch tonight because I couldn't resist his sweetness!

MamaMeg said...

Thanks Amy and Summer. It's getting much better now. The last few nights she has just let out a few shouts of protest and then fallen right asleep:)