Until about two years ago I had never heard of “Crying it Out.” In fact, if I had to define it I would have gone back to sleepless post break up nights in my mid 20’s. Me, a bottle of wine, oatmeal creme cookies and my dog crying it out together. In fact, I distinctly remember an evening of crying it out in the middle of Colemans…ah but I digress.
Fast forward to (almost) 33 and crying it out has taken on an entirely different meaning. Crying it out essentially means listening to your baby scream bloody murder until he falls asleep. Sounds miserable, doesn’t it? Well it is, but in my world the costs out weigh the benefits. You see, since day one with my precious little man I have been teaching him how to “self soothe”. AKA put himself to sleep. Why? Definitely because I want him to be a strong, independent, confident young man. Yep that’s it.
Or not. The reality is I’m an incredibly selfish human being. Sleep is VERY important to me, and I need a lot of it. If my little man can fall asleep, or back to sleep by himself then I, in turn get more sleep. Trust me, everybody benefits when I get sleep. So I, selfishly, have taught him how to figure with it himself. At least most of the time.
Luckily, it’s been pretty easy. He caught on quickly, and for most of his life hasn’t had any issues at night. He goes to bed without an issue, and can typically easily go back to sleep if he wakes up in the middle of the night. Up until last week at least.
Cue traveling, illness and teething and all of a sudden he got used to sharing a bed with mommy. CRAP! Now he NEEDS mommy to fall asleep, and certainly can not stay asleep without her. Good for him…bad for mommy. So the last three nights we have been working on getting back into his own bed, resulting in the use of the crying it out method.
Now, in my early 30’s crying it out is so much more unpleasant, but also very rewarding. Hearing your baby scream at the top of his lungs is heartbreaking, but seeing his smiling face at 6 am because he finally got a good nights sleep is amazing. Seeing my happy boy come back from a place of tantrums and sadness is wonderful. So yes, crying it out is controversial, and yes it can be difficult. In my world though, the benefits are priceless.
So I’ll keep using it when needed. Just like in my mid twenties though, I’ll make sure I have the company of a bottle of wine, cookies and my dog to get me through.
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**Disclaimer. This post is for entertainment value only, and is not intended to provide parenting advice.