I ran into a new, very tired mom the other day and I couldn't help but remember back to when my now almost-10-year old was a baby.
God, she never, ever slept.
But the more kids I added, the more I felt okay letting them cry it out a bit, and surprise, the better they all slept, which led me to believe that it wasn't necessarily her. Maybe my sleepless nights were my own fault.
At the time, I made myself feel better with a myriad sleeping myths we all hear. I'm sure you've probably heard them too:
- Some babies just need to be held and nursed more!
- Some babies don't nap!
- Breastfeeding babies don't necessarily sleep through the night for a really long time!
- Five hours in a row is actually sleeping through the night!
And so, with my very non-napping, non-sleeping baby I did what most of us new moms do, and tried pretty much everything to avoid crying it out.
There was patting, tapping, rocking. I even had a pretty amazing song and dance number that worked some nights.
Repeat 400 times at the most inconvenient times. Usually in the middle of the night when you're finally deeply asleep.
Finally (and very reluctantly, I might add), I tried letting her cry it out.
Now in my case, it was probably too late. Or as I later learned, it wasn't the right time.
I actually discovered this amazing sleep training book that tells you the best ages for trying the sleep training (whatever method you choose) and when to avoid it.
Pretty brilliant, right? And made perfect sense.
As more kids came along, I realized that at specific ages, they would be okay if I let them cry before running to pick them up after a couple of minutes.
I got so much more sleep. I was so much happier.
The good news is that my oldest daughter sleeps through the night. She even sleeps late. So there's definitely a light at the end of the tunnel.
But I really wish I would have realized that babies are more resilient than we think. And not really that complicated.
Did you let your baby cry it out?