Any new parent will tell you that one of the hardest things to adjust to with a baby is the whole not getting a remotely decent amount of sleep thing. Unless you are one of those one in a million people who wound up with a gem of a baby who slept through the night on day one, I'm sure you've struggled with what you should or should not do when your little one wakes up crying in the middle of the night.
Well, a new study conducted at Temple University in Philadelphia has concluded that letting your baby cry it out is the best plan to ensure that he or she learns how to self-soothe.
Um, that's all well and good -- but listening to your baby cry, moan, and wail for you in the middle of the night and not doing a darn thing about it is way, way easier said than done.
I can't help but wonder if any of the researchers involved are moms, because if they are, they should really know better than to tell us to just let our babies cry and go back to sleep and forget about it.
When my son was a baby, he was not a good sleeper. At all. Granted, he went to bed and fell asleep very easily each night, but he woke up crying at least once or twice until he was around 8 or 9 months old.
And after a few people urged me to let him cry it out with the promise of his waking up in the middle of the night being corrected in a day or two -- I finally did it. And it nearly broke my heart. I listened to him cry incessantly for a good 45 minutes before he finally gave up and fell asleep -- and I'm pretty sure I cried right along with him.
I felt like I'd abandoned him in some way, like he couldn't understand why I wasn't coming for him. And I just couldn't bear the thought of him feeling like I'd forgotten about him or didn't care, which is why the next night, I promptly went into his room when he woke up crying.
Instead of picking him up out of his crib, however, I simply went over and assured him that I was there, rubbed his head a little, gave him his pacifier, and not too long after that, he drifted back off to sleep. The process only took about five or ten minutes, and it was much less stressful than laying in my bed tossing and turning and listening to him cry, that's for sure.
To each his own, but for me, there's no way I'd do the crying it out thing if I had another baby. News flash -- babies cry in the middle of the night, because they're babies and that's what babies do. It's part of the deal, and instead of trying to find a magical one-size-fits-all solution, parents really just need to do whatever works best for them. Seriously, don't these researchers have anything better to analyze?
Have you ever let your baby cry it out?