After reading a post on Mom.me about a mother who successful trained her baby to sleep through the night, after only 3 nights, I felt like I needed to try her method. My son just had his 1st birthday and still wakes multiple times a night. I no longer remember the feeling of a full night's sleep. It's something I'm used to but obviously not happy with. So, when a friend shared the story, I dug into it.
“The pediatrician said either you go in every time he cries or you don't go in at all,” Jennifer Thomé‘s mommy contributor recalled. I thought, “Okay, that makes total sense!” If it was the advice of a doctor then I could probably do this! So, I relayed the information to my husband. He hesitantly agreed after I explained how quickly Jennifer sleep trained her little one.
You see, we never let my son cry longer than 5-minutes. We totally have an attachment approach to parenting. We fully believe that babies are crying because they need something that they can't communicate, so when he calls – we come. Has it been easy? Not at all. Have I wondered if I'm raising a child who is whiny and that other parents will judge me? Many times. Still, I follow my gut. Even if he is manipulating me or I'm “spoiling him,” I do what feels right and ignore everything else. This is what I've done every second of every day for over a year – until about a week ago.
It was 10:00 at night and my son was crying again. For the third freaking time in the last 90 minutes! I was enjoying finally my me-time. I was working on a really important project and eating a late dinner. Frustrated, fed up, and desperate, I decided, “Tonight is the night.” Mind you, my husband was working an overnight shift so I was dealing with this alone. I texted my husband and he gave me the green light.
So, I let him cry it out.
I tried to distract myself with work., vigorously typing away at my computer as I pretended not to hear every single desperate cry. I told myself to wait it out,”Just give him a few more minutes and he will be sleeping soundly. You'll thank yourself later.” The cries turned to screams. I could hear him gasping for air from the intense crying. Shortly after, his voice became rasp. Little moments of silence gave me hope that it was working. WRONG. That silence was him catching his breath before another loud wail.
I whole-heartedly felt like a bad mom and I kinda still do.
After 30-45 minutes of worrying, I decided that the bedtime cry it out method just wasn't for me. I'd sat by myself thinkings the worst things: “Is he scared? What if he's hungry? I hope he's okay. I feel like I'm punishing him. Does he wonder where I'm at?” Those thoughts went on and on. I whole-heartedly felt like a bad mom and I kinda still do.
I'll never forget the look on his face when I finally grabbed him from his crib. He was crying but his tears had run out. The exhaustion was all over his face. I grabbed him and held him for hours after. He laid silently on my chest without making a sound. My sweet boy was in a state of shock. Did I traumatize my son? The guilt still overwhelms me.
It's apparent to me that the cry it out method just doesn't work for our family. I will never try it again. Not with my son or with my future children. As far as other mothers do, I don't judge. You do you, boo.