Why Crying it out isn't right for my family.

In no way do I mean this post in offense to anyone who uses the cry it out method of sleep training. I am completely against mom shaming, that is not what this is. We are all doing the best we can. This is simply my experience.

Most moms are sleep deprived, stressed out, physically and emotionally wiped out. Despite all of that we do our very best to be our very best on very little sleep. I think all moms need, want and day-dream of sleep. Most days I feel like I'm running at about 30 percent. No, at 4 months of age Waylon does not sleep through the night. He no longer needs to eat at night but he wakes up just for the sake of waking up, multiple times! Sometimes he is really upset and screams, other times he just wants to play. So many people including our family doctor, parents and many friends suggest letting him cry. I have done the research and cry it out seems to have high success rates if baby sleeping through the night is your goal. Once you get over the hump of the first couple nights it seems baby sleeps perfectly!

I was reluctant about the idea to begin with. The goal of crying it out is that our little one will learn to soothe himself and fall back to sleep. Also, there is the thought that when baby cries out at night he is only manipulating me and he knows what he is doing. That is where I don't follow suit. I cannot get myself to accept the idea that a baby has the mental means to manipulate. I don't believe we are born with the ability to manipulate, it is a learned behavior. In my opinion there is a prerequisite for manipulation and that is malicious intent. On the other hand, are his screams selfish? They are sure. He gets to be selfish, he is a baby. His wants are his needs. He has no idea how tired I am, or how badly I just want him to stop crying and go sleep. His goal is not to stretch me to the point where I am running on fumes. Being considerate of others is also not a trait we are born with.

I have tried to let him cry a couple times for 20 minute increments, and he never calmed down. He can cry for hours with me comforting him. A "win" in cry it out would be considered that moment that he finally gives up and realizes I am not coming. What a terribly depressing thought! I never want him to feel that way unless he is truly doing something wrong. In this case he is 4 months old, I am not bailing him out, I am simply loving him. I cannot love him too much and I cannot spoil him. Until he has learned certain behaviors, his wants are his needs. Someday he will not want me or need me, why would I want to give up the opportunity now? 

Cry it out is just simply not for me. I am a comfortable confident adult and I get the blessing of sleeping next to my husband every night. Let me tell you, when he is not next to me, I don't sleep as well. Meanwhile, tender Waylon is down the hall by himself in his cold room with no blankets or stuffed animals to cuddle because he is too small. So as long as he needs me I will continue to lose sleep. I will continue to freeze my ass off every time I have to leave the comfort of my warm bed in the winter. When he cries I will come to his side, even if it is as simple as putting his pacifier back in, or as complex as a meltdown.

Being Waylon's mother is my job. I am supposed to nurture him, love him and guide him. I have the BEST job in the world. Despite how exhausting and hard it is, it was my choice. Now, if I was a working mom I might have a different opinion! You working moms are inspiring. All moms are inspiring. Raising a tiny human is in my opinion probably the hardest thing anyone will ever do. Cry it out or not, doctors suggestions or not, families suggestions or not... we are all doing the best we can. Give yourself a break, and do what works for you. In the mean time I will work on taking my own advice!