Monday, May 19, 2008

to cry or not to tip continued...

...before I became a new mom, a trusted friend told me about her experiences in letting her child cry himself to sleep. She started early and he wasn't ready. She figures around 6 months is a good age. She gave me some pointers, it made sense to me, and I decided it was what I would do someday with my kids. I was so scared the first time I let Boo cry herself to sleep. How long would she cry? Would we let her have her binky? Could we handle it? Was it good for her? It took 30 min the first day. 15 the next. She doesn't want us around at all when she falls asleep these days.

Little Bay was more stubborn, she still cries at times when we put her in bed. Her first time was probably an hour and a half of her screaming off and on. I don't mean hysterical, scared crying, I mean screaming at us. She was plain mad.

Both my kids, most of the time, sleep very well. 7 to 7. Both put themselves to sleep. Both can comfort themselves at their age level. And are pretty happy, mellow kids.

When they are old enough. I do the bedtime routine. I put them in bed at the same time nightly. And I check on them on intervals of every 5min, then 10 min, then 15 min. I just check, lay them down, pat their back, say loving words, and leave. Don’t pick them up. Then start all over again 5, 10, 15.

So, my thoughts on crying it out: As parents we have to do a LOT of hard things throughout the life of our kid. Most of the time it's what we deem as best for THEM even though its often the HARDEST on US. (They might see it as harder for them at the time; then, they usually adapt much better and more quickly than we do.). I see letting them cry themselves to sleep in this light. This is one of the first on the list of hard things we do for our kids that seems to me, much better for them in the long run. It's a LOT harder for us than it is for them. Kids cry, they always have and always will, and have lived and have come through it very emotionally sound. WE feel they are dying in there to hear them cry and not immediately answer them. We sit and bite our nails and stare at the clock while they cry…. Then… they go to sleep. The next morning they smile at us and love us. After a few days, less than a week for ANYone I have talked to that really sticks with it, parents see a complete transformation at bed time and sleep time. They snuggle with their comfort object, and if you are as lucky as my sister, they look up at you, grin, and fall asleep immediately. AND, night waking stops, because by then, if they do wake up, they know how to get back to sleep again. It's really an amazing process to watch them go through after you get over the scary, nail biting, phase of how hard it is for US, and start to consider what's best for them.

1 comment:

hairprincess said...

I gota get some guts and let my little stinker cry a little, you are right a trip does mess up her schedule a bit she use to wake only once during the night, now its like 3 times ugh I just dont know what to do cause she just wants to eat everytime! UGH! She use to do so well!?? I gota be tough I know it:)