I Let My Baby Cry it Out?
it takes forever for your baby to fall asleep? Does he or she only
fall asleep if you breastfeed, give a bottle or pacifier, rock,
carry, swing, take a ride in the car, or perform other elaborate
rituals? Does your baby wake up frequently throughout the night?
Are your sleep issues further complicated because your baby wont
nap easily, or takes very short naps?
you ever feel like Leesa, mother of 9-month-old Kyra who said, "I
am truly distressed, as the lack of sleep is starting to affect
all aspects of my life. I feel as though I can't carry on an intelligent
conversation. I am extremely unorganized and don't have the energy
to even attempt reorganization. I love this child more than anything
in the world, and I dont want to make her cry, but I'm near
tears myself thinking about going to bed every night. Sometimes
I think, Whats the point? I'll just be up in an hour
your sleep issues cast lengthening shadows over your life, you may
begin to live purely for the moment. Your sleep-deprived, foggy
brain may focus so intently on sleep that you cant think beyond
the next few hours of rest. You may have one or many
people telling you that you should just let your baby cry to sleep.
You are probably frustrated and confused. What you lack is perspective.
To gain that perspective, ask yourself these questions:
Where will I be five years from now?
How will I look back on this time?
Will I be proud of how I handled my babys sleep routines,
or will I regret my actions?
How will the things I do with my baby today affect the person he
will become in the future?
you have some perspective about your babys current sleep issues,
it is important to be realistic in determining your goals and to
be honest in assessing the situation's effect on your life. Some
people can handle two night wakings easily, while others find that
the effect of even one night waking is just too much to handle.
The key is to evaluate whether your babys sleep schedule is
a problem in your eyes, or just in those of the people around you.
today by contemplating these questions:
I content with the way things are, or am I becoming resentful, angry,
Is my babys nighttime routine negatively affecting my marriage,
my job, or my relationships with my other children?
Is my baby happy, healthy, and seemingly well rested?
Am I happy, healthy, and well rested?
What is a reasonable expectation for my baby at his/her age?
What naptime and bedtime situation would I consider acceptable?
What naptime and bedtime situation would I consider pure bliss?
Why do I want to change my babys sleep patterns? Is it truly
whats best for me and my baby, or am I doing this to meet
someone elses expectations?
Am I willing to be patient and make a gradual, gentle change for
my baby if that means no crying?
you answer these questions, you will have a better understanding
of not only what is happening with regard to your babys sleep,
but what approach you will feel most comfortable using to help your
baby sleep better.
addition to my two-year-old son Coleton, I have three older children,
and they have afforded me the perspective I lacked the first time
around. My children have taught me how very quickly babyhood passes.
I struggle now to remember the difficulties of those first couple
years, so fleeting are they. And I am proud that I didnt cave
in to the pressures of others around us to do what they felt was
right; instead I followed my heart as I gently nurtured all of my
babies. That time is long gone for us, but those memories remain.
And now, all four of them sleep through the night. And so do I.
Pantley is the Author of the No-Cry Sleep Solution
with permission by McGraw-Hill/Contemporary Publishing from The
No-Cry Sleep Solution: Gentle Ways to Help Your Baby Sleep Through
the Night by Elizabeth Pantley, copyright 2002
more information: http://www.pantley.com/elizabeth