I finished reading Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child this morning and decided to jump right into a plan to help my son’s sleep issues. I actually tried to let him CIO (cry it out) a few times last night, but I was home alone and did not succeed. The maximum amount of time I allowed him to cry last night was 20 minutes before I hit my breaking point. It was not a good night and he ended up being up extra late because he got so worked up.
Tonight, we did our bedtime routine and he was in bed by 6:01 pm. As expected, he protested and I jumped on the computer to keep my mind occupied while my baby cried in the next room. To my surprise, the crying ceased exactly 10 minutes after it started. Ahh, silence. Of course, that was the easy part. He woke up about 8:45 pm for his usual hang out with mama time and we have not gone in to see him. It has been almost 2 agonizing hours of crying so far. I know we are doing this for his own good and putting himself back to sleep on a proper schedule is a skill he needs to learn sooner rather than later but dang it’s hard to refrain myself from going into his room and scooping him up in my arms and holding him tightly. I know we need to do this now. The longer we wait for him to grow out of it –which won’t happen–the harder it will be to teach him the skills he needs and the more sleep he loses in the process.
No parent wants to listen to his/her child cry. It goes against everything you feel as a mother in tune with your child to sit back because, in your mind, crying = pain or distress. Now that he is older, I need to re-wire my brain because that is not always the case. The fact is crying is his ONLY means of communication right now. He’s a smart little guy and he knows that if he cries long enough and/or hard enough, I’ll (or DH will) come in and get him. That’s not a habit I want to continue as it’s not doing any of us any good. As long as he is not sick and he is fed & changed, I know that he is crying out of protest because he would rather hang out with his cool Mom than go to bed and miss something.
I’m hoping and praying he passes out soon. I feel like the world’s worst mother right now as my child cries. The pauses between wails are getting longer; perhaps that’s a promising sign. God, give me strength.