Fourteen years ago when A. was a baby her father and I didn’t have much experience with babies nor were we familiar with different methods of parenting. Most of our information came from pop culture. We’d recalled an episode of Mad About You which centered around the parents training their baby to sleep at night by letting it cry alone in a darkened room. I remember how difficult it was for them going against their desire to go to the heartbreaking screams of their child. I remember how relieved they felt when the baby finally settled into slumber. They’d won. In real life, we didn’t win. When we tried it, I couldn’t escape the feeling of horrible guilt, that with every minute, my child was losing trust in me to provide for and comfort her. I’m so glad I lost that battle. What I gained in losing was a deeper connection with my natural instinct and ability to connect with, rather than train my child.
Ten years later when my second child was born, my parenting instincts were more finely tuned. I’d also had some decent science to back up a lot of my decision. Here’s An article on The Dangers of Cry It Out
And here are my personal reasons for not practicing CIO:
I’m not against it so that I have more intelligent, less anxious, and independent children- and I haven’t noticed they are more so. I responded to my babies cries because it felt intuitively wrong not to, because I knew they didn’t understand the world or how to soothe themselves, because I think babies deserve to be comforted not trained like pets to behave, because I LOVE holding my babies anytime day or night, because I felt like they would learn they couldn’t depend on me to care for them and help them thru any situation, because I didn’t want them to grow up thinking they were alone in this world, because babyhood is relatively short and I want to savor every chance to give them the cuddles they deserve, because I had children knowing that it would change me and my routines, because I knew they didn’t cry to inconvenience me but because they needed something and needed someone to provide it, because there is absolutely nothing wrong with a baby who wakes and wants to be with the sounds and smells and movements of its caregiver rather than alone in a quiet room.
Series disclaimer:my answer to anyone who want to argue it or thinks I’m shaming parents who have chosen CIO: Do I think its wrong for you to let your baby cry it out? What the eff does it matter what I think…If what you want for you and your kids is what you are achieving then it doesn’t matter what I think or how I raise my kids. This series (hell this whole blog) is about ME and how I raise my kids, how we live, and what makes us happy.