This is my response to THIS blog post on crying it out. No apologies for my excessive use of the F-word.
I usually LOVE this blog for its often brutal yet hilarious points of view when it comes to being a part of the mommyhood. This type of self-righteous, finger-pointing post seems out of the norm for this blog and despite the blogger's insistence about not being judgmental, the entire thing had me gaping open-mouthed wanting to throw things and scream obscenities through my monitor.
It was actually a great post about how her family makes it work without doing crying it out. I always find it interesting to hear how other parents are able (or not able) to get their kids to sleep (especially those that have more than one kid). It was a great post until THIS comment:
People wonder and have asked, why don’t I do Cry it Out? Plain and simple, I believe it is not healthy for the child. Children learn trust in the first 2 years of life. If we stick them in a room, turn off the lights and leave them to “self soothe” what are we teaching them? What would we do if someone did that to us? What if someone put you in a room and despite how upset you got, they just left you there for 12 hours?
My response: That's your answer when someone asks you why you make certain parenting decisions? How about telling them, "Mind your own fucking business." Before we tried crying it out, I was convinced if we didn't intervene that he would cry for hours on end and nobody would sleep regardless. Imagine my surprise when we tried crying it out and Jackson NEVER cried for 12 hours straight. After going down to sleep at 7:30pm, he would usually wake around 10:30ish (and still does this to this day). The longest he ever cried in one stretch was 15 minutes. That's it. Most of the time it was a rolling around, 3 minute whine-fest that he was barely conscious for and he would go right to sleep. Should I have gone in and picked him up, interrupting his sleep and started from square one or let him work it out and go back to sleep in a matter of minutes? At that moment was he truly in need? Plus, I got to know his cries well:
- There is the "I'm bored and want attention" cry (where he would cry, stop and check the door to see if we were coming in and prior to cry it out, when we came in, he would dive back into bed and pretend to be sleeping. That can also be the "I'm just fucking with mommy and daddy to see how far I can push them" cry).
- The "I have a huge crap in my diaper" cry (which we always responded to and became rare unless he had a stomach bug and then... yeah... we were there cleaning up the mess)
- The "I woke up sick with a raging fever" cry (always responded to immediately followed by endless hours in the ER only to find out it was just another damn ear infection)
- And of course the "I lost my fucking nuk" cry (we could see him rubbing the sheets around him looking for it) and we always snuck in the room to get it from the just out of reach spot into his hand where he promptly stuffed it in his mouth and went back to sleep.
This also pissed me off:
Finally, the reason why I don’t let my babies just cry it out, is because I don’t believe parenting stops when I go to bed. I am a parent 24/7 and with that, comes nighttime parenting.
Fuck you for even suggesting that cry it out parents are not 24/7 parents. What an awful, stupid comment to make.
And to top it all off, this:
Sometimes I get just SO tired that I would give anything for one of those mythical babies that sleep all night long at 6 months old. But, I know that it comes at a price, and it is a price I am not willing to pay.
Weird... I had one of those mythical babies that slept through the night around 4 months old (we didn't start crying it out until 6 months) we just learned and got to know what his needs were and responded accordingly. Exactly what price is it that I'm paying?
Kim, let me tell you this: at 3 years old, Jack is a well-adjusted preschooler who LOVES his mommy and daddy even though we often let him cry at night. He trusts us, still needs us and guess what- he sleeps like a freaking champ. He LOVES his sleep. We are now heading into the overnight potty training era (which very well could last for fucking years) and yes, we are getting up with him at 3am to bring him to the toilet to take a leak. He then goes back to sleep (in his own bed... which sounds like another topic deserving of its own blog post) without another peep until morning. Teaching him how to fall asleep on his own without our coddling him was the best thing we could have done for him. We are teaching him how to function in an independent manner. What price did we pay for that again? My kid is great. I might be a hair biased, but for real, he's a happy and wonderful kid and I certainly do not think we mentally screwed him up for letting him cry a few times.
I'm not judging anyone. I promise. Every parent has to do what works best for them. If getting up every hour all night long makes you feel better about what you are doing as a parent, then do it. If co-sleeping works for you. Do it. Hell, Jackson had a paci at night until he was almost 3. Who am I to judge? He was in his crib until 2 1/2 and could've gone even longer. Who am I to judge?
Crying it out is just another one of those hot-topic controversies that moms are never going to agree on, nestled right next to co-sleeping and breastfeeding (and the list goes on). There is no one universal truth or answer. At the end of the day, parents are going to make the decision that is right for them. The one that fits their family best.
Yeah, my post is a total knee-jerk reaction. It is my justification for making the decision I did in letting Jack cry it out. I'm sure Kim wrote her post for the same reasons. She got tired of explaining to people WHY she made the decision she did. Too bad she alienated and put down a shit-load of parents in the process.