Monday, August 30, 2010

Why We Don't Cry It Out.

Let me preface this post by saying a firm and sincere no judgment. I'm a firm believer in "to each their own", particularly when it comes to parenting. Who am I to tell you how best to best parent your child in your household with your (and their) unique needs? That type of thinking just doesn't do anyone any good, and is logically unsound.

Despite this, a lot of people (nope, not referencing any of my blog readers, but rather family members, friends, and mere acquaintances for that matter!) see fit to tell me why I should suck it up and move Ava to her bed rather than ours, leaving her to cry it out. Oh, the dreaded CIO. Whether you're for it, against it, considering it or undecided, everyone dreads the process. It's a biological fact that parents, mothers especially, cannot stand to hear their babies cry, so naturally crying it out is upsetting for everyone. However, it is particularly upsetting for me.

Now I'm not trying to call anyone out in this post, but I have particular issue with letting A cry it out, and I feel certain it's due in part to my own anxiety as opposed to hers. While sure, letting my baby cry herself to sleep sounds inherently unpleasant, let me explain a bit further what I mean.

My life has been tumultuous. While I am currently one of the most blessed, fortunate, happiest people I know, life has not always been kind to me. I was born to a teenage mother (though she is, and always has been, fantastic), which I mention here just to note that my father was not in the picture, and that my extended family - mainly my grandparents - played a larger-than-average role in my upbringing when I was very young. I spent a great deal of time living with both my mother and grandmother, and then, when I was five and off to Kindergarten, my mother moved about an hour and a half away to get a life established for us of our own. She sought job stability, a place for us to live, a decent school for me to attend, and all the things that any good mother would desire for her child. I do not blame her for this. Just the same, the best of intentions turned into years apart from my mother, despite her frequent visits, and while I am not trying to implicate her in any emotional scarring, the fear of abandonment runs deep in me. The pain of being away from my mother, even twenty plus years later, has created an almost phobic desire for me to prevent A from ever feeling anything even akin to that pain, and I firmly believe that this comes into play with my inability to support the CIO method in this household.

Yes, I know she won't be in therapy twenty years from now, weeping about the trauma of being left in her crib to fall asleep as an infant. In fact, chances are when she wakes up in the morning, she'll be all smiles, any remnants of trauma long gone. But the idea of leaving her alone in her room, wondering where I am and why I'm not coming for her, feeling abandoned, I just cannot do it.

And so, well-meaning relatives, friends, strangers, and the like, while I appreciate that your intentions are good, I'm not currently accepting unsolicited parenting advice. For now, letting Ava nap and sleep in our bed works for us. In fact, I've fallen into a pretty little routine of accomplishment and productivity during the mornings, followed by computer time to write/blog/online shop/whatever during her naps, and I'm feeling increasingly happy and fulfilled by this schedule.

And with that, happy Monday! I hope everyone had a fantastic weekend, and continues to have an amazing week. Until tomorrow (or maybe later today, one can never be sure with me)...


  1. Amen! Just wanted to send you some support. Your decisions are your own. Don't let ANYONE tell you otherwise. :-) {{Hugs}} to Ava!

  2. I agree that letting them CIO is heart-wrenching. If you do ever want to try the crib, there are some posts/videos on babycenter that show a Sears method (the family of doctors that actually promotes the family bed). They suggest that if you do want to move baby out of your bed that you can stand and comfort baby with a hand on/rubbing their back until they fall asleep and then gradually wean them from there. I've tried this and it works sometimes. (though B's only 3 months). He fussed some and my back was TIRED, but he went to sleep in his bed w/o crying. I could see that it could might work better when he's a bit older.

  3. we are also a household that will never use cio. ever. ever. i just cant imagine how it would feel to always have your mommy right there with you and then one day she is not. and i leave him to just cry and deal with it on his own. its funny to me too how some family members treat their kids like crap [yelling spanking etc] and no one says anything yet everyone wants to tell me how spoiled my baby is and how much he needs to sleep on his own! whatevs!
    im glad you are sticking with whats right for your family and not listening to what people tell you you should be doing.

  4. Yep...I have had so many people tell me "just let her cry it out". Well, it just isn't that easy with P. She gets hysterical and will go on for hours. She just doesn't know how to self soothe, and refuses a passy. We also tried the "going in and patting" her every 3 min, 5 min, etc. and that just upsets her more. EVERY child is different and YOU need to do what works best for you. For us, rocking her until she is asleep or almost completely out is working for now. Is it the best thing to be doing? Probably not, but it works for us. Your doing great Mama!

  5. Every baby and family situation is are her mommy and you know what is best for her and you...and YOU and her daddy get to decide these, I say, go YOU! :)

  6. Sending moral support to you from another non-CIO mommy. I had abandonment issues when I was younger (common in adopted kids like me), but I don't know if they are what makes me so staunchly non-CIO now. I just don't see any point to it. If my daughter wants a few minutes of snuggling and nursing at 3 a.m. or isn't tired yet at 10 p.m., so be it.

    Keep standing up for what you believe!

  7. I'm with you, and am giving you massive props right now for holding your own!

    Here's the thing... I ENJOY the night time with my baby. She's so sweet and snuggly, why would I want to upset her and make her think that I wouldn't want to be near her? She does sleep in her own bed at night, but she occasionally wakes up and I am quick to go in there to soothe her (whether that be by patting her back, singing to her, or rocking her back to sleep). Sometimes that doesn't work, and she comes to sleep with her Daddy and I. I don't see a problem with that... There have been several people that have told me that I'm doing wrong by "giving in" and letting her come to bed with us, but I know that I've needed to be cuddled some days more than others, and I'm going to be there for my child when she needs it too.

    To each their own. Keep on keepin' on, you're doing a fantastic job with Ava :)

  8. You gotta do what you think is best and what you are comfortable with! I have been toying with using the ferberizer method (go in at 5 min, 10, min, and then 15 with 15 being the max), but it is super hard. Right now I pretty much nurse Jack to sleep and if he's awake after he's done nursing, I rock him to sleep and put him in his crib. I'm lucky though because if Jack wakes up in the middle of the night, he doesn't cry for me and and will fall back asleep on his own. I do want him to be able to put himself to sleep (and eventually he will), but I really don't want to let him to cry for an extended period of time. There's just no reason for it.

    I feel ya with not wanting to do to Ava what you went through as a child. I never want Jack to feel the way I sometimes felt (and sometimes still do). We're shaping their lives and their futures and it's not always easy. It's hard to know what the right thing is sometime. But all we can do is our best and with as much love as possible!

  9. I agree with you 110% to letting each and everyone choose their own methods of parenting.. although I know I've been guilty of having thoughts of judgment on my friends' ideas of parenting before... and I do try to keep this to a minimal, but it's human nature to do that I think. Anyway... our Dr told us the last 2 appointments that we need to teach B how to soothe himself to sleep and that if we didn't do it now and soon, we would be paying for it in the long run. I somewhat agreed with this but my Husband really took it to heart. He told me we shouldn't rock him to sleep or anything... and we attempted it a couple times but it literally BROKE MY HEART. B barely cries and I just couldn't stand to hear him scream like that so we don't really do that anymore at all. I can also tell the difference between whining and a "something's wrong" cry but it's still very difficult to hear him cry and that's why I put a kabosh on that and now we usually cuddle and rock him until he's pretty much almost sleeping... I don't see anything wrong with it and he's happy and we're happy and he sleeps through the night like a champ. I can't imagine listening to my baby cry and cry and cry for hours.... seriously, I couldn't do it. I don't care who says it's best. Stick to your guns!

  10. If it works for you and you are happy, then it works for you. Family will always offer opinions, because that's what family does. If it bothers you, try not to let it get to you. Ultimately, you are Ava's Mommy, not your grandma, not your mom, not me or anyone else.

    What works for one family may not work for another. Just realize that most of the family isn't saying that because they're critical of your parenting style, but because they are worried about you and Ava. Their worry is probably unfounded in your mind, but family is as family does. :)

    We all love you guys dearly, and that's all that counts, annoying advice and all!



Related Posts with Thumbnails