Crying it out. The age old new-mom hot topic. Should you let the baby cry? Or should you make sure they always know you’re right there, ready to scoop them up and rock them to sleep?
Well, IMHO, I’m a big fan of letting them cry it out. And I say this from experience. All nine of my kids were sleeping through the night by the time they were 11 weeks old. (Disclaimer: through the night means 10 pm to 6 am, give or take) A full 12 hour night takes a couple weeks longer…but hey, after your first 8-hour night of sleep, you’ll be ready to conquer anything! Maybe even changing cable companies. The options are unlimited!
“How’s the baby sleeping at night?”
“Great! He sleeps from about 9 pm to 6 am.”
“WOW!! How did you get him to do that?”
“I let him cry…”
After all, you don’t want them to have lifelong abandonment issues. I mean what mother could deal with that guilt? Guess what? They won’t remember a thing.
I polled my kids. Really, I did. They think I’m nuts anyway so I have very little to lose.
“Kathleen, do you remember that night when you were 11 weeks old and I let you cry it out because I knew you were big enough to get through the night?”
“Ha! That’s what I thought.”
“Good for you, Mom.”
“Keira, do you-“
Now, I’m not a mean mom. I love my kids to the ends of the earth, just like you. But we both know that we’re all better off when we know how to sleep. Well, I already know how to sleep. (thanks, mom!) Now it’s time for the baby to learn. And let me tell you…you’re going to be so happy when he can get himself through the night!
I will let you know…it’s not easy. The first night will be the hardest. You may have to strap yourself down. If your husband is the weak link, strap him down. Better yet, send him to a hotel.
When is the baby ready? My magic number was 12 pounds. When they make it to twelve pounds, they can eat enough to get into a deep sleep for 7-8 hours. But they are used to eating every 4 hours, so you have to…wait for it…train them.
That’s right, sleeping through the night is a learned skill. Just like rolling over. And when you make a big deal out of it, they do it again. And again.
When you scoop them up after they fuss at 2 am, they learn to do it again at 5 am. And again the next night at 2. And again. See where I’m going here?
Do yourself a favor. Trust that you know the baby is fine. You are a great Mom. Go to sleep.