After nine blissful months of Anna sleeping for 12 hours and going down without a fuss the 10 month has brought with it screams and wails and waking up in the middle of the night between 3 and 5 am. We never really had to deal with this problem. As an infant she'd go to bed and "sing" and "talk" herself to sleep. She was a great sleeper. I could go into her room after she was asleep, turn on the light and hang up her clothes or get things ready for the next day. Now, she wants to be rocked to sleep and cries when we leave. No more soothing baby babble putting herself to sleep.
So, with this change I have been reading books and internet articles from everyone from doctors to parents to nannies to grandparents and it's clear that everyone has an opinion and everyone believes they are right in either the Cry It Out Method or the Soothing Method (aka giving in to the CIO followers) At Anna's age, 10 months, she now knows that she is alone and she is only crying because she is scared and wants to be with us. I am unable to listen to her cry not because I want to sleep but because I know all she wants is her mommy and her daddy. That's it.
Babies only cry when they need something and if after I change her and see if she is hungry she is still crying then she needs me. I'm going to give into that. I am going to be firm in other areas of REAL discipline issues but I feel like sleeping is not a place to try to discipline your child. If we did try the CIO method I think that she will eventually cry herself to sleep and maybe she'll stop crying over the next few nights but she cannot possible understand why i'm letting her cry herself to sleep. I just can't do that.
She falls asleep in her own bed and wakes up anywhere between 3 am and 5 am. if at that time after I change her, feed her (if needed but that's not what she wants at this point) and i try to soothe her back to sleep in her own bed and she is still screaming I am going to continue to hold her and if it means brining her to bed with me then that is what it means. I do hope that she goes back to her good sleep routine but if she doesn't I honestly feel that I would "ruin" her by letting her scream herself to sleep more than letting her come to bed with her mommy and daddy.
It is so difficult being a parent and thinking am I doing this right? Am I doing this wrong? ANd, it's so easy to beat yourself up over every little thing. the one thing about research is that any research can be done to find any one answer, at least i think so. I do not ever put 100% in any type of research but i do look to it for some guidence and to see what trusted resources say. one article I found by dr. sears is this and I found this to be helpful in mkaing me feel better about our decision to not let anna cry it out
i do think ther eis a huge difference between letting her cry for a monute or two right when she is going down for bed compared to her screaming and hurting cry in the middle of the night. we don't have a problem letting her cry a little to get to sleep but when she wakes up and is scared and is trusting in us to console her and make her feel secure and loved is totally different. so, that's where we are right now...at 10 months, finally dealing with some sleeping issues. she is just too precious to let cry over going to sleep but she will understand when momma and daddy mean business in other areas of true discipline. :) lol.