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I am a huge supporter of the CIO (cry it out) method. I let my daughter CIO when she was a mere six weeks old. Yes, I know that's early. I've been judged, criticized, and even lectured by moms in real life and via computer message boards for doing this. I'm a horrible mom. BUT-my daughter started sleeping through the night pretty early on, so I can't be all that bad.
Despite her decent sleeping habits, certain milestone came along that would cause her to revert back to the 'waking every 3 hours' days. When she started cutting teeth, I thought I would never sleep again. I broke out the Tylenol, the Orajel, the teething tablets. I offered a bottle, I offered extra snuggles. But teething is painful (this I DO actually know, after having my own wisdom teeth break through in my 20s...seriously, OW). When all is said and done, sometimes you just want to CRY. And so I let her.
Don't get me wrong. I never let her sit and scream for hours on end. In reality, I never let her go on wailing longer than ten minutes. But I was told what a horrid woman I was/am for even letting her go that long.
To this day (because as we're now in the toddler years and milestones are happening more frequently), I let her CIO if she wakes during the night. I turn the volume on the monitor as low as I can while still being able to hear her. I listen for the cry-if it's a whimpery cry, I stay in bed. A more frantic, hysterical cry gets me running down the hall, but the little cries, I stay put.
In recent months, my child has gone through phases where she will cry in her sleep. At first I found this alarming and started thinking that she was suffering some form of psychological trauma as a result of being raised by two completely inexperienced morons. Now I know many kids do this. If she cries out excessively, I will get up and rub her back in an attempt to soothe her (even though she's snoring away between the cries and does not even know I am there). Otherwise, I let her 'work it out' herself and go back to sleep in hopes she will not start crying again in five minutes.
This makes her father crazy. He tells me over and over that I should get up with her and offer her milk. His theory is that a little extra milk will fill her up and she'll sleep for the rest of the night. My theory is that she's NOT AWAKE so why the hell would I wake her up and risk her STAYING UP? And since he thinks his theory is right, why isn't he the one getting up to test it??
I humored him and tested it at 5:00 this morning. Carried our kid downstairs, heated up a cup of milk, when she grabbed and tossed across the room (eyes still closed, mind you) and screamed. She then zonked out on my lap. I waited a bit, brought her back to bed, and that was that. Did she cry out again? Yes.
She cries in her sleep sometimes. Get over it. We tried it your way-your way sucks, and since you refuse to get up and help, we're doing it MY way.