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Crying It Out and Co-Sleeping - No More Judging

I was going to be an attachment parent, until I had kids in my house.  I used to think it was terribly cruel to let a baby cry when you could comfort it*.  Then I realized that if I wanted to have any time to myself in the evenings, the kids would need to learn to go to sleep on their own.

Most of the time it works fine, and after a few nights they didn't even cry that much.  When the baby was tiny I cuddled him to sleep after a bottle most of the time, and when Miss Baby was little I would cuddle her to sleep on the weekends, but after a few months she would just watch TV with me rather than drift off, so that had to stop (which made me a lot more sad than it did her).

Sometimes I have let them cry WAY longer than I felt comfortable doing, but at the same time, I wasn't going to let them just get up because they threw a tantrum.  Miss Baby once threw a 5 hour long fit rather than take a nap.  Yeah, you read that right: FIVE HOURS!!!  It was insane, and I did a little crying too.  After a little while of the fit I went in and held her for a few minutes until she was pretty much asleep, then when I laid her down she woke back up and started screeching**.  I tried laying on the floor next to her holding her hand, but that wasn't good enough.  I tried giving her some water, I changed her diaper, I pretty much did anything I could think of short of letting her get out of the crib.  This went on for what seemed like FOREVER, with me going in and checking on her and singing to her and trying desperately to make her stop crying.  Finally my husband swaddled her (she was like 20 months and probably to old to swaddle, but any port in a storm right?) and she screamed for a few more minutes before falling asleep.  That night she slept right through dinner.  She slept from 5 pm-8 am the next morning.  Apparently not taking a nap and screaming for 5 hours is quite tiring.  It was horrible.  Horrible.

I wanted to co-sleep, but with foster kids that isn't allowed.  Plus with Michael that isn't allowed, and I am certainly not going to choose to sleep with a baby over sleeping with my husband.  And its okay.  I have great sleepers, and I attribute that very much to letting them cry it out.  Do I wish that I got to cuddle them more?  You bet.  Do I still think it seems kind of mean to put a baby in a room by itself?  Yup.  But I also think its good for them and great for my marriage.

*Is there anything that tests you like a baby that won't stop crying?  I mean the baby that you are snuggling, has a full (but not to full) belly, clean diaper, and is well rested, but still won't stop screaming.

**At this point some of you might be thinking that since she is foster child, perhaps this was trauma related and we should have been more understanding.  It wasn't.  At the point this happened she had been happily sleeping in her crib for 2 months, she was just being stubborn.


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