Today I saw in one of the mom groups I’m part of a discussion on sleep training. I usually try to stay out of those conversations because they get pretty heated but there are times I want to say something…
I can state hundreds of sources that explain why letting a baby is cry is not good but I could also find sources that support this practice, which is why today I won’t be sharing any of them. I’m just sharing my perspective, as a mom of two kids that have never been left crying.
If you strongly believe in letting your baby cry as part of sleep training, then you should stop reading this post now.
One comment I see a lot is that any form of sleep training is fine, even if it means your baby cries all night. The reasoning behind this is that sleep deprived parents can’t do a good job at parenting so it’s better to let your baby cry so you can get a good sleep and be a good parent.
While I agree that sleep for parents is important I do not agree that any sleep training practice is fine just for the sake of the parent. Just no. We’re talking about a baby, a small human being that can’t speak nor do things by themselves. A tiny human being who you took great care of inside your belly. A tiny human being who can only cry to communicate. A tiny human being who believes, at least for a while, that their cry is enough to get mom or dad to come in and swoop them when they’re feeling helpless and vulnerable.
I know many people believe in letting their babies cry it out and although I respect anyone’s parenting decision I will never understand how can anyone let their baby cry. I just can’t.
If I hear my baby crying my natural reaction is to make her feel better. If I see someone crying in the street, I usually stop and ask if they’re ok. Crying is a disturbing sound, one that triggers something in me, it makes me want to help that person.
So how can anyone let their baby cry for hours is beyond my comprehension.
Now if this is how you chose to parent, it’s your decision and I’m not here to tell you what to do. I’m just here to express my emotions. I know some of my friends practice this method and we’re still friends. I still like them as people. We just don’t talk about this subject.
If you practice cry it out and it feels like it is not right for you, for your baby, but you’re doing it because that’s what you were told to do, then maybe it’s because your instincts are trying to tell you something.
Maybe you shouldn’t let your baby cry because he needs you, because he might be scared, because you’re all he knows and you’re the source of comfort, because he’s hungry or thirsty, because he got lonely, because he missed you. There are very few times in life where you’ll be able to comfort a human being with just a cuddle, why deprive him from it?
I honestly don’t believe there’s one right way to parent but I do believe in listening to that inner voice. If crying it out sounds like a bad idea to you, then don’t do it. Who cares what others think? Who cares what your doctor says? You are this baby’s parent, you are the one that will be his parent the rest of his life. Is this really how you want to start your journey together?
So next time someone suggests your baby should cry to learn how to sleep on their own just ignore them. If there’s one thing that I’ve come to learn is that all kids eventually learn to sleep on their own and so will yours.