I just listened to my son cry himself to sleep. It’s the worst feeling. He fights his naps the most when he’s overtired, as he was today, and it makes me feel so shitty. Like it’s my fault for not getting him down earlier.
So I feel shitty letting him cry and I feel shitty because I feel guilty.
I don’t feel guilty for letting him cry though. We’ve had a long, rough battle with sleep with him and we are finally at the point where he is napping on his own.
I tell myself, he’s not hurt. He’s not hungry. He doesn’t need his diaper changed.
And most importantly, I did everything I could to help him.
Well, everything except just letting him sleep on me. We did that for over 12 months. We’re not going back to that!
He cried for only 7 minutes but it felt so much longer. Not only that, but it takes me about 20 minutes to recover from hearing him cry. I can’t handle it. I get short of breath, anxious and knots form in my stomach.
When we did the full blown cry it out for night sleep I had to leave the house. I couldn’t handle it.
We didn’t do it for him to sleep though the night. I was actually fine with getting up with him two or three times a night. It was that we couldn’t put him down. He only wanted to sleep with me and I could no longer co-sleep (he was so noisy!! and moved around and kept me up and I in turn would wake him up – it just wasn’t working for us anymore).
I never thought I would let my child cry it out. I mean, what new mother does though!? I thought it was cruel and the idea of it made me uncomfortable. And so we tried to avoid it. For two months (from 4 months to 6 months) we picked him up, put him down, picked him up, put him down and most nights it just made him more upset. One night – and this was the last straw – it was 1 am and we were still in and out, up and down. He was a wreck. Completely overtired and hysterical.
We knew what we needed to do.
The very next night we let him cry for an hour and then we caved.
Second night he cried for 35 minutes and then – for the first time ever – he slept through the night. That wasn’t even our goal!! I remember waking up the next morning sure that something horrible had happened. We actually went in to check on him and woke him up!
It was then touch and go from there. We got some good nights. Some bad nights. He got sick and we stopped letting him cry. Then it was like starting back at the beginning all over again.
It wasn’t until 10 months that he started to go down relatively easily (still cried but usually for only about 15 minutes) and sleeping through the night consecutively.
He now rarely cries at night time.
But naps. Naps are a different story. And for some reason the crying gets to me more at nap time.
And I never know how long he’ll sleep for. And he never wakes up happy. He always wakes up miserable and still tired, so some days I’ll let him sleep on me for a little while.
I hate naps so much. I seriously hope second time around we get a better sleeper. It causes me so much anxiety.