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Thursday, June 27, 2013

Modified Cry-It-Out Method

When it comes to babies, there are so many sleep solutions argued as the best. I've had four children in the last six years. Quite frankly, there is no one size fits all approach. With that said, I do believe some methods work better for our family than others.

With our first, we were determined to get her on a schedule as early as possible. The books make it sound easy! Six months later, with food allergies and other tummy troubles...
...she was still not sleeping through the night and I thought I'd lose my mind. I did not want to let her cry any more than necessary so I picked her up the moment she rustled around.

Fast forward a few years and I realize that every single whimper does not have to be addressed. I do not neglect my children, and I don't let them scream uncontrollably either. However, most of my babies just need a short cry before they settle into sleep. I'm okay with that. That doesn't mean it's pleasant to listen to but if I actually look at the clock, it's rarely more than ten minutes. It just feels like an eternity.

When my babies are first born, I'm quick to learn their temperaments as well as possible. Some are easier going and some are more demanding than others. After a few weeks and their mealtimes get a little more predictable, I can start to decipher which cries are which (sleepy, hungry, in pain, etc.). I do follow what I call a modified cry-it-out method. I feed my baby, allow him to be awake for a while and when he starts to get cranky, it's time for a nap. I have back problems and cannot “wear” him throughout the day as many people suggest. If I did not allow him to cry at all, my other three children would be completely neglected as I spent the entire day trying to keep him pleased.

In the end, I do what I think is best for our kids as well as what works for our family in this current season. I'm not going to tell you my method is best – only that it's best for us as I see it here and now. And if your approach is different and works best for you, wonderful.
What is the method that works best for getting your babies to sleep? 

Contributed by Terra Santos, parent-writer for Today’s Family and mom to Hannah (6), Benjamin (4), Sophia (2) and Daniel (6 months).

Photo by Once Upon a Flash Photography.


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