So. I have vascillated wildly on the cry-it-out issue. I've listened to Soren's doctor's lectures about how it's something I must do; I've read Dr. Sears' indictment of the whole idea. Some moms have told me that letting their baby cry it out was the best thing they did; other moms have said that it absolutely didn't work for them and was, in fact, a rather traumatizing event for the whole family. I finally decided to go with Elizabeth Pantley's gentle sleep-through-the-night program and began her regimen.
Then Soren had a night in which he awakened TEN times. Simply waking would have been OK, but the little guy was also crying his I'm-feeling-whiny-and-mad-not-hungry-or-in-pain cry. And I decided perhaps Dr. Baker was right. Maybe it was time Soren learned he isn't entitled to anything he wants anytime he wants it. I finally decided that it was time to let him cry it out. For reals this time.
And I braced myself for horror.
Thursday night we went through our usual bedtime routine. Then I put Soren in his crib, handed him his stuffed monkey, put a plug in his mouth, kissed him, and left. He cried. After five minutes I went in and patted him, gave him back his binky, readjusted his blanket, told him I loved him, and left. He cried for two more minutes and went to sleep. I fairly danced around the house. That was MUCH better than I'd been expecting. But I braced myself for the nighttime, expecting that perhaps horror would ensue then. And he did wake up a lot. But each time he'd cry for no more than five minutes and go back to sleep. It was a miracle! And that's how it's been ever since. He'll wake up once or twice in the night, cry for a minute or two, and then go right back to sleep. That I can deal with. My only complaint now is that his new morning wake-up time is 5 am.
Well, maybe that's not my only complaint. I do have another one. I actually miss getting up with my wee one at night. He was always so sweet and limp and heavy and warm. He would reach up with his sweet little hand and play with my hair while he nursed and we rocked. When he was done eating, he would cuddle against my shoulder and sigh so sweetly and I would smell his hair. I miss that. A lot. During the day he's just so much more active and playful. He doesn't have time for cuddles.
I guess there's just no making me happy. But, you know, I might get accustomed to this whole eight-hour block of sleep thing.