When he wakes, let your baby cry, our doctor said. At six months,Â teach themÂ to sleep soundly through.
Check to make sure his foot isn’t stuck or doesn’t have a fever, of course, she said. But otherwise, in a few days, he’ll sleep solid.
“Cry it out” isn’t to be mean, and it isn’t because we’re selfish, doc said.
(Although eight uninterrupted hours ofÂ sweet slumber is tempting.)
The growth hormone only releases while they snooze and the midnight oil burns. So cry it out they must. It’s awful, but it’s worse on you than it is on them, she said.
“Crying it out” is the term for the Richard Ferber method of teaching children to sleep. Controversial, it suggests parents slowly guide their childrenÂ towards lengthening shut-eye time by checkingÂ when he wines, but not to pick him upÂ unless he has a fever, a foot stuckÂ etc., according to babycenter.com.
Some parents argue the Ferber method is harsh. Crying is a child’s only method of communication, they say. To ignore itÂ disregardsÂ nature and may create lifelong scars.
“Cry It Out Recovery” is a site for people recovering from those scars. #NowIFeelWorse
So before we did it, I consulted the Facebook gods.
Â After mulling it over, we did it.Â To us, the doc’s advice and growth hormone argument trumped all.
So, for three nights in a row he cried.
The fourth night, he slept until 7 a.m. when I fed him. Immediately following,Â he returned to sleep and didn’t awake until 9:47 a.m. Despite two telephone calls, my shower-and-get-dressed morning routine andÂ checks ofÂ his chest to ensure breathing that kid snoozed the way the “slept-like-a-baby” saying intended.
Since then, the luck vanquished.
Sick and stuffy, Scrunch didn’t appreciate sleeping sans-pacifier.Â Binkie in mouth required breathing through congested nose.
So Saturday night slowly faded to Sunday morning. While many Jamestown residents culminated their work week with the Civic Center’s Hairall concert, Scrunch and I spentÂ the early-morning hours in a make-shift steam bath with my dear friend, Vicks Vapor Rub.
I’m not bitter.
But since then, sleep has improved. Scrunch squawks occasionally, butÂ he isn’t looking for food. And aÂ pacifier usually does the trick.
I guess we’d do it again, but I still feel guilty about it. Really guilty.