“I'm not a monster for letting my baby ‘cry it out’ – I’m well rested!”
One mum gets honest
Content Editor / May 14 2019
While ‘cry it out’ methods for getting a baby to sleep are usually very polarizing amongst parents, one mum claims it changed her life.
Lauren Gordon’s son had always been a “cuddle bug”, and in the beginning she was happy to rock him to sleep.
However, as he got older, he was still waking up at least six times a night.
“Only as he inched closer to his 6-month mark was sleep becoming an unbearable battle. If you made the slightest wrong move while putting him down, even after spending two hours rocking him, he’d wake up in a screaming, fiery rage, and we’d have to start all over again,” Lauren wrote on Café Mom.
“He was waking us up at least six times a night. It was like ‘newborning’ it again, but somehow worse.”
During an appointment with a pediatrician, Lauren mentioned how little sleep the family were getting, and he suggested a ‘gentle version’ of the Ferber method, whereby you gradually include the amount of time the baby cries to help him learn to go asleep on his own.
Lauren and her husband were dubious, but also desperate, so they decided to give it a go. They established a gentle bedtime routine of bath, PJs, book and bottle. They they’d tell him they loved him, it was time for sleep, and they’d leave the room.
“Of course, the screaming started immediately, but instead of picking him up, we'd let him cry for two minutes. After the two minutes were up, we'd go in like a military unit.
“No eye contact, no talking, no picking him up -- just going in, rubbing his back and making shushing sounds. We weren't allowed to be in the room for more than one minute,” she explains.
Eventually, they moved to letting him cry for up to 20 minutes at time before going in. And after two heartbreaking weeks, their son finally went to sleep without crying.
No fights, no hours of rocking and sobbing. We laid him to bed, he fidgeted until he got comfortable, and that was it. He stayed asleep. Which means I got my nights, my rest, and even my own personal time back, and he actually got a decent night's sleep,” Lauren wrote.
“My son still loves me and cuddles me. And I have the strength to mom as best I can most days having gotten a semblance of sleep. If you're open to it, using this method can actually restore sanity to your lives. It did for us.”
What do you think? Have you tried this method? Would you?
Nicola Conville has worked as a journalist and editor for more than 20 years across a wide range of print and online publications. Her areas of expertise are parenting, health and travel. She has two children; Lucy, age eight, and Nathan, age five.