Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Cry it out -- or not

I have been on both sides of big cry it out be debate that's been raging in the bedrooms and online forums of the parenting sect of my generation. When Lisel and Willow were infants I kept them close to me. They slept on my chest when they were teeny tiny and in my bed for all of their infanthood. And for the first 6 months of their lives I got great sleep, breastfeeding them lying down and half awake, and then falling back to sleep.
At around 6 months though, both babies went from feeding a couple of times a night to feeding all night long. I guess they were big enough to smell me. Laying next to me must be like laying next to a giant hamburger. Who could resist sleepily nibbling on their favorite food all night long?
This does not equal great sleep for mom. In fact, it leads to terrible sleep deprivation.
This is good for no one.
So at around 8 months, with both children, I became desperate enough to attempt crying it out. Because when your at your wits end you see the logic in children self soothing.
And it worked. Both of them would sleep in their crib for enough hours at night where I didn't feel like I was going to lose my grip on reality.
And then we'd go on tour.
And all my hard work would be undone.
Because in a hotel room you kind of can't let a baby cry it out. Dad needs to sleep and sister needs to sleep and the folks in the rooms above, below, across the hall and on either side of you need to sleep. So I take the hit, bring the baby in bed with me and become the all night diner.
And I get really, really tired.
And start to go a little nutso. I hit my nadir.
Yes. I'm in the middle of this scenario now.
At least this time I know to try and take afternoon naps, as opposed to surf the Internet or chat with the guys. To go right to bed at night rather than watch a little Netflix before I snooze. But still. I tire.
So now I guess I'm in the middle of the on again, off again, no sleep on the road, cry it out at home cycle. I've been here before. But weirdly, as Willow is probably our last child, it's a cycle I won't ever be in again. Once she's night weaned...well that's that.
I might actually miss the night feedings. And the exhaustion that comes with it. Willow is almost a year old. Her time as a baby is almost over and she's my last baby so a part of me is reveling in the snugly warm baby at my boob at 2am and 2:45am and 3:30am and 4:45am and 5:15am and hello! Awake at 6:00.
I'll miss the crazy making exhaustion. Because once it's gone, I may never get it back.
Parenting hath changed me.

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