I feel like I should feel bad

Tonight I let my kid cry herself to sleep.

Sort of.

Look, CIO is not for me. I actually don’t think that it’s cruel or damaging when done correctly-at least not for the baby. But it’s definitely damaging to me, so I’ve never had the stomach for it.

Charlie is so dadgum unpredictable when it comes to bedtime. Some nights she is the easiest dang baby. Like last night-she nursed after bath, we read a Dr. Seuss book and she started to doze off, so I walked into our room where I put her down in her PNP awake and she IMMEDIATELY closed her eyes and went to sleep.

Then tonight we had her bath, a nurse and a story. Then I even nursed her some more because she started rooting around again. Then I laid her down and she didn’t really do anything at first, but then it was fuss fuss fuss. Then crying. So I picked her up. I tried nursing her. No dice. I tried reading to her. Fuss fuss fuss. I tried rocking with her. Fuss fuss fuss.

So finally I took her back to her room and laid her down. After a minute or two she started to cry. I came out to the living room with Chief and said that I was only going to let her cry for a few minutes just to see if she would go to sleep. She cried for less than three minutes and was out.

Honestly, I don’t believe we “cried it out.” I wasn’t going to let her to continue to cry. In fact I was up and on my way to the room, and when I got there she had fallen asleep.  However, if two and a half minutes of crying is “crying it out” and it helps my kiddo sleep, then I’ll say we cried it out tonight.

I feel a little bad, but I feel like I should feel worse. But I don’t, because she’s sleeping. She needs to sleep, and after a day of having no help with her (Chief has the stomach virus-a full four days after I got over mine, which freeeaaaks me out that it lived in the house that long) I neeeed to decompress a little.

I just sat here for a full five minutes thinking about not publishing this because I’m not sure I can handle the comments I might get. Not from my good friends on here, but from the randos out there on the internet who are going to tell me that I’m ignoring the “biological urge” to comfort my child by letting her cry for a few minutes. I didn’t ignore it. I got up to comfort her, but she figured it out herself.

And I’m dang proud of her for it.


18 thoughts on “I feel like I should feel bad

  1. If it makes you feel better, I am vehemently opposed to CIO, but letting a baby cry for a couple of minutes is totally not CIO. Stop feeling bad about not feeling bad. Lol. We’ve let C cry for a few minutes in her crib just to a) see what would happen and b) give us a minute to gather our wits.

  2. Ummm so I’m not a mother, but I would definitely say that letting your child cry for less than 5 minutes is NOT CIO. Babies cry, it’s what they do. 2 minutes is nothing, from what I’ve heard others say they let theirs cry for. I can’t tell you right now what I will do when I get to the point of dealing with my crying child who doesn’t want to go to sleep…but if all it takes is 2 minutes of them crying alone before they pass out, I will consider myself blessed and lucky! You are doing a fabulous job, so hush! 🙂

  3. When I finally got around to sleep-training Gus (I couldn’t handle CIO, and we were fine cosleeping for a looooong time) he was almost two. Once we transitioned him to his own room, the longer I was in there with him the worse it was, so one night I just put him down, told him I loved him, and shut the door. I told myself if he was still crying in 5 minutes I’d go back in, and that never happened. Within a few days he’d stop crying in like 30 seconds, and one night I laid him down and he just said, “Bye Mommy!” Now he lays in his bed, and talks and sings, and eventually just falls asleep. I don’t really have a point, other than, you shouldn’t feel bad!

  4. Oh man! I feel you. Wyatt still sleeps with us because I can’t fathom listening to him CIO. That being said, I agree with everything everyone else said. Under 5 mins is totally acceptable. Good for you Momma! Seems like she will be an easy one to get to sleep from now on.

  5. Dude. It sounds like you made an awesome choice and IT WORKED, so F the haters. I agree that a few minutes of fussing and/or crying does not qualify add CIO but honestly, who cares because the litmus test is how you, Charlie and chief are feeling about it.

  6. HAHA I did CIO and it was the best thing ever for us. Screw other people. You did what worked for you and Charlie and that ALL THAT MATTERS! My son caught on quickly and we had just a few nights of “crying it out” and he has been a breeze ever since. There is still the occassional bad night but I know that something is actually wrong when that happens and we just adjust until it works it’s way out. You are a fabulous mom 🙂

  7. We did CIO (the kind where we checked on her every 5-10 minutes) and my husband and I swear that worked wonders for us. My daughter was no different the next day and we only did it a week.

    With that said, you do what you need to as a parent. There’s too much parent shaming going on as it is. Your daughter is cared for and loved – that’s what matters.

  8. She needs to sleep and that’s the most important thing! 3 minutes of crying is not CIO. As long as you both are well rested all is well.

  9. It’ll only get easier from here! That’s totally not CIO, to the extent that would qualify for criticism anyway. It’s always harder on mom I think – all the hard stuff is. Xx

  10. Even if 3 minutes is considered by some crying it out, WHO CARES? This is a choice you made because you think it is the best for your daughter. As long as your little family feels good about your choices, everyone else can shut it.

  11. You did just fine, mama! Being the mom is a tough job, no two people do it exactly the same, and that is ok. A few minutes of fussing is not harmful…if she got herself to sleep that quickly and slept normally you both get a mark in the win column.

  12. Agree with PP about too much parent shaming. We all do our best. I’m so glad you have her a little chance to try on her own, she did it!! My little son is same age as C, and when he sucks his little hand and snuggles into his bed to fall asleep at bedtime I think my heart will break with tenderness and pride. They are really growing up!

  13. CIO is not a bad thing (when done correctly) no matter what people try to say. Babies/Children do well on schedules and with consistency and CIO helps babies to learn to self soothe. That’s an important skill kids need to learn for when we can’t be with them all the time. It’s up to each and every parent to figure out what works best for them and their child, but don’t let anybody make you feel bad because Charlie cried for 3 minutes.

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