Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Nap Time Debate: Rock-a-by-baby vs Cry It Out

It's not exactly nap time, but since I have had a few troubles in my household as of lately pertaining to nap times I sit here late at night typing away. Yes, in my house and in my chaotic brain after 8 pm is late.

My current situation isn't exactly horrible considering what it could be by any means. My three year old daughter has been sharing a room with her now one year old sister since she has been out of her bassinet. That being said, if you are a mother you know that doesn't exactly mean that she was sleeping through the night. My worries were that the infant would wake up the toddler and we wouldn't know what to do with ourselves. We'd be up all night with two kids who wanted to play so I would run into that room like there was a fire under my butt to make sure I helped the infant before she barely made a peep.

Now, again if you are a mother you know that isn't exactly the best thing for the infant and now my almost preschooler is waking up all hours of the night to sleep in mom and dad's bed. Oddly enough she tells us she is afraid of hearing a sound. After a couple of nights of consoling and making sure she is okay I have put a kibosh on letting her sleep in our bed. After all, mommy can't sleep with less than six inches of space and a foot in the mouth.

'H' has done okay as far as consoling herself, but she is also a one year old that has suffered from colic. Before we knew what was keeping her awake and keeping her crying we would put her in her infant swing and she would fall straight to sleep. It seemed to be the only thing that worked aside from my arms and a rocking chair and I have another daughter to tend to which didn't always make my arms available.

We had to quickly get rid of the swing as 'H' learned very quickly how to move and would try to wiggle right out of the swing. This has left me with a lot of sit down time in a rocking chair while a rambunctious toddler ran around us. We have actually rocked so much that my first daughters rocking chair broke when 'H' was about seven months old and are now onto our second glider.

I have finally put my foot down about rocking at all hours throughout the day as she seems to gravitate towards "mommy and me and rocker time" more than I can handle. The question here is what are a mom's options. Each child is an individual and has individual needs and mine just so happens loves being rocked.

I now spend at least fifteen minutes rocking her to ease every night and some nights she will lie down in bed awake and fall asleep on her own and other nights she will wail like she had numerous shots. Believe me, I know what that sounds like. We were just there. Here is a little bit from on the "crying it out."

"The Ferber Method

It's that last one that started it all, written in the mid-80s with Dr. Richard Ferber. His method was known as "ferberizing" and became synonymous with tough love: letting babies "cry it out" and self-soothe. Over the years, many conflicted parents, like the Byrnes and Grosses, have paced outside the nursery, watching the second hand while their little one "cried it out" alone for set time intervals.

Ferber says that "ferberizing" is actually "a great misunderstanding of what we try to do."

"I don't think I've ever recommended a 'cry it out' method," he says. "Crying is not a very happy thing. We don't want to see children crying, we don't want to see babies crying."

Ferber says his crying time chart was meant to be a last-ditch method to break specific and severe bad sleep habits. An updated edition of his book shortens the intervals of crying from five minutes to three."

In my house rocking has always won over crying it out. A little upset and wailing are two different things mind you. I never intend on teaching my kids wining or crying will get them their way, but I can't let my children cry beyond belief in the other room while I sip my coffee or fall back to sleep myself. On the other hand something needs to give a little. Here's hoping over coddling my not-so-baby-anymore wont permanently damage either one of us.

(Check out the entire article on abc's website at )


  1. Note: Google 'crying it out" as the knew talk is all about dangers being posed to children who spend too much time crying it out.

  2. I totally had that problem, deciding which is right. We rarely let Colby cry it out when he was teeny tiny, but now if he's rubbing his eyes and pouts even though he's got his toys... we put him in his crib and let him cry. He fights sleep like he's never going to wake up again. LOL Yeah, it's tough. What really makes it tough is that there are so many contradictions from the 'experts' and 'experienced' family that want to help. Ugh. But do what you feel is right, you and hubby know your baby better than any expert and any other family members. :)

  3. I completely agree Julie. We are all individuals and our babies deserve individual attention and specific care for what they need.


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