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The moment you let your child cry alone in the crib to “teach” him to fall asleep on his own is the moment you make a choice: to be there for him no matter what or to let him feel alone and scared, wishing with all his heart that you will come back…
Having a baby is wonderful, but it can be overwhelming too! I know how it feels and taking care of a little baby can be sometimes very hard. You need to be there for him every moment and it seems like your whole life is changing! You love your little baby and you enjoy all those precious moments you have with him, but you are also tired, overwhelmed and maybe even scared of all the changes in your life. When you feel like this it might seem a good idea to try those “magic” sleep training solutions and to let your baby “crying it out” until he learns to fall asleep on his own. But the truth is that the things you win from doing this (those quiet nights you dream of) are much less important than the things you loose when you choose this.
Just stop for a moment and think about what your baby feels! You are everything for him, you are that one person he can trust and who can take away all his fears and pains. He loves you with all his heart and most of all he needs you near him all the time! Having you close is the only way he feels safe and loved. And then, one evening, you decide not to be there for him anymore. He cries and hopes that you will come back, but you don’t do this anymore. He is alone in a dark room and he feels scared and abandoned.
He will cry after you over and over again until he realizes that you will not come back no matter how much he cries. So he stops crying and you feel that the method worked and it was the best choice for you. But the truth is that he stops crying not because he learned to sleep alone, but because he lost the hope that someone will come back and hug him.
Letting your child cry to sleep is a choice you make. A choice to let your baby wait for you, for your love and the hugs he needs so much. A choice to leave him alone when all he want is you to be there for him. It’s a choice you make to put the rules of a sleep training above the feelings you have for your baby.
If you feel that you want to enter that room and hug your baby, just do it! You love your baby and he loves you and there is nothing that should stop you for being there for him every time he needs you! I know it’s hard and overwhelming, but the love you give your baby now is a gift he will carry in his heart for his whole life.
Let him feel loved and safe in your arms anytime he needs your hugs! This will make you feel tired pretty often, but it will also make both of you feel happy. You will build that strong connection with your baby that will allow him to grow knowing he is loved and protected and over the years this will mean a lot!
Don’t let your baby feel alone and scared because those moments when he gives up the hope that you will come back to him are not what you want him to go through. Let him sleep near you, hug him every time he needs it and most of all let him know that you are always there for him!
These hard months when you don’t get enough sleep will pass more quickly that you imagine and in the end, you will be glad that you have chosen to be there for your baby!
p.s. This letter is not meant to judge anyone, it’s just an honest letter from a mother who really believes in the power of the love we show to our children. If you think about trying a sleep training method like CIO (“crying it out”), that encourages you to let your baby cry alone, I only wish this letter will give you another perspective and maybe will make you try something different.
If you need more details about why you shouldn’t try this method with your baby, you can find below some useful resources about it:
– the negative effects that sleep training has on babies (studies showed it can cause harmful changes to babies’ brains, decreased intellectual, emotional and social development and a negative impact on the parent-child relationship)
– the expert opinions of 6 educated professionals who advise against sleep training and explain the reasons why.