In this post I am going to attempt to outline my fears about having Colin cry it out (CIO), in the hope that anyone else out there who shares these fears might be comforted by the fact that they were all totally unfounded.
- Fear: That CIO would break my happy baby. Colin isn't now nor was he ever a crier, I can always calm him down and mostly I can do it easily, I was afraid making him CIO would change his overall mood and make him crankier. Fact: So far I have not detected any changes in his overall disposition. He is still a happy kid most of the time, regardless of the fact that he has spent some time crying alone.
- Fear: That Colin would resent me for making him CIO. Fact: I can't speak for how he will react to me since I've only been the point man for the first time tonight, but he was not angry with Sean at all the day after the worst night. In fact I think he was in a very good mood that day.
- Fear: That Colin would not be 'textbook' and would cry for hours. Everyone feels like there baby is 'special', along those lines I thought Colin would be the worst and longest crier ever. Many people told me it wouldn't be as bad as I thought... I think I may even owe my mother $100 because we made a bet. I was THAT sure. Fact: He never cried for more than 20 mins.
- Fear: That he was too young/old to CIO. Depending on when you asked I had a different fear. Fact: I don't know if there is a magic age for CIO, people have to make the choice that works for them and go with it. Like I said, we were all ready, and that is why it worked.
- Fear:I was being a bad parent by neglecting my child in his time of need. My gut was screaming that this wasn't the right thing to do, I was helpless but to follow that intuition until I could no longer deny that I was the real problem here. Fact: I think in some extreme cases there may be in a fine line between CIO and neglect or even neglect that people will claim is sleep training but for the most part it is a teaching tool like any other. It has its benefits and its pitfalls but it works or people wouldn't use it. Some people spank some don't, some would call that abuse, others wouldn't. There is a lot of gray area in parenting unfortunately. If your gut says CIO is wrong for you, it probably is, but remain open minded. I may have said I would never do it in the heat of an argument but logically and at least here on the blog I left the door open.
- Fear: That letting my child cry would mean I would desensitize myself to him and no longer attend to his needs or wake up when he cried. Fact: Unfortunately I can't really speak to this yet since we are only on day 4 but I'm pretty sure it is also unfounded. I'll come back to this in another month.
- Finally, this one is probably the biggie... and something that paralyzed me for a long time. I'm almost afraid to write it down for fear that someone will absorb this fear as there own but I hope that readers will see this for the disordered thinking that it is. (THAT SAID, if you are impressionable and have a young infant you might like to have CIO in the near future you might not want to read anymore) Fear: That my child would die of SIDS and I would have last head him crying. I never really was afraid that CIO would cause Colin to succumb to SIDS, because trust me I looked for a link for a while and never found anything to substantiate that idea. I was afraid he would succumb to SIDS and that I would have wasted precious time torturing the both of us when I could have been holding and loving him. Since Colin is now 15 months old his risk of SIDS is lower so this fear took a back seat which. Fact: I think all parents fear SIDS to some degree. For me that fear really modified my behavior, if someone had told me jumping up and down outside your child's room would decrease his risk of SIDS I would have done it. I put Colin to sleep on his back or side, I bought a chemical free mattress, I made sure air was circulating in his room, and I never put toys in his crib until he was very mobile. I am just very impressionable (in all aspects of life) so I couldn't get past this.