Why do we let Hannah Cry It Out for naps and bedtime? This is a question I found myself asking today, when she was having a very rough nap! She has been doing SO well with naps and bedtime lately, that I just wasn't used to hearing her cry for so long anymore. It started last night when she woke up early (3:30am instead of 6am) and then for her nap this afternoon, she has been really struggling to fall asleep and stay asleep. In moments like this, I get very flustered and wonder why on earth am I doing this? This is HARD! So, in an effort to remind myself and to share with others, I decided to write this post about why we are doing the cry it out method....
Listening to my baby cry is one of the hardest things I have ever done! But don't confuse hard with wrong. Just because it's hard, doesn't mean it is wrong! There are lots of things in life that are hard work, but in the long run cause great benefits! For example, working out is hard work! But in the long run we are better off for having worked out. Cooking healthy meals is hard work, but in the long run it pays to eat healthy. Pregnancy and labor are hard!! (VERY hard!) But the end result is miraculous and SO worth it! Keeping a clean house is hard work too...but doesn't it feel good when it's done!? The best things in life aren't easy...they are hard!!
Another reason we do the cry it out method is because of our faith. We believe that as parents we are called to raise our children in a Godly manner and follow Christ's lead in our parenting. God doesn't coddle us...yes, He loves us unconditionally, but that doesn't mean that He always gives us the easy road. We face circumstances in life that are very difficult (illness, infertility, death of a loved one, financial struggles, etc.) but when we look back at those difficult times we see how God used them to make us stronger. We realize that the bad experience brought us closer to God and taught us things we would never have learned otherwise. God sets boundaries in our lives, just as we must do for our children. He leads us in the right direction...He doesn't wait for us to tell Him what we need or what we want to do. We have no idea what His plans are for our lives...we must rely on Him for guidance. This is true for our relationship with the Lord and for our role as parents.
Although listening to my baby girl cry herself to sleep is extremely difficult, I know that in the long run it will pay off! She will become a better sleeper, which will make her more alert during her awake time and feeding time, causing her to thrive and grow in a healthy manner. We are teaching our baby to fall asleep on her own so that she can become independent someday. We must teach her to do this at some point in her life, so why not now?
Parenting is not as easy task!!