A friend posted a question on Facebook about getting little ones to sleep through the night. This got me thinking about what we had done. I thought I'd share it here for anyone who might be struggling with this.
We started letting our kids cry it out when they were about 8 months old or so. First, we'd make sure they were fed enough, dry enough and warm enough, so that we were sure that none of those things would play a factor in the tears. Letting the kids cry would make me crazy. I doubt there's a mother out there who likes to hear their children cry, but having read up on things, I felt this was the solution to our problem. It taught a child to calm him/herself. It proved to do the trick for our family.
The first night, I'd go in and check on the child every ten minutes if he/she
was still crying. I would set a timer. When it went off, I'd walk in
and say "Goodnight" and walk back out without touching the child
(unless, of course, I needed to lay him/her back down).
The next night, I'd go to twenty minutes. The next night 30. You get
the idea. Usually by that third night, though, I wouldn't have to; the
child would settle him/herself down before I got to the 30 minute time.
Really, checking on the child was for my sake not his/hers.
Sometimes, because patterns are pretty well set, it may take a bit of time to build new habits, which is a total drag for a mom,
but that's kind of how human nature is. So much
of dealing with children is undoing old habits and replacing them with
better ones. That's all that this is doing. It sometimes
just takes a bit of perseverance and patience.