“Let him cry. Eventually he’ll tire out and learn to fall asleep on his own.” Yup, eventually, he will. Eventually he’ll learn to walk and talk and feed himself and use the potty on his own too. But right now, he is little. Right now he is my baby. And right now, he doesn’t need to do it on his own. Right now, he needs his mama’s (or daddy’s) comfort to fall asleep. And, perhaps, we need some extra snuggling time with our boy too.
Letting our babies “cry it out” may work for some people but it’s not what works for my baby. And it’s okay that we might be doing it differently because, after all, we and our babies are not the same. But this notion that we should all let our babies “cry it out” and learn to fall asleep on their own is nonsense, in my opinion.
By comforting and rocking my son to sleep, I am not creating a needy, dependent human. I am providing him the support he needs. I am nurturing him, loving him and reminding him that he is a priority. I am ensuring he knows wholeheartedly that he is not alone and no matter how difficult times may be, he always has someone he can depend on.
We are encouraged to do “skin-to-skin” time in the early infancy stage because being held fosters development and growth. Yet, as soon as our baby is around 3 months old, we receive (unwanted) advise to let them cry themselves to sleep. Is this crazy or is it just me? It’s definitely not just me. It’s quite crazy.
One day, my son will no longer need or want me to rock him to sleep. One day, he will be content with me simply tucking him into bed, turning off his light and closing his bedroom door. And one day, that day will come because he will take comfort in knowing he always has someone in his corner.
But today is not that day. And so, whenever I get the chance to rock him to sleep, I will. Everything else can wait because these are fleeting, precious moments that are molding a little boy into a fiercely independent adult.