I found this article in The Independent very interesting. This remains a question that I don’t know the answer to. My little one at 20 months still cries himself to sleep some nights and more often then not, will wake up crying in the night. I have read book after book and weighed up the endless advice streams in my own mind and still I don’t know what’s best.
What I do know however, is when my little man starts to cry, I find it VERY hard NOT to tend to him.
It could be argued then, that the reason he wakes up crying in the night is because he won’t go back to sleep until I have run in to stroke his head. And the reason he wakes up so early in the morning and is not good at settling himself back to sleep is because I am not there in the room with him.
When his early mornings were getting silly, i’m talking 4.30am, my other half took control and told me that we should leave him. He wasn’t ill or in pain, and the crying wouldn’t hurt him. We did this and at 4.30 my other half had a screaming baby in one room and a sobbing girlfriend in his room. Needless to say, none of us went back to sleep! But, after a couple of very distressing mornings he did get better.
Over time I have got better at not rushing to our little man’s side. I put him to bed awake but tired and he never really cries for more then five minutes. Sometime, he doesn’t cry at all!
No amount of words will change how a parent feels and I feel that it has to be down to the individuals as to how they deal with their baby. We may not agree with other peoples methods but we have to respect them.