Dealing with newborns is a challenge — and that’s an understatement. It’s true what they say about the lack of social life, and all other aspects of life in general: The only thing that matters now is your baby. Young parents are extraordinarily cautious, which isn’t a bad thing. As a parent today, you’ll hear and read a bunch of tips, and it will be really difficult to sort out the false ones from the ones that actually work.
An especially frequent dilemma most young parents have is whether or not it’s a good thing to leave their baby to cry it out.
Falling Asleep Is a Skill
What most young parents don’t really understand is that falling asleep is a nothing more than a skill. Whether you’re young or old, learning and developing a new skill takes time and effort. The fact is everything about our world is new to newborns, and you need to be patient and objective. I know how hard that can be, especially for the parent who is new to all of this — but viewing things in this way will make a world of difference.
Crying-It-Out Is a Method
Consider things from this angle: When you encounter something new and unfamiliar, you try to master it in a way that seems most effective to you. However, if that doesn’t work, you try something else. You don’t give up and you don’t ask from someone to comfort you, right?
Crying-it-out is a sleeping method, like many others, that can be tried out. When babies are that young, they depend on your care and your capability to make smart decisions. Rushing in to offer comfort every time your baby makes a sound will naturally condition your baby to expect you to appear. This expectation remains when he or she cries a month later, a year later and ten years later.
Of course, this doesn’t mean you should allow your baby to cry for hours and hours. Upon feeding them, changing them, placing them comfortably in their crib and consulting your baby’s pediatrician, who ensured you that absolutely everything is in perfect order, you can leave your baby and let them fall asleep on their own.
You are not the only one who has trouble listening to a crying baby — all parents struggle with this. If you consider this to be a method you simply can’t conduct, you should try different ones. For example, my experience has shown that babies react positively to music, so if you played them something while they were still in the womb, replaying those tunes could be more than helpful.
There Is No Rule Book
Parenting is difficult, and this is just the beginning. You’ll pick up everything in time, so take things slow. Of course, any time you are thinking of implementing a new method or taking someone’s piece of advice, you should definitely consult your baby’s doctor first — and only then go through with your plans. However, if something isn’t directly affecting the health of your child, you should know that there’s not just one right way.
That being said, crying-it-out is only one method. Whether you decide to try it or not, you should know that it may or may not work. Even though your baby is still very young, things you do now will definitely reflect on their behavior later. Every baby is unique, and you need to realize that even at a young age each has his or her own character that yet needs to develop. The fact is you lack experience, so you shouldn’t feel guilty if one of the things you tried doesn’t work.
It’s quite important to stay open-minded when it comes to finding the best method for your baby.
Featured photo credit: Eric Fleming via flickr.com