Updated: Dec 29, 2020
Often the main objection people have for working with a sleep consultant is because they don't want to listen to their child cry. Guess what, none of us do - it's not pleasant, it doesn't feel natural and it's very tough on the old heart strings. Feelings that surface when you hear your child cry are guilt, panic, anxiety, worry, potentially even old childhood memories of when you remember crying yourself. Physically our heart rate increases and stress hormones peak. So yeah, not nice at all and nobody loves the idea of it.
Crying is necessary!!
Here is the thing though, crying is necessary sometimes, when you take them to get their injections as babies, we all dread it but we know it's for their own good so we take a deep breath and we do it. That's only short term crying you might say, but it doesn't matter it still triggers all those awful feelings inside you and for the record my youngest cried for an hour after she got her jabs !!
Other times crying is necessary are when your child is old enough to learn consequences. Crying is how toddlers in particular try and get your attention, but if they've bitten you it's important they learn that's not okay, but when you say that to them I guarantee they will be crying because no-one like to be told off. Also the case when they refuse to hold your hand across the road but safety comes first and so the crying is unavoidable!
Now I am not suggesting that because your baby isn't sleeping you leave them to cry and those are just the consequences, babies are very different to toddlers in that we are not talking about discipline here but a babies cry is in protest to the change you are trying to make. We are all creatures of habit, little ones more than most and they don't like change, they also don't know what else to do now you aren't assisting them to sleep.
Think of it like this.....
For me I see the crying as short term, even with something like Controlled Crying which by the way has no evidence that it is harmful to a Childs development, you're constantly there to reassure them especially at the start. The idea that they learn not to call for you once you do this as well is frankly bullsh*t, my kids have no issue with calling out for me day and night if they need me. Do you really think a child learns not to call for you just because you allowed them some short bursts of crying? If babies weren't meant to sleep through the night they wouldn't. That said, there are also more gentle methods I use with clients but these, even with parental presence the whole time will still involve tears.
Babies that are tired will cry a lot, babies with reflux will cry a lot, toddlers who tantrum will cry a lot over long periods of time. Crying happens, it's a fact and even though it's not nice for any of us, sometimes you have to let them get it out of their system and know that they are safe, loved and it's going to be okay. It's part of teaching them a new skill, which as parents is our job.
Make sleep a thing for the whole family
At the end of the day I want my kids to know sleep is important for the entire family and the rules around that are going to sleep at the same time every evening and not getting up until morning time. They may not like those rules but mummy is in charge and she needs her sleep. Are you with me?
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