|The only pic I took today... CRAZY!|
Let me preface the rest of this post with: We know that the cry-it-out (CIO) method works and that babies who go through it turn out just fine and sleep well. If you chose or choose the CIO method for your little one, that is your choice and there is no judgment here. What is important that you make decisions that work for your family. We, personally, are not a CIO family. Here is why...
As I have mentioned countless times, we are a contemporary crunchy little family, and we have found that Attachment Parenting (AP) is what feels right to us. If you are not familiar with what that is, here is a great article from AttachmentParenting.org that breaks it down very nicely. If we were to turn back time, we would AP 100% from day one, but as a newbie I thought that maybe we could do some sort of 80/20 or 90/10 variation. Maybe some people are successfully able to piece various methods of parenting together, but it did not bode well for us so lesson learned and moving on. We shall just tuck that tid bit away for next time :). Not only does the idea of CIO go against every ounce of maternal instinct in my body, it also does not align with AP in any way. The whole premise behind AP is that you respect the language value of our baby's cry and respond quickly and sensitively whenever they do. Read more about the "why" for this here.
David and I are both what I'd call "co-dependent" individuals. Meaning, we often find ourselves leaning on one another for support, comfort, stress relief, warmth, encouragement, etc. If one, or both, of us have had a bad day, we always end up leaning into an embrace and holding it as we feel the stress melt from our bodies. Why then would we expect our infant, who doesn't have the ability to identify or understand his emotions/feelings or "why" it is important to sleep all night long, to deal with the stress of being alone as he cries it out or learns to "self sooth?" We also don't believe that babies are manipulative, nor do we want to see Ayden in that light. When I think of adults in my life who are manipulative, I usually have negative thoughts, emotions and feelings towards them. I don't want to let myself be tempted to feel the same about Ayden when he's woken me yet again in the middle of the night. He is just a baby. He has no idea the effect he has on us when he wakes up time and time again. He just knows that it's dark and that he's alone and feels groggy, hungry, etc. The fact that he quiets as soon as he is nestled in my neck or at my breast shows me he is leaning on me and drawing comfort as David and I often do with each other and there isn't anything wrong with that.
We have heard the argument that we are depriving Ayden of developing self soothing skills and autonomy, however we believe quite the opposite; that by consistently being available we are providing a launch pad from which he will feel secure to go and explore the world. He will gain these skills, in his own time, when he's good and ready.
I could go on and on but if you are interested in learning more or if you are trying to do your own research so that you can make an educated plan for your own baby, please read the articles here, here and here. They are well researched, well worded, and I couldn't have said any of it better myself.
I would like to add that if I were a working mom and had a job on the line, my feelings on this topic would possibly be different. Everyone has to make decisions for their own family and for ours, we always want Ayden to know that we are here for him, no matter what.