I Don’t Believe in Crying It out, but Babies Still Cry.

Posted on Posted in Pregnancy and Motherhood.


I’m listening to the baby cry. She overly tired, and overly upset, too.

She’s in her crib, alternately close to sleep and then standing up in defiance. (We see her on the video monitor.)

I don’t believe in crying it out. (I never believed in co-sleeping either—until I had kids.)

Pregnant with my first, I bought a crib, and haughtily told people that my kids would sleep here, and my husband and I there. (I even asked the visiting doctor in my birthing class—with attentive hand raised—at what age can we safely let the baby cry, and teach her how to sleep? Forehead slap.)

It’s easy to imagine what we’ll do, in nearly any situation in life, until we are there, and in it, and wading through the difficulty.

I don’t believe in crying it out, but my youngest—my baby—is loud. She cries easily and violently, and especially when she’s tired and needs a nap. Unlike my oldest, she doesn’t nap best against my breast. She naps soundly in her crib, however—and there are often tears before her slumber.

I don’t believe in crying it out—but I need to stay sane.

There have been more than a handful of times that she had to cry—okay, scream—in her crib, while I watched her on that video monitor, so that I could go to the bathroom alone. (I will not add “and in peace.”)

I don’t believe in crying it out—but I have things to do.

My baby and I are playing, in my quiet house on the hill. We listen to songs, and dance, and we talk—and then I have to meet big sister at the school bus, at the end of our long, country drive on a below-7 degree, snowy day.

So I kiss my special baby, and I talk to her still—but now through the monitor—as I get on my boots, and gloves and walk down the hilly sidewalk to the crunchy stone driveway.

On these brittle winter mornings, my husband often takes my oldest to greet the bus, but when he’s off to work early, I sing “Wheels on the Bus” with my oldest, as we march along those tiny stones, while pressing the “talk” button for the baby in her crib, as I wave to her through her bedroom window.

I don’t believe in crying it out—but we have places to go.

She stiffens board-like at my attempts to place her in the car seat. She wails and cries—but my oldest has an appointment to keep, or I need to get my allergy shot, or we have to go to the grocery store.

I don’t believe in crying it out—partly for her, and mainly for me. There is almost nothing worse than the baby screaming, especially in the car.

But then she’s quiet, and I wonder, “Is she okay? Why can’t I hear the baby?” After all, a crying baby is an alive baby.

I don’t believe in crying it out, but my beliefs are nothing. I’m raising a human being, in all of her independent, volatile glory. And, yes, tears are expression for words that can’t yet be spoken, or feelings that aren’t properly expressed (at any age, let alone a baby).

I don’t believe in crying it out, but babies cry.


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