i-ditched-attachment-parenting

So, about that time I ditched attachment parenting to be a better parent than I had been…

MIRACLE BABY

Most of my life I dreamed of being a mother. I played “mommy and baby” as a child with my dolls, I picked out my favorite names for future children as a teenager, as a newlywed I dreamed of what it would be like to announce pregnancy news when it was our turn. I could not wait to be a mommy!

Of course, bringing life into the world is more out of our control as humans that it is in our control. Even though I was deep into “baby fever” by our first wedding anniversary, my husband and I didn’t welcome our precious daughter for another seven years.

My sweet angel girl. Our amazing and very much unexpected little gift.

While pregnant I made sure to do everything “right.” I ate well (when I could actually eat anything), I avoided caffeine, I never lifted heavy things, I took every class available, I learned how to cloth diaper, I convinced myself to breastfeed in spite of my squeamishness about it, and I read all about natural childbirth. I would do all of that over again and recommend it all to any mother-to-be.

In my studies to become the best ever parent, I learned about “attachment parenting.” I memorized the “Baby B’s” and promised myself that I would keep my baby’s needs first by breastfeeding on demand, co-sleeping, baby wearing, and never ever sleep training.

CARISSA, MEET WILLOW

By the week before my perfect daughter arrived (or more accurately, was cut out of my not at all numb midsection… but more on that another time), I just knew I had it all figured out. We would be perfect parents armed with our depth of knowledge thanks to Dr Sears and The Happiest Baby On The Block.

I was fully prepared… then I met Willow.

My gorgeous baby slept through the night her first night outside of me. I stayed awake all night because I didn’t know what else to do. I would drift off to sleep and then wake feeling startled and thinking “stay awake! Someone has to watch this baby!” Ahhh, poor silly new mommy.

That night was the last night my little love would sleep through the night for what felt like an eternity.

I DON’T KNOW HOW TO DO THIS

C-section recovery is heinous.

Girls, if you had an easy breezy c-section experience, please do the rest of us a favor and keep yer mouth locked shut about it (unless your first experience was terrible and your second much better, then we need that comfort and hope!). As few and far between as these easy c-section stories are, it’s still too soon for me to hear them… too soon.

During the agony of my recovery I discovered that I could not lay down without bone crushing pain. And even if I could lay down, forget getting back up! Let me tell you, this just does not work with a newborn to take care of. So I set up camp on my couch and slept sitting up, holding my baby all night long for weeks. I used pillows to prop up my head to make it more comfortable and also to hold my arms up so I couldn’t drop the baby.

She slept wonderfully during this period! I nursed her to sleep around 11pm and then she slept for three hours before I would change her diaper and then nurse to sleep again. We repeated that cycle a few times a night getting in three 3-hour naps. Not bad at all! One major problem: this mama cannot do that long term. After about three weeks I was not handling the constant holding my baby thing well at all.

Postpartum depression had set in and I was desperately seeking alone time and uninterrupted sleep. As difficult as I thought the first three weeks were (and they were), that was nothing compared to what we were about to experience.

THE DARK NIGHTS

I knew I could no longer handle sitting up all night with my baby. Even though I was getting some sleep, I needed to lay down in my bed. So we transitioned upstairs to our bedroom and put baby Willow into a bassinet to sleep next to my bed. This did not go well.

Night after night we tried to get our baby to sleep without being held. Each night grew worse and worse.

By 6 weeks old my baby was no longer sleeping at night. This is not an exaggeration. She screamed and “growled” (the only way I can explain the awful noises she made) all.night.long. We tried everything to calm her: bouncing, humming, shushing, football holds, holding her upright, nursing, bottles, pacifiers, swaddling, un-swaddling, massage, baths, lotions, rocking, singing, music, laying her on her back, laying her on her tummy, white noise apps and machines, fans, warmer room, cooler room… EVERYTHING we could think of and it all failed.

She also slept very little during the day. I do not know how the child thrived on as little sleep as she was allowing herself.

I went back to work when my daughter was 6 weeks old. Most days I had less than 45 minutes of sleep before leaving for my office in the morning.

I knew this phase couldn’t last forever and I felt like I could have her sleeping better by 2 months old if I just continued to respond to her every need as my attachment parenting friends encouraged me to do. “Don’t worry, she’ll figure it out eventually.” “She won’t still be sleeping with you when she is 16, so enjoy this time!” “She just really must need you.”

One night as she was screaming violently for the fourth straight hour, I snapped. I stopped short of shaking her, but I will admit that I nearly did. I screamed at her to “shut up” then ran into her room (that she had never slept in), dropped her into her crib and ran back to my room sobbing hysterically. I was afraid of what I could do to her if I was near her. My husband came in to see what was wrong. He was really disturbed by what he heard and was rightfully angry. He got Willow from her crib and took her to the living room to try to soothe her.

When I had pulled myself together enough to breathe a little again, I grabbed my phone and through my tears I Googled “what if I don’t love my baby.”

Let me tell you, now on the other side, it breaks my heart to think about that. Not because I actually didn’t love my baby. I absolutely adore her. She is my whole life. I would have then and would today and always give my life for her. But it makes me sad because I found no support or sympathy out there. Sure, support and sympathy were there for me, but when you’re low enough to actually Google “what if I don’t love my baby” then you’ll find extreme judgement and angry words shared by strangers that somehow convince you that your child would be better off if you flung yourself from a cliff.

I survived that dark night. In the morning, after a couple hours of sleep, I began to think about attachment parenting and wondered to myself “but what about when I need to detach?”

NO TOUCHY MOMMY TIME

I wore my baby everywhere. I worked from home with her as often as possible. I slept with her next to me or on top of me. I nursed her alllllll the freaking time. I responded to her cries immediately. My dear baby was almost always attached to me. And yet she cried more than any baby I had ever known.

At four months old Willow was sleeping about an hour at a time at night and taking three 20-minute naps a day. She required nursing immediately at every waking and I always responded right away.

I was diligently and stubbornly practicing attachment parenting the best way I knew. I told myself, my friends, and my husband “I will NOT do any sort of cry it out!”

But let me tell you, dear friends, I am not a “touchy feely” person. Physical touch is not one of my Love Languages (unless it’s a back massage from my husband, then yes!) and I was quite literally being driven crazy by lack of sleep and constantly holding or wearing my baby. I have a strong need to NOT be touched every once in a while.

I was quite literally being driven crazy by lack of sleep and constantly holding or wearing my baby

Still in the back of my mind at all times was my question “but what about when I need to detach?” I just couldn’t figure this out.

MOMMY INTERVENTION

At seven months old my daughter would no longer sleep anywhere but on top of me with my boob in her mouth. Yep, that’s right, I nursed my child all night long. From 11pm until 7am I was nursing. Yes, ouch.

Willow slept at most 45 minutes in one stretch. She woke no less than 12 times a night to nurse and if I didn’t respond immediately it triggered a scream fest that could last hours.

My sanity was hanging by a thread. I was having panic attacks nearly every day. These attacks involved hysterical crying, suicidal thoughts, inability to breathe, and irrational thoughts and actions.

My husband came with me to our daughters seven month check up and told me ahead of time that he insisted I speak with the doctor about Willows lack of sleep. I felt terrified. I felt like a failure. I felt overwhelmed.

At the end of the doctors visit she asked us if we had any questions. I was silent. My husband looked at me and nodded with raised eyebrows. I was frozen with fear and didn’t speak, so he explained what we were dealing with. The doctor turned to me with serious concern in her eyes and said to me “you can’t let this continue. You have to stop picking her up every time she cries.”

What? What are these words she is saying to me?! Does she not understand the psychological damage that will be inflicted on my beloved baby if I don’t respond to her immediately and consistently? I’m already a terrible mother; I cannot sleep train. I’ve heard what other mothers say about moms who are lazy and sleep train their babies. I can’t do that. I WON’T do that.

Before we left the doctors office she recommended a book to me: The Sleepeasy Solution. My husband immediately ordered it for us to read.

THE DEFINITION OF INSANITY

A few days later I was talking to a customer at work. She had her preschool age twin daughters with her. I commented on how adorable they were and told her I had a 7 month old baby girl. We made small talk about kids and she asked how my baby was sleeping. I said “oh, well… not really sleeping much yet.” She groaned and gave me a look of sympathy and told me “my twins didn’t sleep through the night until they were three years old. I’m still so tired!” Then I saw it, the deep, soul drained look of extreme fatigue in her eyes. My heart began to beat faster. I held back stinging hot tears thinking “I cannot survive that. I can’t do this any longer.”

I went right home and read The Sleepeasy Solution cover to cover.

They say that the definition of insanity is to keep doing the same thing while expecting different results. I needed to make a change.

THE PLAN

I made a plan for the most gentle sleep training I could come up with based on the knowledge I gained from The Sleepeasy Solution. When the day came that we had designated as Day 1, I was sick to my stomach all day. I felt numb and terrified.

My husband was so supportive. I couldn’t have done it without him.

We followed our plan exactly. A gentle, calm bedtime routine followed by nursing Willow almost to sleep and then laying her into her crib sleepy but awake, telling her “good-night” and then leaving the room for 2 minutes. She immediately began to wail.

Mamas, you’ll understand when I say that this broke my heart! I sat in the guest room with my back against the wall listening to my baby crying just two feet away on the other side of the wall. I held my phone and looked at pictures of her as I sobbed.

Every two minutes I checked on her to make sure she was safe. I never touched her (this is like a tease to a baby because she would think I was going to pick her up, so I never touched her), but spoke to her in a very soft and gentle voice, always saying exactly the same thing: “good-night, Willow. Mommy loves you.” I said that over and over for about 15 seconds before leaving the room again for another interval.

That first night it took Willow 55 minutes to fall asleep.

I felt mentally and emotionally drained, but decided to keep trying.

Night two we followed the same routine, but waited 5 minutes before checking on her until she fell asleep. It took about 45 minutes for her to go to sleep.

Night three was a total shocker.

NEW LIFE

Night three of sleep training and my baby fell asleep in only 15 minutes. Night four was just 5 minutes of crying and by night five she didn’t cry at all. She just laid down and peacefully went to sleep every night after that.

Another immediate change was that Willow began to sleep three full hours at a time again! Hallelujah!

I felt like a new person. I was slowly coming back to life.

Willow began to make a big changes as well. For her first seven months of life she was a miserable baby. She cried more than I thought a baby could. She never seemed to be comforted or soothed by anything consistently. I just felt like my baby hated me (not true, but that’s how it felt). After sleep training she began to seem more social and happy.

The difference in our lives was huge.

I have found every anti sleep training parent I’ve talked with to be mostly ignorant about how proper sleep training actually works. There seems to be a belief that sleep training is just a “lazy” mother sticking her baby into a crib and then leaving the room for the rest of the night. It’s assumed that the mom isn’t bothered by her baby’s cries and she just turns the TV up louder to drown out the cries. This is not what most parents mean when they talk about sleep training.

Side Note: from what I’ve read and other parents I’ve talked to on the topic of sleep training, the best age to begin seems to be between three and five months of age (my opinion). Sleep training too young is not a good idea, but a gentle and predictable schedule can be helpful for newborns. What I know for sure is that when my friends talk about attempting to sleep train an older baby, they report it being a total nightmare. Once a baby is old enough to pull himself up in his crib, sleep training is probably going to be a real challenge. I got super lucky and sleep trained my daughter at seven months old, just before she got to that stage. I have friends who have tried to sleep train their baby at 10, 12, 16, 18 months and they either faced a battle that lasted weeks, or they just gave up. Do yourself and your baby a favor and teach him/her how to sleep at night earlier rather than later. Always consult your doctor first and keep in mind that babies younger than 9 months old usually still need to eat at least once a night (several times a night for babies under 3 months old).

I Ditched Attachment Parenting to be a Better Parent 2

Photo: unsplash.com

RECONSIDERING AP

Now, my attachment parenting friends will say that you can “do AP” and not co-sleep or not breastfeed, etc. But “cry-it-out” seems to be where many draw the line.

After sleep training I could have continued to be a committed attachment parent-er, but I just ditched the parenting style altogether. That being said, I’m sure I still have a way of parenting that is very familiar to my AP friends. But I am no longer interested in identifying as an “Attachment Parenting Parent.” I am Carissa. My daughter is Willow. I love my girl more than life and I will figure this “mom” thing out somehow. “But that IS attachment parenting!” you may say and, believe me, I appreciate your desire to support a cause and parenting style that is working for you, but I’ve read enough Dr Sears and KellyMom.com to feel certain that I have a good grasp on AP. I’ll pass.

It turns out that sometimes I DO need to detach. I need to go to work. I need an occasional night out away from my child. I need to sleep independently. I need to not be touched and to have my own space for a few minutes every once in a while. Short periods of being physically detached from my daughter has created a calmer, happier, more balanced me which has dramatically affected my parenting for the good. Occasional much needed physical detachment has made us more emotionally connected.

Occasional much needed physical detachment has made us more emotionally connected.

WHAT WORKS FOR ME

What works for me may not always work for you.

I cloth diapered, except at night.

I breast fed and loved it (except for the first three weeks of sheer, soul-sucking torture).

I used formula to supplement because I sucked at pumping (haha!).

I trained my daughter to sleep when she was 7 months old and only regret not starting around 4 months.

I made my own organic baby food… and she refused to eat any of it.

I went back to co-sleeping at different times based on our need.

I bought an Ergo and hated it with a passion. I stopped wearing Willow by 13 months old.

I gave Willow a pacifier when she was three days old.

I began bottle feeding at two weeks old and also continued to breast feed.

My baby self weaned from breast feeding at 15 months old and although I felt a little sad, I was really happy to be done and had no desire for “extended breastfeeding.” No thank you.

 

You see, we all have different children, different homes, different families, different personalities, different experiences. It is no longer important to me to follow the “rules” and more important to follow my heart. My AP friends will again say that’s exactly what AP means, but sadly, I only find more rules there.

Articles come about about the “dangers” of “cry-it-out” and the mommy wars are fueled. Immature and self-righteous mothers everywhere take to social media and chat boards to voice their strong anti-CIO stance. These voices have been damaging to me personally. In my moments of deep despair, I was wounded by the words of the moms who have it all figured out.

In my moments of deep despair, I was wounded by the words of the moms who have it all figured out.

I turned to attachment parenting supporters for answers and help. I was given judgement and condemnation.

On so many occasions I felt the sting of angry words from mothers expressing concern for my baby, but all I needed was someone to love and support me.

I can love, protect, and support my child; I need other mothers to do the same for me.

When thinking about this post tonight, I decided to do a quick search of social media to see what moms are saying about sleep training. Here are actual, unedited quotes:

“Letting your baby “cry it out” is putting your baby through HELL!! How could people even do that?!!!! And smile the next morning because YOU went to sleep peacefully. How could people be such hypocrites to put their baby thru hell, screaming for their mom who doesn’t return their call and don’t meet their needs?! And yet, be all lovey the next day? PARENTING DOESNT STOP AT NIGHT!”

“If your sleep takes priority over your infant’s well being then maybe you shouldn’t be a parent. It’s so upsetting. How do you as a mother have the ability to hear your child scream and turn up the TV or take a shower to drown out the sound? Awful.”

“Cry it out is lazy parenting, if u chose to have kids, it’s a commitment. People use excuses “I went back to work, I need my sleep”.”

“If anyone understood human biology and instinct they would realize “crying it out” was literally idiotic at best.”

“We are not to ‘TRAIN’ our children. When they learn that you will answer their cries they will not need to ‘wail’ to get your attention.”

“All you supporters of CIO method should be ashamed and if you have the opportunity to correct it with a second child, think about it very seriously. We do not need any more selfish citizens in this county, which is what your children will grow to be. If you read a book ok self soothing and CIO, throw them away. Do yourself a favor by listening to your God-given maternal instincts. Your Your instincts will do a much better job than ignorant books.”

 

Dear attachment parenting community, if the above comments are in any way representative of your point of view and are the same as or similar to the words you put out into the world for other mothers to read, you are failing your cause.

TODAY

Right now my four year old angel is enjoying a peaceful Sunday night at home. I just read her a story and then she went off to play with some toys. In a couple of hours she will get herself ready for bed and then come snuggle with me in my bed until she falls asleep. When my husband comes to bed he will gently carry Willow off to her own bed in her own room to sleep for the night (the whole night!).

Tomorrow morning I will leave very early for work and then my husband will wake Willow around 7:30 in the morning. She doesn’t enjoy waking up. She really loves to sleep! She will get breakfast and then work through her morning list of chores. My husband will take her to preschool for the morning, then my mom will pick her up around lunchtime and keep her for the afternoon. I’ll be on my way home from work when my husband picks Willow up from my mom. We’ll enjoy an evening together as a family until bedtime when it all starts over again.

My Willow is a bright, intelligent, caring, secure, little girl full of wit and personality. She wants to be a doctor, a fashion designer, and a mommy. She is healthy and happy and loved more than anything else. The best feeling in the world comes when Willow hugs me and says “mommy, you’re the best mommy in the whole world!” or when she kisses me and says “I just love you so much!” I think it would be impossible for me to count how many times a day I give her hugs and kisses. She is told over and over how much she is loved.

Don’t worry, attachment parenting friends; we are okay. We’re all going to be okay.

Attachment-Parenting Attachment-Parenting-2

*Thank you SO much to the family and friends who were incredibly supportive of me during the early days of motherhood. My friend who insisted I was doing the right thing by teaching my baby to sleep, my friends who came and got me out of the bathroom at the restaurant where I was breastfeeding my baby and told me to not be ashamed to feed her right there in the restaurant, everyone who told me I was a good mommy, everyone who prayed for me… you were my lifeline.

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99 Comments on I Ditched Attachment Parenting to be a Better Parent

  1. Cate @ Mary From Martha
    January 31, 2016 at 11:39 pm (1 year ago)

    I can’t explain how much I love this. i went with the flow with my oldest, now 4, but got caught up in the attachment parenting movement with my second (20 mos.) and it nearly ended me. Literally. I had undiagnosed postpartum depression and no sleep and horrible guilt. When I finally decided that I had to parent my children MY WAY, it was the best decision I ever made. Kudos, mama.

    Reply
  2. MarΓ­a
    February 1, 2016 at 1:22 am (1 year ago)

    I have never agreed with attachment parenting. What you’re describing seemed unhealthy to me; I never believed that my kids needed to suck so much of my life in order to be healthy! And I never believed that women should lose so much of themselves in parenting. I always had some boundaries to protect myself. On the opposite side of this, my kids are loved and we are fine. People look at me like I’m heartless because I didn’t nurse past two months and I sleep trained since then. Well, your point is spot on! What works great for some kids is not what’s best in all homes. All of us as Moms have to do our best within the confines of our abilities and our love language! Thanks for being so brave in sharing!

    Reply
  3. Danielle @ Thrive Ministries
    February 1, 2016 at 5:43 am (1 year ago)

    My dreams of motherhood included: extended breastfeeding, baby wearing, co-sleeping, no pacifiers, homemade baby food and all the crunchy stuff that goes with it.

    At 3 months our nightly routine of crying had gotten to me. I remember lying in bed after the ped said that morning, “You need to let him cry a few minutes, he’ll be okay.” Like you, it was torture to listen to him cry. Then, I heard the Lord whisper gently to me, “It will be okay, sometimes we do not like what we need the most.” And like you, within 3 nights he was falling asleep peacefully. He wasn’t sleeping through he night but he was sleeping, alone.

    Our lives have changed so much and we find ourselves now, at 5 years old, co-sleeping and we have been since our house fire a few years ago. We know it will come to an end soon. We’ve started talking to our son about the change. Of course, he’s hesitant but again I heard the Lord’s words, “…sometimes we do not like what we need the most.”

    Thank you for being courageous enough to share your story. There are few absolutes in proper parenting. Co-sleeping is not one of them.

    Reply
  4. Jasmine
    February 1, 2016 at 6:56 am (1 year ago)

    This is a fantastic explanation of both very different approaches to parenting infants as well as the inner conflict that they both bring. I had a very similar experience with my second child and found myself sitting outside his door listening to the crying many nights. But you’re right, if it works for you then it’s worth it. Thank you for sharing your personal experiences! It’s very encouraging. <3

    Reply
  5. Karin Rambo
    February 1, 2016 at 10:40 am (1 year ago)

    Great read Carissa! I appreciate your vulnerability so much! I really appreciate when you mentioned sleep training can be misunderstood. I did sleep training with my daughter from day one and so never had to do a cry it out (which would have been so hard… I admire your strength). And my goal wasn’t to get her to sleep eight hours at night as fast as possible, but for her to get as much sleep as possible and was appropriate for her age in order for her to be a healthy happy baby. Thank you for sharing your story!

    Reply
  6. Hannah Grace
    February 1, 2016 at 12:15 pm (1 year ago)

    Carissa,
    I loved this post because of the emotional rawness of your experience. I am certainly not an expert on parenting. My child is for the most part grown and I have so many days that I feel like I failed. But I do have the experience from myself and a host of other parents that have raised children. There is not “right” way and a “wrong” way. Each child is unique and every family is different. What works for Willow may not work if you have another child. Never let someone make you feel inferior as a parent! Love that child with your whole heart and ask God to guide you. Love covers a multitude of mess ups…..

    Reply
  7. Kristen
    February 1, 2016 at 4:42 pm (1 year ago)

    Love your story. Thanks so much for sharing for those of us who will go through some of the same struggles someday.

    Reply
  8. Megan Kelly
    February 1, 2016 at 6:14 pm (1 year ago)

    Wow this is an amazing encouragement. I appreciate your honestly and your thoughts- motherhood is a journey πŸ™‚

    Reply
  9. andrea
    February 1, 2016 at 9:23 pm (1 year ago)

    praise God that you got through that!

    Reply
  10. Another Mama
    February 1, 2016 at 9:56 pm (1 year ago)

    You’ve got it right on in that moms do such a disservice to other moms by not supporting them. I think the group that is the most hated though is the mom that can’t/doesn’t breastfeed. When already feeling low about it and looking for support people said such hateful awful things! That was when I decided to not give a crap about what other moms think. In parenting and mom supporting the answer is always “love”.

    Reply
    • carissashaw
      February 2, 2016 at 4:48 pm (1 year ago)

      That’s for sure! I feel so bad for mamas who really try to breast feed and then it doesn’t work. There is absolutely no need to heap condemnation on a mother who probably already feels like a failure.

      Reply
      • Desert Dweller
        February 19, 2016 at 11:12 am (1 year ago)

        We (society in general) have elevated breastfeeding to a ridiculously high level. Yes, it is very healthy for the baby and can be a wonderful bonding experience. That being said, it doesn’t work for everyone. And that’s OK! Nursing does not put you in the motherhood hall of fame, folks.

        Reply
        • Shannon
          May 14, 2016 at 2:02 pm (1 year ago)

          ^^^amen!!

          Reply
  11. Christy
    February 2, 2016 at 4:03 pm (1 year ago)

    Thank you for your story. You described perfectly how my daughter and her husband were with their first child. When he wouldn’t nurse and I offered a suggestion about holding him a different way – but my idea was incorrect because the “lactation specialist” had told them that was not the correct way to nurse a child. (who the heck holds a child under their armpit to nurse them?) When he wouldn’t sleep any ideas I had were of course immediately shot down because they had read just about every parenting book available and knew what to do. My daughter and her husband would be come so frustrated because he wasn’t acting the way the book said he was supposed to. I was finally fed up and told her “You know what honey – he (the baby) never read the book.” That is when I think she finally got the message that just because a book says to do something one way does not mean it will work with your child. Each child is different and responds in different ways.

    Reply
    • carissashaw
      February 2, 2016 at 4:46 pm (1 year ago)

      “(the baby) never read the book.” Wow! That’s definitely some wisdom there! πŸ™‚ My girl sure didn’t read the book or she would have known that babies who are held all the time are supposed to cry LESS. I waited for her to figure that out, but she never did.
      Sounds like your daughter was really committed to the football hold nursing. I tried that but it wasn’t for me.

      Reply
  12. Rebecca
    February 3, 2016 at 9:44 am (1 year ago)

    Lmao at the idea of crying it out creating selfish children– last time I checked, catering to a child’s every wish so they grow up thinking it is literally unacceptable/impossible that their every whim not be met immediately is pretty much the definition of selfish!

    Reply
    • Kelley
      March 6, 2016 at 8:45 pm (1 year ago)

      That was the first thought I had, and as far as lactation specialists (see the post above this) is crazy. Those women made me feel horrible because my son HATED breastfeeding, he wanted to eat faster than I was producing, and he was angry, hungry and wouldn’t stop crying. Finally, one of the old school nurses on the maternity floor (she was around 65, unlike my lactation nurse who couldn’t have been 22) said, he is just hungry, and before I would say anything, she shoved a supplement bottle in his mouth and he ate without crying, and when he stopped crying i finally did too. He wouldn’t stop crying because he was still hungry, and I couldn’t stop crying because I couldn’t make him stop, I kept thinking, he is only 2 days old and I’m already failing as a parent (I had a csection) I find it so hypocritical that “crunchy” moms think it’s ok for my son to scream because he is hungry and my milk hasn’t come in, and isn’t flowing fast enough and would tell me I just needed to be patience but god forbid I let him cry in his crib for 2 minutes so he learns to sleep.

      Reply
      • carissashaw
        March 11, 2016 at 10:38 am (1 year ago)

        Aww, so sorry you went through such a tough time in the beginning. πŸ™
        I remember reading extremely anti formula articles and comments a few years ago. One mother called formula “poison” and told about how her doctor and nurses at the hospital were insisting she give her newborn formula soon after he was born because his blood sugar was low. She angrily resisted until the nurse actually just went ahead and gave the baby formula because, you know, low blood sugar = dangerous! The mom explained how happy she was when he then threw up all of the formula. She was super proud that his little tummy rejected the “poison.” I was reading like “WUT?!?” There really are some people out there with extreme beliefs. Don’t let the mean comments get you down, mama!

        Reply
  13. Joni
    February 3, 2016 at 10:15 am (1 year ago)

    I can’t tell you how refreshing this article was! I’m a mom to a 9 month old who slept well until 6 months when she started to realize that we responded to her every cry. The more we did the worse it got. The guilt I felt over moving her to her own crib, own room, and ever, ever allowing her to cry was exacerbated by all the boards I read silently without commenting because I was too scared of the judgement. Everything you said resonated with and encouraged me.Thank you for giving me “permission” to trust my mommy intuition.

    Reply
    • Lauren
      March 14, 2016 at 2:17 pm (1 year ago)

      Thank you for this comment Joni! I did the same thing. At six months old my daughter stopped sleeping through the nights. I would read the boards and see the sleep training moms attacked. It took my husband and a lot of prayer to take ownership of my family. I still question myself everyday, but reading your comment makes me feel like it’s not just me!

      Reply
  14. Erin
    February 8, 2016 at 5:01 pm (1 year ago)

    Thank you for sharing your raw honest experiences. We mothers can very easily be driven by mania to meet a standard without putting ourselves in the equation. It’s intuition to put our children before our own needs but forget our children suffer when we’re not taken care of. And this placing labels on parenting styles era really is baffling to me! I’m a mom. That’s that.

    Reply
  15. Stacy
    February 11, 2016 at 12:59 pm (1 year ago)

    Thank you!! This needed to be said.

    Reply
  16. Gina Poirier
    February 13, 2016 at 5:34 pm (1 year ago)

    This is a fantastic post. You are doing moms a big favor by putting yourself out there like this. All of the judgmental attachment parenting stuff is so damaging. I had to let all three of my kids “cry it out” in some capacity or else I would have gone insane. They are happy, healthy and loving but independent kids. I’m sharing this and I’ll be coming back to read more!

    Reply
    • carissashaw
      March 11, 2016 at 10:42 am (1 year ago)

      Thanks, Gina! I can take the heat (judgement)… I think! πŸ™‚

      Reply
  17. Mary, Living a Sunshine Life
    February 13, 2016 at 5:39 pm (1 year ago)

    I was right! This post is absolutely fantastic! While I made some similar, some different parenting choices as you, I too had some of the very same stressful moments. Including that dreaded Google search. You’re not alone, I did that one too, and that memory gives me the drive to snuggle my kids even tighter every now and then. I am a parent. I make choices based on what works for our family, and guess what… my 6 and 7 year olds are absolutely fantastic! I may not have found a lot of support in the early years, and I did find a lot of judgement, but for anyone reading this you’re not alone. As tough as it is to admit it for some, many people have similar experiences in the early years of parenting even if it is brought on by different circumstances. No judgement here. We’re all just trying to get by, raising some amazingly kind hearted, beautiful inside and out, kids who will make a difference in someone’s world. Heck, my kids have already made a difference in my world and I love them even more for that.

    Reply
    • carissashaw
      March 11, 2016 at 10:47 am (1 year ago)

      Aren’t these little people we are raising just AMAZING?! Somehow we mamas not only do survive, but we make incredible people who are making the world better. The future of this world rests on the shoulders of the mothers (and fathers <3) and we are ROCKING IT! Most days, anyhow. πŸ˜‰

      Reply
  18. Rachel @ A Mother Far from Home
    February 13, 2016 at 9:11 pm (1 year ago)

    Bless you for writing this. I have many sleep posts and women coming to my blog daily who are Losing Their Minds and have no clue what CIO means. They assume it means letting your baby cry all the time for months/years until they grow out of it. Some AP moms even think that not nursing your child, but holding and rocking them in your arms to get back to sleep is CIO.

    I feel sad for women who torture themselves and their babies (yes, it’s torture for babies to be sleep deprived) because of false guilt and condemnation.

    Luke 7:35, mamas!

    Reply
  19. renee
    February 13, 2016 at 11:03 pm (1 year ago)

    Bottom line: humans have to have sleep to remain human, even those super-humans called Mommys. Glad you and your daughter were finally able to get some. πŸ™‚

    Reply
  20. Claire
    February 18, 2016 at 10:26 pm (1 year ago)

    I’m really glad you found something that worked for you and your baby.
    Your representation of attachment parenting is a bit simplistic, and I don’t agree with the idea that it means never detaching from your child. It is about developing a bond with a primary care giver. It means teaching her that she can rely on you, come to you with problems, that her needs matter.
    It is in response to an older style of parenting where you schedule your baby’s life like a military machine. I’d argue that most people incorporate attachment parenting into their parenting arsenal, whether they call it that or not.
    The fact that we even talk about about “parenting” as a verb shows that’s ts have changed.

    Sleep training is something you can do gently, and realistically it sounds like you’ve done that, especially given your back to work circumstances. It wasn’t cry it out, and I’m not sure it was controlled crying either since you don’t mention increasing the intervals you were away.

    There is a significant difference between distressed crying in arms and not though. It’s definitely not on par with cry it out, which requires parent extinction. As in leaving the room and not going back in.

    Reply
    • Melanie
      March 2, 2016 at 4:42 pm (1 year ago)

      “It is about developing a bond with a primary care giver. It means teaching her that she can rely on you, come to you with problems, that her needs matter.” I think all parenting by decent parents is parenting that causes an emotional bond and relays that children can rely on their parents. “Attachment” parenting doesn’t have the corner on that. Please, stop the labeling. It is useless, hurtful and all it does is allow people who think the way they’ve done it is the gospel to feel superior to everyone else.

      Reply
  21. Desert Dweller
    February 19, 2016 at 11:08 am (1 year ago)

    Thank you. My achilles heel was breastfeeding. I couldn’t do physically do it; no matter how much I drank, I simply could not produce enough to keep my baby alive. Likewise, one of my friends had a mastectomy soon after giving birth. Is she a bad mom? In the end, it was my OB (a woman) who encouraged me to stop trying. So it irks me when other mothers, people in the medical profession and women’s organizations imply that those who can’t (or won’t) breastfeed are lazy, ignorant or uncaring toward their children. No, they aren’t. Breastfeeding is wonderful, but it is FAR from the end-all, be all of parenting. It does not make you a better parent, nor does it ensure that your children will avoid all illnesses and get a scholarship to Stanford. If it works for you, great; if it doesn’t, let it go and move on for the sanity of yourself, your baby and your family.

    Reply
  22. Nunya
    February 22, 2016 at 4:38 pm (1 year ago)

    Well hopefully you don’t have anymore children.

    Reply
    • carissashaw
      March 11, 2016 at 10:48 am (1 year ago)

      And grace and peace to you as well <3

      Reply
      • MMS
        March 14, 2016 at 11:16 pm (1 year ago)

        I literally almost died laughing at your reply.

        Reply
    • fran
      March 19, 2016 at 2:46 pm (1 year ago)

      Are you serious? Wow.

      Reply
    • Reece
      March 20, 2016 at 6:19 am (1 year ago)

      Really nunya , that’s absolutely disgusting

      Reply
  23. Wen
    February 22, 2016 at 4:52 pm (1 year ago)

    I want to let you know from the empty nest side of parenting that these things that people beat themselves over become so small and minor in the end. My son is 20. He went through sleep training although it wasn’t called that. He is healthy, happy and academically gifted attending a hard to get into school as a biology major in a premed track. Through the years you will hear phrases like “don’t you wish you could keep them little forever?” I was always uncomfortable with this statement. I enjoyed parenting my son, from baby to even now. It is so rewarding to get a call from our son and hear about his life. High points, low points, and everything in between. He has found a girl and things have taken a serious turn. I can not tell you how wonderful it is to watch him from the front row cheering him on. Raising him has been such a wonderful adventure and so much stinking fun, of course I would want him to have the same adventure. Those chat rooms, comments that don’t build, but just tear down please don’t pay them any mind. People are insecure and they like nothing more than to make others insecure because they then, are not alone. We knew from day one that our job as parents were to put ourselves out of a job. It’s been that thought that has allowed us to forge ahead, despite some family members and friends comments. Please continue to accommodate your and your husbands needs. By now you know, you can only run on empty for so long, before things begin to unravel. Everyone is happy when their needs are covered and they feel valued.

    Reply
    • Crystal
      February 24, 2016 at 9:50 am (1 year ago)

      I’m sure this was so hard for you to relive and share publicly. I am a “cry it out” mom. My 20, 18, and 16 year olds all survived and are well balanced kids. Never have they doubted my love for them. Glad to know Willow adjusted and I’m sure if you ask her about it, she’s not going to tell you she was scarred for life because you didn’t pick her up when she demanded it. Have a great day (and night!)

      Reply
  24. Michelle
    February 22, 2016 at 6:42 pm (1 year ago)

    Luckily I gave up attachment parenting on the advice of my doctor when my first born was only 4 weeks old. Raised 4 amazing, responsible children the youngest is 16 and my oldest is now 24. I was blessed to do this before the Internet. By the way, my daughter was so much happier on a flexible schedule and didn’t need to cry to have her needs met. She trusted me to provide her needs. She only cried the first two nights. Blessings!

    Reply
  25. Kari
    February 22, 2016 at 10:32 pm (1 year ago)

    Love this article! I went through post-partum depression with our first child b/c I had all these ideals about how parenting would be and everything was pretty much the exact opposite of how I imagined it.

    And then our second child came and she slept worse than our first child. Both came home on apnea monitors, too, which added another element of insanity.

    Parents certainly DO need sleep. Those who condemn moms for putting their child to bed differently than they do probably have really good sleepers naturally. Or they’re Zombies and don’t require sleep? I just wonder, do they really know what it’s like to not sleep for 2 1/2 years? (Yes, my daughter woke at least 6 times a night, if not more, until she was 2 1/2. I literally started pulling my hair out one night and saw myself being checked into an asylum somewhere.
    I. Was. Losing. IT.

    Fast forward to baby #3 and I’m like “whatevs” when it comes to parenting now. Seriously. I’ve been so humbled in my journey thus far as a mom, and as long as parents are loving their children, I couldn’t care less how they put them to sleep, or feed them, or diaper them…..etc…..

    Anyway, your article made me want to stand up and cheer.
    I’m saving this to re-read, and also to pass along.
    Thanks for sharing your story!

    Reply
  26. Mary
    February 23, 2016 at 11:51 am (1 year ago)

    This is one of the best articles I’ve read on motherhood. I hate the labels. I think they prevent us from doing what is best for our child. I just had my second four months ago and I’ve had to figure things out with him just like I had to do with my daughter because he is a different person! I know that as his mama I can love and care for my kids in the best way possible, but sometimes I lose my confidence when I read about how one method is supposedly best. As a mom, I need support more than anything. I’m trying my very best every single day and I believe that the majority of moms are doing the same. Thanks for writing this. It can be scary to share our feelings as moms because, at least for me, nothing makes me feel more vulnerable.

    Reply
  27. Brittany
    February 26, 2016 at 3:14 pm (1 year ago)

    I am so relieved to have found this article. I can’t even put into words the extent to which I had “lost myself” as a person when I became a Mama of two children under the age of three. I have been letting go of AP for the last 6 months or so. It started slowly at first – in two hour increments. My husband came home to find my 3 year old, my 6 mo old and myself all hysterically crying in the middle of the floor. He hugged me, kissed me, and handed me my purse. He told me to leave. Leave and don’t come back for at least two hours. Go anywhere. But go there alone. And don’t call. He saved me that day. Since then I have been able to parent the way that works best for us. All of us, baby included. She is beautiful. I love her dearly. But sometimes she cries – for several minutes – because while I would die for her, sometimes I have to shower. Or pee. This letting go of AP has given all of us a happier, healthier home. Thank you for being real with us and sharing your story Carissa. It was so refreshing.

    Reply
  28. Lisa
    February 26, 2016 at 5:02 pm (1 year ago)

    I am not a mother. I have friends who are mothers; my sister is a mother. I generally believe that mothers deserve more cookies. It doesn’t matter if your kid eats organic, gluten free homemade whatever or Easy Mac – you fed your child, have a cookie. That’s my philosophy and how I try to support the mothers I know.

    I think most people, despite the apparent vitriol, are doing the best they can. Too often, social media represents only highlights; it’s not exactly a wellspring of vulnerability. And when we are feeling unsure, to be assaulted by so much apparent perfection is demoralizing. It can cause use to turn away in shame or lash out with angry certainty.

    Parenting in this day and age is not for the faint of heart. Most parents are doing the best they can. No matter what, children need to feel loved. If that comes through co-sleeping and baby wearing or dedicated quality time after day-care, it doesn’t matter. Bravo to you for sharing a story that so many need to hear.

    Reply
    • Brittany
      April 23, 2016 at 4:39 pm (1 year ago)

      Well said Lisa. Thank you for sharing your insight.

      Reply
  29. aleasha
    February 27, 2016 at 11:38 am (1 year ago)

    Thank you!!! I never did attachment parenting with my first and he is a very loving and affectionate 9 year old. I’m about a month away from having my second and have been very overwhelmed by all that seems to be expected of parents now. I don’t understand how anybody could keep their sanity when not taking the time to attend to themself. Mom and dad need to be happy and healthy to raise happy and healthy, all children feed off the presence of those around them, you being stressed to that point is only going to feed into them feeling the same.
    Catering to a child’s every cry does not make them selfish, I firmly believe in HELPING children developed self soothing skills. That does not mean I’m evil for letting my child know they are safe and then leaving the room after I’ve checked that they are indeed fed, clean and o.k.
    I fortunately had a lot of support in this way of raising my son from family and friends. I feel sorry for the patents today that are ridiculed for doing what is best for THEIR family, everyone is different.

    Reply
  30. Katie
    February 27, 2016 at 11:53 am (1 year ago)

    You did excellently and it was clearly the right choice for your little girl when she reacted so well to it! I worked in childcare for years before I had mine so i had the advantage so seeing stories in action from a rage of styles. When my first was born we did bassinet but beside the bed for three months, then bassinet in his nursery across the hall for three months and at 6m he was already sleeping through the night fully and moved to his cot without issues. He was a dream.

    My current littlest is about to turn 6m and still in the bassinet in our room, with a dairy allergy and special milk she doesn’t sleep as long (I think it doesn’t fill her up as much?) so keeping her closer has just been easier with feeding and keeping on top of her skin troubles. That said I’m just the same in that I need to detach, I need to be my own person and this time around I too have suffered with pre and post natal depression. This post has inspired he to get moving on sleep training before it gets even later and harder.

    Thanks for sharing. Stay strong!

    Reply
  31. pdxchick
    February 27, 2016 at 12:10 pm (1 year ago)

    I’m considering becoming a parent, and just found your article. As soon as I saw “I’m not a touchy person”, I was like this is my kinda page!
    Yes, we could have completely different lifestyles, but I appreciated your honesty about needing time away. I feel your parenting style is going to be similar to what I desire. I want to love my baby but you gotta take care of yourself (mind body and soul!!) in order to be a good parent.
    Thank you for writing this! It really opened my eyes to what parenting CAN be like. πŸ™‚

    Reply
  32. Cassie
    February 29, 2016 at 12:08 pm (1 year ago)

    I was frankly shocked to read those awful comments. Good parenting does not come from a book or online article – it comes from a sensible parent who knows what she needs to be a great parent. Well done for figuring that out for yourself and Willow!

    Reply
  33. GINGER
    February 29, 2016 at 9:17 pm (1 year ago)

    I have 3 kiddos, 23,11 and 8. My parenting style/mantra is: everyday I try to get more right then I get wrong. Some days it does not go well, but I start over the next day. All we can do is try,everyday, just try.

    Reply
  34. Harshada
    March 1, 2016 at 6:29 pm (1 year ago)

    Thank you for a wonderful post.
    My daughter is 14 months old and I have struggled through almost every night to put her to sleep. When she was 4 months old I started to sleep train her using cry it out method but I could never really stick to it and gave up because my daughter used to cry for what seemed like an eternity which was never ending. So my husband and I decided to put her to sleep by whatever method works for her ( mostly nursing and then 5-10 minutes holding and and rocking her) and then transfer her to her crib. We moved her crib out of our room on her 1st Birthday( yes I know we should have done that long ago..but I didn’t like the idea of leaving her alone ) and it was a huge change for all of us. She started sleeping at least 3 hours straight in a quiet room without disturbance and was waking up two or three times for feed. Yes night time feeding is still going on but there are times when she sleeps through the night and we all get good night’s sleep.
    Of course now she is in teething phase so all this changes as per her needs at the moment and her health. If she is too cranky due to teething and doesn’t want to go back to crib we just let her sleep in our bed and she sleeps ok. So whatever works for her and for us I try to do it best. But thanks to you for this wonderful experience you have shared with us. I can totally relate to you and understand the pressure we all put on ourselves the moment we turn into mommy.
    Stay strong mommies and continue doing what you feel is right for your baby.

    Reply
  35. Anne
    March 2, 2016 at 4:49 pm (1 year ago)

    I always knew I would let my babies CIO, and I still needed the support of my husband to help me through the first few nights of crying. Even our first baby, who only took 15 minutes to fall asleep!! I really appreciate your willingness to figure out how this whole parenting thing works best for your family. Thanks for sharing!

    Reply
  36. Kathleen Zwolinski
    March 6, 2016 at 6:25 pm (1 year ago)

    How could you put up a picture of someone I know and who is dear to me on this article? Somehow you seem to think that it is okay to take someone’s photo and add it to your article as if somehow you know them. That is terrible. Just terrible. That sweet mother photo of her baby with the little white animal jacket is [redacted by site owner] and her child. You should do the right thing and take it off.

    Reply
    • carissashaw
      March 6, 2016 at 6:49 pm (1 year ago)

      I appreciate your concern. I’ll address both pictures used in this post.
      The first is a stock photo that I purchased through LightStock.com. You can find it here: https://www.lightstock.com/photos/a-mother-holding-her-newborn-baby-sitting-on-a-bed
      The second is a picture that I downloaded from Unsplash.com. Here is a link to their FAQ which explains their license: https://unsplash.com/faq
      The picture can be found here: https://unsplash.com/photos/1XzxFgCHgpo
      I only use pictures that I either took myself, download from a site such as Unsplash that offers royalty free images, or purchase through a stock photo site such as LightStock.com.

      Reply
      • carissashaw
        March 6, 2016 at 6:57 pm (1 year ago)

        And just another little note to anyone reading: Do check out the photographers profile here: https://unsplash.com/goian
        His pictures are awesome and you can visit his website from that profile.

        Reply
    • SickofTrolls
      March 6, 2016 at 9:37 pm (1 year ago)

      Looks like your friend needs to speak up if she has an issue. Looks like it’s between her and the photographer, not you and the blogger. She would have signed an agreement to allow her photographs to be used in stock photography or if she didn’t, she needs to go to the Photographer. IF YOUR friend has an issue, SHE can ask it to be taken down AND go after the photographer. SHE can demand it. YOU, however, have no legal right,.

      Reply
  37. AliceSchwarzer
    March 11, 2016 at 9:36 am (1 year ago)

    This is so sick on so many levels. If you feel like giving yourself up by being a fresh mom 24/7, you definitely did something wrong. It takes a village to raise a child, and that’s a fact. You don’t need to do it all alone, but putting baby’s needs aside just because you felt exhausted is the wrong way. But you won’t see it, because you buildet up your own way to ‘solve the problem’.

    Reply
    • Leah
      March 12, 2016 at 8:57 pm (1 year ago)

      Oh my word , because you have everything figured out, Right?? The same thing does not work for every parent! Stop hating on parents who do it differently to you! You have no right to put someone down for the way they parent, it is what works for them , just because its not the same as your way doesnt mean that is it wrong. Jeez its crazy to see that there are still mothers like this in this life that we’re in, putting others down because its not the way you read it in books , I mean really , parent the way you want to but dont hate on others for doing it differently

      Reply
    • Dru vaughn
      March 16, 2016 at 12:27 am (1 year ago)

      Oh my, how on earth did any of us know our parents loved us, and how did we survive the parenting skills before books were written to tell a parent how to be a parent. Most of this is nonsense as far as I am concerned. Common sense and love goes a very long way in raising children and in most situations in life. Excellent article, so over the constant guilting and judgement from ‘experts’.

      Reply
  38. sasha
    March 11, 2016 at 2:30 pm (1 year ago)

    I totally agree that you have to do what’s right for your personality and your baby’s. I went from not attachment parenting to full on to somewhere in the middle (we have 6 kids and each one was different). Mommy wars are nasty and I’m sorry you felt that judgement.

    Reply
  39. Megan C
    March 12, 2016 at 3:38 pm (1 year ago)

    Great post! Such a great way to explain it. And I agree, each family is different and what works for them might not work for others. I think a lot of people who look at sleep training parents think it is all about crying it out but it’s not. We began sleep training my son around 2 months and all it was putting him on a loose schedule on how he ate and slept. We may have let him fuss but we did they same thing you did, a little at a time. In no way do I believe that is crying it out. You are bravd for sharing your story. I may have to read that book you suggested before our next!!

    Reply
  40. Mindy
    March 12, 2016 at 9:31 pm (1 year ago)

    AHHHH I wish o had read this post 2 1/2 years ago! I was never adamantly AP, but in general it seemed to align with what made sense to me. We just JUST sleep trained our second using the same book because thank the good Lord someone else wrote something similar and I found it at 3 am in a fit of desperation. She was 10 months and it was stupid easy. It was like she knew she was ready months before I did. I just think more of these posts need to exist to reach those desperate moments. Thank you for being brave and sharing πŸ™‚

    Reply
  41. Carol
    March 14, 2016 at 10:55 am (1 year ago)

    I loved this post. I had a similar experience teaching my first son to sleep…I was crying in the other room and my husband had to keep talking me into it. I also really struggled with breastfeeding. I had mastitis I don’t know how many times but he was hooked. I nursed him until his first birthday and he was below the 0th percentile but wouldn’t eat anything else. Finally my doctor said to just cut him off. It was hard and I did take a week or so to quit completely, but he did start eating and drinking other things. He shot up on the growth curve, was SOOO much happier and so was I. When my second girl was having a hard time breast feeding (it came too fast when I let down and would choke her) I finally quit after 3 rounds of mastitis in 6 weeks. I realized that I was miserable and taking so much time in doing this one part of being a good mom that I was not able to focus on LOVING my baby and my two year old. I quit breastfeeding and never looked back and she is doing TERRIFIC. The kids are 2 and 4 now and very smart and I love them a lot. And we are definitely attached to each other. Thanks for writing this. I really wish someone would have told me this when I had my first and he and I were both MISERABLE while I tried to be a “good mom”.

    Reply
  42. Rebecca
    March 14, 2016 at 11:01 am (1 year ago)

    Thank you for sharing this awesome article!!! I have two boys and both were horrible sleepers. I ended up with PTSD and anxiety after both my c-sections. The sleep deprivation made it all so much worse and I always felt I was the only one who went through this. My youngest is 2 and just now starting to sleep. I can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel. Its been a long journey. I believe attachment parenting to just be loving your child. I hate that label too. All it does is impose guilt on a tired Mom who is trying her best. Thank you again for sharing!

    Reply
  43. Al
    March 14, 2016 at 6:04 pm (1 year ago)

    I can’t imagine having a child not sleeping like that, it must have been so hard! Both mine slept with us for 8 months while I nursed them to sleep, and they slept fine. Then I sleep trained them and it was pretty easy even though they were pulling themselves up in the crib by then. Mothers against that forget that you aren’t just doing it for you. It is unhealthy for the baby to not get any sleep as well. Thankfully I have never encountered anyone judgemental. Anyway, all babies are different, and what works for some does not necessarily work for others

    Reply
  44. Sarah
    March 14, 2016 at 10:09 pm (1 year ago)

    Same. Same. Same!

    I felt so awful I wouldn’t even tell our friends we tried CIO until it was over. The tipping point for me was I spent an hour putting my sweet little guy down to have him wake up 45 min later (oh and he was 9 months old). I thought – I can’t do this! Surely this isn’t how it’s supposed to be! A week into Ferber and he was sleeping 7pm-4am. You’re exactly right: New. Person.

    Thanks for being brave and sharing your experience. I’m sure you’ll get plenty hateful comments, but I appreciate you!

    Reply
  45. Justine
    March 15, 2016 at 12:15 am (1 year ago)

    This is, by far, the best summation of what so many of us feel. To each their own, but this all rang true for me! Well written. Thank you!

    Reply
  46. Alissa Marquess
    March 15, 2016 at 12:34 am (1 year ago)

    Hi Carissa, I love your courageous writing here. Thank you; you’re inspiring. Would love to connect with you as a fellow parenting blogger. Will now go pinterest and fb stalk you πŸ˜‰
    All my best,
    -Alissa

    Reply
  47. chelsea
    March 15, 2016 at 1:08 am (1 year ago)

    I TOTALLY agree that parenting styles have to be chosen individually, because we are all different. I loved the idea of giving my kids, all 3 of them, all the love and nurturing as possible, but I had to make boundaries to ensure my health too. Not sleeping is unhealthy, and I can’t be the mother I want to be with enough energy during the day to parent and teach without sleep!! BUT cry it out just wasn’t something I could do totally! What I did was nursed babies to sleep from birth and ALWAYS tried my best to put in bassinet. This didn’t work the best but I couldn’t physically do the cry it out totally. When my little ones could understand me, about 1 year. I said mommies tired I’m going to sleep and I’d lay down pretend to sleep and then let baby cry it out. I felt like that was a way for my baby to not feel alone or abandoned. They actually sounded just really angry cries at that point like they were having a temper tantrum from not getting what they wanted, which for me was fine. Because they aren’t always going to get everything they want! But this was my attachment parenting/cry it out self soothing method that I used! And I never listened to anyone else’s judgements, I just tried different things until I found what worked BEST FOR ME! And that’s what each mother should do!!!!

    Reply
  48. Vanessa
    March 15, 2016 at 1:16 am (1 year ago)

    Thank you for writing this. I honestly was lead to believe that I was a bad parent if I let her cry it out or needed a break. Ha! Even some of my family members were condemning me from getting to the point where I “lose it”. So glad to see that these feeling do occur and Im not alone in it. My daughter is 21 months old and still nurses. She doesn’t sleep through the night and wakes up to night nurse at least two times. Next baby I definitely will be sleep training. In the mean time, I’m not sure how to go about night weaning. But we will get through it. Thank you again for writing this post!

    Reply
  49. Zulejka
    March 15, 2016 at 11:21 am (1 year ago)

    Thank you for writing these. It resonated with me … I felt for you, and I remembered those days … It was a little less terrible for me, (no C-sec, and my girls did sleep a little longer but I felt drenched, fisically and emotionally spent to the point of breakdown … And AP wasn’t helping me or my babies at all! Just filling me with guilt. Blah. Your little girl is so adorable!

    Reply
  50. Liz
    March 15, 2016 at 1:38 pm (1 year ago)

    I wish I had found this article weeks ago! I have a beautiful 3mo old little girl who was born in November. It was my second C-section, and while the surgery went perfectly, I was left with crippling nerve damage. The first two months were, for lack of a better word, ROUGH. She had colic and had to be rocked and nursed around the clock. No matter how sound asleep she was in my arms, the second I put her down she woke up. I co-slept because once in bed, there was no getting up without screaming in pain. All this coupled with an active 4 year old on Christmas vacation and I was fried. Several nights my husband woke up to me rocking the baby and sobbing hysterically. I wish I had known then that I was not alone in my struggle. Finally, in the last couple weeks, we too broke the habit, and she started to go to sleep in her crib. We also dealt with lots of crying (from both of us) the first few times, but now she sleeps peacefully and is a much happier baby during the day. I had to stop reading a lot of parenting articles because of the mom-shaming. I felt like a failure and my self esteem couldn’t have been lower. We worry so much about our kids being bullied by other kids, yet we bully each other for choosing different styles of parenting. Gee, what kind of example does that set? Thanks for posting! You are an inspiration!

    Reply
  51. Tracy
    March 15, 2016 at 3:44 pm (1 year ago)

    Thank you, thank you, thank you.

    I’m lying in the dark again with my 15 month old who refuses to go to sleep without my boob in her mouth. I’m struggling with exhaustion and suspected mastitis. I feel so incredibly guilty when I think about letting her ‘self-soothe’ because of the forums and AP bulletin boards I’ve scoured during and after my pregnancy. This is exactly the type of refreshing, supportive and sisterhood esque article I needed and Im going to start reading that book once it arrives from Amazon! Your honesty made me cry because I finally feel heard and not judged.

    Thank you, thank you, thank you.

    Reply
  52. KatieOz
    March 15, 2016 at 4:16 pm (1 year ago)

    Thanks for sharing your experience! I’m sorry that so many other moms made you feel so alone and judged in your struggle. The internet is often a pit of mean, judgmental, “perfect” people :/ I think we do a great disservice to one another by not recognizing that that there isn’t one right way to parent and that what works for your child may not work for another. The labels for parenting styles are equally obnoxious and I feel like are too ridged for a lot of parents.

    I had such mixed feelings when I let my twins CIO because I had read the awful things other moms were saying – the were about 10 months old and were waking every 20 minutes from when we put them down between 8-12pm and then 3-4 times through the night. My husband and I were so exhausted and had lost any time for the 2 of us to connect (which is you know, important for your marriage) let alone the time to get all of the things done around the house that I usually would do once they went to bed. There finally came a night where we both just looked at each other and said “I can’t do this anymore”. The lack of sleep wasn’t good for any of us… especially them! The following night we decided to let them cry a bit before going in. 15 minutes… that’s how long it took after months of struggling and they slept through the night. They were so much happier come morning and have been great sleepers since.

    As some other moms have mentioned as well, the biggest judgment I felt was not being able to breastfeed. My twins were born 2.5 months early and I struggled with pumping from separation (they were an hour away) and stress. Even when they were off the feeding tube they weren’t strong enough to go to breast and by the time they were they had a strong preference for the bottle. And thus they were on formula (they always were – even with milk because they needed extra calories) and my milk dried up. I cried more tears than I care to admit over it and every blog, article and casual remark felt like a little stab at my body failing for a second time. So many comments about formula being poison, or parents choosing or having to use formula being lazy etc. But now I can look back and see that the most important thing is that my babies were fed, happy and loved.

    Reply
  53. Mar
    March 15, 2016 at 5:20 pm (1 year ago)

    I CaNNOT tell you how FREAKING awesome this article is!!! I mean AWESOME…I always have beat myself up for not being more of an attachment parenter… THis has so encouraged me and has said many of the things I believe.. GOOD for you!! So happy for you. How good of a (attachment or not) parent would one be with no rest?? I esp. got a kick out of the AP quote about raising a selfish child byteaching the reality of life that all of your needs will NOT be met on demand.. Catering to their every whim may actually have a better chance of having that outcome.. I don’t know if that’s exactly so, I don’t see how it could be the other way.Thanks for this!! Best to you

    Reply
  54. Kristine
    March 15, 2016 at 7:50 pm (1 year ago)

    This was an interesting read. I’m glad you got your child to sleep eventually. I came to North America a few years ago and found out about co-sleeping. I didn’t incorporate it because the mothers who did it hardly got any sleep! Instead, my kids and I got lots of sleep by sleeping separately and letting them fall asleep on their own. We had very little crying involved. I can honestly say that if they cried for more than 5 minutes, something was wrong.
    Recently I read this article on a Israeli study on babies’ sleep which made so much sense to me:

    “Other pregnant mothers in the study believed that babies were capable of sleeping and that they didn’t always need help from a parent to sleep. These mothers were more likely to end up letting their babies settle on their own, and their babies ended up waking less during the night. A follow-up study found that mothers’ sleep philosophies at 12 months also impacted how their children slept at four years of age.4”

    Here’s the link: http://www.janetlansbury.com/2016/02/4-eye-opening-things-science-tells-us-about-infant-sleep-guest-post-by-alice-callahan-phd/

    So if you believe your baby need you to sleep, they will sleep less! If you think your baby is capable of soothing themselves, they will!

    Lastly, I find it shocking that I’m considered lazy for not picking my child up immediately. I never turned the TV up or anything, I just waited to see if my child fell asleep or not. If my child didn’t, I would feed her or it would be time to wake up anyway. A lot of times, my kids would stir a bit, hardly crying, but then fall asleep. I say it’s rude to wake them up at that point! πŸ˜‰

    Reply
  55. Leslie
    March 16, 2016 at 2:30 pm (1 year ago)

    I appreciate this so much! My
    First 2 babies were naturally great sleepers with only a little intervention from me. They were sleeping in their cribs, all night, by around 4 months old. My third baby was a different story – he was a terrible sleeper from day 1. By 7 months old, he was displaying the same behaviors your daughter was – crying constantly, and waking up all through the night. If the things I had been doing were actually working (breastfeeding on demand, bringing him in bed with me etc), I would’ve kept doing them. But instead, we were both miserable – I was exhausted, my nerves were raw and I felt frustration toward my baby. And my son was miserable all day from his lack of proper sleep at night (and ironically, I think he was so overtired, that he couldn’t take good naps during the day either). I also felt disconnected from my husband, even though he was as helpful as he could be, and I was a grumpy, exhausted mother to my older 2 kiddos (who were 4 and 2 at the time). I finally decided I was going to sleep train, and I also read the Sleep Easy Solution. But the week before I’d decided that, my friend (who is big on attachment parenting) posted and article on the dangers of sleep training, along with the caption, “babies are NOT meant to be sleep trained” (and an angry face). So I had all the well-meaning (but incredibly judgmental) voices in my head telling me what a terrible mom I was, and that I was basically scarring my child for life. But nonetheless, I listened to my instinct, which told me that what we were currently doing couldn’t possibly be the best solution for my son. So I did the process. And after ONE terrible night (where I also went in intervals to let him know I was still there), he slept ALL through the night the very.next.night. He was a different baby – so much happier and content in the daytime, too. And the thing is, AP works for my friend and her baby. She loves it, her baby loves it, and it works for their family. I would never try to make her feel guilty for doing that, or try to coerce her into seeing the benefits of sleep training. Bottom line, AP did not work at all for my baby or our family. And I have happy, healthy, well-adjusted children who know beyond a shadow of a doubt that they are loved. We moms need to let go of the guilt and support each other! Thank you for giving mothers like me permission to let go of that guilt. πŸ™‚

    Reply
  56. Jennifer
    March 17, 2016 at 2:47 pm (1 year ago)

    Wow, I love your post, and I couldn’t have stumbled upon it at a better time. My little girl is seven months now and everything I just read about your little girl.. wow, so similar. Mine has only screamed for a little bit at night, and that was very frustrating. I couldn’t imagine if it would have gone on for hours at a time. I have had several times where I’ve snapped at her, or yelled angrily at the situation, and my husband was concerned. So I empathize with where you were at, and I’m sorry you dealt with those dark feelings. We never expect to have these feelings when we think about becoming a mommy. So with Scarlett, I can usually lay her in her cradle (next to my bed) at the start of night and she will sleep for about 45-60 min. I honestly dread bedtime and put it off because I know what is in store. I too used to sleep sitting up with my pillows propped, and her nursing all night long.. ugh. I finally couldn’t take that anymore, and now lay flat, but she still wants to nurse all night long, so she lays across my rib cage, and my back is sore. But at least I get a few winks of sleep this way! lol But it’s certainly not enough to feel rested and not have a short fuse the rest of the day. And I struggle with guilt and tell myself that she is only little for so long and I should be enjoying our time in the night.. ha! I say this to myself when we are having a great morning and the coffee has kicked in! But when I face the night, those feelings disappear. Okay, so we are starting Spring Break tomorrow, and my husband and I have been thinking it would be the perfect time to try this sleep solution. We have to older girls, ages 10 and 12, so we won’t need to worry about their sleep being interrupted if we end up having some long nights! I do have a question though. When your little one would wake up three hours later, what was your procedure? Go into the nursery and nurse? And then lay her down again? If so, did she cry all over again? I am just curious what I should expect. One might think that I should have this all figured out since I’m on my third child, but my other two were different. I’ve never experienced this before. Thank you again for your post and your transparency!

    Reply
  57. KM nc
    March 18, 2016 at 5:02 pm (1 year ago)

    Carissa thank you so much for posting this. I am a clinical psychologist and can assure you (and others) that this type of sleep training is based on sound psychological principles. Teaching our children (even as babies) to soothe themselves is exactly the opposite of “cold,” “lazy” or “cruel.” Why would we want to teach or children that they cannot do things for themselves and need to rely on their mothers all the time? Furthermore, a good mom is not the one who spends every moment of every day thinking only of her children. Self-care is just as important – a good mom is one who is well rested and happy!
    There seems to be this misconception in our society that being a good mother means putting yourself completely aside and devoting yourself completely to your kids. Come on ladies- no one expects that of the dads!

    Reply
  58. Lina
    March 19, 2016 at 1:53 am (1 year ago)

    That title was so insulting to those who do not choose to parent your way. Nobody says there is any one way to parent, but to suggest you’re a better parent for your choice is rude.

    I enjoyed the rawness in this article, I know many of mothers (myself included) that nearly lost their minds from lack of sleep.

    I however am an attachment parenter, I love it, my child and I are both very happy. We sleep great (together) we still breast-feed at 2 years old (lucky you for a self weaning baby) no bottles, no pacifiers. Blah blah. And good for you for feeling like a “better parent” but you’re not, you’re equal. You got your child to sleep in a bed (whoopee)like billions of other parents have, do, and will continue to long after you’re gone, not a huge feat. Same with my daughter and myself. To burst your bubble, there has been a study done about the “cry it out method” leaving the child for minutes at a time, and what the study shows is the exact same level of stress, body temperature, and brain waves shown in a crying infant are still shown in the babies that have been left and no longer cry, they just learn to not cry, they just learn “no one is coming for me” so they stop and sleep. But yes the exact same emotions are felt by them as if they were still crying. How sad..

    I wouldn’t have been so blunt had you not been so insulting, I don’t think you’re lazy, I think you’re a mother who was looking for sanity, who was confused and needed space (I feel you) but no need to be so arrogant and insulting as I felt you were.

    Reply
    • carissashaw
      March 19, 2016 at 5:02 am (1 year ago)

      I would agree with you if the title were “You Should Ditch Attachment Parenting to be a Better Parent.” The title is specific to me and my experience. The point of the post is to illustrate how an Attachment Parenting style does not work for everyone, and that’s okay.

      Reply
    • Kate
      March 19, 2016 at 5:31 am (1 year ago)

      Please read the above comment Lina. They do not think that ‘no one is coming for me’ … You are making this up in your own mind.

      Reply
    • Souixy
      March 19, 2016 at 10:05 am (1 year ago)

      If the OP was going in every 2-5 min, how was baby learning that no one was coming for her? A parent was going in and very soothing her ever couple minutes. She wasn’t abandoned and left to cry alone in the dark all night long. She was soothed, just not held, the OP was talking to her and “responding” just not in the way YOU think she should have been.

      Reply
  59. Souixy
    March 19, 2016 at 10:00 am (1 year ago)

    I haven’t done any sleep training…I don’t think anyway. Truth be told, with my daughter, who was in our room until 8 months, I was never immediate to her cries, because I was tired and would inwardly groan when she woke for the 3rd time in 2 hours. At 10 months, she’s still up 2x a night to nurse but I usually wait it out a minute or so to see if she’ll settle herself since she doesn’t wake full on crying, just mildly complaining. Maybe I’ve been lucky? My son slept awful but had a home health nurse. Around a year we taught him how to lay back down and go back to sleep. He’d wake up, sit up, we’d lay him back down, give butt pats. If after a few times he was still fussing, then we’d pick him up. So, maybe we did a gentle sleep training I guess. I don’t know. I don’t care. It’s what worked for us and our sanity. No one can be a good parent if they are massively sleep deprived. You took a gentle approach. You had to save your sanity. Like you said, a lot of misconception with CIO. And unfortunately, sometimes it does mean the extreme extinction technique, which I cannot fall in line behind. A gentle approach, all for it, if it works for that family. I used to try to identify as AP. Now, I’m just a parent, that just takes a gentle approach. But I yell, I make mistakes. Cuz, human.

    Reply
  60. Shannon
    March 19, 2016 at 5:36 pm (1 year ago)

    Your story is exactly why I stopped reading parenting websites and blog comments around the time my daughter was about a year old. WAY too much judgment & negativity coming at you all the time. Everyone is different and you have to do what works for YOU and your baby and your family. I always said that I’d never co-sleep because I thought it was dangerous but my daughter ended up co-sleeping with us from 8 months to 18 months because it was the only way for all of us to get any sleep at night. We had to do what worked for us. Also she was a preemie and hated breastfeeding, yet took to the bottle very well so I pumped for 6 months and she drank breastmilk out of the bottle. Despite the fact that she was still getting the benefits of breastmilk and I was pumping at all hours of the night and day, a very good friend of mine suggested that I never properly bonded with my daughter because she didn’t actually nurse. That is just crap and makes the anxiety and guilt even worse when it doesn’t need to be. Do what works for you and don’t let anyone make you feel bad. Thanks for sharing your story.

    Reply
  61. Tracy
    March 20, 2016 at 6:01 pm (1 year ago)

    Labels, schmabels. Parenting isn’t one-size-fits-all. Maybe your daughter is like you and actually prefers to not be touched so that holding her all the time was upsetting her? I’m glad things are better for you these days πŸ™‚

    Reply
  62. Brittany Ann
    March 20, 2016 at 9:19 pm (1 year ago)

    Oh my goodness. I just read this entire article and didn’t even realize it was yours til your picture at the end (I’m on my phone). I am so sorry you had to go through all of that! That is awful! I can’t even imagine! You’re a great mom.

    Reply
  63. Jen
    March 21, 2016 at 4:44 pm (1 year ago)

    You’ve blamed attachment parenting for the nightmare you went through and that’s a real disservice. You shouldn’t be judged for your parenting choices and I would never do that. I myself am an ‘attached parent’ but due to circumstances, I didn’t ‘follow all the rules.’ We all need to find what works for us… You had PPD, too little support, a baby that obviously wasn’t well (most babies now are not, so over-vaccinated and poisoned) and baby didn’t get the care she needed (which is typical) and you got crappy advice and book from the pediatrician (again typical). I don’t blame any moms… our society doesn’t help moms be the best they can be. We shouldn’t suffer trying to do what’s best for our children but without the support we need, how can we do it? We all do the best we can.

    Reply
    • KT
      March 25, 2016 at 10:34 pm (1 year ago)

      A baby who cries all the time is most likely an overtired one, as the article pretty well gestured to by pointing out that once this little one was sleeping better, she got happier during the day. No need to blame vaccines for what catnaps and interrupted sleep cause. My oldest was an emotional mess when she wasn’t sleeping as a newborn and still is if she sleeps poorly as a preschooler

      Reply
  64. Sarah
    March 22, 2016 at 6:31 am (1 year ago)

    I could have written this about my 2nd child. I thought I had somehow broken her by letting her sleep on me for her first few weeks of life. When we finally sleep trained her at 10 months old, we used a gentle method according to Good Night Sleep Tight. The first night was hell. Anyone who thinks training is lazy is either doing it wrong or choosing not to understand what it really is. 3 nights into it I was kicking myself for not doing it sooner. And just like you said, when she finally slept, she was so much happier and healthier! It turns out that helping her sleep was the opposite of selfish – it’s one of the more important things I did for HER health, as well as my own.

    Reply
  65. Jessica
    March 26, 2016 at 1:17 am (1 year ago)

    I really appreciated your raw honesty in this post, something most moms can’t admit for fear of backlash, but that we can certainly all relate to. I’ve refused to classify myself AP ever since I got pregnant with my 2nd child (4 years ago). I was so into but I’m fairly certain no one can live up to it. It definitely doesn’t take into account the mother or baby’s individual temperaments and personalities. I got to the point where if I heard “when you know better, you do better” one more time I was going to lose my mind. Great post, I’m glad someone touched on this subject.

    Reply
  66. Bette Anne
    April 2, 2016 at 4:50 pm (1 year ago)

    Carissa,
    Wow! I am so amazed at what you went through. I on the other hand have not much cared what others do. I watch those with amazing results and common sense. Our girl had some different situations when she was born some health issues. We still had her sleep in her own bed. She didn’t sleep much but she didn’t cry she goo-goo’d and made noises. She was happy as can be. The odds were not always in her favor but she was Co/Valedictorian, she is a Junior in College and has a lot of Independence and confidence. She is amazing(maybe a little sassy like her Momma)but she is definitely an amazing child who knows she has always been loved and have people who believe in her abilities to do whats best for her. She does all this 2500 miles away from us and loves to come home and bond. I worked in the schools for a few years recently and have personally experienced children who can not listen to a person in charge or do as their told because they have been taught they are the center of the Universe. I feel sorry for parents who think they are doing their children a service by allowing them to be number one in a family of 2 or 3 or 6. A family is a team. Sometimes I’m the big cheese and you are not. Respect & Honor goes a very long ways. Sorry I got a little windy. So much to say on this. I admire you for knowing what your family needed. People are not animals you can not look at a book/manual and train us all the same. I came over to your blog from Sheila Gregoire’s.

    Reply
  67. Kate
    April 25, 2016 at 1:05 pm (1 year ago)

    Thank you so much for writing this and being so so honest!

    Pregnant with my first, I also thought I was going to be a “perfect parent”, that my baby would never cry because I would always be there to know what she wanted, but the reality was quite different. From breastfeeding problems, to constant crying, unable to settle…it was a nightmare. Then we did the sleep training and things did turn around.

    There were some very dark days that I shudder to think of now…

    I now have a second child, and at 12 weeks the experience has been completely different. I think a bit of it is due to her having a more placid temperament, but it is mostly down to not having ridiculous expectations of myself and realising that every family has to do what is right for them and nobody has any right to judge other mums that are doing the best that they know how for their own situations.

    Thanks again xx

    Reply
  68. Shannon
    May 14, 2016 at 1:59 pm (1 year ago)

    I love this post so much. I could’ve written it. Sounds like our daughters were very much the same and I would even say that the AP philosophy actually damaged our attachment in those early months! It nearly killed me. To each their own and do what works! Thank you for writing such an honest, open dissenting piece amongst the overly-AP rhetoric in the parenting blogosphere! Bravo!

    Reply
  69. amsterdammom
    June 1, 2016 at 2:35 am (1 year ago)

    Just wanted to say thank You! my 3mo baby girl suffered from terrible silent reflux and spent the first 10 weeks of her life crying, refusing sleep and fighting the boob. Nurging her all the time exhausted me physically mentally and made me feel like a failure as t only caused her pain, and while i always looked forward to babywearing, for us it meant walking around in circles in our living room only to have her scream again if I stopped moving for a second. While I whole heartedly believe AP works great for some moms and some babies, it is the judgement from other AP parents which has been a big turn off for me. Nothing I did, not holding her, nursing her or sleeping with her in one bed stopped her from crying and after 9 weeks of this I felt like an utter failure. Thankfully a specialist identified her GERD, and now with meds (nexium) we have a different baby. A happy baby. I never want to go back to those dark sleep deprived days and decided that both mommy and baby need some structure and space now that baby is pain free and able to sleep again. She has a set bed time and we loosely follow (the horror) some kind of schedule and I do not believe that her crying (not hysterically!!) for 5 mins before dozing off does her any harm. call me selfish, but my baby is much much much happier and benefits far more from a mom who is not depressed and sleep deprived.

    If you talked to me before my baby was born, I would’ve raised an eyebrow at the thought of schedules, sleep training and ditching co-sleeping. But many AP parents who never lived with an inconsolable baby who rejects your breast, your touch and hugs have NO idea what it is like “to just wait till it gets better”. some babies NEED medication or a different parenting style so they can thrive.. Hugs and milk and babywearing alone are sometimes, unfortunately, not enough to make both baby and momma thrive.

    So thanks again for your courage to write this post!

    Reply
  70. Sarah Switzer
    September 20, 2016 at 7:05 pm (10 months ago)

    I used AP methods with my first born, a strong willed, wonderful little boy. What a mess!! I’ve been in various levels of sleep training him since he was 18 months old. He is now two and a half! I started “sleep training” my second child (a sunny little girl) at about 4 months old. It took a few minutes of fussing, for a few nights, and we were done. She had slept happily through the night ever since. And I don’t mean 5 hours. She sleeps from 8 pm until 8 am EVERY NIGHT. My little boy is absolutely struggling to learn what his sister managed by the time she was 4 months old. Sigh.. I did him such a disservice by becoming his human pacifier.

    Reply
    • Shannon Tessier
      September 21, 2016 at 7:55 am (10 months ago)

      Don’t beat yourself up. FWIW, my strong willed first born was easy to sleep train. My second easier baby sleeps like crap and she’d cry all night long if I let her (longest was 2.5 hrs…I stopped at that point). A lot of it just comes down to the individual child and their temperment.

      Reply
  71. Joelle
    July 7, 2017 at 7:13 pm (3 weeks ago)

    I wrote about sleep training and AP on my blog as well. The difference is I didn’t read about AP beforehand so i did what came naturally and didn’t follow any rules. Your post is so honest and real! I remember the first time i let my son cry in his crib for awhile (somewhere between 3-4 months), broke my Momma heart but after a week when he was a fully rested happy baby i knew it was worth it. We sleep train for them as much as for us. Sleep is a learned skill, a life skill. And happy rested Mamas have more time & energy to play with their happy rested babies.

    Reply

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