Jessiey, “Let your baby cry it out sometimes.” Tip #4
Jessiey was quick to contribute her top 7 tips. As a single, teen, parent she has learned a great deal in her young life. I think Moms everywhere will appreciate what Jessiey has to say.
Crying was a big theme in Jessiey’s tips. She mentioned it in tips 3/7 of her tips. Crying has always been a tough one for me, whether it was my tears or my baby’s tears. Letting Michael cry was a battle. Letting myself cry is still a bit of a challenge.
I remember learning new babies will not cry without reason. Then, I learned it was okay to let them cry. I was so confused!
In my experience, during Michael’s first year, there usually was a reason. Little infants are not developed enough to “trick” Moms by crying. Michael would usually be needing food, sleep, changing, or maybe wanting to snuggle. Sometimes he was trying to tell me he had a sore tummy, an earache, or a tooth coming in.
Before long however, it seemed Michael identified some benefit to crying, especially at bedtime. He had stamina too! Each minute seemed like an hour.
I guess in hindsight, even thought I thought he was trying to ‘trick’ me, his tears may have been real on some level. Maybe he was afraid, or sad. Bedtime was darker, quieter, lonelier. It is kind of scary when being forced into something different, like a toddler bed. I was never really sure what was real, or when it was right to step in.
Today, I do better understand Jessiey’s point that it is “okay that they cry.” The trick is knowing when it’s “okay,” and when they are needing something more.
Jessiey’s comment brought me back to an uncomfortable memory. Michael was much older, about seven. I remember he was coughing and coughing. To me it sounded like an insincere cough.
I assessed, we had just moved, new school, neighborhood, and friendships. I thought he was looking for attention, struggling with the transition. His cough was so persistent I brought him to the hospital, just to prove he was faking. I even suggested that to the Doctor.
To my complete humiliation, Michael had pneumonia. I was so embarrassed, and I thought I was a horrible person and Mother. I beat myself for not knowing, and for not believing him. That was a terrible day!
I guess the moral of my story is, check all the “boxes.” The younger they are, the more likely there is a message for Mom in the tears. The older they get, maybe a little crying time is ok. I think it’s hard to know. Even after 7 years of parenting, my Mom skills weren’t so sharp.
One thing I know for sure, if I didn’t let him cry it out, he may have been 16 before he slept in his own room! I also know for sure, if I didn’t seek medical help, things could have been a fatal. Don’t be afraid of a second and/or professional opinion.
As great as Moms are, sometimes, we just don’t have all the answers.
For more relevant reading, https://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/01/17/babies-fake-crying_n_4618963.html