Thursday, April 25, 2013

A Baby's View of the Cry It Out Approach

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I know the pain of having an infant that will not sleep if they are not held or touched. The agony of not being able to get your older baby to go to sleep without rocking or nursing. But that doesn't last forever.... They're only little, sweet, and fully dependent on us for a limited period of time. So why shouldn't we do all we can to nurture their trust in us? Does it mean making sacrifices? It sure does. But that's part of being a parent. I'll admit to being so despondent that I tried the "cry it out" approach with my son for all of 8 seconds. That's it. That's as long as I could sit outside that door and hear him cry because he needed me. Those 8 seconds still haunt me over 9 years later.... That night, I thought about how it must feel for babies to experience CIO. Here's what I penned down....
bedtime is my favorite part of the day…  a time for dark, quiet, tenderness as she rocks me in the chair, humming softly.  her hand gently pats my back to the beat of her heart.  nuzzled in the nape of her neck, i can smell the sweet scent of her that surrounded me all those months while i was in her womb.  it is that scent that i can sometimes still smell on my blanket when she’s not near me. 
but tonight, something is different.
there is no rocking, no patting… no her.  she just places me down, alone in this crib.  what happened?  what’s wrong? i’m scared… where is she going?  terrified, i watched as she walks towards the door, her figure growing smaller, but my panic rising up in my throat.  the door is only shut for a few seconds before i cannot contain it within me anymore.  she must’ve made a mistake.  this isn’t how we do bedtime.  i let forth a cry, knowing that she’ll be right back for me.  she’ll hold me, pat me, love me. 
but it doesn’t work. 

why isn't she coming?  i cry out louder and louder.  and still she stays behind that door.  the cold darkness closes in on me as i wail so loud, my throat burns.  my little heart races as my mind struggles to figure out why i am alone. 

i need her.
i need her arms.
i need her smell.
her voice.
her touch.


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