Crying It Out... but not on purpose

I had to put Emily to bed myself as David had to work late tonight and it was horrible!

I had completed her nighttime routine, laid her in her crib sound asleep and was in the middle of dinner when she woke up. I had a pot boiling on the stove, garlic bread in the oven and a saute pan on high heat... I couldn't just leave everything to rock her back to sleep so, the most I could do was try the "shush pat" and put her pacifier back in her mouth. This went on for nearly an hour and my heart was breaking a little at a time. I could hear her crying, screaming over the baby monitor in the kitchen and each time I would go into her room to try and soothe her back to sleep, she would reach for me, grabbing onto my hands so tight her nails were digging in my skin. Tears were streaming down her face and she was all sweaty from screaming. I tried to stay calm but I began to cry and pray for David to come home and help me.

Over the baby monitor, I noticed her screams turned into sobbing, which turned into a quiet whimper and eventually, silence. She literally cried herself to sleep, which in the world of parenting is known as CIO: Crying It Out. CIO is a method of sleep training which basically involves you putting your child down to nap or to bed awake and letting them put themselves to sleep, mostly by crying. David and I don't agree with this method and have never felt it was right for Emily so, you can imagine how difficult this was for me knowing that is exactly what happened.

I could have turned off the stove and oven, ruined dinner and gone into her room to rock her back to sleep but I didn't. Honestly, I felt pangs of guilt and I felt like a failure the first hour she was asleep. I felt selfish, too! All I could think about was how she was feeling as she was lying there, hysterically crying out for her mother and then, feeling abandoned that I never came for her. I'm crying all over again typing this post. This was, by far, the worst day of my life.

A friend told me that Emily is fine and knows she is loved and did not fall asleep feeling abandoned and I do believe her but I cannot wipe away these guilty tears so easily. Being a mother is the hardest and, yet the best thing I have ever done in my life and I can only hope that she is not scarred from this, that she will sleep ok tonight and that she will be her happy self tomorrow.


  1. Amanda,

    So sorry you had a rough night, but please don't beat yourself up about it. It is very evident that Emily is a very happy, well loved baby, which can only be attributed to her parents style of parenting and creating a loving and safe environment for her.

    One night of letting her cry will not change this. I can assure you that Emily will wake up today and you will see no evidence of last night in her behaviour. In fact I am sure you will be greeted with her usual smiles!!

    I am sorry you had a rough night, just know that you are a great mother and that you did no wrong!


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