Friday, November 11, 2011

Did you ever learn to self-soothe?

I came upon a very interesting article today through Omaha Area Natural Parents about self-soothing and how it can shape a child. I have always been completely against the "cry it out" method of teaching children to self-soothe themselves into going to sleep. Many people have scolded me to let Ada Louise cry herself to sleep during the night so that she would finally sleep through the night. We tried this once two nights ago, well...not fully. I woke up with Ada Louise at around midnight to feed her. At around 3:45 she woke up, again. I thought, ok, well I guess I will try this just this once. She screamed and screamed (it was a mad scream, not a sad which case I would have bolted to her immediately). She did fall asleep within about 5 minutes, but it completely ruined my day. Yes, I am really, really tired from Ada Louise still not sleeping through the night at 11 months old, but I want to comfort her...I want to be there for her. I want her to know that I will always be there for her and always help her when she needs it. I am her mother and I have to comfort her. It just doesn't feel right to let her cry. This article really illustrated exactly my thoughts and feelings on this issue, by comforting Ada Louise I am modeling for her how to soothe herself. I am validating (yikes, the most widely overused psychological term...sorry for that!) her feelings, but offering her a solution that she can learn from. Ada Louise is highly social, outgoing, trusting and giving. I feel that she is this way from the soothing pattern that we have modeled for her....well, that and she takes after her dad's personality. I respect the decisions of others to make the choices that are best for their children. I simply feel on this issue that I have to go with my gut and what I feel is right for Ada Louise.....and just a little update, Ada Louise DID sleep through the night last night! All the way through...7-6. Amazing. Of course, I still woke up to check on her a few times...but she was sleeping sound as a little bug in a rug.
Itty Bitty Ada Louise photo courtesy of the AMAZING and WONDERFUL, Becca Wersland

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