It’s 2am and your child is crying up a storm again. Do you let him cry it out? Do you pick him up and rock him? Do you lay with him until he falls asleep?
Think about the next day
I’ve heard every side of the debate and they all have their extreme believers. There are those who let their kids cry it out and claim their kids were better off for it and there are those who get up at midnight, pack their child into their car, and drive around for hours to calm him down because they can’t stand to hear the nighttime wailing.
Each side of the argument tries to support its claims with evidence. No study, however, can be generally applied to all families and all circumstances. The family that has a single child is not the same as the one that has three children sharing the same room. The child who wakes up coughing from a cold is not the same as the one who was woken up by the dishwasher being turned on.
Bottom line is each parent can agree on something: they want what is best for their kids. Sometimes that means not responding to the 2am crying if that ultimately provides more rest for everyone. For that family, those extra minutes or hours of sleep may mean a more patient parent during the daytime instead of a frustrated and exhausted one. Sometimes that means just the opposite and holding your child’s hand for thirty minutes as he finds his way back to sleep. For this family, that may be more important than the 30 minutes of sleep.
Do what works for you in that moment, for that child, and for your family as a unit. All children will benefit from a thoughtful plan and sleep routine that provides everyone with what they need.
What do you think?
Comment below to share your strategies with other parents. How do you decide when to let your child cry it out?