Put a Bib on It

Bedtime Stories


Is crying ever "good" for babies?It’s downright heart breaking when my son is crying so hard that it becomes difficult for him to breathe, especially when I know the tears are my fault.

Bedtime routines have been painless for Ev since the very beginning (he was sleeping through the night at nine weeks old), and we’ve always been thankful for that. As an infant, Ev had reflux so we had to hold him upright for at least 30 minutes after a feeding and he inevitably fell asleep. We found it cruel to wake him up only to lay him in the crib so that he could teach himself to “self soothe” and fall asleep, so we didn’t. We wondered if the time would come when we would have to leave him to “cry it out.”

But the timing never felt right until a very sleepless week in Florida when Ev was about six months old. He slept in a pack-n-play right next to our bed, and all week he woke up throughout the night. My husband and I had to take turns rocking him back to sleep each and every time. On our flight back home I told my husband that something clearly wasn’t working and that weekend we would sleep train him. I knew it would be tough on me, so we planned who would tend to him when he was crying and how we would handle it. That Friday night we swaddled him up as tight as we could and laid him in his crib with eyes wide open. He fussed for about 5 minutes before I went in and rubbed his back and soothed him a bit. He fussed for less than 5 minutes more and was sound asleep. From that point on, we just laid Ev in his crib and he would go right to sleep for at least 11 hours, if not 12 or 13. It really reassured us that we had waited until the best time and really followed Ev’s timing.

But now, bedtime is getting hard. While he’s great putting on his pajamas and reading books before bed, when I put him in his crib he just screams and cries. If I pick him up he lays his head on my shoulder and it’s just the sweetest thing. It’s so hard to put him back in his crib where he starts to wail again! I don’t know if he is going through a phase or if something is scaring him, but I can’t bear to think of him crying himself to sleep.

Part of me thinks Ev just feels like he is missing a party, so he is trying to work me so I let him stay up. But ALL of me just wants this to stop because when I know that holding him will help him stop crying, it’s so hard not to do just that.

7 thoughts on “Bedtime Stories

  1. I feel your pain! its awful but imagining he’s scared etc will drive you insane. I hated this time in all my childrens lives. I tried so many different methods I cant endorse any.The only thing I do know is that it does end…. eventually.

  2. I have found that both myself and my toddler (30 months) are happier when I hold her until she is calm. I lie with her every night either until asleep or calm, if she is still awake I tell her that I am going to have a cup of tea, bath or do laundry, if she is still crying 5 mins later I go back and cuddle again, I then give a quick cuddle and tell her that I will be back again later. I have 2 older children in their 20’s and now realize that this precious time is over all too soon and would rather that we both cherish this special time.

    • I appreciate your reflection about the 20 year old children compared to your 30 month old. It’s true, these are times to cherish. Bedtime is getting better. I feel like Ev was going through a phase. I hope so anyway.

  3. Sadie, I say follow your heart! If you want to hold him and let him fall asleep on you, just let him. For whatever reason, he has the need to feel close to you right now more often than before. I really don’t like to let babies to “cry it out”. He is trying to telling you something and I guess it’s just “mama I love you and want to be close and feel safe while I relax”. It won’t last long and then you will miss his yearning for you 😦 I hope everything works out soon and you get enough rest in the meantime!
    I have sleep problems too – my 3-year-old thinks he has grown out of naps, but turns into a monster at 4pm without an afternoon snooze, and bedtime is really hard…with every age a new challenge!
    Good Luck!

  4. Pingback: Wide Awake | Put a Bib on It

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