Posted by: mountainmomma18 | October 12, 2009

I am so not good at faking a hearing loss, but what else to do?

At a playdate with some friends, and friends of friends this weekend a topic came up on which I dread. I will do anything not to be sucked into this conversation; I will suddenly need to leave the room for a drink of water, a diaper change or an important phone call. Or I will become fascinated with pictures on a wall, or books stacked neatly on a shelf, or at the very least be struck deaf “what? I’m sorry I didn’t hear you.” The topic of course is the most controversial of all mom topics: cry it out. I avoid this topic like the plague not because I fear judgment or worry I will lose my temper. The problem is that I do not really have strong opinions on the subject. I guess I assume that barring laziness and neglect, which are totally different subjects, that people know their kid, and they know what will work, and know what won’t. Well maybe I have one opinion, I think probably that you shouldn’t try cry it out until your kid is 6 months. When the conversation turns this way I can see the room divide and I honestly do not know where to stand because like most things in my life I never take the simple road. Did the bug cry it out, kind of, at 11 months I let her cry it out for a preset 10 minutes, after 7 she was fast asleep and we have rarely had any sleep issues after that. But the road to those ten minutes was a long, long one. I often say that I am an infant sleep expert- not because the bug had a sleep issue, which she did although compared to others it was mild- but because I have read every infant sleep book currently in print. I am not over exaggerating, I mean all of them. When I say this people who do not know me often look at me with a skeptical lift of their brow, while people who do know me give a little shrug like “sounds like you” and wait for me to go on with the rest of the conversation. This is because reading and researching is how I process, how I figure stuff out, which often makes me annoying I am sure since I also have a photographic memory (I will totally forgive anyone who would like to not be my BFF anymore, I know I am a Geeky Mcgeekerson, so I will understand). So anyway, the bug started sleeping 6-8 hours a night between 2-4 months, I thought that we had won the baby lottery, well except for naps, which she only took while being held or in her swing. She also slept in her car seat because reflux meant that sleeping on her back was not happening. By the time she was four months old we started a bedtime routine and transitions to the crib, all did not go well. At first I was worried that she would immediately flip on her tummy, but her pediatrician was un-phased, at four months if she wanted to sleep on her stomach that was fine. But then it was the never ending night waking, the playing and screaming and bottles. We were exhausted, which is when I turned to the well known books, which were good for general ideas, but they needed to be tweaked for my very stubborn baby. By 9 months my husband was done, he was ready to let her do a little crying, I was not convinced. I thought maybe it would be too cruel, so many people said no never do that to your kid, but just as many said that kids need their sleep and the sooner they learn to sleep the better off they will be, so I told my husband we could try, soon. But I kept putting it off, so one night the husband sent me on an errand and put the bug to sleep. He read her two stories, gave her a bottle and rocked her for a bit, then he laid her down and left the room. He set the clock for 10 minutes, after 7 she was fast asleep. Now I am a bit better about letting her cry a little, especially since I can tell what is a real cry and what is a fake cry. But I still do not want to be dragged into that conversation because inevitable someone will judge your choices or think that you are judging them. But I think I do need a new strategy for avoidance because no one really thinks that I have gone deaf.



  1. Whatever works, right? I do the thing where you leave for five minutes and if they’re unhappy you go back to tell them all is ok and leave them to it again. I’ve done that with both kids (obviously only from sometime after six months – can’t remember when) and I think between them, this has resulted in less than an hour TOTAL crying time. It’s not controlled crying, it’s common sense. And my kids are very happy and not at all scarred (by this experience at least).

  2. I am a whatever works kind of person too. Plus, that is a nice conversation ender, so I don’t even have to pretend a hearing loss.

    My girl sometimes gets wound up about something and has to settle herself down. She’s been doing that forever. I wouldn’t let her cry it out when she was an infant, but I learned to wait a few minutes to see if she just needed a little release or if she was really unhappy.

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