Leave a baby to cry? No way

The past five months have gone by in a blur. The birth and my maternity leave are just a memory now. At times I look at the little munchkin and have a hard time remembering her as a newborn. She is full of personality these days, laughing, always smiling and talking to us and just being a little person. The little baby part of her is disappearing at an extremely fast rate; I just can’t believe how big she is getting.

She is starting to sit up now and reach forward and grab whatever toy happens to be just out of her reach. Her big brother thoroughly enjoys placing things just out of her grasp and watching her go for them; this usually results in a face plant onto the comfy quilt on which she is sitting (No nose dives into the hardwood floor for my baby.). She is just a happy, sunny little girl and she couldn’t be more perfect. Well, that’s not entirely true; she could be more perfect at night, when she decides she still wants to wake up after bedtime.

Yes, at 5 months old she is still waking up to eat in the middle of the night. I have tried almost everything and starting at 3 weeks old she slept through the night occasionally, but usually she gets up one time for about 15 minutes and is back asleep until morning. I don’t mind doing that, but even though daddy and I take turns every other night, it’s still tiring when we both are working almost nine-hour days.

Lately she has started waking even more, not to eat, but just fussing and wanting her pacifier. This was not a big problem with Ben; if you all remember, he slept in our bedroom until he was 2 years old. But, I have tried to do better with this angel, and she is sleeping upstairs in her crib already. So, getting up a few times in the night is terrible when you have to navigate the narrow death trap that we call stairs and tiptoe past the boy so as not to wake him. It’s a struggle.

I have tried everything: We swaddle her, she eats well during the day, she naps well but not too often, she is stimulated and gets fresh air. We are even weaning her from her midnight feeding, dropping an ounce a week (We’re at 2 ounces now.). The only thing I haven’t tried is letting her cry it out. This is a bone of contention between my girlfriends who are mothers and me. A few think that I should just let her cry, and I’m sure after a few nights it would work, but I’m just not capable of doing that. My No. 1 excuse is that she would wake the boy from his deep slumber and then I would have two awake children on my hands. But, in reality, I have never been a mother who was able to let a little one like her cry anything out. Sure, when Ben gets mad at us now I let him cry it out, usually he’s faking it anyway, but she’s so little. I just can’t do it. I mean, really, is she going to grow up to be a sociopath if I go to her at night? No, I don’t think so.

So, until she is able to sleep all night, we will get up with her and if she needs therapy because I didn’t let her cry it out, well, my girlfriends can have a fundraiser and pay for it. Sweetly we will dream on and sleep as well as we can, at least every other night when it’s not my turn.

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