You Have To Let Him Cry It Out

You Have To Let Him Cry It Out

"You have to let him cry it out.  It's not a big deal, it's only two, maybe three nights? And then, they sleep. You'll see....I was a wreck when I did it, but now it's all good."

The first night wasn't so bad.

Steven and Monica looked at each other in disbelief as Henry's crying slowed and then stopped. She glanced at the clock--25 minutes--5 trips in to calm him down. The schedule said to wait 10 minutes, but that had seemed inhumane and they went in before he got extremely upset.

He slept until about two o'clock in the morning. Steven ninja-sprinted to pat his tummy and amazingly, Henry went back to sleep.

The second night, they had been warned, it would be worse, and it was.

Henry took one look at the crib and clung tightly. Steven pried him off Monica and set him in the crib and patted his chest. Monica left. Henry cried harder. Steven calmed him, and then joined Monica in front of the video monitor. The sound was turned off. 

"I can't bear to hear him cry. This can't be right--it doesn't feel right. I wouldn't want to be left alone, if I were upset. But, everyone says this is how it is. He'll get used to it, I guess. I guess we all do." 

Steven wrapped his arms around her and comforted her. They watched Henry cry and heard his cries through the wall.

Monica's phone dinged--time to check--Henry was still crying. Steven went in to soothe him. He patted him and whispered "You'll be okay buddy... just go to sleep." And left the room.

He came back and held Monica, and they sat, glued to the monitor, again.

Steven went in again. And again. And again. And again. And again. He made sure not to go in before five minutes had elapsed. After an hour, he sat on the chair in Henry's room, with tears rolling down his face, and kept his hand on Henry's chest until he finally fell asleep.

Monica watched them on the monitor. 

On the third night, Steven and Monica sadly completed each step of Henry's bedtime routine. Monica nursed Henry and handed him to Steven with tears in her eyes. Steven put Henry in his crib and sat next to him on the chair, his hand slowly stroking his chest. Henry cried and cried. Then he slowed and after a few minutes, he fell asleep and Steven tiptoed out of the room barely able to believe it.

Steven and Monica lay down on their bed. She nestled her head on his arm. They drifted into sleep. Exhausted. 

20 minutes later, Henry started screaming.

Monica leaped out of bed ran to Henry's room and Steven followed. He was now screaming, crying, and barely able to catch his breath. 

"Something's wrong! I can't do this any more!"

"Honey... I can't either." 

They sat side-by-side on the couch and Monica nursed Henry. Monica cried as she expressed how upset she was, and how guilty she felt, for upsetting Henry. Henry nursed and dozed. Each time he released the nipple, he cried in a panic, rooting to find it. Each time he cried, Monica felt her tears well up. Steven stroked her hair and her shoulders. 

Henry fell into a deep sleep. Monica carried him into their room and slid him into the bassinet. He was too big for it really, but for tonight, it would do. She lay down on her side with her hand out-stretched onto his chest. Steven pulled in tightly behind her. He stroked her arm and soothed her. 

"He'll be OK. We'll find a way so he doesn't cry. He's too little to be left alone. That's all he was trying to tell us."

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