• The Crying Game
  • Author avatar
    Amelia Slocombe
  • motherhoodsleep

The Crying Game

The Crying GameI am going to write about something which is perhaps a little bit controversial. When Arthur was born, he was not one of life's natural sleepers (whether during the day or night, for that matter). In fact, he didn't sleep through the night until he was eight months old.

By that point, I was pretty knackered. I had gone back to work full-time when Arthur was just three months, leaving him in the capable hands of my husband. But because I was still breastfeeding, when I first went back to work, it was still me getting up in the night to feed him. The problem with this arrangement was that it was killing me!

Despite being a lawyer accustomed to pulling the odd all-nighter, it turned out that that didn't translate into being able to cope with many weeks of fragmented sleep. It got to the stage when I was going to bed at 7.30pm, just so that I could cope with Arthur's 2.30am and 5.30am feeds. You may think that sounds like I got plenty of sleep - but I didn't - it turns out that once I was woken from a deep slumber, it took me a good hour to go back to sleep again. Sometimes I didn't go back to sleep at all.

Anyway, it got to the stage when I simply had to have Arthur sleep through the night, and quickly. Because my work was suffering, my life with Ed was suffering and my relationship with Arthur was suffering.

It took 5 days. Because I was brutal and I let him cry it out. Fortunately he didn't cry for that long - but the first night it took 40 minutes for him to go back to sleep, during which time I sat outside his bedroom door, rocking like a crazy person. I initially thought I was a terrible mum.

And I didn't tell anyone I'd done it.

But do you know what?

Having now read countless blogs from mothers on their high horse, telling me with great authority that you should never let your child cry it out under any circumstances, regardless of what scientists say, I feel a need to speak out. In support of all those other mothers out there who probably did the same thing but feel too ashamed to admit it.

Well I am admitting it. And whilst I do feel a bit guilty that I resorted to it, I maintain the view that, for Arthur, there was no other way. And whilst other mummy friends who used gentler techniques now have toddlers who wake up in the night when they have so much as a sniffle, Arthur will happily sleep through unless he really needs me. So to all those mums out there who are reading this and felt secretly bad that they let their baby cry it out to enable them to get a full night's sleep, don't be.

Every baby is different.

Every mother is different.

Do whatever is best for you.

And don't listen to the preachers who think they know best. They probably had an easier baby anyway.


  • Author avatar
    Amelia Slocombe
  • motherhoodsleep

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