Skip to content

Progress with a painful price

My little boy is beginning to sit up on his own.

image   image  

That’s the good news, unless of course you ask my wife. If she had her way, Charlie would remain an infant forever.

The bad news is that Charlie has also begun rolling over on his own, meaning that we can no longer swaddle him at night. As expected, this lack of swaddling impacted his sleep considerably last night.

On Wednesday night, Charlie slept for almost 13 hours straight without a peep.

Last night he wailed for 40 minutes after I put him to bed, and he cried again for lengthy stretches of time at 10:00 and midnight. 

Listening to a crying baby is never easy, and I was home alone last night, which compounded the difficulty.

Except I wasn’t actually alone.

After putting Charlie to bed, I joined my three-year-old in her bedroom to read books, sing to her, brush her teeth and tuck her in. As we read, we listened to Charlie cry on the other side of the wall. At one point I said, “Poor Charlie. I hate to listen to him cry.”

Clara said, “He’ll go to sleep, Dad. He just has to cry for a little while.”

I told Clara that Mommy and I did the same thing for her when she was a baby, because we knew how important it was to teach her to go to sleep on her own. This is a child who loves her bed so much that she refused to sleep in our bed after banging her head on the floor and suffering a possible concussion. Instead, I had to wake up every hour to check on her.

If done right, sleep training works wonders. But it’s not easy. 

“It was so hard listening to you cry, too,” I told Clara. “But we wanted you to grow up and be a good sleeper.”

Clara smiled. “Thanks, Dad.”

It still wasn’t easy to listen to my baby boy cry it out in his crib, but after talking to Clara, it was a little easier.

The wisdom of a three year old. I know many parents who would do well to follow it. Myself included.