Crying It Out At Bedtime

It is one in the morning. My daughter is in bed. She is not asleep. She is screaming her little head off, and we are letting her. My husband and I tried everything. She does not want to sleep. She wants to come out and hang out with us. We want to go to sleep. My husband has work in the morning, and I have a two week old who will be waking up in a matter of minutes for his nightly feedings. Our daughter needs to go back to sleep.
We are letting her cry it out. We have never done it to this extent. We have let her cry for a few minutes in the past, testing to see if maybe she will calm herself down, but usually we give in and go back in her room. Not this time. There is no consoling her, not after this many hours. We have no choice.
I am sitting up in bed nursing my son, listening to my daughter’s shrieks and screams coming from the other room, and it is hard. I feel inadequate, and hearing her saddens me. I know it is for her own good in the long run, but what is a mother to do?
She has been acting up at bedtime ever since her baby brother arrived a few weeks ago, and it is getting worse and worse every night. She needs to learn that bedtime is bedtime. She cannot continue to get away with prolonging it to all hours. Thankfully after about fifteen minutes the crying subsides. She finally falls asleep. But is she asleep? Or is she just lying there quietly because she feels abandoned? I know better than to go into her room as that would ensure another round of screaming. I hope she is asleep.
Did you ever have to let your child cry it out? What did you do?
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2 comments

  1. I have always let my kids cry themselves to sleep, within reason. They are smarter than we think, they are simply testing us to see what we will do. Jealousy is always a factor, I too have a toddler and a newborn. Our toddler has had moments of jealousy with regards to her new baby brother. She doesn’t quite understand why he gets to sleep in our room and she doesn’t.

  2. I let my kids cry it out too. I don’t know what the age difference between your two, but if she hasn’t gotten “a big girl bed” yet then you might want to tell her that if she goes to bed without crying and whining that she might be old enough to get a cool new bed. Then go out to Target, get a little tent bed with a theme (like Princess or whatever she is interested in) and make a big deal out of it. That worked for me, but like we all know, every kid is different and only you know what will work. Good luck. I know how hard it is! You’re doing the right thing.

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