Could I let my baby cry? Could I firmly remind her that “it is time for bed” and walk away, in tears to the sound of her tears? Yes. I could. I am “strong enough”, if that’s what you believe it takes.
Last night my 10.5 month old had a rough night. We had a rough night together. There was very little sleep for either of us. At a little after 5 this morning we got out of bed grumpily and with little interaction. An hour passed. I dressed her in warmer clothes. Changed her diaper. Gave her a snack. Found some solutions for her aching teeth. We went back to bed. Grumpily and with little interaction.
We lay in bed together, tummy pressed to tummy, as I nursed her. It took a long time for her to settle in to sleep. She lay still, and close, and our breaths found rhythm together and our heart rates slowed. I studied her face and saw her fatigue and my grumpiness melted. I stroked her hair and her eyes drifted closed.
Once asleep she turned from me and laid on her back. I turned from her and laid on mine. In her sleep she reached out a tiny hand and wrapped it around mine. And my heart melted and I slept. My larger hand held in the tiny one of my sleeping babe.
Could I let my baby cry? Am I dutiful enough to do the hard thing if it is the best thing? Yes. Am I grateful that crying it out and controlled crying are Not The Best Thing? You bet! Moments like these is why I have, do, and will continue to wait it out.