Last night, my husband and I did the unthinkable. Not only did we let the baby cry it out when she woke up at 4am, but we shut our bedroom door so we didn't have to hear her. It was a plan that we put in place yesterday morning after "The Incident".
Mazzy has never been a good sleeper. (Anybody that tells me that their child has been sleeping from 7pm to 7am from the night they brought him or her back from the hospital, I will drop-kick in the face. I am serious. Do not brag about such things— keep your good fortune to yourself). We can put her to bed just fine after successfully sleep training her a few months ago. But she still wakes up every night at 4am, sometimes even 3am. And if one of us (and by one of us, I mean me) goes in to tend to her in any way, it is nearly impossible to put her back in the crib without her losing her mind. Our options have been: stop the crying by going to her but then stay up with her for the rest of the night OR deal with listening to the torture. And let me tell you— trying to play with a baby when your head is as heavy as Paris Hilton's luggage is it's own special kind of torture.
So what happended to make us change our strategy? Yesterday, when the baby woke at 4am, I brought her into bed with us. We did our normal routine, where we put some toys between us and take turns on watch while Mazzy plays. I don't know whose turn it was but we both woke up when BANG— Mazzy hit the floor and started crying. She had climbed over me and thrown herself over the side of the bed. The parent police arrived immediately and stamped "Bad Mom" on my forehead. After Mazzy had calmed down, my husband had the decency to point out there was some good news in this. (Seriously?) He said, its probably in Mazzy's best interest to stay in her crib even if she wants out. (To keep her away from the totally irresponsible zombies, also known as her parents). But we crack every time we hear her cry, I said. My husband suggested something horribly simple— let's shut the door.
When we went to bed last night, I couldn't do it. My husband forgot and I didn't remind him. But this morning, when Mazzy woke up and started crying at 4am, I felt the full force of my exhaustion sink in. I haven't had a good night's rest in nine months. I dragged myself out of bed, walked over to our bedroom door, shut it softly and crawled back into bed. I could still hear Mazzy's muffled cries from the other side but I drifted back off to sleep nevertheless.
At 6:30am, my husband and I both woke up. Mazzy was crying. Whether she was crying that whole time or she had gone back to sleep and then just woke up, we have no idea. I practically ran to her. But when I got to her room, I was in for a surprise. There was no bleary-eyed terror banging the side of the crib and freaking out. This was a different baby. She was fully alert and excited to see me. She even seemed, dare I say it— CALM. And the best part was, I felt the exact same way.
So what do you think? Did we make the right move? Or are we totally terrible parents?