I had the worst night of my life last night, no exaggeration. The time that could come close would have to be some night thatt in college where I drank too much, too fast and the world wouldn’t quit spinning and my insides kept trying to escape my body through my mouth. Last night was worse. Last night we tried the “cry it out method” to get our daughter to sleep.
For those not familiar, the “cry it out method” is when instead of going in and checking on a crying infant in the middle of the night, you let them cry themselves to sleep. Though our daughter(now 14 months old) has been sleeping much better than she used to,she has been “sleeping through the night” around four nights a week, our doctor felt it was time she learned to comfort herself.
My wife had decided this earlier in the day, so when night came I found myself hoping that my daughter would sleep through the night and we wouldn’t have to try this new method. Unfortunately, I was wrong as she is teething, so the pain probably woke her.
It all started around 12:28 last night when my daughter started to cry, and by cry I don’t mean little whimpers. I’m talking about full-on wailing. One minute of this crying would break your heart. It lasted two hours. I was awake for the whole thing, fighting the urge to pick her up and comfort her, picturing the boogie man standing above her crib making scary faces as we did nothing to stop him.
The hardest part for me was that my little girl, the one smiling back at me with her three-toothed grin as I sang “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star”, the one who just a few hours prior was kicking a balloon in the living room saying “kick”, the same little one who had visited me at my office earlier in the day and said “coffee” to laughter from all my co-workers, would have to endure even a moment of sadness. I guess Daddy can’t always make it better.
They say the first day is the hardest, that soon she will learn to comfort herself. I hope that’s true. I also realize she has been playing us, knowing we would always come in her room to check on her. Still, this was really difficult. They say it’s harder on us than it is on the baby. I agree.
Well, things were much better the next night. We went to an Arts Festival in town, leaving around 9:00 and on the way home my daughter fell asleep. She was still sleeping when I left for work at 7:30 this morning. That’s right, she slept through the night!. Now I’m not sure if this was from “crying it out” the night before or if we just got lucky. We’ll see tonight. Either way, it was a nice little gift for us. I don’t know what I would’ve done if we had a repeat of the night before.