July 27, 2005

Creative Control

Definition: Controlled crying (also known as controlled comforting and sleep training) is a technique which is widely used as a way of managing infants and young children who do not settle alone or who wake at night. Controlled crying involves leaving the infant to cry for increasingly longer periods of time before providing comfort. The intention of controlled crying is to let babies put themselves to sleep and to stop them from crying or calling out during the night.

Translation: Your mother and father spend a considerable period of time trying desperately to avoid picking you up, to the point of monitoring each other's actions during the carefully timed and incredibly harrowing interval between placing you carefully in your cot and when you drift off to sleep. This period of time encompasses approximately fortyfive minutes, during which you cry louder and harder than you have ever cried before. Your mum and dad hold each other in the other room, both of them also crying, knowing that if you are to reach a point of being able to resettle yourself when you wake during the night that this is necessary.

Your dad, it turns out, is considerably better at this technique than your mother, chiefly, as far as he understands, as a result of genetics. It seems that women are genetically predisposed to pick up and comfort a crying baby. Men are considered more likely to gaze at said baby in befuddlement. Boy babies are not comforted by the things that comfort dads, and placing a cold beer or a playstation controller in your hand appears to have negligible effect on your consternation at the idea that you're supposed to relax and go to sleep.

Nevertheless, after a substantial interval involving many conversations along the lines of 'do you think he's really ok? are we doing the right thing? god he sounds so upset, i'll just go and see if he's ok. don't pick him up whatever you do don't pick him up. oh now he's smiling at me hi munchkin daddy loves you now go to sleep please go to sleep oh no he's crying again i'll just cuddle him for a minute. NO!'

You went to sleep.

You stayed asleep.

Until four am, when, during your feed, you farted so long and so loud that you woke me up. Good work, tiger, it's nice to know that you're already carrying on family traditions.

Love you.


Avery's mom said...

AAWWHHH! he woke you with a Fart, How adorable.

Kathy said...

It breaketh the heart, but sometimes it's the only option left ... I admire your fortitude in seeing it through, Bill and Eve, I flunked it with both mine and was just damnably lucky that Alia decided to be a good sleeper after 8 months and Bethy *seems* to be heading in the right direction now we've got her food issues sorted.

Sarah said...

"Secrets of the Baby Whisperer" by Tracy Hogg. The best book ever. No need to let them "cry it out." I couldn't bear it with #1 and with #2 I haven't had to because of this book...