Last week was Joey’s first week at daycare. He had been coming with me to work and really had been spending 24/7 with me which meant that separation anxiety was even greater than normal. You add in that ultimately, daycare will be wonderful for him because he will learn so much with his teachers and with other children.
It has been a rough week but it is getting easier, day by day, and he only cries a little bit when I drop him off and then he cries when he sees me in the afternoon. I suppose he doesn’t want me to see that he’s having fun or I might bring him back again tomorrow... (the rationalization of a nine month old).
So today, his teacher told me that he is sleeping better and better and yesterday he slept a whole hour in his bed. So, today, I asked, (confirming what I already knew...) how she got him to do this. And, basically... she is using the Ferber method which is a modified version of Cry it Out. I think I knew this in my heart but now I know it in my head... and I have been unable to do this at home.
Which brings me to the next question. Am I unable to do this at home because I am weak? Am I unable to do this at home because I am fundamentally opposed to it? Am I unable to do this at home because everyone is telling me that this is the only way to make him go to sleep and that this will teach him how to self soothe? Or am I opposed to it because my husband has been pushing me to do this since he was much younger? Gosh I hope that this last one is not the case.
I have been telling everyone, to date, that I am against it. That there really has been no *reason* to make him cry it out. I don’t want him to think that I am not there for him. There is a contingent of parents, usually pro *attachment parenting* parents that say that this teaches him that when he cries no one is there for him. (which probably is a bunch of hooey)... but I have been really good at “wearing” him, breastfeeding him to one year, and in general it has been so important to me that he *know* I am there for him.
Now, all of a sudden, he is thrust into a world where I am NOT there for him, his teachers are, and they are teaching him to soothe himself and cry himself to sleep.
I am not sure what to do with this information. I don’t want to tell my daycare that he is NOT to cry it out... as she does have other babies and he needs a nap. But, if he is crying it out at school and they are having some success... do I have a responsibility to let him cry it out at home? Can I expect one thing out of him during the day and another at night?
I really don’t have the answers... if any of you have any solid advice, I welcome it!
All I know is that my schmoopy has always been there for me, I hate to let him down (I know ultimately, I will let him down in his life)... but should I be forcing him to self soothe at night? Do I need to be the grown up here?