A few nights ago we decided to talk to Sam about putting himself to sleep. So, I read some books to him and sang a few songs and then explained that I was going to leave the room and that it was time for him to try to go to sleep on his own. He nodded and seemed to understand. I left the room and the crying ensued. He cried for about 15 minutes when Matt went in (I was in bed at this point) and once again explained that everything was okay, we were just outside the room...Sam nodded and Matt left. He cried.....etc. This lasted about 45 minutes. He didn't cry the entire time, and Matt went in every 15 minutes to comfort him and eventually he went to sleep. The next night it was 30 minutes....the same routine and last night it was less than 10 minutes. Nap times are working the same and today he only cried for about 5 minutes.
I know that any hardcore AP parent would chastise me for what we're doing and I have felt a little guilt. I just can't go through the nighttime bed routine we were doing feeling like I am and Matt is now working right during bedtime. This solutions is working and Sam seems to be doing just fine. I haven't noticed any extra clinging during the day or acting out or any strange behaviour at all. It helps that we are completely weaned now and have been for a few weeks. He doesn't even ask for milk at all anymore! (I am actually okay with it too!)
So, needless-to-say, I never thought we'd let Sam "cry it out". And even if I rationalize that he's almost two and we can reason with him, that he's not an infant and he can understand our presence exists outside of him room, that he is showing no signs of rejection or abandonment......it is still a form of "crying it out". I am coming to terms with the fact that we can still be AP parents even if we've chosen this method...right? I still honor Sam's needs and listen to him. I am still a compassionate mother that holds the mother-child bond higher than any other. I still encourage positive discipline. I don't spank.
I just never thought....