I tried. Three nights in a row, I left her in her crib until she fell asleep. The first night, you know about. The second night was smooth: she didn’t cry, fell asleep quickly, hooray! Then she woke up every half an hour for an hour and a half. The third night, she cried for twenty-five minutes (a few of those hysterically) and was finally quiet. I peeked in ten or fifteen minutes later, and there she stood, cherubic in her naked-baby glory, head resting forlornly on her hands as she stood at the end of her crib. In all, she was in there for an hour without sleeping, and that was as much as I could stand. I did a few dishes, got ready for bed, and hopped into bed myself; we went to sleep together at the early hour of 8:30.

The next morning at breakfast, I asked her how she felt, expecting the usual “Happy!” accompanied by her cheerful morning smile. “Sad,” she said. When I asked her why, she told me that she was sad in her crib. “I cry in crib [but it comes out ‘tib.’] Mama hold? I take off jammies.”

Oh. Crying alone in a crib may not hurt children, and this approach may – and seems to be – really effective for some. I just know that it made my girl sad, so sad that she remembered to tell me about it the next day.

I also blame it on her ruined napping schedule. Napping had been glorious: Since late December/early January, she’d have a little snack and a bit to drink, I’d put her on the potty, then we’d read a story. I might sing one short song, and I’d leave her in her crib. She might talk to herself and her stuffed animals a bit, and then she’d sleep for anywhere from an hour and a half to two hours. The sad day, she only napped for an hour. The next day, she didn’t nap at all, even though I tried twice, leaving her in her crib for forty minutes to an hour each time (no crying on her end, but no sleeping, either). Today, she only napped for about forty minutes in the car; she didn’t go to sleep in her crib when I put her down for a nap. *sigh*

No, crying it out isn’t for me. It isn’t for her, either.