Baby Sleep Advice I Wish I'd Listened to Sooner

Sami and kids.When I previously asked how long a toddler could cry for, I confessed that my wife and I had been pretty hands-on with our first daughter, Lilia. We hated the idea of letting her cry it out and, in the early days at least, we would jump at even the slightest squeak from her crib.

Read More: 10 Tips for Getting Your Baby to Sleep Through The Night

"Quick, rock her back to sleep before the crying starts!" was a common refrain. This drew raised eyebrows from grandparents and a few friends with kids. In fact my mother- and father-in-law insisted that they had made as much noise as possible around their kids when they were little - and had been blessed with good sleepers as a result.

Read More: Seriously, How Long Can a Toddler Cry For?

I may have railed against unsolicited parenting advice before, but I confess I have to eat some humble pie on this one. Adeline, our second daughter, did not have the luxury of peace and quiet or a crack team of rapid-response rocking chair operatives to get her to sleep. Not only were her parents less motivated to jump each time she hollered, she also had to contend with the not inconsiderable noise-making abilities of her baby sister. And what do you know? She's a master sleeper.

Read More: Letting Baby Cry It Out: Yay Or Nay?

True, she has regressed a little of late as teeth have started coming in or when she had us visiting the emergency care unit over Thanksgiving. But at a little over a year, she's solidly sleeping through the night with just one nursing - and has been doing so off and on for months.

So while I'd say to new parents that most parenting advice can be taken with a grain of salt, in this family's experience at least it's well worth heeding a few simple rules: make some noise, don't be too quick to pick them up, and letting them cry a little is not the end of the world.

I'd like to say that I wish someone had told me sooner. But really, I just wish I'd have listened.

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