The following is an example of why it is important to allow your four month old baby that is developmentally ready to cry it out to sleep. Dr Weissbluth’s book, “Healthy Sleep Habits, Healthy Child” is the sleep teaching book I recommend.
Our child was ten months old by the time we discovered Dr Weissbluth’s book, and crying it out to learn good sleep habits sooner than later was no longer an option. By then, my child was dependent on us, her parents, to help her get to sleep, and we felt too guilty about letting her cry it out. In hindsight, that guilt should have been packed up and shipped off the planet.
I can link my youngest child’s opposition defiant disorder leading to the development of borderline personality disorder traits to chronic sleep loss combined with early childhood attachment disorder, and years of living with stressed parents who gave up on discipline.
In a blended family household, with four older children ranging from seven to fourteen, plus a tenant in the basement, we didn’t let our youngest child “cry it out” when she was ready for sleep teaching for fear of waking everyone else.
If I could go back in time, I would do whatever it takes to clear out the house for a week of letting baby cry it out. A child who sleeps well is far more resilient to handling life circumstances. The child in question can have a complete melt down to this day, when simply asked to rinse the dinner dishes or put her boots away. Being prone to having temper tantrums when things don’t go her way does not serve her, and has landed her in all sorts of compromising positions, like being expelled from school.
I recently told my now fourteen-almost-fifteen year old “baby” to stop acting like one, or she would need to find another place to live.
Babies need sleep like they need air, water, food and loving touch. Without proper sleep, babies grow up with an innate deficit. There is no man-made substitution for sleep. Sleep is a basic necessity for life. Sleep is God-given restoration; sleep is the positive input for the day’s negative output. Without the input of sleep, there is no will to output. Without sleep there is no supply of mental health — there is no desire to live.
As a baby with chronic trouble getting to sleep and staying asleep, she spent a lot of time crying inconsolably instead of sleeping. Essentially, her crying it out was dragged on for years, by our inability to leave her to cry to sleep on her own. We swaddled, we jiggled, we shushed, we used white noise, we did everything but let her cry it out and sleep. If I knew then what I Know Now, letting my baby cry it out when she was developmentally ready at about four months of age would have been top priority. Crying it out to sleep at four months of age would have given her a life-long coping skill.
A child that doesn’t sleep well is especially vulnerable when it comes to exposure to traumatic emotional situations. At the age of one, her eldest sibling went to live with paternal grandparents and I went into a state of grief for a period of time. When she was three, the mother of her step-siblings alienated said siblings from us, and her father went through a period of grief. At the age of four, my middle daughter went to live with her grandparents and again the family was turned upside down, and inside out. In her first five years, years wherein the developing brain was being heavily programmed environmentally, she essentially went from having four older siblings to being an only child, and throughout the whole time, she wasn’t getting enough sleep. Her brain was programmed not to react with love and kindness, but to react with fight or flight by sleep loss, stressed parents, and the loss of loved ones.
Since the early childhood trauma, the opposition defiant disorder from being chronically over tired as a baby morphed into borderline personality disorder traits.
Because of the guilt over the loss of her siblings, combined with our own weariness from the crying and chronic opposition, we stopped disciplining, and thereby enabled other negative behaviors.
There is a light at the end of this tunnel, though, dear reader. It was not too late to start disciplining. Indeed in hindsight, the child was desperate for her parents to take control.
“Whoever curses his father or mother shall be put to death” Exodus 21:17 ~ I never could figure out this Bible quote, until recently. It fits perfectly with the negative family dynamics in our home.
As our child lost control of the ability to go to sleep and thereby manage her emotions by restoration in non-emotional Source, the cursing of her parents (who didn’t properly enforce sleep time) got out of control, and she began to self-destruct — she began to put herself to death.
At age four, she had begun calling her father an “asshole daddy” for making her go to bed, and she wasn’t disciplined for it. At age fourteen, screaming like a banshee, “I hate you, Mom!” for the umpteenth time over being given some basic direction, she finally got the non-empathic reply, “Shape up, or ship out“.
The child psychiatrist, when she was nine, gave the pseudo-diagnosis of “negative temperament“. At age fourteen, a different psychiatrist said she has borderline personality disorder traits, but he also did not diagnose a mental illness per se.
“There’s still a chance for her; this is the time you can help her, ” the adolescent psychiatrist said. “This is when you can help her re-frame the negative into the positive, so the borderline personality disorder traits don’t turn into the disorder.”
Without a child’s respect for their parents, in my experience, there is no way to help them, as there is literally no way to get through to them. Consciousness completely loses Awareness of Unified Love in a temper tantrum. If a child cannot hear wisdom through the static of their own resistance, that wisdom is lost on all parties.
It was the toughest thing I ever did to tell my child, “I know you have been through a lot, and I will always love you, but right now, I don’t like being around you. I get butterflies of anxiety in my own home. You need to become more positive towards us, your parents, or you will need to live somewhere else“. And yet, over time, it had become the kindest thing to say. Being embroiled in the falsehood of resisting love without the will to live is no life. The truth is always a lifeline.
Don’t feel bad for your four month old crying it out at sleep time. Let it happen. Let go of the guilt, and let baby be in alignment with Supreme Control, before life circumstances take the child’s emotions out of control.
PS — I am ecstatic to report that she is shaping up. The “highs are as high as the lows are low“.
Sisters ready for sleep by Darcie French