I think that all parents have times when they want – or do – leave their babies to cry in the hope that they’ll fall asleep. I think for anyone considering ‘controlled crying’, this is required reading: Australian Association for Infant Mental Health’s position statement.
Infants whose parents respond and attend to their crying promptly learn to settle more quickly in the long run as they become secure in the knowledge that their needs for emotional comfort will be met.
Infants from about six months of age suffer from differing degrees of anxiety when separated from their parents. This anxiety continues until they can learn that their parents will return when they leave, and that they are safe. This learning may take upto three years…If controlled crying is used it would be most appropriate after the child has an understanding of the meaning of the parents’ words, to know that the parent will be coming back and to be able to feel safe without the parents’ presence. Developmentally this takes about three years.
Night waking won’t last forever, and we all need to remind ourselves in the wee hours that this is what we signed up for, and it will end…