Self-soothing is a phrase that gets bandied about a lot on parenting blogs, in parenting books and by other parents (most notably mine). It's a phrase I lived my life by, counting down the days until it would be developmentally appropriate to get Carrie started on the track to self-soothing which would grow in time, I thought, into a sense of independence. Right. Here's the thing, y'all: life is full of revision. Your final draft isn't due until the end, all the rest is proofing. I just couldn't do it. Listening to munchkin "cry it out" was the most painful thing I've ever done. I felt like a bad mom, sitting outside the closed bedroom door, just listening to her. Sometimes it was more of a whine, sometimes just a tiny fussy noise, but the screams were the worst. At that point, you're supposed to go in and soothe the child without picking her up. Yeah, bump that.
You know what I learned, dear reader? Instead of teaching her that she can put herself to sleep, I'm teaching her that Mama will comfort her when she cries. And that's just dandy by me. In fact, I like that she wants to snuggle to sleep. I like knowing that being near me is that comforting for her. And I love the way her mouth falls open and her thumb falls out when she's finally asleep.
The way I figure it, independence is super important, for sure. But we're just not there yet. So be it.