So, my husband mentioned to me last night that lately it's been hard for him at work sometimes, because he has a couple of coworkers whose babies (younger than our 10-month-old) already "sleep through the night." So if he says something about how we had a rough night with our daughter, they'll just ask "Why does she sleep with you?" or "Why don't you just let her cry it out?" He feels like he doesn't have a good answer, and it's making him doubt our choices. Which are really more my choices that he goes along with, because he hasn't done as much reading about AP and the research as I have, and because most of the nighttime parenting falls to me, since we breastfeed and cosleep.
I was thinking some personal stories might be helpful for perspective. (And more research, too, if you have any great links.) No matter how committed you are to AP in principle, and how wrong the sound of your child's cry (even for a moment) feels viscerally, it can be discouraging, I think, when so much of the culture makes it sound like CIO is "easy" and harmless. Especially when you've had a couple really hard nights in a row and are feeling tired and run-down.
If anyone ever tried CIO (or knows someone who did) and it DIDN'T go as smoothly as claimed, I'd love to hear that perspective for a change. Babies who still woke up multiple times a night even after CIO, relationships that felt damaged by the experience, or just anything that didn't go as planned.
Also, what do you say if and when people ask you why you don't do CIO? I tend to try hard to keep it personal and not come off as too judgmental, partly because it's usually a close friend or family member, and also because the only thing I feel I know for sure about babies after 10 months of having one is that every one is an individual. So I can imagine that for some babies CIO sleep training really was a fairly easy process and doesn't do too much harm -- but I definitely don't feel comfortable with it for my own. I often say something along the lines of not being willing to mess with it because her daytime personality is so easy-going -- she almost never cries during the day, so I can't bring myself to force her to do so at night.
Thanks for sharing any tips or stories!