The Hardest Thing


Dear Dwarfling,

In a couple of days you’re going to be four months old. On the whole, you’ve been an exceptionally well behaved kid; sleeping through the night and not fussing all that much except when you’re hungry or tired.

Bright Eyed and Looking for Trouble

Lately, however, you’ve become a lot more demanding. You are no longer content to simply be held, but instead want a lot more active attention. You always want to be standing as sitting or laying down is just too boring for you. You love having Daddy fly you around the room. SuperBaby is the cutest thing, ever.

You’re quite fun to play with, of course, but when your Mummy and Daddy decide that it’s time for you to go to sleep… Well, let’s just say that you’re somewhat reluctant.

Yes, you’re kicking up all sorts of fuss when we try to put you to sleep. I think you just really like being awake and takin in all the cool new stuff that’s going on around you. There’s too much to see, too much to do. And you don’t want to miss anything, even if that means you get do overtired that your eyes start to turn purple and get huge bags under them.

However, cry all you like, you still are a miniature person at this point and you need your sleep. And it’s Mummy and Daddy’s job to make sure that you get enough.

In my rather brief experience as a father to this point, the hardest thing I have ever had to do is to put you in your crib to have a nap and leave you while you’re crying. Your voice carries, my dear Dwarfling. It pierces through walls, and right into my gut.

Walking out of the room knowing that you are not happy and content is heartbreaking. Staying out of the room is damned near impossible.

Obviously, at four months you don’t know how to make words yet, and your cries are nothing more than noises made to express your emotional state. I know this, intellectually. However, what I hear is:


How can anyone with a heart bear something like that?

I know that I can’t. I cave in like a traffic bridge made of wet cardboard: Quickly, quietly and completely. Your mother laughs at just how quickly I race back into your bedroom when you’re crying. It’s silly, really. I know that there is nothing wrong with you. I know that you will eventually tire yourself out and go to sleep. I know I should just invest in some earplugs and ignore it.

But I really don’t want you running off and marrying a Biker.



Go to sleep, little Dwarfling. Daddy loves you.



  1. *insert cooing sounds here*

  2. OMG that is so stinking adorable! It makes my heart melt…she is so precious!!

  3. Something I wish I had known, It is normal for a baby to cry for 2 hours, throughout the day, that’s a lot of 10 mins worth of crying!

    ‘I’ found 10 mins acceptable, bearable, let me finish up whatever I was doing.
    I think I heard this after I had my third baby.
    My first I couldn’t tolerate hearing him cry, and as for day naps, I wasn’t good with them for any of my 3 kids.

    The crying didnt pierce so deeply with my 2nd baby, my beautiful princess, woke crying while I was finishing up cleaning the kitchen, when I done, about 10 minutes later, she had gone back to sleep….

    My princess did once forget she was well able to go to sleep on her own at night. I’ve no idea what people ‘in the know’ would say now (my kids are all over 10) I was blessed and it took one night of controlled crying, increasing the time before you go in each time, I think my time limit was 5mins, so after about 15 mins I was going in every 5mins, for a quick ‘time to sleep,without picking up’ I think it took 2 hours for her to finally sleep. I was terrified I would have to do it again, thankfully it was enough to remind her.

    The main thing is, all that is my experience and my opinion,
    You will have your experience, do whatever your comfortable doing :)
    My eldest turned 15 yesterday.
    Look forward to the many years of joy from the hardest most rewarding thing you will ever do, parenting your Dwarfling

    This is a beautiful letter, and something I wish I had done often

    • Thank you. I’m certain it would get better with the subsequent children. With the firstborns everything is so new. I always feel like her cries are implying that I’m doing something wrong, and I haven’t built up any emotional callouses to protect me against that. :)

  4. That is so adorable and cute, I shed a tear of joy smiling and laughing throughout. Your daughter, ickle beautiful dorfling that she is, is lucky to have such a fantastic father.

    ~ Rio x

  5. My baby gnome is 5 months and I can’t let her cry. I’m just not capable of doing it. I have no intention of even trying. I do the pick-up put-down method. Pick her up until she settles then immediately put her down. Don’t talk to her or interact, just pick her up so she knows shes loved and safe. It might take a while but its the perfect method for parents who cannot stand hearing their little one cry :)

    • I hadn’t heard of that method. I’ll have to give it a try. It certainly sounds more effective than the “Grit Your Teeth and Bear It” method I’m using now. :)

    • I’m the same with my 5 month old – I can’t do the cry it out, it just isn’t my style of parenting. I do the pick up/put down method often and it works quite well. Often if she has problems settling, once she’s calm, I place her in the cot and put a warm hand on her head and tummy and that soothes her enough to drift back to sleep too. I found a lot of articles really useful from this website too http://www.naturalchild.org/articles/sleeping.html made me feel much better about refusing the crying it out method!

  6. Awww, I can relate a ton to this.

    In fact, the littlest one has decided I am the only one for him. Not Mom, but Dad.

    So, I can’t even go out of the room sometimes without him bursting into tears, broken-hearted.

    I seem to be the sleep-master, too. If he’s tired, I can get him to sleep. :)

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