I once called a sleep consultant for my then 2 year old who was waking every hour for milk.
I remember talking to her for a couple of hours. We spoke about how my paediatrician had recommended I just allow my daughter to cry it out and she would eventually learn to just sleep.
I explained to the sleep consultant how I had been reading about Patty Wipfler. The sleep consultant explained to me that she did not promote cry it out methods and assured me that the child was never left alone to cry, rather the parent or carer stayed with the child and hugged them as they cried until they were ready to sleep. This is very much what Wipfler had promoted.
I did this with my then 2 year old and instead of offering milk, I offered water. She would cry with me about it and I'll admit there were times we cried together. It was really tough. In the beginning when she cried I felt angry because I wanted to be able to control it and stop her from crying but as it went on I realised she needed to cry and she needed me to support her through it. It was a time for us to bond and to be there for each other. Rather than push her away and not be there for her to express her feelings to, I was with her the whole time.
Within a couple of nights she was sleeping right through. She helped herself to water that was beside her bed and I cannot be more grateful for the way we bonded and the sleep we gained. Never did I let her feel I wasn't there for her. And never did I not allow her to express something she needed to get out.
I guess I just wanted to give this advice for other mums who may be going through something similar. It's okay for children to cry, it's how we deal with it that matters the most. When they're upset we want them to come to us and express it. Maybe not so much in words, but with tears too, in the hopes they will understand that we might not be able to fix every problem, but we will always be there as a shoulder to cry on.