A US mum has sparked controversy after admitting she paid to have her three-month-old baby "sleep-trained" while she went away on holiday with her husband.
In a post for Redbook, Katy Landrum, 34, of California, shared that while she and her partner checked into their resort, two hours away from home, a professional sleep consultant remained at home teaching their baby "how to cry it out".
After heading straight to the pool and entering "relaxation mode", Ms Landrum admitted that as she flipped through magazines and took dips to cool off, she tried to stifle images of her little one crying back at the house.
"Now that we were away, I kept trying to come up with reasons he wasn't ready to be sleep trained," she wrote. "He's only 12 weeks old! He'll be hungry without his nightly feeding."
Ms Landrum consoled herself, however, with the fact that baby Bo was a healthy 15 pounds (6.8kg) - ready, in her opinion, to sleep through the night - and her paediatrician had given her the green light.
Ms Landrum wrote that she didn't want to do what she'd done with her firstborn child. "Two years ago, I had waited until my daughter was five months old before I sleep trained her," she said.
"Our daughter is now two and a half and she's still a great sleeper, so I knew we needed to do it again."
This time, however, the family decided to bring in an expert - Deb, a "seasoned" sleep trainer with nearly a decade of experience under her belt.
"At $30 an hour, bringing a professional in to manage the process seemed like a no-brainer," Ms Landrum explained. "It's so painful for me to listen to my babies cry, and I knew I didn't have the strength to do it again."
Not wanting to be in earshot of Bo's "weeping", the pair booked a getaway. "Treating ourselves to a restful retreat meant we could try to enjoy ourselves instead of dwelling on what was taking place at home. After a couple of cocktails, an afternoon of sun, and a few intimate minutes with my breast pump (I dumped the contents), I settled into a Swedish massage at the spa."
To ensure Bo was on "the right track", the sleep trainer Deb stayed for one more night after the couple returned home.
On the second night Bo woke for 30 seconds at 4.30am. "That was it, and I didn't even go in there," Ms Laudrum wrote.
Sharing that Deb's "work was done", Ms Landrum added that Bo only woke crying "a couple of times" over the next few weeks.
Acknowledging that her method isn't for everyone - and that her own mum "gave [her] grief" - Ms Landrum said she simply couldn't go on being woken during the night.
"My days would be so much harder and my business would suffer if I weren't able to get a full night sleep," she said.
"It was the best money I've ever spent."
The mum's honest post has been shared thousands of times and has attracted a mixed response. Labelling her as "cold", "detached", and "selfish", some commenters criticised the mum-of-two for her "laziness".
"I'd never abandon my babies to a stranger while I went on vacation or let them cry it out, or leave them for vacation while they cried. I love them too much," reads the most "liked" response.
Others, however, leapt to Ms Landrum's defence, urging other mums to stop the shaming.
"What works for one parent does not always work for the other," wrote one woman. "Every human/child is different, some children respond better for other people then there parents. Children DO NOT come with instruction books and sometimes you have to do some pretty clever things to get the job done."