Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Crying it out.


Oh dear.  You know how before you have kids you have all these plans & goals in your head like, "Oh I'll breastfeed no matter WHAT", or "My kid will NEVER watch tv" or "No preservatives will ever enter my child's system!" I had all sorts of ideas like this, & some of them I have found that I stick by & still believe. There's one in particular that I've totally changed my mind on recently:  Crying it out.  I remember when I was pregnant thinking I would never, could never let my baby cry it out.  It was cruel, mean, & she would probably have some sort of trust issues forever because of it.  I would rock, soothe, & do whatever it took to have my baby be comfortable & happy 100% of the time. 

Ha!  Well, I am definitely sticking my foot in my mouth on this one.  The past few months have been rough for Aubrey AND me. Aubrey used to nap like clockwork, 10 & 2, every single day.  I would lay her down, she would talk to herself for a minute, & she would be out like a trout.  At nighttime, she would sleep a pretty long stretch, with an occasional night feed.  Everyone in the house was well rested, & I thought I just got lucky with one of those super easy, loves-to-nap babies.  Wrong.

I don't know what all of a sudden changed, but the past few months she will go down  MAYBE for one nap a day, after lots of room visits to soothe her to sleep.   And night time?  She wakes up about three times, one or two to eat, the other one for comfort or a pacifier.  Since she doesn't get good sleep during the day, (if any), she is super cranky by dinnertime.  At first I thought it was teething, but she didn't seem uncomfortable or in pain.  She was actually pretty happy when she woke up in the middle of the night.  A growth spurt?  I tried feeding her more during the day, didn't seem to help either.  She just...can't put herself to sleep.

I've been exhausted.  I'll feed her in the middle of the night, & then will lay there wide awake for the next hour, knowing it won't be long until she wakes again anyways.  During the day, I pray that she naps so I can catch up on sleep, but it never works out.  I was tired, cranky, & so so frustrated with not being able to get her to sleep.  

After several tearful phone calls to my mom in frustration, research online, & the purchase of an amazing baby sleep book, I've made the (desperate) decision to try sleep training, or crying it out.  I wish I could tell you it's all over & it worked like a charm, but we're still in the process.  I've tweaked her schedule a bit, & I think I'm starting to see some results, but it's really too soon to tell if it's a winner yet.  Basically in the book, it talks about how if you go to your child every single time she whimpers or cries, you are teaching her that crying will get exactly what she wants-to be picked up out of the crib.  If you don't ever let them cry, you are never giving them the opportunity to learn how to self soothe.  An overtired baby is an unhealthy baby, & me picking her up & letting her win was not helping anyone.  

It has been very hard listening to her cry, but I feel okay with it now.  I know deep inside I am helping her become a healthy, well rested baby that will ultimately lead to being a happier little baby. I only let her cry for a certain amount of time after she is fed & changed, & then go in there & try again later for the next nap if she doesn't fall asleep.  We are still not napping perfectly, but I am confident that things will improve soon.  I will give it a few more days, & hopefully I will be a more awake & alert mama, & more of a pleasant person to be around. :)

Did you use the cry it out method with your little ones?  Tell me your experience or if you did something else that worked well.  I love hearing from other mamas!

35 comments:

  1. I don't have my own kids yet, but I nannied for 3 years and let me tell you, my kids are going to cry it out starting at like 2 months old! Best sleep training method around (in my opinion). Yes, it is terribly sad at the beginning. But soon, the find their thumb or something else that gets themselves to sleep. I've watched the process of this work for a 1 month old baby I nannied for. We would put her down and then turn the monitor off for 3-5 minutes (Its sad for baby and mommy). Then if after the 5 minutes she was still wailing when we turned it on, we would go in...do back rubs (NOT pick up), turn the light back off do some soothing talking and try again. Within a few weeks all we would have to do is swaddle, sing, lights off, kisses, lay her down and she would fall asleep all on her own AND sleep through the night. You just can't give in...they're super smart :) I have heard so many people tell me they think this is so mean, it's not though. You'll be a better, happier mom because you'll be rested too!! SO important!! Ok, I'm done, and proud of you :) Go Mom!! Remember, don't give in, she totally knows :) Oh yeah...and...she'll always love you and know you love her so much! Waking up will be such an exciting thing for he when she sees your happy happy (well rested) face! This isn't going to be the last time in her life you'll be having her "cry it out" lol... ; ) Okay, now I want a baby...like NOW...hehe

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  2. I have been thinking about getting a book too. We are trying crying it out too, but just starting and it is hard but hopefully worth irt

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  3. Sounds like a tricky one my dear and like you're doing the best you can. It's good to be flexible too and try different methods until you find one that works for you and your baby. Good luck :)

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  4. I also recommend "The sleepeasy solution" it breaks it down step by step on how to start crying it out with your baby. It was a life saver for me and my almost 8 month old. at 4 months we went into some serious sleep regression and I just hit a wall. My baby was waking up every 20 minutes and it would take 2 hours to get her down. she is now sleeping 11-12 hours a night with no more night feedings and takes 2 naps a day. This book was awesome for me! Good luck! I am sure she will be on her way to sleeping better!

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  5. My little boy is 3 now. He used to do really well with naps and wasn`t TOO bad at nightime. I used to use the Cry it out method when i was putting him to bed, especially when he changed from a cot to a big boy bed. it did work, but nothing has stopped him from waking during the night.
    I know it`s against every rule in the book, but he comes into out bed at night now. It doesn`t bother me in the slightest..whatever gives us all a peaceful nights sleep. Don`t forget there are mothers who sidecar with their babies/children, and those that co sleep. i say the only right thing to do is what feels right for you and your gorgeous little Aubrey. Good luck though - I know how it feels to be totally exhausted xxx

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  6. http://shine.yahoo.com/parenting/crying-dangerous-kids-one-expert-says-222400379.html

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  7. Thanks for all your comments! And "anonymous", thanks for the article. However, I'm not doing the whole, "shut the door & leave" cry it out method. It's a method that is a very restricted amount of crying, otherwise I could never do it! My parents did cry it out with me, I turned out ok I think. :) I've tried so many different things, & people that I love & trust (including the pediatrician) recommended the method I'm doing!

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  8. Oh Lisa - I am so bummed to hear that little Aubrey is having sleep issues - which in turn means mommy is too :( Such a "hot button" issue too - I applaud you for opening up the discussion (just be prepared for some pretty passionate responses - haha). I remember being on the fence about letting LB "cry it out" at AJ's same age when Brian was at work for 2 months and I was home alone with her, nary any help. Sleeplessness can really do a number on a person's mental health... in the grand scheme of things, sleepless nights will be over and in the past in the blink of an eye. There will come a time when Aubrey won't want or need your comfort and support when she is restless, exhausted or even the slightest bit scared - terrifying I know. At the end of the day (literally) you will make the best decision for you and your daughter. The only advice I will give you is on naps. It seems counterintuitive, but I found it to be true: the better LB napped during the day, the better she slept at night. She still goes down 2x a day - oddly enough, her first nap is only about 2.5 hours after she wakes up for the day. Good luck lady - this too shall pass :)

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  9. Love that you are so open about this. I have done both. Rocking, cuddling, soothing & crying it out. I prefer the rocking, cuddling, soothing one though because crying it out just stresses me out probably more than my little's. I think either way is okay!! :) && if I am beyond exhausted and rocking isn't working then I will let them cry it out. You just have to do what works best for your family. :)

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  10. I'm currently in the middle of "cry it out" sleep training my 4 month old and it is so hard!! For me when he would start crying I would just bring him in bed with me and we would all fall back asleep. But I know its important for him to learn how to self soothe and feel safe and confident in his bed. I don't want a 3 year old sleeping with me every night and I know that's where it leads!! Its only been a weeks but I am seeing improvements, like the crying "sessions" are a lot shorter than the first day. Just be consistent and your little one will pick it up!! It may take several weeks but it will work!!! GOOD LUCK! (Good luck to all of us!!! haha!)

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  11. We did the cry it out method with our son at a very young age and it was very, very hard. He's the best sleeper and goes to bed awake now and falls asleep on his own. This method worked well for him because in general, he's very independent and doesn't like to be held and rocked to fall asleep. I think it depends a lot on the child too. Good luck! You can do it and it will be TOTALLY worth it in the end ;-)

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  12. Hey! I just posted a post about this on my blog too! Crying it out must just be in the air. I totally admire you for sharing that you let Aubrey cry it out. For some reason, some people think that if you let your baby cry, you are the worst Mom ever and that is SO not true. It just happens, and you sometimes, especially for your own sanity, you NEED to let your kiddo cry it out. Thanks for giving me a little more peace about CIO as a whole (I do too!). :)

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  13. We did that when William was little, and we do it all over again every time we move (takes him a big to get use to a new place). It worked great for us. When he was still in a crib we would lay him down and leave. If he was still crying we'd go check on him about every 5 min or do-just lay him down and give him his pacifier or blanket (whatever soothes them), and leave again. Took a bit, but worked! We also noticed that when we've done it as he's gotten older it has helped him deal better with everyday problems because he knows how to cope and soothe himself. Good luck!!

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  14. Firs of all..im super proud of you!! That is a hard method to do, but I can say from first hand experience it works like a charm!! Weve had Zoee on a sleeping scheduale since 8 weeks old. We used the Baby Wise book..and it was great because its flexable with our scheduale. But it is so hard to listen to your little one cry it out, but one the reults start comming, its SOOO worth it. So keep going, your doing a great job! Zoee around 4-5months learned how to find her binki in her crib {we put like 5 in there} and she self soothed with that. That was such a joyous night! : ) 5 out of 7 nights a week she sleeps the entire night. So you have some good sleep coming your way once Aubrey gets the hang of it, your such a great mom, good luck with everything girl!! If you need any advice or someone to chat to if your having a tuff time im always here to listen and try to help!

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  15. Just curious, how long did you let her CIO before going in the room? Did you stay in the room at all while letting her cry?
    I am having big sleep probs with my little guy and I'm trying to let him CIO but I keep feeling bad and giving in to his cries (picking him up, putting him in bed with me).

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  16. Hi Anonymous! Sorry to hear your little man is having sleep issues. About crying it out-- for naps, I would let her play (which quickly turned into crying) for about half an hour, & then I'd go in. Honestly, we didn't really do it at night time cause we were SO tired, we just soothed her instead. BUT at soon as she started napping well, she slept better at night! Hope that helped, good luck!

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