Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Cry-it-out: My middle ground

moved G's crib down because she's closer to pulling up
Remember these posts (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)? Throw them out the window.

Okay, it's wasn't that bad--but it had been pretty tough. G went all kinds of haywire with sleep after my most recent sleep themed post. After some advice from facebook friends, I figured it was time to do 'cry-it-out.' Truth be told, I didn't think it would ever need to get that drastic. Me, the sleep-training-obsessed mom, thought I was immune! Ha.

Here's what I knew:
G used to sleep through the night. Now, she didn't. Not.even.close. She was up about 3 times a night. I made the mistake of feeding her each time, for over a week. I never considered it was something other than hunger that woke her. Rookie mistake.

Here's what I didn't know:
Was it teething pain? I tried easing her teething pain, and it seems to have stopped for now, but her sleep didn't improve.
super mobile baby!
Was it an endless growth spurt? A growth spurt shouldn't last more than a week.
Was it separation anxiety? I don't know what to do for separation anxiety, she sleeps in her room & I in mine.
Was it fear? Isn't she too young to have a scary imagination?
Was it a developmental milestone (like crawling, talking, or pulling up)? She didn't seem to be practicing anything at night, other than screaming.
Was it because we started solids and that had her belly confused? I didn't feed her solids one day, but there was no difference at night.

I decided we had to try cry it out. My husband hated it. G hated it. I hated it.

So this is what I did:
Let her cry for a while to see if she would go back to sleep...she did not.
I sent my husband in (I didn't want her to smell the milk), but he wasn't successful at calming her down.
He put her down. She cried some more. I sat on the couch outside her room with my head in my hands, trying to figure out what was wrong. I decided she needed me. It was too mean to leave her in there screaming bloody murder. My husband said, "she just wants you!" "I know," I said.
I went into her room, picked her up, walked around bouncing her. I told her "Mommy's here, it's okay sweet princess, I'm here." She calmed down somewhat.
I laid her back in her crib, she screamed. I leaned over her and wrapped my arms around her. I continued reminding her I was there. She calmed down again. I left one hand on her for a while. She sucked her thumb. I took my hand off of her. No sudden movements. She was still calm. I sat in the chair in her room, then a few minutes later, I left.
She was still awake, so I consider this a success--she fell asleep on her own after I left. She slept until she was ready to eat at 5:30 AM. She slept after that until 7:20 AM. Since then, she has been sleeping well (Still eating once around 5:15 AM, though). Hopefully we are through this sleep hiccup, and now we just wait for the next one (around 9 months, I suppose).
(I had set this up to post this morning, but had to edit it because SOMEONE decided to wake up 3 times again last night...after 5 good nights, just proving how silly babies are when it comes to sleep = one tired momma).

Recently, a friend told me something that really resonated with me. She said that when our kids are in high school, and want to do something that we know isn't good for them, we still say no. Even if they cry or throw a fit about it, we stand our ground because we are the parents. So, in a similar manner, G does not need to be up 3 times at night. She does not need fed at 10:45 pm after eating LOTS at 7 pm. It is my job, as her mom, to set boundaries that guide her into good sleep habits. I know you may think 'cry-it-out' is mean...and I hate it too. That's why I'm pleased with our middle ground.

1 comment:

  1. Sleeping is a tough thing to deal with, both as parents and and babies. I was reading your sleep training (which I had never read up on before) and it seemed great. Conditioning your LO to ease into sleep. After this post is seems like that has worked still. (You were able to leave the room with her still awake).

    My daughter is 10 months old and goes through cycles of when she sleeps great(7p-6a) and then when she wakes up, often. Most nights she falls back asleep without picking her up or nursing her back down(as long as I get there before she is screaming bloody murder).

    On your note about bad dreams, I think little ones can have bad dreams or wake up scared. I've heard my daughter wake up whimpering (so sad)! I hope your journey goes well with sleeping!


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