Thursday, December 2, 2010

The Dreaded "Cry It Out"

Boy is this a HOT topic!! I learned that when I was pregnant and posted something to facebook about reading babywise. So let me just say up front I am blogging about it to share my experience, but am certainly not asking for anyone's approval or permission for how I take care of my baby!
Like I said before, when I read babywise ( and was all rational and not emotionally involved with my peebles yet) I thought it was brilliant! Then...... he got here, and I thought, there is NO WAY I am gonna let this precious boy cry, for anything, ever, On purpose!  and for the first 3 months of his life he barely did any crying at all! He was a very happy boy!  But as he got older, and I got more tired, I realized we both needed some lessons in sleep. I was hoping he would just get older and not be hungry at night and then we would all sleep happily ever after.
Turns out, he did get big enough to no longer need food, but he was old enough to know how to get his warm, snuggley, momma to pay a social call, at any time he wanted by cry crying and when momma shows up, so does his favorite set of pacifiers. So then he started waking up more and more until it went from once a night to EVERY HOUR. literally, EVERY hour and then during the day he was a pill, and needed a lot to stay happy, which was very unlike his sweet little chubby baby self. He was TIRED. It took me a while to catch on that the reason he became so hard to handle was because he was tired all.the.time. (just like me).
    So the first day of his 4th month, I finally reached a place where I thought I could handle letting him cry some, and it was not as bad as I had imagined. In fact I noticed now that he will cry immediately when he doesn't get his way, but if I ignore that cry he will quit in 30 seconds.  (he learns quick) That was a huge discovery for me, because sometimes babies just cry to test it out, you know? Ha Well I didnt know.
Erik and I buckled down and prepared for a terrible night. We got lots of encouragement and emotional support from friends and made up our mind to do it. That first night he literally woke up every 45 mins from 7pm to 5:30 am. Each time I would watch him on the monitor and time his crying on my phone and write down how long it took for him to go to sleep. Generally it took from 3-5 minutes and he didn't cry straight the whole time so it was bearable. I just had to remind myself that he was fed, and clean diaper and all was well and he NEEDED that sleep. I read a book a while back about the importance of sleep in children and it is very important to me that he be a good sleeper and get adequate sleep.
I imagine that is the first of many difficult decisions I will have to make on his behalf for his own good.
Night 2 of CIO, he only woke once at 2 , and I did get up and feed him because he cry cried for almost 15 mins off and on. Once he is all well and back to normal I will extinguish his 2 am feeding/social call.  Day 2 after a night of good rest and the mandatory long naps we have been doing CIO for, he is SO pleasant and happy and smiley again. It is amazing what getting good sleep can do for a person.
So in summary:
- I am glad that I waited to do it, just because I did it when it felt right for me, not because someone told me to do it etc. I am just a weak person when it comes to that sort of thing and it would have been too hard on ME to do it sooner. Peebs would have been just fine though!
- He learned very quickly and rarely cries when we put him down for naps anymore ( at home) I am at my moms right now and he has protested naps and bedtimes here pretty good!
- I had no idea how much happier he would be with good sleep. I guess I was so tired too I was not thinking straight!

Here are some VERY helpful things for getting Peebles to Sleep properly:

Sound machine is important. I like this one because it takes batteries AND plugs in. Easy to travel with and has timer but also an option to use no timer so it will stay on all night. A lot of baby sound machines will cut off after  a certain period of time like 45 minutes.. which can wake them up.

My SIL , Shauna gifted Peebs this AWESOME sleep sack. I have never seen one as cool as this. It is basically like a baby duvet. It snaps over shoulders and zips up so easy to get on and off, even if babe is sleeping. They even have glow in the dark zippers. Seeing it in person, the quality of it really sells it but PB wears it EVERY night now that its cold.  That way I know he is all snuggled up and I dont worry about him suffocating from a blanket on his face etc. Also we dont swaddle anymore because he got TOO big and broke out and got angry so this is kind of like a bridge between swaddle and  covers. ( Peebs is about to outgrow his size small at 18lbs)

Also it is good to have some sort of crib aquarium soother thing. Everyone I know has one and when they heard I didn't, they were all, Oh yes, you must get one while you are trying to get him in this sleep routine. I have something similar I started using but a friend bought me the fisher price aquarium that I will be using when I get home. They will kind of lie there and watch it quietly till they fall asleep. Because they are being entertained it distracts them from the fact that you have put them down in bed all alone.

And then his Lovey. He has an Dinosaur Angel Dear Security Blanket from Sara. It is so soft and perfect since he is a DINO piggy Baby! I heard it helps to soothe them if they have something to snuggle so I put it in bed with him and i usually try to let him hold it when he nurses so he can kind of associate those 2 things together...


Marshall said...

Know this.. without question..You guys are great parents!!

KLaw said...

I am so glad you are doing what is working for you! Holler sistah! This is great. Keep it up!

Sarah said...

I am SO glad that you posted this...I have been waiting patiently (not really) to hear how all of this is going.
My fella is just a few days shy of PB and we are also trying out night time routines. I am curious about the day time naps, how did you decide what times to pick out, or do you wait for tired signs and go with that?
Also did you transition to the sleep sack, we are still swaddling, but are barely hanging on, I have to re-swaddle a million times a night!! He is just getting too strong! I find that if I don't swaddle he rubs his eyes, and face, and flails around waking himself up! :(
I am going to look for a Babywise book here and check it out - it sounds like it is really working well for PB.
Glad you all had a good sleep!

Susannah said...

We rock the shit out of that sound machine too.

You are learning, that is what parenting is about. You do what works for you and the baby! You are all doing a great job and no sleep=irrational thoughts. Get your pamper on at Bebe's and then stick to your guns when you get back home. Y'all rock! Fo shizzle.

Samantha said...

Yay for y'al!

And all those tools are helpful to know about for waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay in the future from now for me.

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