Thursday, March 10, 2011

Crying It Out.

So, I have yet another confession.
If you are one of those moms who has ever {and I mean EVER}let their baby cry it out...well,

I thought you were flipping nuts.
And kind of cold-hearted.
And sort of probably scarring your child for life.
And like, such as...


When Kort was a newborn, he never cried.
This is prolly 90% because he was just a really happy, content baby,
and 10% because we pretty much never set him down or made him wait for anything.

Kort slept in bed with me {family bed} and nursed every two hours throughout the entire night.

I thought that this was normal.

At the ripe old age of 23,
the inevitable sleep deprivation didn't phase me.
Not one bit.

I was a stay at home mom, living in a one bedroom apartment, and I didn't have much going on. Simply put, it was easy for me, and I could not {for the life of me} understand why some women would make their babies sit in a crib in a dark room all alone and cry their lil' guts out while she sat there and did nothing.

Seriously, what is the point of THAT!!!!! {I wondered to myself.}

Cue baby #2...
7 YEARS later...

Tens is just like his big brother.
He wakes up in two hour sections the. whole. night.

He goes to bed at 7:00 and then eats at
and then wakes up for good at 4:30.

{Yeah, you read that right, FOUR THIIIIRTY!!!!!}

And now that I am {ahem} thirty,
and trying {ha!} to blog regularly,
and working on a new t.v. segment,
and running a full-sized household,
with a yard,
and two dogs,
and hermit crabs,
and a 7 year old who must be sent off to 2nd grade every morning...


Even then, I didn't think I could try the dreaded CIO.
Just couldn't do it.


As a result, I have been sick for 3 consecutive months.
Sore throats, sinus infections, a horrendous flu, and even a delightful little bought of PINK EYE!
Fun stuff.

So, last week, this is where I found myself:

My house is a wreck.
I am a wreck.
I am so deliriously exhausted at night
that I am afraid I might fall asleep and drop my baby...

Enough is enough.

So I reviewed the concepts of: "Healthy Sleep Habits Happy Child" again, and I tried to wrap my head around the idea of letting my baby cry it out.

And I still didn't feel like I could do it.

Two DELIRIOUSLY horrid days later, I thought maybe I could.

And the hubs said:
"Okay, but you really have to decide and then commit, because it's pointless to put him through that if you are going to cave 30 minutes into it."


So, we decide that his bed time might also be too early, and remembered that when he was tiny, he would go to bed for good at 8:00 and he was sleeping better back then.


So, Tentens goes down for the count at 8:00 and is up and ready to eat at 10:00.

I have been bracing myself for this for the past two hours.
I can do this.
I can do it!

Tens is crying, but it's a "protest" cry rather than a hysterical "I'm fairly certain I have been abandoned!!!!" cry, so for now, I am staying calm.

HOWEVER, if, at any time, it turns into an "I'm fairly certain I have been abandoned!!!" cry, I have reserved the right to run in there an scoop him up.

Kort has a nightmare, wakes up, and comes out to talk to me.

Thank heaven. I need a distraction like nobody's business.

We decide to pick out the books he will take with him to school for the Dr. Seuss Birthday Read-a-thon the following day. Tens is still crying, but it is still just a protest cry, and now it is starting and stopping... like he is forgetting to cry, then remembers, and starts crying again, and then forgets again...

I get Kort all set up and tucked back into bed,
go into my bedroom,
and the monitor is silent.

Oh my goodness, REALLY?

I wait 2 solid minutes.

Yup. Still silent.

He fussed for just over half an hour...
and now he is sleeping!!!

I run into the living room.
The hubs is playing Black Ops.
I do a totally crazy
{and totally appealing/sexy, I'm sure}
"The baby just went back to sleep on his own and NEITHER of us DIED, so YAY!" jig in my bathrobe...

I can't believe it!

He woke up again at 1:30 a.m. and fussed for 5 minutes... then WENT BACK TO SLEEP!
{Yes, again! - Can you believe that? It is like, science ...or, a miracle, or something...}

When he woke up at 3:30, I nursed him {because Dr. Weissbluth says that eating 1-2 times a night is normal... but 4-5? Not so much.} Also, had I not nursed him at this point, I would have exploded {if you smell what I"m steppin' in}.

Then, for the best part yet:
he slept {soundly} until eight freaking thirty!

I almost exploded again... but this time from joy.

As for the next night?
Went to bed at 8:00 and slept until 4:00!!!
Ate at 4:00 and slept until 7:00!!!

And he has done that every night since.


Why didn't someone shake me {like really hard}a long time ago and say:

"Crying it out is where it's at yo! Get on board or go nuts you stubborn little loon!"

So, yeah.


I wouldn't recommend letting your little one cry it out if they are hysterical, but I think that they probably rarely are. I was worried that it would make Ten insecure and clingy, but he woke up happy as a clam the next morning. It was amazing to see the difference that a GREAT night of sleep made for him as well! One of my friends recently told me the following about nursing at night:

"It's like someone offering you a big slice of chocolate cake. You're NOT gonna turn it down, BUT if someone doesn't show up and hand it to you, you might whine for a bit, but then you get over it."

{Okay, I think I botched that, but you get the idea.}

So, my sincerest apologies to all of the women that I thought were NUTS all these years for letting their babies CIO. Turns out, YOU were the smarties gettin' some Z's while I was an exhausted, overly emotional basket case making up stories of child abuse and neglect in my head and subsequently condemning myself to midnight boobie bondage for 12 months straight.. {This comes as no surprise that you were smarter than me... but still.}

Don't misunderstand, I love to nurse... and I'm definitely not saying that nursing is "bondage" during the daylight hours. It just starts to feel that way when you are up. all. night. This time around, I was a total ZOMBIE and was literally to the point where I was sick and crabby all of the time with a heaping side of losing my mind.


However, if you are a mom who LOVES to get up with your baby all night, and NEVER let them cry it out, that's okay too! You aren't dumb{at. all.} if it's what you like/want to do. I loved raising Kort the way I did. I don't think that I did it "wrong." I had the energy and resources to do it that way, and I enjoyed it, and therefore, due to my limited experience, I couldn't understand why someone would do it a different way.

The older I get, the more I realize that I don't know. And the more that I see women pushing their own agendas onto other women, the more I think that we should all just love and support each other, because motherhood is hard enough without a committee of naysayers standing by and critiquing their every move.

We are TIRED.
And hormonal.
And doing the best that we can with what we have been given dang it!

As for me personally, I say - yay for sleep training!

Dr. Weissbluth's book {Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child.}is awesome, BUT really redundant and kind of contradicts itself a lot.

NEVER wake a sleeping baby.
Never, EVER wake a sleeping baby.
Don't disrupt a child's sleep patterns.
Never wake a sleeping baby.

{30 pages later...}

"If the child is sleeping too long and their extended nap is going to throw off their schedule,

{WHA?!?! But you just said... oh nevermind!}

But seriously, the book has a lot of good information.
Just keep in mind that "d*mn it Jim girls,  he's a doctor, not a writer!"


So yeah, I am FINALLY sleeping more than 2 hours at a time, for the first time in SIX months.

And it feels good.
Oh so very good.



Travis Erwin said...

Glad things have worked out for you. Sleep is important. You still take the most amazing photos of any blogger I read.

imemary said...

I am so happy for you! Izzy was a hysterical crier, so crying it out didn't work for her. But now it takes like 5 minutes to put her to bed and she blows goodnight kisses. It all works out.

Jillian said...

Woo hoo!! That is so great! And I totally agree with you...every kid and every situation is so different, and there are a million ways to do it "right". Why do we have to give each other a hard time?! Let's all play nice on the playground!

Sherwood family said...

Congratulations on making it over to the crying side! May Dr. Weissbluth be blessed into perpetuity.

Shannan said...

Yaaa, for you. I know I felt bad doing tough love at first. But since I have done it, you give up about 1 to 2 nights and then your baby and you are even more happy. I have realized that when I am sleep deprived I am not as happy, thus everyone else isn't either. It is finding out for your self that really works and sometimes it might take us a while to try it out. COngrats on being a new women with sleep. We had fun the other night, thanks for playing!!

Life with Kaishon said...

Oh my goodness Lola. I am so happy for you. Getting up all night every night had to be murder! I can't even imagine it.

Ashley Koz said...

I have no clue how you did that for 6 months. Wow. I'm glad you guys got it figured out!

Blackwell said...

That book is seriously the key to being a SANE and happy mom!

Anonymous said...

I did the same thing you did--never let my older son cry it out, but with baby #2, I did (within reason of course). I think ultimately it was better for him--he got into a regular sleep pattern etc.

Nisa said...

That book was a huge lifesaver with my first! I'm a big fan of CIO, but you learn that each child is different too. With Xan, this worked at like 3 and 1/2 months and we were golden. With Ethan, not so much. We tried and waited a month and tried again and again and again. We were all so sleep-deprived! Finally at 9 months it stuck. Ethan's been more stubborn in just about every way... haha!

VolleyMom said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
VolleyMom said...

Wow....ya want to know what I got from your post?

Insightful- YES, thought provoking-YES, Awesome that you experienced something and grew from it-YES. But MOST of ALL..........
YOU'RE 30. wow wow wow. I guess since you married my baby brother you both are perpetually 22 in my eyes. And since I am 30 in MY OWN head, I just couldn't believe it when I read it.


Well happy 30th year. Now get some SLEEP.

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