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To Cry It Out or To Not

 So, your debating on whether to cry it out or not. My first suggestion is after you are finished here go to http://www.troublesometots.com/. This website is full of amazing information about CIO and getting your little one to sleep through the night. Go to her site, do what she says. It works. Also go to my follow up post at this link called CIO Journey 2.

 Our Story:
My CIO journey started on Jan 8th, 2013. My son was 5 months old and I was beat. I was that crazy eyed zombie mom that hadn't gotten any sleep in 2 months and was still trying to keep up with day to day activities.
One exhausted night I lay in bed almost on the verge of tears from getting up every 2 hours, when I stumbled across her site. Walla! It made so much sense. Her posts were hitting so close to home I was laughing this hysterical hyena laugh while tears poured down my cheeks. Somebody understood, someone said it could be fixed!
  Good news I was one step in the right direction. We had been weaning our son off of the pacifier for almost a week now. So, on Jan 8th I took them away and never once looked back. He never really missed it and ah life got easier after that. Turns out he was waking up numerous times and was upset because he had lost his pacifier. Around 3 months he had reached the age where he could now remember, he had a pacifier and now he doesn't and buddy somebody better fix the situation! Thus me waking every two hours to reapply the peacemaker, but that was never enough for him. No, since he was up he'd have to eat to fall back asleep...thus an endless cycle of misery. It was miserable too. I couldn't enjoy life, being with my precious baby boy, my sweet husband. I couldn't enjoy anything. I was a zombie with the pure intent of surviving one more day.
  Our second No No right under the pacifier was that our son was not getting to bed early enough and not getting enough naps during the day. He was so exhausted sleep was hard to come by. Counter intuitive for us but babies need more sleep to sleep some... more.
  That first night I was so tense I could feel ulcers forming. I was about to lay him down 30 minutes "after" feeding him and without a pacifier and at 7:30 instead of 9. I was prepared to resist all maternal instincts to rush in his room at the sound of his tears. We could do this. It's for everyone's good, we all have got to sleep! Then after laying him down and walking out of the room there was never a peep he went right to bed. I'm like you have got to be kidding. I almost felt betrayed after all my preparation and stress, but as the silence prolonged I began to have delicious thoughts like maybe that's all we needed to do was just to put him to bed sooner, maybe...just maybe we won't have any of this CIO after all.
  Then at 10:15 right as I'm about to climb in bed for my first sweet nights sleep, or so I thought, it starts. It was so hard not to go in there while he cried and cried and cried. An hour later I was sitting outside his door on the floor thinking horrendous thoughts of my horrible existence as a mother, just as Ms Troublesome Tots predicted. After an hour of listening to him scream I stood up to go to the kitchen. I was going to grab something to settle my stomach and then I was going in there. I couldn't do this. Already I had forgotten my zombie nights and all that possessed me was he wants his mommy.
  Thank goodness God intervened on my behalf. On my way to his room, suddenly there was silence. I almost fell to my knees in awe of the beauty of it. I crawled into bed and fell asleep. When your time comes if you choose this path and don't choose it lightly, but if you do try to hold out. Really try. It will be worth it. Just like that diet we never stick to would be worth it, but this is our babies. They need sleep and we need sleep if we are going to be the best mommies we can be.
  Of course that was far from the end of it and I won't get into the gory details of the next month of "sleep training."  But it was worth it. Nights on end he would wake up and cry and I would lie there worrying about my poor baby and my poor husband who had to go to work the next morning. But I just knew that if we could get this to work we would all be so much happier. We could stop being Zombies and goodness knows I was tired of eating peoples brains : )
   For the first week or two I would still wake up for a nightly feeding at 1am and 5am. The goal was to get him to learn to fall asleep on his own, and then after he learned to do that wean him off night feedings. Around the beginning of February we had him completely weaned off night feedings. Every once in a while he would still wake around 3am and cry for 30-45 minutes but then he would fall asleep and sleep till morning. I set a time, ours was 5 am and when I laid him down at 7:30 pm I knew and he knew I was not coming back in that room until 5 am. I know that sounds horrible, but he learned to sleep, to go to sleep without my aid and sleeping is good for not only my health, but his health too.
  I know everyone will have varying results but it is now March 29th and for the last 4 weeks his schedule has been, sleep at 7:30 pm wake at 6:30 am to 7:30 am eat a bottle in his room with lights off in the rocker with mommy, then lay back down for anywhere from an hour to two. Yeah, it is the dream. It is hard, but not impossible. Now, I am a stay at home mom and that did make it easier, but it can be done : ) PS Another biggie that helped us was when we took away the pacifier we added a sound machine in his room with waterfall noises. That way whenever he woke there was something that was consistently there to soothe him back to sleep. I did not have a video monitor during our CIO but if you can fit one in the budget buy one before you give up on your CIO journey. I think it would have helped if I could have seen him without sneaking in his room while crawling on the ground to the edge of the crib, hoping he didn't see or smell me. :) Also we used Halo Sleep Sacks and at least buy just one because it was comforting to know that no matter how he thrashed his blanket was still on him and not tangled up in the corner of his crib. Halo Sleep Sack on Amazon. See what works for you... and make it work for your family. I hope this helps you and like I said definitely go visit the expert at http://www.troublesometots.com/cry-it-out/ .
P.S Here are a few more really helpful articles I found on sleep training How to prevent sleep problems - Newborn to 1 Year oldSleep and your 8 to 12 month old and Stress, Cortisol, and getting your baby to sleep
You may also be interested in reading:
Growing Little Ones : 5 Tips for Getting Baby to Sleep

4 comments:

  1. Hi just read your journey. I'm exactly going thru this with his soother, however I'm afraid he will resort to sucking his thumb. Did you swaddle hands in? We were going to try the cio but he found his hands so there we are afraid this will be his new soother its natural yes but I would like to avoid.

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    1. We stopped swaddling and quit the pacifier at the same time as we started doing CIO. We gave my son a small blanket or lovey which he started sucking on instead of pacifier or thumb. He occasionally would suck on his thumb but always went back to the blanket. (If you make the blanket smell like you by tucking it in your shirt that helps too!) My son is now 15 months old and still uses the same blanket for his soothing comfort and it works for us. The thumb sucking was a worry for us at the beginning. We finally decided that even if it did happen at least he could find his thumb at night. Where the pacifier had to be replaced by us every 2 hours. Our plan was to just fight the thumb battle when it became a problem. I know that it was probably a horrible idea, but it was all we had. Try a little lovey or blanket though and see if that helps:)

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  2. Hi there. We are desperate to ditch the binky and get our six-month-old sleeping longer, as I'm currently going in and replacing the binky 8-10 times a night, on a good night. It's exhausting. We are planning to try CIO starting this weekend using Ferber's method of controlled crying.

    Here's my question for you. I know that this method doesn't work for everyone. I wonder, though, when I decide that "this isn't working". Is it after 3 hours of nonstop crying? After a week of no results? After 10 days?

    I have so much trouble hearing my baby cry. We've done a little tiny bit of CIO before, only a couple of nights, and thank goodness we didn't need more than that at the time because I was at my wits' end with maternal instinct to go in and "save" him. I'm actually tearing up right now thinking about how he was screaming for my attention. I'm scared to do that again and I'm not sure I can stick with it if it's going to take weeks or even months to accomplish anything!

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    Replies
    1. Try these links for helpful information:
      www.troublesometots.com/ferber-weissbluth-cry-it-out-smackdown/
      www.troublesometots.com/how-to-cry-it-out-bedtime-edition/
      www.troublesometots.com/how-to-use-and-loose-the-pacifier/
      I did not try Ferber at all when we were sleep training. How long you wait for your baby to stop crying is a very hard question. I'm trying to remember if www.troublesometots.com addresses that at all and I can't recall. After a week with the weissbluth method we were seeing some positive results. We were not there yet, but we were given enough hope to get us through. I'd say it was a month before we tackled the majority of the sleep training and tackled weaning night feedings.
      PLEASE, if you are able buy a video monitor. My largest regret is not having this when I did CIO. Oh, the peace to know without a doubt that babies leg is not stuck in crib bars etc. etc. Your mind comes up with some crazy things during CIO. Here is a link to the video monitor we use http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0052QYLUM/ref=oh_details_o08_s00_i00?ie=UTF8&psc=1 It is the cheapest yet best quality monitor according to the reviews and we have loved it.
      I remember listening to my little one cry. I believe I cried more then he did. You have to be exhausted enough that you stick to CIO. I know that sounds weird but it is true. It is scary, but you have 2 options: Do CIO and stick to it or continue to go in every couple of hours each night to soothe baby yourself. Either option is ok, but you and your baby will end up a happier mother/child unit if you are getting enough sleep.
      I'm sorry for not being as helpful as I wish I could be. I honestly believe the weissbluth method gets you quicker results and thus parents like myself who spend most of CIO crying outside their kids bedroom have a better chance of succeeding.
      REMEMBER SOME THINGS:
      You are an amazing parent and you know your family and your baby better then anyone else in the world.
      You are only going to do what you believe is best for you and your family.
      The reward of a sleeping child can not be underestimated.
      Use a white noise machine in babies room and give baby a small soft lovey (blanket, toy etc.) to soothe himself/herself with. (Tuck lovey in your shirt so it smells like you)
      If I missed anything that you were wondering about please comment again.

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