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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
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