|You can't tell what is going on here? Doesn't matter... just pretend like it's normal. Pre-photoshopped version of the photo from here.|
Scott and I knew we needed some structure to fix this problem. We stumbled upon the Ferber method. Ferber basically wants you to do periodic check-ins on the crying baby at certain intervals of time that get longer each night. I liked the sound of check-ins and Scott liked the sound of possibly having a baby that slept through the night. So, we decided to try a variation of the Ferber Method.
This post was really helpful for me when I was trying to figure out the ins and outs of the Ferber Method.
Well holla holla wooo hooo! It worked! And it worked after only a few days and some fairly short crying periods. The most I had to let her cry was 10-15 minutes. And that, my friends, was the start of me getting my sanity back. Ohhh boy! You have no idea what a difference it makes. I went from getting up 2-5 times a night trying to get her back to sleep to putting her down awake and being 100% confident that I wouldn't see her for 11-12 hours because she would be too busy sleeping sleeping soundly in bed. WOOOO WEEEEEEEEEEE!
Life is goood good good when it comes to Cora's night sleep these days but her naps are a different story. Recently, we had to get back on the cry it out train.
Cora switched from two naps to one. But the little stinker decided one nap a day was too much. She thought she might like to drop them all together. I tried everything in the world to try to get her to sleep. Finally, I had a mini meltdown and told Scott that I had to have his help. He suggested emailing Cora's pediatrician. So, I did.
I love Cora's peditrician. She always calms me down and makes me feel 1000 times better after each of Cora's check ups. I go in with one million questions. She is very patient with me and makes me feel like she has all the time in the world to answer them. She said that I didn't need to do anything except get her somewhat relaxed and calm for a while before the nap. I could do as much or as little rocking, singing, etc as I wanted to. Then put her in the crib, give her a kiss and close the door. She said I needed to leave her in there for an hour- crying, screaming, talking... just let her be. If she still wasn't asleep after an hour I could go get her and just put her down at her regular bedtime (maybe a little earlier). Ugh! I hated the idea of that. No one wants to listen to their baby cry. But babies need their sleep and I wanted to do what was best for her.
So, I did it. I spent over an hour getting her super relaxed and calm. Then I tried to snuggle with her a bit (she's not a snuggler). I sang to her. I gave her her blanket and her favorite doll. I put her in the crib, kissed her and left. She stood up and walked and talked in her crib for 15-20 minutes. Then the crying started. At times it was much more than crying- it was rip your heart out agonizing screams. Then after a minute of that she would go back to talking and playing with her doll. I was watching the clock and the video monitor, counting down the seconds until I could run in there and be with her. At one hour, on the dot, she laid down and fell asleep. Just like that. She went from screaming to asleep in about 5 seconds. I could not believe it. I was at her door ready to rescue her and she was sound asleep.
The next day, I did the same thing... got her relaxed and put her down awake. She talked for 5-10 minutes and off to sleep she went. No crying at all! It was amazing!!!!!
I am not trying to suggest anyone else try the Ferber method or do any sort of crying it out. It is your decision. It is a hard one and I don't want to have any part of it. We decided that a little crying was the best thing to do in our situation.
I am just here to give you some tips on how to get through it if you ever find yourself faced with the dreaded CIO.
Here are my tips:
- Leave the house and let someone else deal with it. If you are reading this- you are probably the one who is most effected by it. It is really hard to be in the house knowing that your baby is upset and you can't do anything about it.
- If you are doing any form of "cry it out" TURN YOUR MONITOR DOWN ALL THE WAY while you are waiting whatever amount of time you have set to let your baby cry. Every so often, you can look at it (if it is video) or turn it back up (if it is audio). But turn it down to mute if you cannot stop looking at it. Don't do this if it is the middle of the night and you think you might fall asleep with the sound off and wake up 6 hours later at which time you go hyperspeed racing to baby's room.
- Give your baby lots and lots of extra cuddles while he or she is awake. It might not make any difference to your baby but at least you know that you gave some extra love in hopes of making up for the extra crying.
- Now that you have cuddled your baby up sufficiently you might want to warn your spouse that you are going to need a few extra cuddles while you are going through the "cry it out."
- Hold your ground. Whatever amount of time you have decided you are going to let your baby cry- STICK TO IT! The CIO methods really only seem to work if you are consistent.
- Drink a glass of water and keep the junk food away. There is no need to tempt yourself with a bunch of chocolate in your face when you are upset. Drink a big glass of water- it will help with the cravings. Sometimes your body is thirsty but your brain reads it as, "give me 42 ice cream sandwiches and a pizza, please."
- Stay busy or even better... stay busy doing something that makes you happy while you know your baby is upset. Have a "happy" play list que-ed up. Dance around. Do some exercise- jump on the floor and do some sit-ups. Call someone. This is a great time to do the laundry or update your blog! (That is the whole reason I am writing this post right now).
|Get your dance on like these groovy gals. Image from here|
Listening to your baby cry is a terrible, awful, no good thing. It can make you feel like a bad parent. It will surely make you second guess your choice to listen to her cry. Just know that you have your baby's best interests at heart and you are doing the best you can.
This is one of the hardest things I have ever done. In the end, I think it was worth it. Babies need their sleep. Thankfully, I only had to listen to Cora cry longer than 15 minutes one time.
When Cora woke up from her nap that terrible, awful, no good cry-it-out day I rushed in and cuddled her immediately. I told her how proud of her I was for being able to put herself to sleep. She didn't seem the least bit bothered by her tears a couple hours earlier. And, best of all, she was a super happy, fun, and sweet baby for the rest of the day! She wasn't a bit cranky!
Good luck! I hope this helps.
The Would You Rather (WYR) of the day!
WYR... have to eat one pound of sugar
or have to drink 8oz of olive oil?
This is another one of Scott's WYRs from our car trip the other day.