The Follow Up||
So here we sit…going on our 4th week of “crib/sleep” training. My hubs just almost choked on his water listening to my horrible math rationalization of him crying every other 4-8 minute increments. Is our 5 month old already showing early signs of OCD? 😉 Things have regressed since the 2 week mark when we were able to bounce and rock our sweet little darling to bed as he would safely drift off to dreamland for at least 5 glorious hours. Everyday in the 3rd week got increasingly worse. By Friday we had a bout with him not wanting to be alone in his room (period) and (me) a clogged milk duct. It was almost like he sensed something was wrong with me. We put him in the bed with us and he side nursed for over an hour before we both fell asleep. When I woke a few hours later the side had completely gone down and my sweet River Monster was finally sleeping soundly. Yay.
The weekend approached and we were at an all out war with River battling a head cold from teething and constantly wanting to be consoled. I am not a total MoMster and of course rocked, sang, cooed and shooosh my River monster for hours on end…along with his Dad & Mia of course (it takes a village & my hubs is awesome). But I realized it was TIME and WE were ALL ready to give the “Cry It Out” method a try. I had read Weissbluth’s suggestions over and over to get a grip on just really being prepared to listen to your child cry for what feels like an eternity. But the funny thing is…on day 2 it’s pretty spot on with how long they will cry…well for us. Every child/situation/family/ what-have-you is different. But it’s working for now. It’s supposed to take 4-5 days…here is our experience.
This night was more about Luke. My darling, sweet, adoring hubs. I knew I was ready to let River cry. He was O.K. He was fed, dry, bathed and generally in good condition (Luke and River, both). I love him but he needs to learn to self-soothe. I was concerned for my hubs’ feelings. One of the sweetest, most endearing stories I have heard about Luke is how he was only 9 years old and couldn’t bare to listen to his 6 month old baby sister cry in her crib. His parents thought Charis (his little sister) had finally soothed herself to sleep, only to find Luke in her room rocking and comforting her to sleep.
*cue the sentimental tears. thank you and you’re welcome.
He had a really hard time hearing River cry at first but he trusted me as the Mom. I did my best to reassure him that he was going to be fine by reading little inserts of Dr. Weissbluth. After learning to get past that initial 5 minutes that feels like 50…here is the total breakdown of first day/night total crying:
- Cried 50 minutes until asleep.
- Slept 4 hours
- Cried 40ish minutes
- Slept 5 hours
I did continue to let him “cry it out” for 2 of his naps during the day. About 40ish minutes of crying and maybe an hour of sleeping. The last nap was spent on the Silver Comet Trail in the Lenny Lamb on a nice little walk. I can feel Spring in my bones!
Currently sitting and listening to mid-morning nap “CIO.” He slept so well last night but he is having a hard time giving it up this morning. Could be because he did sleep so well and just not as tired as he typically is…?? I really have no clue. So many questions still remain.
So here was our 2nd night. He fell slightly asleep while nursing so I went ahead and put him in his crib before he tried to nurse into a deep sleep. He immediately started crying when I laid him down around 7:30. Listening to him cry really is so difficult but I have told myself he has been fighting his sleep so much when he started regressing it’s just as stressful to try to rock him as he screams in my face. I finally broke down myself and cried as I sat pooping on the toilet while I listened to my screaming child through the wall next to me. Pooping and crying at the same time…what a release…But after an hour of crying on and off (in 4 minute increments) he gave it up. He slept until 6 a.m.!!!! I seriously couldn’t believe it. I (almost) didn’t know what to do with myself from 8:30 p.m. on when not having to constantly get up and bounce and rock him 3-4 times every hour. So I downed about 3 glasses of wine and caught up on some DVR!
- Cried 1 hour before falling asleep
- Slept 8:30 p.m.-6 a.m.
- Nursed and fell back to sleep.
- Slept 6:15 a.m.-8:40 a.m.
Day 2 Naps:
- Put him down at 9:40 a.m. Cried for over an hour (really tough morning) finally gave it up at 11 a.m.
- I did go check on him at the hour mark because my heart couldn’t take it any longer. I just needed to know he was o.k. He was…
- He fought naps pretty much all day but did get a few total hours when you add them together.
These nights did get a little better. The crying only lasted 10-20 minutes. They would sometimes start back up but only for a short time and he would go back to sleep. I really thought we had turned a corner and defeated sleep training…but 1 step forward 3 steps back…isn’t that the saying?
Sleep Training Conclusion
We are on night 8 of sleep training…so much for 4-5 days for sleep perfection. This post originally had every night from the last week broken down but I felt it was way too long and not needed so I wanted to wrap it in a pretty little bow and move on with life.
We had some definite moments of pure weakness when River, Mom and Dad were completely broken by the crying. This sleep training is truly one of the hardest things I have ever done. Hearing my beautiful son cry so much tears me up inside. Our hardest battles have been naps and as I have mentioned in the crib training series, naps are CRUCIAL in order for the training to be a success.
I was feeling like a total failure as a Mom by Sunday night. I had a complete breakdown mentally and emotionally. My sweet Luke was my rock as always and did his best to reassure me that I was doing the best I could. After a good long cry in his arms I tried to pull myself together. Turns out I am hideous after a good cry. ahhh. It’s funny how the tables turned on Luke having the hard time at first to me completely losing my sh*t by the end of the week.
I think I needed to remove myself a little from the process and listen to outside advice. Even though, as I am sure you know, it’s hard to hear someone offering a solution for something you have worked so hard on. Luke suggested the nap issue was from letting him fall back to sleep immediately after his 5:30-6 a.m. wake up. It just seemed natural to me because he would wake up to nurse and instantly fall back to sleep sometimes until almost 9 a.m.
Could this little thing be throwing off the entire day? Starting Monday morning we were all up by 5:30 starting our day. He nursed some, we took him downstairs to play and have breakfast with us then by 7 a.m. he was ready for the first morning nap. He napped a few hours and praise Jesus he actually did get his 3 naps that day. He still cried for over an hour to get back to sleep at night but he slept through the night again.
We continued the same routine this morning. While we struggled with the last nap of the day and going to bed took another 60 minutes of crying, he did finally give it up. I am hoping and praying that one little thing that Luke told us to fix is the culprit and that by the 4-5th night this week we will have a better . sleeper on our hands.
We are seriously lost half the time when it comes to this parenting thing. There are always so many questions, concerns, second guesses and complete confusion when it comes to raising a little human but having a partner does help tremendously. As a wife, mama and woman I think I need to sometimes learn to let go and ask for help. To know that it’s o.k. not to have all the answers and admit when you just can’t take it anymore (for everyone’s peace of mind).
I know we will continue to struggle as nothing is easy but I think what to take away from our experience would be to not give up and do what is best for you and your child. Some nights were just a wash and we had to start all over the next day and that’s o.k. It doesn’t mean the end all be all. Some people are lucky and just have excellent babies who sleep perfectly. If that is not your child just know you are not alone. I am here for support any time!