Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Trying Out Crying it Out

Have any of you mom's used this method or had trouble getting your babies to sleep at night? Jackson used to sleep great and fall asleep easy, but after his ear infection in late March, he started to get a lot harder to put to sleep. He is also still waking up 2 to 3 times a night to eat!!

Let me start by saying, the cry it out method was not ever something I was a fan of. I always felt like it was mean and I just couldn't stand the thought of letting Jackson cry. Its just natural to want to comfort your crying baby. But after standing up for an hour, holding and bouncing your 21 pound baby to try and get them to go to sleep, you become a little desperate.

We had been in the habit of giving him a bottle to soothe him to sleep, and though this works for him, it isn't helpful when its not really time for a bottle at bed time. I also don't want him to rely on a bottle to be able to fall asleep. We've waited to put him to bed later at night, thinking he would sleep better and longer, but for some reason this was doing the opposite and was just making him crabby in the evenings.

We made up our minds that we would not let him cry for any longer than 10 or 15 minutes. My heart just couldn't take much longer than that. Little did I know that when your baby is crying, even 5 minutes feels like an eternity. But we managed to give it the full amount of time, and surprisingly, that was all it took. We've tried this the last 2 nights and both nights he only cried/complained for around 10 or 15 minutes.  Thank Goodness! We also tried putting him to sleep earlier at night, which I read can help them sleep better and longer, and it really has.

The first night, Sunday night, I gave him a bottle a little before 8 o'clock, which is normally when he starts getting tired. It was actually time for a bottle and I expected him to go right to sleep, but he didn't. So I rocked him for a while and then stood up with him and bounced him for a while, none of which worked. He was just fighting it! So we decided it was a good night to try seeing how he would do if we just layed him in his crib, sang him a song and then stepped out of the room. 

He complained for about 10 minutes or so, crying only a little, and then we heard him talking to himself. He talked for close to 20 minutes. It was so sweet to hear him jabbering. Then we just heard silence.

I couldn't believe how well he did. He still woke up a couple of times that night, but I was able to get him back to sleep once without the bottle.  He then slept til 8 the next morning, which is pretty late for him as he normally is awake by 6 or 7!!

Then last night we tried again. He started getting tired at around 8:15, so I gave him a bath and let him play in there for a little while. After his bath I put his jammies on him and then layed him in his crib. I sang to him and rubbed his back and he layed there and acted like he might fall asleep real easy. I kissed him and then stepped out of the room. I didn't hear anything from him for close to 15 minutes or so, so I thought for sure he was asleep. Then he started crying. :-(  I don't know if he just woke up, or he never actually went to sleep in the first place. He cried for around 10 or 15 minutes again and then finally went to sleep.

He slept well, only waking up twice, and one of those times I was able to just hold him and comfort him back to sleep really easy. He was still asleep when I left for work this morning, which is rare these days.

So, this method seems to be working well for us so far. Even though its super hard for me, I know it will get easier and will be better for all of us in the long run. I also know their sleep patterns can change in an instant, but I'm hoping this continues to go well and we can eventually get him sleeping all night without waking up for a bottle and without any crying.