Monday, August 17, 2015

so we cried it out

The cry it out method of parenting. It's totally controversial on whether it should be done or not, and then controversial within those who believe in it on how it should be done. Do you comfort them at all throughout the crying period? If you do comfort them, after how long of crying?

At five months old, Sophia has started to sleep in her crib at night. I feel like I have a newborn all over again. She'd sleep for 2-4 hours at a time, and she was up for the day at 6:30am. I was longing for the days of her sleeping 8+ hour stretches. My coffee maker and I were good friends again, and I had signed up for a Starbucks rewards card.

With Austen's schedule, I couldn't let her cry it out because it would mess his days/nights up. I knew something had to happen though because she was breaking out of her swaddle and waking herself up, or getting very close to rolling over onto her stomach in her swaddle, which scared me since her arms were pinned down.

He went back to Texas to get some stuff lined up for a little over a week. Cue my time to rid Sophia of the swaddle.

Night #1: She wouldn't fall asleep unless she was holding my hand. So she slept in her bassinet pulled right up next to my bed and I hung my arm over the edge all. night. long. She nursed like four times (all for comfort, I know) and twice fell asleep in my arms in bed with me. We were desperate for sleep. She didn't nap really at all the rest of the day and didn't make it to her bedtime.

Night #2: After an early bath, lotion, clean jammies, nursed and rocked, she was laid down in her crib. Swaddle-less. She instantly woke up and started crying with big wide eyes. I gave her the paci, told her I love her more than life, and walked away. I did that for 90 minutes. At one point after I had to pry her little fingers off of my hand and she screamed, I closed her door, sat in the hallway next to her door and just cried. Lilly even came to check on me and put her head in my hands while we just sat there outside of her door. I went in every 5 minutes or so for the first hour, but realized if I let her go about 15 minutes, she was calmer. So I gave more space in between my times of going in the nursery to comfort her.

Night #3: She had a really hard time napping all day without her swaddle, so was completely tired for bed. It took about 40 minutes worth of putting her paci back in her mouth and patting her butt every 5-15 minutes, but she did it. And she woke up only twice in the middle of the night.

Night #6: Sophia quickly developed a good routine for sleeping without a swaddle in her crib. Her diffuser goes on with either lavender or cedarwood for naps + bedtime. She nurses before each and we rock for a few minutes until she's in a light sleep. Once she lays down, she either rolls right onto her side, holds her hands, and sucks on her paci to fall asleep or fusses about for a couple of minutes before doing that. She wakes up no more than twice in the middle of the night and is back to sleeping until 7:30am. All the praise hand emojis!


After about a week of cry it out, she began to realize in the middle of the night, I would come if she cried and rock her or nurse her. So she started to wake up every 2 hours. Ah, heck no. So after a few nights of that becoming a habit, we had to cry it out in the middle of the night, too. We really didn't have as tough of a go-around with cry it out in the middle of the night as we did at bedtime. I always make sure she is fed and clean before letting her put herself to sleep. She's also a tummy sleeper, so if she's having a hard time on her side, I'll help her roll to her tummy. That usually does the trick for her. She still wakes up about every 3-4 hours, and mornings are early in our home at right around 6:00am with her wanting to take a 45 minute nap at 6:30am... We're working on breaking that right now and just sleeping until 6:30am. Momma is struggling with that one, hard.

Ya'll, there are controversies over every single method of parenting. One professional will tell you to do X while another will say under no circumstances should you ever do X, always do Y. It's confusing and frustrating. What I have learned is listen to it all, and do what works best for you. Sometimes it's all what one professional says, but usually it's a combination of multiple views. I knew that Sophia had to learn to comfort herself, and this was our week to learn it within without making our home a living nightmare for all of us.

Having her cry it out was the hardest thing I have had to do as a momma since she's been home from the NICU. But my sister reminded me this is the first of many tests as a parent. I have to stand strong so that she can learn coping and comforting strategies. Next, I'll have to learn how to discipline. Until then though, we'll enjoy our good nights of sleep, decent naps, and sometimes breaking the rules to cuddle + nap together.

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