I’m an advocate for crying it out.
Shoot me now. When I was pregnant, I could not fathom the idea of letting our kid cry in a room with the door shut. Not going to the rescue with hugs and cuddles. Kim and I very much disagreed on this. She wanted the ‘self-soothe’ method and I did not.
When we brought Peyton home 10 months ago, she was a great sleeper, as all newborns are. She slept anywhere and all the time. The first month of Peyton’s life was a piece of cake. I could curl her up in my lap, feed her a bottle and sleep while I did it. When she got bigger, she was not as comfortable to get up in the middle of the night and be poked in the eye with a bottle as Mommy fell asleep.
Our night routine back then was put Peyton to bed as late as possible, so she will sleep as late as possible. Except, no matter what time we put her down, she was up again every four hours. When she was teething, she was up every hour. At the time, she slept in our room. We spent a lot of time fighting with her to even go to sleep at the start of bedtime.
We rocked her and patted her butt. We would stand over the play yard and take turns patting her butt for hours until she was asleep. Only, when we stopped, she woke up! It was a battle we just couldn’t win. When she would finally go to sleep and we could tiptoe out, she was up again at the slightest noise, so getting into bed for us was a Mission Impossible maneuver most nights. This only escalated when she turned 4 months old, during the ‘sleep regression’ phase of her life. That was a nightmare.
I don’t really remember how old Peyton was when we moved her to her own room. We moved her play yard into the second bedroom. I believe she was about 7 or 8 months old. It feels like much longer though. Anyway, from day one, Kim and I made a plan. I was so not ready for this plan. Up until that night, we had tried the ‘cry-it-out’ method and Kim literally had to hold me down so that I wouldn’t go in there and comfort her. I admit, eventually, Peyton went to sleep. No harm done.
However, when we moved her into her own room, I felt compelled again, to check on her. So, we decided that when we shut the door at night, we were not to open it again until the morning. That first night, broke my heart. She could stand up in her play yard by then, so she is screaming and I am picturing her standing up, holding on to the sides of the play yard just tears streaming down her little cheeks.
Its been a long time since that first night and things are so much better. We were blessed with a baby who was so easy to sleep train. I am thankful for this, because frankly, its the hardest part of being a mom that I have had to endure so far. I am sure we will go through this again when she is a toddler and can get out of the bed.
However, now, we have all gotten into a nice routine at night and she knows what it is. It has evolved into something we do all the time and works perfectly for us. Like I mentioned before, the easiest way to teach a baby is repetition and to do everything exactly the same way each time.
So, at 8PM we all climb into her mommies’ bed and play peek-a-boo in the curtains and tickle and read a book and do all the fun things that Mommy Time is reserved for. Then at 8:30AM we make a bottle, give goodnight kisses, put on a clean diaper and lay her in the play yard.
I make her a full 9 oz bottle and that is what she gets through the night. I lay her in the play yard, cover her up, give her kisses and turn on her music box. I hand her the bottle and say “Goodnight, baby. I love you. Sweet Dreams.” I turn off the light and shut the door. From that moment on, we don’t open the door until I get up in the morning.
I might go in long enough to make sure she is covered up before I go to sleep or isn’t tangled up in her blankets, but for the most part, we have done this same routine for the last 2 months and it works. Now, she goes down, for the most part, without much fuss. This includes naps, from what I hear (I work during the day, so Kim takes that role).
So – after all that rambling, the simple point is this. Crying it out worked for us. Its hard and I feel like a terrible Mommy letting her stay in there in cry. But, sometimes, its best for the whole family. We sleep better at night and so does she. Our pediatrician already said she doesn’t NEED those calories at night because she’s already well above average for her age in height and weight. Its simply a habit that needed breaking.
For those of you wondering if crying it out is right for you, its a personal decision and one I still struggle with. Yes, it works. I know it works. I have seen it work. But every baby is different. Every family is different. I am simply an advocate because it worked so well for us.
Take Care ❤