Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Sleep Training (or lack of)--LIVE

I'm sitting here listening to my baby cry.

He's trying to fall asleep for his afternoon nap.

And I feel like I want to cry.

It was a lot easier last night when Jason was here.  He distracted me from the fact that I feel like I am betraying/abandoning my child.  Seriously.  That's how I feel.

I still don't know where I stand on the cry it out/no cry sleep solution.  I've seriously read just about every book/theory.  I feel like I am seriously, psychologically damaging my child by letting him cry it out (and go figure there is evidence that chemical things are happening in their brains at levels that are REALLY high).  And yet here I am trying it.  I don't know what that says about me.  What I do know is that he needs to nap during the day...and he hasn't been.  I know that he needs to fall asleep easier then it's been lately.  He's fine in the middle of the night.  He wakes up to eat (and he's legit hungry) and immediately falls asleep but nap time and the initial put down at night is a battle.  It used to not be.  But this last month things have changed.

Last night was our first time letting him cry. Jack cried for 20 minutes.  It wasn't a "passionate" cry.  He never got too worked up so I didn't go in until the very end.  I put the binky in his mouth and he was out after that.  But right now for his nap...a different story.  He seems like a "strong willed child" already.  He's also incredibly cuddly and affectionate. I went in just now to calm him back down and he just grabbed my hand and looked up at me with this "why are you leaving me" look.  It seems like torture to him.  Yep, I totally broke down and cried.

I feel like either way I do it I'm screwed.  I feel like if I don't let him cry it out then the whole bed time process is prolonged into this 2 hour ordeal.  2 hours that I should be spending with Jason since I hardly am able to connect with him with his work schedule.  If I let him cry it out though I honestly feel like I am ruining my child.  It's probably wrong.  I want him to feel like he can cry and I'll come when he NEEDS me.  But is he at the point already where he can know to cry just to make me come because he WANTS me?  And is that so bad that he wants me?  He's so little still.  4 months old.  But he needs his sleep.  I need him to sleep too.  I need a break in the day.  I'm with Jack a good 12 hours a day usually...sometimes more.  I need a good hour at least to just relax...or even more so get things done like laundry and dishes.  And eventually he will get older and it seems like it will be harder to teach him to fall asleep then rather than now...I think.

So, he just cried for 10 minutes.  I calmed him down, left him, and all it took was 5 minutes and he was completely worked up again.  I went in and he had barfed on himself (I don't know if it was from being worked up or if it was from feeding him prior), he was completely sweaty, and I just broke down and picked him up.  I just laid with him on our bed and cried...he just snuggled into me and stared at me.  He fell asleep almost immediately with that beat down, I've been crying too much, staccato breathing.  He cried for a whole whopping 15 minutes.  Ugh.  How do people let their baby cry for an hour?   Do they not get worked up like Jack?  Are they just stronger then me?

I think I just need to relax and realize that what I do or don't do is not the sole attributor to the way Jack is going to turn out.  I want him to be a well rounded, obedient toddler (do those even exist? haha) and I feel like everyone is telling me that if I don't sleep train him with CIO then he probably won't be.  On the flip side I see the value of sleep.  That babies really need it.  I need to to trust the Lord and know that He has Jack in His hands and that He loves our little baby even more then we do.

All this to say...I have no clue what I'm doing.
And I totally caved at nap time today.
And I'm okay with it.
For now.

Thanks for being there during the nap time trauma today.  Ya'll the best. ;)


  1. Oh Anna, I don't want to be "Miss-Opinionated-Mom-of-3" commenter here... but I feel ya.

    I completely remember crying when we made Bella cry-it-out for the first time. But, after two days, it was worth it. Summer had to cry eventually because Travis was deployed and I just dang wasn't getting any sleep. And she eventually got it. Both are well-adjusted, happy, loving, secure girls.

    Rhett has had a rough two weeks. Won't sleep anymore and is fussy. Does it bother me? Heck, yes! I feel terrible for him and especially since I know it's probably teething and will last for a few more months. I also feel at a loss if I should keep going in there and plugging him up with the paci or making him cry it out. Some nights I do both. Sometimes I can handle more crying because I just need a break from holding him... and other times, I don't mind getting him.

    I think that you just do what you feel is right. Crying never hurt any baby (well, you know what I mean) and they won't/don't remember a thing. Grace right there! Get some rest, Mama... and love on that baby of yours. I know I'm dealing with the same thing clear in Florida. Sometimes it helps just knowing you're not alone. :-)

  2. Aw...I feel your pain. I have zero advice because John can't fall asleep in his own yet either. (Actually, today was the first time - he was put in the swing drowsy with classical piano music). I need to work in this to. At least I can pray for you at the same time I want to scream my brains out over it!

  3. My first I let cry it out at about 6 months. I thought it was going to kill me! But then after 2 nights it worked! And it was glorious. My second was a fabulous sleeper all on her own - still is - its just the way she is. Now on my third I chose to rock her to sleep every.single.nap.and.bedtime. Never really had her CIO. Why? I suppose because I just wanted as many snuggles as possible. I completely believe CIO works but I just didn't want to do it. So I didn't. Then I started to worry she would never fall asleep on her own. But alas between 9&12 months she started balking at being rocked to sleep and just wants to be laid down while awake. Works for me.

    All this to say - that's the great part about parenthood - you can do what works for your family. And you certainly can change your mind. Why not let him CIO in the evenings so you can have time with hubby but rock him to sleep for naps since you are home alone with him and have the time then?!? Just my 2¢.

    1. I like Bethany's voice. It is different with the third, too. I feel much more "It'll be okay either way..." The first is just plain hard!!

  4. Anna, I have been reading your blog off and on for a while now. I first want to say congratulations to you and Jason on the birth of your beautiful son. I appreciate your honest posts as you learn how to be a mom to Jack.
    I can still remember back to when Daniel was born (over 22 years ago) and how Tom & I struggled so with the whole sleep thing those first couple of months. We had friends who had a daughter the same age as Daniel and their baby was sleeping through the night, etc. They clued us in on the whole sleep training method, which really comes down to having your baby on a schedule (eating & sleeping). We found that both of our kids thrived on a schedule, and so did we (the parents).
    Those first few nights were tough, but it didn't take long and that guy got it! Boy was I thankful that Daniel had a good sleep pattern established by the time his sister was born 16 months after him. We did the same thing with Sarah, and started to sleep train her when she was about 6 weeks old. We had a monitor with a light bar. We would turn the sound off, and just watch the bars, which was easier on me than hearing the cries. Please know that you are not psychologically damaging your child by letting him cry it out and teaching him to get to sleep on his own. Daniel & Sarah are secure, well-adjusted young adults who seem to still love us very much :-). They've never said, "remember when I was a baby and I cried in my crib and you wouldn't come pick me up, you were so mean!".
    Like you said, he needs his sleep & you need him to sleep too. You are doing the right thing Anna. I know it's tough, but hang in there, be strong... it will be worth it in the end. Once you guys get this thing down, you'll be ready for the next parenting challenge, then the next one, then the next one ...
    I will be praying for strength for you, unity for the both of you, and sleep for Jack.
    :-) Paula Phillips

    1. Paula! Thanks so much for your comment...and for everyone else that matter. Funny how knowing that other people successfully trained their kids to sleep makes it so much easier. Jack is on a pretty good schedule during the day and I've found that works great for him too. Night time is a bit for sporadic though. ugh. Although last night he woke up at 11:00 and we had him cry to go back to sleep. Maybe 2 minutes and he was out again. Yay!

      And yes, I know deep down inside that I'm not psychologically ruining my child. I know...but it sure feels like it haha. Anyways, you and your husband have done an AWESOME job raising your kids. So, if it worked out for you...than I'm game haha. :)

      Thanks everyone! I love all your advice and support. I'm a lot more emotionally stable now haha.

  5. We've gone through phases with Eli, I've learned there will always be phases. At first he would go down just fine. Then he hit a stage where it would literally take us 3.5hrs every night to put him down, it was awful! We couldn't let him CIO or sleep train because he would throw up all.over.himself. I'm not talking like an ounce or two, his entire stomach contents. He used to do it in the car in his car seat too. Ugh.
    We eliminated his third nap and we don't let him nap after 6pm, voila it only takes us 30min to put him down now. It's amazing.
    Every child is SO different, what may work for us, may not work for you.
    Night time is still a struggle, especially when he teeths. It's like any sort of routine we have gets tossed out the window. Now we struggle with him waking up after only an hour of sleeping at night. Josh goes in there and pats his back and tells him it's okay while he cries for a minute or two, but he tends to go back to sleep. He finally grew out of the puking while crying stage. Thank goodness.
    I'll be praying for you friend!
    Oh by the way, we are coming to the bay area for thanksgiving. Would love to finally meet you!!

  6. Oh gosh, Anna! First off, congratulations on your little man! I've been reading your blog on and off for a while and really enjoy it. I definitely feel you on this post and had a very similar struggle with my son, Adrian, when he was born - slept great at night, but would not nap for us. I'm sure you've read and heard many opinions, but I wanted to share what eventually worked for us/him. I would wrap him up in his sleep sack and just sit still for 5 minutes with him - no rocking, talking, or stimulation. Then we was calm and sleepy, but not asleep, and I'd put him in his crib. It became our way to signal to him that it was time to sleep. It's hard to listen to your little man cry, when you know he just needs sleep! Good luck!