Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Chronicles of Cry It Out - Day Four

Sigh. This girl. For all her sweetness and adorable-ness, she is giving me a run for my money. Yesterday, she was cheery and sweet, and would have nothing to do with her crib. And, as a result, nothing to do with naps. She would drift off while eating, but otherwise she was nap free until about 5:00 when I gave up and let her sleep next to me on the couch while I watched TV. She slept till 6:30, and then ate dinner (milk and prunes), and played until she started getting sleepy, about 8:15. I fed her one more time for good measure, and she drifted off while eating. I was worried that would give her extra energy to fight at bedtime, and in a way I think it did. But, nonetheless, I gave her some gas drops, kissed and snuggled her and left her in her crib. The crying started before I got to the door. This was harder than normal. In an attempt (I assume) to soothe herself, once she lost her binky, she crammed her hand in her mouth. Her whole hand (I was peeking periodically). When she's not crying she gags herself when she does this, so it was intensified by hysterical sobs+hand. Lots of gagging. Hence, my frequent army crawl through the doorway to check on her. But, the pattern was more consistent. Cry for a minute, quiet/catch breath for a minute. After about 20 minutes she moved on to angry talking. She was more physically active though. At one point I heard a bang on the wall that her room shares with our living room, where I was folding laundry and watching House. I went to investigate, and found her turned 45 degrees from her starting point, kicking the wall. By the time she actually fell asleep, 40 minutes after I put her down, she was upside down, if you will, feet where her head normally is, head where her feet normally are. And snoring her tiny little head off. She also had a finger stuck in her mouth, again, I assume, to self-soothe. Success! Self soothed, asleep in under an hour...great! Until one am arrived. Woke up fussing, and I resisted responding until the fuss became a scream. I fed her in her rocking chair, and laid her down, but she woke immediately and started flailing her arms and legs. I scooped her back up (probably a mistake, but it was the middle of the night), got her back to sleep, laid her back down and ran for the door. There was no noise from the crib. Holding my breath, I visited the restroom, then peeked back in. Oops. I had been spotted by bright eyes staring at the door. Enter wails. I waited for them to get softer, but to no avail. She was so worked up, so I walked over and stroked her cheek. Well, apparently she didn't notice me coming, because I was the cause of my baby's first scream of terror. She went from a low pitched cry to a high pitched peal of horror in a heartbeat, her face changing from frustration to fear. It was awful. I felt so badly, I scooped her up right there and took her to my room to comfort her, which took some doing. Probably ten minutes later she was calm again. She slept by my side until quarter to seven when she woke up screaming in a way I interpreted to be pain. I jumped up and took her to change her diaper, thinking she was experiencing the same problem she'd experienced on Sunday, but that wasn't it. She screamed until I fed her, and then she calmed and slept more. All in all, it was a rough night, and I felt like we took several steps backward. This is rough, people. I just tried to put her down in her crib after she'd fallen asleep in my arms, and that backfired. Moms who've done this, did you wait till night time was established to put them down awake for naps, or did you do CIO for naps too?


  1. You have a lovely little strong-willed girl! haha What a turkey!

    We did CIO across the board for nights and nap. In some ways I suppose that seems like it would be harder because it makes for a long week or so, but I think it might have actually made it go faster because we got more practice and the idea was reinforced multiple times a day rather than just at night. And that way you don't have to later get the concept to generalize over to naptimes. That was just my gut about it and it seemed to work.
    A couple thoughts I had as I read which could be totally wrong so just dismiss them if they are... but I wonder if when she woke at 1 because she was hungry, if you had responded right away rather than letting her get worked up, then would she have maybe eaten and gone down more easily? Maybe not at all, but maybe?

    The other thing I have heard recommended and did some with Lyddie (but not as a hard and fast rule) was to try hard to keep her awake for feedings so there isn't that transition of arms-to-crib that makes baby so mad. Actually from a pretty early age (probably 3 months) I typically avoided having Lyddie fall asleep in my arms for that reason - she would never transition well to her crib or bassinet afterward. So my goal with CIO was to do an eat-wake-sleep cycle, so that they lay down for naps and bedtime sleepy but awake, although at nights it was just an eat-sleep cycle. We have also had a bedtime routine that has changed a little as she's gotten older, but at Charlie's age was typically nursing, a book or two, singing our special bedtime song, praying, and then going down in her crib awake.

    You might like the book "On Becoming Babywise." The author, Gary Ezzo, is the controversial creator of the Growing Kids God's Way parenting curriculum, but I picked it up at the library and read it anyway, and as I read it thought it was really similar to what I had done with Lyddie after input from my mom and friends' moms. I don't know if I just read a later edition but nothing about the book seemed particularly extreme to me - it mostly seemed like common sense parenting!
    Hang in there - you might feel like you stepped back, but I think she is making progress - it's taking less crying time it seems like! Just be as consistent as you can stand to be... stand firm, you are "training her up" with skills she will use the rest of her life! It's worth it!

  2. Jonathan and I are reading through "The No Cry Sleep Solution." Maybe it would be helpful?

  3. Hi Erin---
    I made the mistake with one of my children, (a strong willed daughter! :) ) of rocking/nursing to sleep--which then gave us that pesky arms to crib scenario. My advice, take it with grain of salt, is to not wait to start bedtime until she is so sleepy she falls asleep in your arms. I guess maybe some babies make that transition with no trouble, but none of my 4 every did.

    If she is fed, diapered, and you are confident she isn't experiencing pain, I would maybe turn that monitor off for a little while. When she really needs you, you will hear her, without it. Then you won't feel you need to monitor her every squeak and fuss, because frankly, I think it can take them a while to fall asleep sometimes and that is okay! :)

    Keep it up--it will be worth it!

  4. The "army" crawl thing had me cracking up cause could just envision myself doing that with the baby thinking to himself - what on earth is mommy doing? LOL...but we have a B&W video monitor that has such a clear picture you can see if his eyes are open, his breathing, etc really well. So that way I can check on him without having to open the door - a HUGE benefit when I don't want to risk waking him up. And when we have company over I can keep an eye on him but keep the volume down or off so it doesn't interrupt our movie, talking, whatever. So it's something to consider! It even gets reception all the way out in our other building where Jason's office is! We've tried several brands, and ours is an older model, but the best one we've had is the Summer Day & Night Video Monitor: http://www.diapers.com/products/Summer-Infant-Day-Night-Baby-Video-Monitor-Set-69512?site=CI&src=gnew&cm_mmc=cse-_-googlebase-_-health_safety-_-PJ-326&ci_src=14110944&ci_sku=PJ-326