Thursday, December 9, 2010

The Sleep Situation.

We’ve turned a corner in the sleep department my friends!

Not this past weekend, but the weekend before I had my girlfriends over and of course there was a lot of baby talk. God love my two girlfriends who don’t have children for bearing through it. I was telling them all about Evan’s sleeping habits, the getting up every two hours (or less) through the night, the resisting naps and stress it was causing me. That’s when my one girlfriend said to me, “Josie, you have to let him cry it out”. Of course there are many opinions on this. The strongest come from those who disagree with it as a method of sleep training. I myself have struggled with it. I read one book that was dedicated to sleep training and it suggested letting the baby cry out, but not without checking on him every 5 to 10 minutes to let him know you haven’t abandoned him. I’ve also read books that say the crying-out method is wrong and you should go in and sooth your baby back to sleep either by patting him on the back or singing, etc. Now I’m no expert, I mean, I’m only 6 and a half months into this mother gig, but I believe all babies are different and what works for one might not EVER work for another. That’s why I don’t hold judgment (or at least try not to) when it comes to mothering.

If you’ve followed my sleep woes you know that Evan is the type of baby that can really fight sleep and when he’s fighting it is hard to calm him… I believe some would describe him as “spirited”. When things were bad and he was resisting sleep NOTHING would calm him down. Not rocking, not singing, not a soother. Even if I fed him it would only offer temporary relief from his blood curdling scream. I was getting so desperate and I was becoming so sleep deprived I listened to my girlfriend when she told me to let him cry it out. I did it that very night (two Friday’s ago). I closed the bedroom door, turned on the humidifier for white noise, kept the monitor OFF and went to bed. I did set my alarm periodically through the night so I could check on him though. I woke up at 1am, turned on the monitor briefly and heard nothing so I went back to sleep. At 3am I did the same thing and heard nothing. I woke up at 4am (on my own this time, without the alarm) and decided I should physically go in and check on him. When I walked into his room his head popped right up! I quickly exited and went back to my room to let him fall back asleep.

I have no idea how many times he was up that night or for how long. I don’t know how badly he cried because I didn’t hear any of it. The next night by some miracle he only woke up twice! That’s compared to the 4-5 times he was waking up just two nights before (and for three weeks before that). Since then John and I have kept up the dream feed and 10pm and then I do another dream feed at 3am. He’s been waking up for the day shortly after 6am. As far as the monitor goes, I have kept it off! I keep the bedroom door open instead. As my mom pointed out she didn’t have a monitor for me or my brother and got by just fine without it. I do still use it for naps of course because I can’t always hear him when I’m downstairs.

Speaking of naps he seems to be going down easier for them now as well. Like magic, the night after I let him cry it out he went down for his nap without a fuss. I read him a story, sang to him, put him down and walked away. It was really that easy. Now he still resists sometimes, I find it gets harder to put him down as the day goes on, but there has been a drastic improvement.

And there you have it… my sleep update. It will probably be different in a couple of days so I’ll keep you posted.


  1. That is good to hear you are getting more sleep! Babies always put so much effort into crying so maybe that's maybe why Evan is sleeping more and napping easier, haha!

    (Angela the university student, who really REALLY values her sleep)

  2. yay! that's good news... my one word of advice whatever you do, be consistent!

  3. As a new mother, I can tell you...I FEEL YOUR PAIN! Well, what I should say is that I FELT your pain! I too, did the "let him cry it out" sleep training, and let me tell you, it was THE best thing that we could have EVER done!
    Here's basically ow it goes (if you're interested)...Dr's have said that once your baby is about 12-15lbs, they no longer NEED to be fed through the night, which mean that you can let him cry it out, right through the night! What we did was, fed him as usual at "bedtime" (7pm) then, went about our night...went to bed at our regular time...kept the monitor on (my husband wore ear-plugs, since he had to get up for work). When he woke up in the night, it was horrible! I cried in my bed while he was crying in his crib, but by the tird night he had caught on! He didnt wake up in the night at all!
    I will admit, it was th hardest thing that I have had to do as a parent so far...but I assure you, it was the best thing as well! We now have a great sleeper & a very happy baby all around! It also helped his napping during the day as well. As oon as he started sleeping through the night, he also went from fighting naps like crazy, to fussing a little whe I pt him down then sleeping for 2.5 hrs! Im tellin' ya, it is a blessing!
    Well, good luck with whatever you decide to are right, what works for one baby might not work for another. You have to test things out & figure out what works best for you guys!
    Happy Holidays!

  4. I too did the cry-it-out method and it was the best thing I have done for both my baby and myself. We have to realize that sleeping is a skill and that babies need to learn how to soothe themselves so they can get back to sleep. My baby is so much happier since and sleeps better at night and during the day. I would encourage anyone to try it as long as they are comfortable with it. Your baby will be better off in the long run.