Here we are at part 2 of sleep training and cry it out. If you missed it, part 1 is here.
Our experience with cry it out:
Let me just be clear about a few things:
- No one WANTS to do cry it out. You don’t want to make your baby cry to sleep. It’s sad and heart breaking. But for us, it was the only option left. I love sleep and I love my husband. In order to be good parents we need sleep and we need time together. I also need to be a happy mama…which also goes back to sleep. I need it. And all of that is second to the fact that Olivia needs sleep to develop and grow. She was not getting good sleep when she was up every 20 minutes for hours.
- We were at our breaking point, which led to us being fully committed. We were on the same page. There was NO backing out.
- At this point, she was still napping in a non-moving swing. She goes in completely awake and falls asleep on her own.
- She was a couple days over 6 months. (She turned 6 months on Saturday and we started 4 days later.)
- We were NOT doing this to wean her from her overnight feeding. We would still feed her when she got up once a night, but no more. We decided to feed her around her usual time and any other wake ups, we’d let her cry.
I was honestly afraid she would cry and cry and never fall asleep. I have a very stubborn, smart baby. I had read about all these stories how babies get it in 3-4 nights. But I have a friend who’s baby is 5 months older than her and they are very similar. It took them awhile for him to 100% get it and that’s what I expected.
So we prepared for the first night. We did our bedtime routine (bath, book & bottle, prayers) and then we placed her in the crib. We said to her “okay it’s time for bed now. We love you. Have a good sleep.” (I have always said this to her when I put her down for naps. Why? I have no clue…I just started it and kind of like it.)
We went downstairs and I made a cup of tea. Danny said he would stay on the first floor and clean up from dinner so I could go in the basement and distract myself with Chicago Fire for the first night. He took the monitor. We decided he wouldn’t come downstairs until she fell asleep. This was basically for me because I had a stomachache about this and didn’t even want to see the monitor.
Okay, so here are my notes…(I’m sharing this because I felt it was SO helpful to read other mom’s accounts of what happened.)
Notes from Cry It Out
4/247:15 – put down in crib cried 35 minutes and was asleep at 7:50 11:30 woke up to eat. Put back in crib and she cried for 1 hour 45 minutes. Danny finally went in and gave her a pacifier and left. 1:15 she fell asleep 5:54 woke up.
4/257:00 put in crib and fell asleep immediately. no crying. 11:30 woke up to eat. fell asleep right away. 1:30 woke up and cried for 1 hour, 25 minutes. 2:55 fell asleep 6:20 woke up 6:30 fell back to sleep 6:45 woke up for the day
4/267:07 put down in crib and started crying. cried 28 minutes. 7:35 asleep 12:20 ate. cried 2 minutes. went to sleep 6:50 woke up
4/27bedtime at 8 (naps were off and took a late nap because we were in car) cried for 10 minutes. 8:10 sleeping. 10:30 woke up. cried for 60 minutes. 11:30 ate (had a poopy diaper. which is probably why she woke up) cried for 3 minutes 11:50 asleep. 11:52 woke up. woke up on and off for 10 minutes and gave pacifier. fell asleep 12 started crying again. cried till 2. We picked her up and brought her into bed and called it quits for the night. *I was SO SO SO defeated after this night, but we were NOT giving up. I felt awful she had a poopy diaper and we didn’t know. We decided to call it quits after a really rough night. This was the hardest night by far but we were both glad to stop at 2. You’ll see that it didn’t end up affecting the big picture.
4/286:52 put down. cried on and off for 10 minutes and fell asleep. 11:20 up and ate. slept right away. 3:40 up. cried for an hour. back to sleep. 7:15 up for the day.
4/297:00 put down. cried for not even a minute. fell asleep 11:30 up to eat. right back to sleep 5:30 whined but fell back. 6:50 up for the day.
4/307 put down. cried for 35 minutes. 11:30 ate. back to sleep. 6:30 woke up for the day.
Thoughts looking back:
- I was right in saying our child wouldn’t be one to just get it in 4 days and be done. She’s smart and stubborn and it took awhile for her. I would say it took about a week to be SO SO SO much better. Now we’re in a good grove, but she still has her nights that are off. (She was up 2x last night and up from 3:30-6 wide awake.)
- It did get better each night except the night we had to abandon it. I tried to focus on the big picture in that one night wasn’t going to ruin everything. It took A LOT of talking with mom friends to realize this. I was really upset about it.
- CIO is REALLY hard, but it works. Most babies don’t take this long to get it.
- We transitioned to naps in the crib about 2 weeks after we started CIO. The transition wasn’t really a big deal. She got it quickly, but did much better when it was just me during the week. She’s not really a fan of napping on the weekends when Dan is home.
- Doing this was good for Olivia and good for us. We are all sleeping better.
- I spent a couple of nights downstairs in the guest room with a pillow over my head and a podcast blasting. It didn’t really help because I felt like my mommy hearing still could hear Liv.
- Every morning when I’d go in and get Liv she was perfectly happy, laughing and smiling. This was important because it showed she was happy and didn’t get mad at the night before.
If you automatically have a great sleeper, props to you. It seems like many blog mamas do and I’m insanely jealous. Eventually we will wean her off of the nighttime bottle, but I’m going to wait until she is eating more solids. I’ll probably start decreasing it at 7.5 months or so.
Thanks for reading. Obviously this is a very personal topic and you have to do what’s right for your baby and your family. I’m only sharing my experiences because I want to give hope to parents who feel like they will never sleep again!
Update on kids and family:
- Mom Talk – The transition from 1 to 2 kids
- Drop the Guilt and Start Taking Care of Yourself
- Potty Training Time