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  1. #1
    JMS is offline Sapphire level (2000+ posts)
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Pennsylvania, USA.

    Default What does "Crying it Out" mean to you?

    Hi.. please help.. my 3 1/2 month old DD is progressively becoming a worse sleeper. She had been, more often than not, having nighttime sleep stretches of about 8 hours. Lately though she's been getting up once per night usually around 3. I'm not that worried about this b/c I think she is either going through a growth spurt or didn't have quite as big a last meal b/c of a mild reflux/digestion problem. Also, when she wakes in the middle of the night she eats and immediately goes back to sleep. The real problem is initially getting her down for the night. She scream and screams. I've just started researching sleep aid books to buy and read. So far, I've skimmed "The Baby Whisperer". I really don't want to let her CIO, but I also believe that you have to do what works for the individual child. She used to go down without a problem but now it's such a struggle. She is obviously so tired and will fall asleep in my arms but when I put her in her bassinet she opens her eyes and eventually starts crying. The few times I've tried letting her CIO (which was never more than a few minutes) she wailed. So much so that she started sweating and seemed to be on the verge of hyperventilating. I really don't think CIO is an option for us. She gets herself so worked up that it's so much harder to get her back to sleep than just picking her up and soothing her in the first place. I hope I haven't already started too many bad habits (I really didn't think she was old enough to form habits yet), but I'll often let her fall asleep on the breast or in my arms, and if all else fails, and she isn't asleep within an hour, I completely give in and let her co-sleep with me for an hour or two and then finally put her in her bassinet. I don't even know how I feel about co-sleeping. Part of me loves it, but part of me (b/c of what everyone seems to be telling me) is affraid if I let her sleep in our bed now, she'll never want to sleep alone nor fall asleep on her own.
    PLEASE HELP.. any suggestions are so greatly appreciated!!

    Mommy to DD "HH" 2004
    and DS1 "MH" 2005
    & DS2 "JJH" - My very Irish baby!

  2. #2
    JenB Guest

    Default RE: What does "Crying it Out" mean to you?

    My son Briggs is 5 1/2 months old now. I have never let him CIO. I just can't do it. Don't worry, you haven't "ruined" your child! Briggs has good sleep habits now. I rocked him to sleep all the time!! When trying to figure out what time to put him to bed I waited until HE had kind of "chosen" a time. I noticed that at about 3 1/2 months he started falling asleep consistently (in his swing or my arms) at about 6:00pm and slept for the rest of the evening. That was my cue that this could be his bedtime. (I slowly stretched it to 7:30 over the course of 2 months because my dh doesn't usually get home until around 6:00.) I really focused on a bedtime routine. We do a bath, massage, read stories and then I swaddle him. I used to be able to rock him to sleep then, but now he doesn't seem to want me to do that. Now I put him down and give him kisses and stroke his face a bit. I end up setting the timer in the kitchen for 4 minutes and then go in to check on him. If he hasn't fallen asleep after that, I rewrap him and talk softly to him for a bit, then leave again, setting the timer for 4 more minutes. The most I have ever had to reset the timer is 3 times. Sometimes I do pick him up and rock him and that is what it takes. He cries, but the 4 minutes don't let him get too worked up.

    Now, at 5 1/2 months he occasionally goes to sleep within that first 4 minutes. It is getting more frequent. I do the same thing with the timer for naps too.

    I think the most important thing is to watch your child for cues about their sleep schedule. My son rubs his eyes and yawns when he is sleepy. He also gets whiney. That is my cue to start talking to him about taking a nap and I put him down. Look for cues from your daughter. He is on a schedule that he set, not one I set. It came pretty naturally--not forced. His naps are usuall the same time--within a half hour.

    I LOVE the idea of sleeping with my son but don't do it for two reasons--one, my dh is a WILD sleeper and would probably roll over him; and two, I don't want the struggle to get him into his own bed when his is a toddler. Plus, my dh and I want a sex life! :-)

    Briggs wakes up at about 3:00am. I feed him and he goes right back to sleep. A few times he has slept through--especially if I wake him at 11:00pm to feed him. I think I could "cure" him of this 3:00am wake up by always feeding him at 11:00pm. I could probably just put a pacifier in his mouth and rock him a bit, but I kind of like this sleepy feeding time. Briggs sleeps then until about 6:30am.

    I think you really need to take cues from your baby. Perhaps the bedtime you are trying to set is too early, or too late (maybe she is overtired?). Are you doing some routine things that let her know it is bedtime. I think this is "key" to helping them get in the mood to sleep. Try the timer thing. I did 3 minutes at first and have now moved to 4. I clean and busy myself for those minutes.

    Best of luck to you! Don't let anyone tell you that you are "doing it wrong". You know your child better than anyone else! Listen and take cues from her and you won't go wrong!


  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2004

    Default RE: What does "Crying it Out" mean to you?

    If you are going to go with the "Let Cry" approach to sleep training, then you have to stick with it. It often can take up to a week of long crying spells for it to work. If you only tried it for one or two nights, you were probably doomed for failure.

    I recommend Dr. Weisbluth's book, "Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child." He is a proponent of "Let Cry," but he also provides alternatives for parents who don't want to do it. His theory is that the most important thing is give the child sleep regardless of the method used (he supports "Let Cry" because in his experience, it is the quickest method).

  4. #4
    Cassie Guest

    Default RE: What does "Crying it Out" mean to you?

    CIO to me means letting your baby cry UNTIL they fall asleep by themselves. If you go back and get her up after a few minutes, that is not CIO. We used "Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child" by Marc Weissbluth and it was a great book. My dd slept through the night at 8-9 weeks and we DID allow her to cry to fall asleep. The first night was 20 minutes, the second was a few minutes and the third night she didn't cry at all.

  5. #5
    RookieMom Guest

    Default RE: What does "Crying it Out" mean to you?

    Hi - its been a while since your first post, so I'm hoping that means you've succeeded in finding a sleep solution for you. I've never used CIO as my DS just wailed and wailed and wailed. I've concentrated on helping him feel secure, loved, and safe. Beyond that, the constant is that his schedule changes if he's well, sick, teething, overtired, etc.

    Now that he's 8 months old, I concentrate on getting him into a routine so he knows what's coming. A bath at night allows him to play, but also to begin to wind down since we do a massage and cuddle right after, with a warm sleeper and a comfy blanket in the rocking chair. He's not too much into stories yet, but we're working on that.

    Good luck!!

  6. #6
    vsc1_wa Guest

    Default RE: What does "Crying it Out" mean to you?

    I know you posted awhile ago but I just had to add my "two cents"... CIO is not the only option and you are not harming your daughter just because you're responding to her needs. Check out "The No Cry Sleep Solution" by Elizabeth Pantley or any books by Dr. Sears (in particular, I believe he has one called "Nighttime Parenting"). Although the Fields give a lot of warnings about co-sleeping (at least in their Baby Bargains book, they do), people all over the world (and also in this country) do it safely and their kids are not in their beds forever. Best of luck!

  7. #7
    Happy Mom Guest

    Default RE: What does "Crying it Out" mean to you?

    Thank you for your post. I have actually been made to feel guilty because my DD sleeps with us at 9 months and is still getting up 1 to 2 times for a bottle. I would love for her to learn how to sleep through the night, but I am definitely against letting her CIO. She has a twin brother that sleeps well through the night unless she get's really unruly and wakes him, lol. I think I'll take a look at the book you mentioned. Thanks again for the post.

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