New Mum on the Blog

Sharing is Caring! Experiences, insights, advice and tips from one mum to another

Hush Little Baby, Don’t You Cry…

on August 24, 2012

It all started around the age of 6 months. The waking went from once a night to 3. Of course to help soothe her and ease her teething pain I would nurse her back to sleep. I just couldn’t let my baby cry when I knew picking her up and stickin her on the boob would make her feel better. I felt so terrible for her. The pain her mouth must be feeling, and we just moved so she’s in a new place in a new room. I would do anything to make her feel better, and if it means becoming a human pacifier then so be it, she’ll grow out of it. HAHA. WRONG! It got worse, even after the teething and being in our place for a couple months, the waking went from 3 times to a night, to 4, to 5, to 6. No one was getting any sleep (oh except for Jon, did I mention he was a VERY sound sleeper). So Aud and I would wake up in the mornings, bags under our eyes, cranky, tired, she would nap for over 2 hours in the mornings and 2 hours in the afternoon, and because I have a million things to do all the time I didn’t sleep when baby slept. Needless to say, I was hardly a pleasant person to be around all the time. At night most mum’s probably look forward to bed time, not me. I dreaded bedtime. I actually thought about just moving into her room at one point. I tried some sleep training, but it didn’t work for us. We weren’t strong enough, (a-hem Jon wasn’t strong enough), or so I thought. Finally, finally I reached my breaking point. You’re probably, wondering really? It took you that long to get to your breaking point? I took the easy way out. It was easier to just nurse her and have her fall back asleep that way then going through the hour of crying, and anxiety if I didn’t. But I knew that solution wasn’t the right one, not for me and especially not for baby.

So I will start with the first method we tried. The gentler of the CIO methods, increment training, (geez it sounds like we were training for the Olympics or something…) The method is that you start off leaving her room for 5 minutes, during those 5 minutes (longest 5 minutes I have ever experienced) just keep yourself busy (this is when Pinterest came in handy) and when the time is up, go into her room for only 2 minutes, rub her back, shush her, try to calm her down but do not pick her up, do not talk to her, be as boring as possible. The first night we put her down in her crib, drowsy but awake, and left the room. As soon as we closed her door she started to cry. So since I thought it would be harder for both of us if I went in I sent Jon. I built him up all week about this “sleep training” we would, no-no, he would be doing all weekend. “Prepare for no sleep babe,” and “you can’t pick her up, don’t talk to her, just rub her back.” So after the first 5 minutes were up in he went. She cried even louder when he went in there. It was like a “WTF are you doing in here? Where’s my boob?” sort of cry. I could hear him “Shushhhhh, shushhhhh. It’s ok baby, daddy’s here.” Of course I’m outside the bedroom door thinking, don’t talk to her, be boring!  Men, do not listen to instruction. So after about two minutes he comes out, she’s still crying, I’m pretty well in tears at this point, and Jon just has this defeated look on his face and it’s only been 7 minutes. Oh god. So now we are suppose to let 7 minutes go by? We do it all over again. Get the pattern? Leave for 5, in for 2, leave for 7, in for 2, leave for 10, in for 2. We are suppose to follow this pattern all night until she falls asleep. I read some people did it for 2 hours. 2 HOURS!! There is no way, no way I could do that. Some mum’s can, and that’s completely fine, no judgement. Maybe you live in a house where you have a staircase and a whole floor separating you from baby. For us, we live in a small apartment where the only thing separating us is a wall, needless to say we hear every whimper, cry, and movement that goes on in her room. So we decide we will do it for a couple more rounds. So 7 long, long minutes go by (still crying) he goes in, “Shushh, shushhhh,” I hear him say, (still standing outside the door.) Then all of a sudden she stops crying!! IT WORKED! I thought. It actually worked! I can still hear him shushing her, but she isn’t crying. But what’s strange is the “shushing” keeps getting closer to the door, and then backs away again. It hit me, HE PICKED HER UP!! NOOOO!! Oh Jon. A minute later, she starts up again. Well, I guess he put her down. He comes out, “you picked her up didn’t you.” Again, the look of defeat on his face says it all. The third time he went in, he sat on the floor beside her crib and she played with his hair and giggled. Ok, this was not working for us. We are just going to have to live with the fact our child is not a good sleeper. Maybe we’ll try again in a couple months.

A couple months did go by, and no changes really. She was kind of all over the place. Her napping was impeccable, she would fall asleep on her own, suck on her fingers and have a couple good naps, but at night she was a different baby! This is when I met Nanny Robina. If you remember I talked about her in one of my first posts, (Sleep, Anyone?). I told her my story, and she suggested that we had to try again with the CIO. She was good at motivating, and pumping me up for it.

So that night I decided I would try again but this time I would try to ‘Extinction’ method. Basically, letting her cry and not going into her (unless at some point you know you have to). Listen, I know what some people think of this. I know that mums think it’s cruel or that they cry for a reason, that maybe it was separation anxiety, or she is hungry, ect…and I thought of all the same things, but you have to understand that at this point she was getting up almost 6 times in one night. She needed a good nights sleep, she needed to learn what sleeping more than 2 hours felt like! Believe me when I say this was more for her then anything. I decided I would still nurse her around 11 p.m. to “top her up for the night” but after that I wouldn’t. The first night she cried for almost an hour, it took everything in me not to go in, Jon and I are both saying to eachother, “don’t go in, it’s ok, she is safe. Don’t go in.” We didn’t. She finally fell asleep on her own, and didn’t wake up for the rest of the night. The second night she cried for about 30 minutes, then fell asleep on her own and didn’t wake up again. The third night, she cried for about 15 minutes, and fell asleep and didn’t wake up again. It worked, it actually worked.

She now sleeps “through the night,” with the exception of her 11 p.m. feed which I plan to wean in a couple weeks. There are nights here and there she will wake up around 3 a.m., moves around, whines a little for a few minutes but then goes back to sleep. Since we did the “training” she is happier, has much more energy, we’ve even noticed a change in her appetite. I’m not recommending this CIO is for you. It is probably one of the hardest things I’ve gone through as a parent thus far. If you have sleep issues with your baby find something that works for you. If you can’t do the CIO, research the different methods because there are a TON out there to try. There are people that specialize in sleep training where you can pay for their service- which I have had friends swear by and was our next step if this didn’t work. Just don’t give up. You, your hubs, and your baby deserve a good nights sleep, and just remember your baby will still love you, smile for you, and cuddle with you in the morning.

To read how the insomnia began Sleep, Schmeep

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One response to “Hush Little Baby, Don’t You Cry…

  1. When I had my first baby, I vowed to never do CIO. Flash forward 6 months and I was totally on board. What an adorable little girl you have!

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