Monday, May 31, 2010

Toddler in Training

{Disclaimer: This is long but I would appreciate any advice you have to give}

Last night was a hard night... well the last few weeks have been hard nights but last night was the hardest..../easiest. Let me explain.

For the last few weeks Lola will go to bed in her crib then wake up in the wee hours of the morning and cry/scream until we get her out and put her in our bed. There is no consoling her or rocking her back to sleep. All she does is point to my room and wiggle out of my arms and run to my bed if I don't take her there fast enough. So for the sake of sleep, I will get her out of bed and put her in ours so I can go back to sleep. If were lucky, she would fall back to sleep deep enough for me to put her back in bed. But as the days went on she would wake every time I tried to move her and whine and wiggle until I put her back down in my bed. Needless to say, Chris and I are getting frustrated and nice, deep sleep is rarely had. The other night I was so frustrated that I just laid in bed next to my little girl and cried. She is now in the mind set that if she wakes and cries, she can come sleep in our bed and I knew that needed to change.

I talked to a few people and they did the "cry it out" method. I NEVER wanted to do that. It broke my heart to hear her cry and I honestly felt like it was cruel. Oh how the tables have turned. My aunt has trained all of her kids at a young age to successfully fall asleep on their own in their cribs. How did she do that? A week of sad, horrible, heart-breaking, "cry it out" nights and then, babies who sleep in their own beds and put themselves to sleep, for the most part. So while camping with my parents this weekend I talked to my mom about it and then talked to Chris and came to the conclusion that this {cry it out method} may be our best/only option.

We have tried a night light, a humidifier, reading books, pillows and other bed arrangements to make her bed feel more like mom and dad's and nothing is working so far. Last night she woke up around 2 am and started crying. Chris and I woke up and he wanted to know if he should go get her. I told him no, we turned off the monitor so Chris could go back to sleep and let her cry. Obviously I wouldn't be able to go back to sleep... I could still hear her a little just in case. As I laid there and tossed and turned and fought back tears and wondered when was long enough, and prayed that she would go to sleep and stop saying "Mommy" because I didn't know how much my heart could take.... something happened. I dozed a little and when I woke back up, I listened and she was quiet. I looked at the clock and it had been a little over a half hour. I turned on the monitor and sure enough she was asleep. I went into her room to check on her and she was zonked. I kissed her and went to sleep in my bed with only my hubby, for the first night in weeks. She spent the whole night in her crib. I feel like it was worth it, as long as it works in the long run. I am not looking forward to night 2. But luckily I don't work tomorrow so if I start her out in her own bed and she cries for a while. I can be up to do what I need to do to get her to sleep.

Awesome sleep face!

We also want to be more strict about her bedtime routine. i e- pj's, prayers, sing some songs, and read a book while in her crib and get her to go to sleep in there. We have shot ourselves in the foot by letting her lay in our bed until she is asleep and then taking her to her crib. She used to put herself to sleep in her crib but as she got older it was harder and harder for her to do that so I just let her lay with me until she fell asleep. I love cuddling with her so it was a little selfish too...What do you guys think, have you tried this method? Has it worked for you? What other things have you guys tried that have worked? Am I a mean mom for making her cry?

Almost losing the binky while napping

I hugged her and held her this morning for a while before coming to work and luckily I think she forgot about her traumatic night. But I am glad that she is getting babysat by my in law's today so she can get some extra lovin'!!


  1. I have no ideas of my own, but

    I saw this blog the other day that might help (about different methods and books on babies and sleep).

  2. Wow, I am proud of you for making it through the night. I think there is nothing wrong with what you guys are trying. I think to provide you some comfort, i would just check on you like you did last night and then you know she is sound asleep:). I check on Aiden often just so i know he is sleeping and has blankets on him (Glen thinks that i am crazy). Good luck tonight!

  3. Dearest Daris,

    I don't think that you are a mean mom at all for letting her cry it out. The fact that you care so much goes to show what a sweet momma you are! I've heard from a lot of people that sometimes you do just have to let your babes cry it out....I'm positive I'll experience that someday too and I'll be calling you for advice.:) Good luck with night 2!! I hope that you guys can start getting some good sleep. I think that you are doing the right thing for your situation. Loves and hugs.


  4. Dari, I think you have done what you need to do to be a good mom. I know that I am NOT the best mom I can be if I don't get my sleep. We were lucky to have a great pediatrician that recommended a couple of sleeping books while Richard was tiny so by 6 weeks of being home both of my kids were sleeping through the night. I do not remember the names of the books I read but I took some of the advice that just made sense to me that happended to overlap in the books. But it only took each of the kids 2-3 nights to get into a bedtime routine. So hang in there. Once Lola can soothe herself to sleep it will be easier for her to do it in the middle of the night.

    And there is no harm in a little crying. She isn't hurt, just having trouble getting to sleep.

  5. You are not horrible at all!

    I'm not a mom yet, but I'm totally going to use the cry yourself to sleep method even though it's heart-wrenching.

    At the end of the day (or night in this case), you and Lola both were able to sleep and you still love each other to bits, so I say go you!

  6. Obviously no kids for me, but my sister is big in the cry it out method and her kids sleep like for my brother and his wife their kids are OUT OF CONTROL and stay up until 3 sometimes. Routines are key!

  7. All I can say is I'm happy you took your little sisters advice... You're not a mean mom and it will be worth it!

  8. You are NOT a mean mom! We started doing this with Jaxon when we moved 2 months ago. The first 3 nights were horrible. I just sat outside his room and cried. But no its the best thing. Instead of being up till midnight or even 2am sometimes, he goes down by 9:00 every night. He only crys for a min if at all now. And if he does stir at night, he only cries for like 30 sec and is back asleep.

    I'm still paraniod and check on him multiple times to make sure he's okay and has his blankets and stuff. He used to be such a horrible sleeper and no he sleeps through the night! It's well worth the few days of heartache!

    Good luck and let me know how things go.


  9. So, I can offer some slightly different advise (it's the know it all in me).

    The cry it out method is acutally perfectly healthy. REALLY. I think the problem with the cry-it-out method is the toll it takes on the parents.

    So for the nights when YOU are struggling you should try the No Cry Sleep Solution. It's a book...and I did not read it :) But we read about the general premise and used it with Leah when she was struggling when she turned 1. Basically, over a few nights you ease your way out of the room. You get farther and farther away...that way they know your there but your not soothing them. Every 5 min you let them know your there. Eventually they fall asleep and it only took Leah 3 days to just fall asleep on her own without crying. It totally worked for us....

  10. Dari, you are such a great mom! I know the cry it out method is hard, but let me tell you, it works and is so worth the first few hard nights. We did this with Jaxon and in about 3 nights he finally understood that we were not coming back in and bedtime has been a breeze since. I am a big believer in routines too. Kids need them to feel safe and secure. Start your bedtime routine at the same time every night and do the same things in the same order so she knows what comes next. Any parenting book you read will tell you that routines are good. Even in the morning and during the day. Parenting has got to be the hardest job out there, emotionally, physically, psychologically...but so worth it! Hang in there, you two are awesome parents, Lola is a lucky gal!

  11. Hey Dari,
    I am glad you're getting some sleep. I have always been anti-cry-it-out but just in the infant setting. I think at Lola's age if that's what works, then go for it! I think she's old enough know that it's ok and she has the skills to self-soothe.

    I think you're def onto something with the consistency in the bedtime routine. Sophie was all over the place with her naps and it wasn't making for a happy girl. I've been very consistent/schedule oriented and she's been great ever since. I couldn't do the full on CIO method but I did a modified version a Pedi at my work recommended which is just to check on Sophie in intervals. When she cries I go in every 5 min, pat or rub her back for a minute to let her know it's ok and I love her still, and then leave (never talk/pick her up). Some say it's worse because they see you and start up again but it works for us when she has problems falling/staying asleep.

    There are quite a few books on the subject of sleep training. I haven't read any but maybe you could get a cheap copy off amazon. I know people rant and rave about happiest baby on the block (happiest toddler on the block) and babywise. Good luck honey! I'll be sending sleep dust your way!


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