Monday, February 16, 2009

Time to cry it out?

So everyone has been telling me that it's time to let Abby cry it out at nights now. I know I really should, but it's so hard to think about just letting her cry. It breaks my heart!

I think she heard Billy and I talking about it the other night because last night, she decided to be really good. She fell asleep around 7:30 and didn't wake up until 1 a.m. She whined a little a couple of times, but Billy went in and patted her back, and she went right back to sleep until 1. At that point, she took a couple of ounces of milk and passed out again. She slept again until 5:30 a.m.

Will was also scared we might let him cry so he slept from 7:30 until 5 a.m. Marie didn't care so she woke up around midnight and decided she needed to join us in our bed. There is something about sleeping in a big bed with an adult that makes all babies' pains feel better and troubles disappear. Marie would not go back to sleep in her crib. I put her down 3 times in it, and she woke up immediately every time and cried. As soon as I put her down in our bed, she looked at me, smiled, and fell asleep. That was all she wanted. What a brat!

So back to letting Abby cry it out, I'm interested to know when/if you did it with your child(ren). If you have any words of wisdom, please leave me a comment. I don't know how exactly to do it. Should she be able to see me or should I be out of sight? How long do I let her cry? How will I know there's not something really wrong with her? How many nights before she'll get used to it and just sleep? I'm dreading this whole experience.


Kerin said...

When we let the twins cry it out, we went to them when they woke up and acknowledged that they were awake and tried to console them without picking them up if possible. With Hannah, I figured out that a lot of times she needed to burp some more, so I'd get her calmed down, she'd burp, and I'd lay her back down with her paci and if she didn't stir, I knew she was good to go. Ethan was harder because if he woke up and didn't get a bottle, he could cry for a lot longer. You just have to find a way to soothe them, other than a bottle, then put them back down and if they cry, let them cry. Most people will tell you to leave the room, but check on them periodically. The first night that we let Ethan cry, he lasted about an hour. Hannah only lasted about twenty minutes or so. After the first night, they were inconsistent for a few weeks, but they definitely got the hint that they were not getting a bottle at night anymore. The trickiest part is if they wake up an hour or two before they should in the morning. We take it case by case. Sometimes we'll feed them and then put them back down, but sometimes it's just an early day. Those mornings aren't as frequent as the weeks go by. It definitely helped us to put them in separate rooms, but you might not be able to do that. Whatever you do...good luck! I'm so jealous of the people I know whose babies started sleeping through the night on their own at four months. At least we accomplished it before the one-year mark.

Amanda said...

I agree with Kerin that there will be a period of time where they will be inconsistent. Sleep well some nights and wake 3x the next. It does get better but it will break your heart to hear Abby cry. Be strong, and as with everything else in parenting, be consistent. "Start as you mean to go on". I think it is an old British saying, but it will save you weeks of frustration! Let us know how it's going!!!