Crying it out? How it worked for us
Crying it out(CIO) or self soothing vs attachment parenting(AP) tends to be a somewhat controversial topic.
So, let me start by saying this is simply our experience with our baby and in no way means that what worked for us will be what’s best for your little one. That being said…I was in no way interested in letting my baby cry it out. I believed that if my son was crying it was his way of telling me he needed something.
After lots of research on CIO(crying it out) vs AP(attachment parenting), I was sold on AP. My husband, on the other hand, was all for CIO. This was our first big disagreement as parents and a daunting discussion that came up time after time.
At 7 months old our baby boy was still waking up once, maybe twice, every night. He never slept more than 6 hours at a time. It was very difficult to get him down and he alway woke up crying for a bottle. Naps were on someones chest 90% of the time because he wouldn’t stay asleep otherwise. I even got to the point of asking our doctor about adding rice cereal in his bottle or any other suggestion to get some more sleep. She told us if he was still waking up hungry it was because he needed those calories to grow and to keep doing what we were doing and ….it would get better. Right. That didn’t give me any hope.
The first night of crying it out
One night, when our baby was around 7 months old, he was starting to get fussy like he was ready for bed. I knew the long task of getting him down was approaching so I walked outside to take care of a quick phone call that way I would be free to give my baby all my attention for the next few hours. It took longer than expected and when I got inside my husband(laying on the bed next to a crying baby) stuck his hand up and motioned me to stay out. Whispering “he’s almost out” he told me to go outside and call my best friend.
It broke my heart! I know he is our boys parent too and I should give him as much opportunity to call the shots as he gives me. I didn’t think him crying it out would one night would be the end of the world, so I let him have it. After all, he was right beside him. Our baby wouldn’t feel like he was stuck in a room and forgotten about.
It took him about 35 minutes to go to sleep but when he did he went out..hard. He didn’t budge when we moved him to his crib. The best part? My child that had never slept more than 6 hour straight slept 14 HOURS! Yes, that wasn’t a typo. FOURTEEN HOURS! I checked on him a few times between the night and morning. But, for the first time in 7 months I was the only one awake in my house that morning!
This was my sign that I should give this whole crying it out stuff a shot. I looked up different post about other experience and how long it took before the painful crying sessions every night would come to an end. To my surprise most people found it to be a fairly quick transition. I was officially on board. Still slightly skeptical and willing to pull the plug if necessary, but on board.
Because we wanted him to be used to lying down and putting himself to sleep, we put our baby in his crib that night. Plus, we didn’t want to have to move him and possibly disrupt his sleep. I needed to shower that night so we laid our son down and my husband told me to take a shower where I couldn’t hear him. Yes, it was that painful for me. I took a VERY long shower hoping he was asleep when I got out. He was, thank goodness. My husband said it only took 25 minutes from the time we put him in his crib. Progress! He slept 12 hours this night!
We were on to something
For the next week and a half the crying only lasted 5 minutes max. I knew at this point we had done the right thing for our baby. He had slept all night the majority of the time as well. After only a week and a half we could put our baby in his crib without crying and he slept all night! Was this real life? Just two weeks earlier I was still waking up every night, tired every day and stressed about my baby sleeping.
Naps took a little while longer to adjust to, since we didn’t have a good nap pattern to start with. I will say that one was partially, okay mostly my fault. I still loved to let my baby sleep on my chest or snuggle him while we napped together. One month after we started CIO at night we started putting him in the crib for naps as well and it went flawlessly. He now understood what being put in the crib meant.
This truly was a turning point
Two months later and there still is no crying(well it’s super rare) to go to sleep! My baby usually sleeps from 8:30 and night to anywhere from 7:30-9:30 in the morning! Letting him cry it out helped us get on a good sleep schedule as well. [Check out how I stay organized with my baby now too!] My husband was right(yes, that was difficult to type) and he knew what our baby needed. I don’t regret doing what I thought was right for my child for so long but I do regret not giving him the opportunity to do what he thought was right sooner. You are the parent and your job is to give your baby what they need, sometimes even if it’s difficult. Post like this helped me if my experience so hopefully I can help someone else as well.