Thursday, September 11, 2008
I decided to try something new with Bear last night--crying it out. I've always said that I didn't want to do this, at least not the true definition of it, but I was about at my wit's end last night. Bear has been sick and has been falling asleep and waking up with no pattern at all since Friday night. And he was waking up a LOT! Now, when he was actually sick, I understood. He couldn't breathe well, was coughing and just generally didn't feel good. He usually seemed like he just wanted to be held, and I was all for it when he was at his worst. Now, though, I am feeling seriously sleep deprived. Last night, he fell asleep at a decent hour (9:00) and slept for a few hours until about 12:30, when he proceeded to wake up every 60-90 minutes. This is how it has been since Friday and it doesn't seem to matter if he's in his own bed, in our bed or in the dog's bed. Okay, kidding about that last one...we've never put him in the dog's bed, promise! Anyhow, when he woke up at 4:00 last night, he was in our bed. He was inconsolable--writhing around and crying. I could tell he was still tired, though, so I got a bottle and a fluffy blanket for him, rocked him until he was pretty close to asleep and I laid him in his crib. He cried, yes indeed, he cried! He expected me to come get him, and why wouldn't he? That's been the status quo for the past 7 months, but no more! I am ready to work on him sleeping through the nights! I turned the monitor down but not off, that way I could still see the lights on it that indicated how loud the sound in his room was. The lights stayed on, so apparently he was crying, for at least 20 minutes and I don't know what happened after that because I fell asleep! I woke up after he'd been alone for an hour, though, and he wasn't crying anymore. This feels like at least a small victory to me! Now that I know I can stand the sound of his crying (much easier after he cried so much while sick, by the way) and that he WILL fall asleep, I feel much better about trying the "crying it out" deal. I always feared that he'd never go to sleep and just cry and cry or that he'd need something and feel like Momma wasn't there for him. Now I know the difference between a hurt cry and a mad cry, so I'm more comfortable. I'd like to try it again tonight, since we got a little head start last night. The plan is not to just let him cry for hours and hours, but to go in and just let him know that we still exist after 10 minutes, then 20 minutes, then 40 minutes...as necessary. There are a couple of things I'm not sure of: 1) How long do we let him go on crying before we decide it's not working (hopefully we won't have to figure it out) and 2) If we pick him up to console him at 10 minutes, 20 minutes, etc., are we ruining the whole thing? I just want him to realize that he doesn't need me at night. When he's feeling good, all I do when he wakes up is rock him back to sleep. Since I'm not going to college with him to do that, it's time he learns to get back to sleep on his own. I hope it works and that we're doing the right thing!