Sunday, June 20, 2010

Chronicles of Crying It Out

As wrote in my post last Monday, Toots has been sleeping horrendously. His sleep was getting worse and worse as time went on, to the point that week before last, he was waking up 6 to 8 times from 1 AM to 6 AM and not sleeping well for his naps, either. I was exhausted and unable to get much of anything done because of him not sleeping during the day or at night and Tim was also extremely tired at work.

I had always been pretty against Crying It Out for Toots. Just seeing how he cried during the day when something was wrong, I thought it would be WAY too traumatic to let him cry himself to sleep. As mentioned last Monday, I had tried letting him cry it out for his morning nap. He cried for 40 minutes with me going in every 10 minutes and it took me at least 10 minutes to calm him down when I picked him up and then he finally passed out. I told Tim if we were going to do this crying it out thing at night, I was probably going to have to sleep upstairs or sleep somewhere else for the night because I couldn't bear hearing him cry for a long time. The next day, I tried it again for his morning nap and let him cry for 30 minutes, with me going in every 5 minutes. Same result as the day before. At his afternoon nap, I decided to be a little harder on him and I let him cry for an hour, only going in once at 20 minutes. He still never fell asleep and after an hour it was time for him to eat, so I just got him up and he never took an afternoon nap.

I posted on Facebook about the trouble I was having and had a friend suggest not going in there at all when he was crying. She said they tried over and over with her little girl to get her to go to sleep, going in every 5, 10, or 15 minutes and they weren't making any progress. Her sister-in-law suggested not going in there at all. She said her little girl cried for 43 minutes the first night, 21 minutes the second night, 8 the third night, and then none at all. I really wasn't sure if I could do that, but she mentioned that they had purchased a video monitor so they could watch the little girl and make sure nothing was actually wrong with her and that she was just crying. I called Tim at work and told him about it and he told me to go ahead and go buy a video monitor. I went to Target right then and bought one.

Tuesday night, we set it all up and put him in bed to cry for as long as it took (unless, of course, it became obvious something was wrong). He cried for 15 minutes and fell asleep! I couldn't believe it! Then, he slept the ENTIRE night (NINE hours and 20 minutes straight!), woke up and ate, and went back to sleep for another hour. At his naptimes on Wednesday, he cried for about 20 minutes each and then fell asleep. Wednesday night, he cried for approximately 2 minutes and then fell asleep! He did wake up once at around 12:30 and cried for a couple minutes but he slept an extra 45 minutes before waking up for his first bottle. He only went back to sleep that day for about 30 minutes, I didn't mind when he had slept so well the night before.

Thursday for his naps, he was completely asleep for one of them (fell asleep eating his bottle), so there was no crying, and minimal crying for the other one. Thursday night, he did not cry for even one second! He played in his crib for about 5 or 10 minutes and then fell asleep and slept the entire night again. Friday was the same result. Saturday morning, he didn't want to go back to sleep at all after his first bottle at 6:30 (why do they always do that on the weekends? :)) but we managed to get him back to sleep with us for about 45 minutes before we got up. He cried a little longer for his naps yesterday, one time about 20 minutes before going to sleep and last night he cried for about 5 minutes after he was put in bed.

But, last night, he sleep from 8:45 to 6:30, ate a bottle, back asleep by 6:45, and slept until 9:25! That was, by far, the best night we've ever had. Today, he cried for about 5 or so minutes when I put him down for his first nap, but now he's fast asleep.

I wanted to chronicle these crying it out adventures so that I would remember how they went for the next kid and so other people could see how it can work. Like I said, I was very against it originally and I definitely didn't think I could ever, ever let him just cry without going in there, but I've learned as a parent so far that we end up doing lots of things we thought we would never do. And, it worked. Like magic. I can't even believe all the sleep I'm getting now. I'm able to get up at 6:00 when Tim gets up for work so I can be completely dressed and usually have the house straightened up before Toots gets up. One day last week I was even able to get 30 minutes of work done before he got up. If he somehow continues the trend of what he did last night, I would be able to get lots of work done before he gets up. I feel better than I have since about a month before Toots was born!

So, if you're a parent now having sleep issues or if you become a parent in the future and have sleep issues, never say 'never' and consider all options :)


Bobbi Janay @When did I go from a kid to a grown up? said...

Girl i understand completely, I feel as if we have started over again since converting Ian to a toddler bed. We have had to CIO, a couple of nights this week. It breaks my heart. Even when I know I am doing what is best for the long run.

Natalie said...

I definitely cried as much as Jack did the first couple of nights... or at least it felt like it!

Teething has changed some of the AMAZING sleeping through the night, but that I count as "sick"! At this point Jack RARELY wakes up unless he's sick, so I don't even second guess going in to get him when he wakes up now because I know its for a good reason.