Monday, December 27, 2010

Crying it out

I have come so far with the whole sleep-training-two-kids thing. They nap well. They go down without crying or cajoling. They stay asleep for hours. Specifically the hours of 6pm to around midnight. Then one of them stirs and I am supposed to let them cry it out. Yeah, supposed.
Mimi get stuck on her back but wedged up against the side of the crib. She wails and screams and I just can't leave her. A quick flip, a binky and she is asleep again in seconds.
They are both like that. An easy fix and they are asleep again.

However, that means I am up every hour for a few seconds. I don't think I have seen RAM sleep in a while. I asked our old night nanny to help but with the holidays and now the storm she hasn't been able to get here.

I lack the backbone to let them scream through it. In the morning I get up and chide myself for being such an arse.

How did you handle to screaming?


  1. I can't - and am opposed to - letting H scream, either, but then, he usually lets me go for longer than an hour before he gets screamy. No assvice, just sympathy. (If it helps at all, it sounds like you're doing a fantastic job of sleep-training twins, despite having to get up all the time!)

  2. The reason you can't let them cry it out is because it goes against every mothering instinct you have, and I respect you for that. And many mothers are like you and I, and don't think our children need to cry (and cry, and cry). Did I already recommend The No Cry Sleep Solution by Elizabeth Pantley? It's a great read. Keep up the good work mama!

  3. Wow, been there, done that. I won't be all "I've got it down pat and am all awesome." Crying it out is HARD. Do I do it perfectly? No. I was able to do it more and more consistently as time went on. And both the boys were so different. One needed more help at night than the other. And, there are times when one is legitimately sick. And need help. You just can't ignore that.

    As someone who has been there (and has the boys sleeping in our room still, as our apartment is the size of a matchbox), we did the binky every few hours for a while until we (read: I) felt like they were going to be OK without it. And you know what. The first few nights were bad. Like each cry for an hour at a time 2x a night for the first night, less the next night, less the night after that....and then? One slept through the night. Consistently. The other, not so much. We had to work more gradually with him. He would work himself into such a lather that he wouldn't be able to breathe. I considered it a victory that one of the boys slept through the night. That was a help. We kept working and working on the other boy. It took a lot longer, but we are finally there.

    Two thinks to keep in mind: my babies did not hate me when I let them cry it out. Really. Despite the drama and pain, they still smiled at me in the morning and held no grudges. In fact, there was no change in behavior between when I tended to them every hour or when I let them cry it out.

    Second (and I cannot believe I am admitting this): Earplugs. Yep, I said it. Earplugs. you still hear them, but it is easier to fall back asleep.

    My assvice. Take it and place it where you will. Do what you can. Each kid is different. And despite what the books tell you? I don't think that there is really a "tried and true" solution. Do the best you can. You are doing a fantastic job. Hang in there. Much sympathy from this mom.

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  5. I am having a hard time with the sleeping as well. Both NEED the bouncy seats to fall asleep, then I transfer them to their cribs. Yes - naptime and bedtime. Both wake every few hours in the night, sometimes to eat, sometimes for no reason (no binkies taken). I am at the point where I need to do Cry It Out but I just don't have the stomach for it yet. I know it needs to be done, but I have to get myself ready for it. Good luck and let me know what you end up doing. I am stuck.

  6. Delurking to say that with my son, the crying after waking stopped within a few days, and he never cried more than 1/2 hour. And after those few days of adjusting, he started going back to sleep beautifully on his own without much crying. The crying became like a "resettling" cry, not a full-out desperate cry. The first nights are the hardest. I think I cried as much as he did. And I struggled with letting him cry at all, believe me, so I have a sense of what you're going through. I finally gave in to sleep training because I realized that I would be a better mother if I wasn't so exhausted, and that turned out to be true. I can honestly say that my son is always smiling and relaxed in the mornings, so I don't feel like it's harming him in any way--I think he needed to sleep for longer than an hour or two, too. I remember repeating in my mind the Weissb.luth advice that babies need to learn how to put themselves to sleep. It's like teaching them a skill they'll need for their whole lives.

    Good luck with it and don't be afraid to say that it's not time yet or that you need to keep going in to soothe for a few more weeks. It's so hard. Remember, too, that being compassionate with yourself is just as important as being compassionate and loving to your babies. I write that to remind myself of it as much as to say it to you.

    I enjoy reading your blog--sorry for being such a lurker and not commenting more often!

  7. Someone posted this on Twitter and I thought of you. Good luck.