Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Cry It Out - Night #1

Well, a little while ago I posted something about letting Lucy cry in her crib in the middle of the night, and not rushing down to calm her. Well, that plan didn't really work, because when it happened we reverted to the old way of thinking - that if we catch it early, she will be easier to settle down than if we wait until she is totally worked up. This resulted in her waking up 3 or more times a night - about every 2 hours. She'd fall back asleep right away when one of us would give her her pacifier and her bear... so it wasn't a huge ordeal. Getting up repeatedly in the night got just old enough for both of us that we decided it was time to let her "cry it out" (whatever "it" is) and stick to our guns. Also known as the Ferber Method, it is supposed to teach a baby to soothe herself back to sleep. Some people feel strongly that it is cruel, and I respect their feelings. It is heartbreaking to listen to your little one cry and picture that frowny face and the tears. But some parents get to a point where the long-term benefits of healthy sleep (both for baby and parents) are far greater than the supposed damage done by not comforting the crying baby. Lucy will not feel a loss of the trust or security that has been built over the last 5 months, and she will never remember last night.

So, she went to bed at her usual time. We have a fairly consistent routine, and she is in bed around 8 PM. She may get another small bottle around 9:00 or 9:30 and then goes right back to her crib (awake) and falls asleep. Last night she woke up around 12:35 AM (not unusual) and started crying. I was going to go at 1:00 and check on her.. but her crying was slowing down a bit, and it was more "yelling" than screaming... so I felt fairly confident that she was safe. I thought a few times that maybe she was crammed in the corner of her crib, or uncovered, but I told myself that if that's the case, she will still be okay. By 1:25 there was silence on the monitor. After a few minutes, I tiptoed down to see what kind of mess she had gotten herself into. The blanket was thrown to one end and she was crammed against the side bumper pad under her Ocean Wonders Aquarium. When I picked up the blanket to put on her, she woke up with a jolt and said "Hey Ya" just like Outkast! Seriously! I quickly put her pacifier in her mouth so she would not keep talking and further wake herself. Then she was instantly back to sleep for the rest of the night - till 7:00 AM (when her morning usually starts).

All in all I have to say it went really well. 50 minutes isn't bad, when some people who attempt this have to put up with 1, 2, or more hours of screaming. Reading about their experiences made me feel a lot better about trying this out. So, it looks like we're on the path to success if we stay consistent. Maybe tonight will go even better and by the weekend we will all be sleeping through the night!

**Added Note** Ron slept through this entire process!

1 comment:

kelly said...

sounds not too too bad. way to tough it out. i know it must've been hard to not go down there.

so "hey ya" was her first phrase, put it in the baby book. in ink. :)