Dear Elizabeth Pantley

March 17, 2008

While the baby might not be crying whilst using the “No Cry Sleep Solution”, the mama, she is crying.

Yes, after much research and debate, we are going with the “No Cry Sleep Solution”.  Basically, you go in, comfort your screaming kid as best you can, and keep putting him back down *awake* so that he learns to fall asleep all by his little self.  This is pretty much what we’ve been doing, although many, many nights we have held him until he is truly asleep before putting him back in the crib.

I will say, he is doing better.  But “better” is relative.  He’s still up at night.  The difference is how long it takes to get him back to sleep.  Last night, which was “my turn” (which means sleeping on the couch with the monitor and handling all the night wakings) and the babe was up only once–but it took an hour of picking him up, putting him down awake, and patting his back and “shhhushhhing” before he was truly back to sleep.  I would think he was alseep, and I would even get out the door and snuggled back on the couch, but the screaming would start up again.  I ended up laying on the floor next to the crib, with one hand on his back, because I was too tired to stand up anymore.

He did put himself back to sleep a few other times during the night.  I did what the book (and common sense) said and let him cry for a few minutes just to see if he would settle back down.  And he did, which was awesome, but see the crying wakes up the mama.  I’ll be honest, she also cried herself to sleep out of sheer exhaustion and no one came and patted her back and “shhhushhed”.  The dog was very snuggly, though.

The book also talks a lot about being honest with yourself about what you can tolerate.  Is getting up once OK?  There are tons of stats about how most kids don’t sleep through the night a majority of the time until after they are 3.  These are heartbreaking stats to a parent of a bad sleeper.  2 more years of this?  Including the years of him getting up out of bed?  Our bedrooms are on different floors of the house, so we’ll have to lock him in his room or something.  He already stands up and rocks the crib so hard we are thinking of attaching it to the wall. 

But, for now, we are sticking with the program.  Maybe getting up a few times a night is acceptable.  Maybe sleeping on the couch a few nights a week is acceptable.  And maybe, just maybe, he’ll learn to fall back to sleep by himself without screaming.  And then  the “No Cry Sleep Solution” will keep us all from sobbing.

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