I have read all about the CIO technique, and I agree, it isn't something that I would want to do..so I hope I'm not breaking any rules in this post by discussing it...but I need to get some opinions, cuz right now I'm feeling like the meanest momma on the block!
My 5 month old has been a good night sleeper since about 3 months...wakes once some nights for a feed, but mostly goes down around 8ish and wakes at about 6am. Through the day however, he doesn't nap well at all! He outright refuses to sleep in his crib during the day, which is fine with me, he slept in his swing all night up until about 3.5 months, so he is just continuing to nap in there through the day. At night, we have a good routine, bath, bottle, story and songs, and then bed...he is awake 90% of the time when we put him in..he watches his mobile while i do him up in his sleep sack, gets kisses, then I switch on his Fisher Price Aquarium and he watches it and listens to the music. Most of the time he is asleep before it shuts off 20 minutes later, if not, soon after. Some times he may protest a little, whine and fuss about being left alone, but never any real crying or screaming...is it ok to let him fuss? It's working well, but in some reading I'm starting to feel a little guilty and thinking he feels abandoned..that is just a side question...my real issue is with naps.
Many times he falls alseep nursing and I put him in his swing and he will sleep an hour or so....the problem is on the days when he doesn't. SO often lately, he's been fighting sleep till he's completely overtired and miserable. When he's fed, dry bum, nothing hurting, comfortable, doesn't want to play, just cries no matter what...and it's his tired cry, he has a very distinct 'i'm tired' behaviour.. I have no choice but to put him in his swing and leave him to it. He doesn't want to be rocked or cuddled anyway and I figure he needs space...but he doesn't realise it! Sometimes he whines and cries on and off but nothing intense so I do my best to leave him..he has a mobile and music on his swing to entertain and soothe...When he's like that I leave him for up to half an hour some times (I have a video monitor so I watch him) If I go in to try and calm him, he just cries harder and gets more intense so I don't, and generally he is asleep in 30 minutes. Other days tho, he instantly starts to scream when I put him down. I try to sit by him and talk to him or sing, and calm him but he won't have any of it he just shrieks until I take him out...but then the fussy cry returns because he is exhausted. It's lose lose! He needs to sleep, he's exhausted and miserable and often has been up for several hours without even a cat nap..I know my baby and 2-3 hours is all he can manage without becoming a tired mess. I've started walking away when he is like this, I have no choice I get to my wits end and need a time out, so I've let him cry like that for 10-15 minutes or so, and typically he calms back into his mild protest and goes to sleep...it takes a little longer than usual but he does generally have a good nap after that. Is it wrong of me to leave him for so long crying hard? If he doesn't settle by 15min that's my limit, I get him up and we start over trying to nurse or whatnot..
Anyone have similar issues with a little one not napping to the point of exhaustion and frustration? I need any advice and thoughts on whether i'm pushing it with letting him CIO like that...encouragement please...
Thanks for reading for so long!