My son is 13 months old and I am in a whirlwind of doubt, sadness, frustration, and confusion. After night weaning a few months ago from lack of sleep and a shoulder injury I'm still healing from because of the position I was required to be in to nurse him ALLLLL FREAKING NIGHT LONG I have resorted to crying it out.......
I tried everything (and here comes the doubt cause I really don't know if I believe I tried everything).
At first The CIO was horrible. We lived in a one room studio so I would literally lay there under the blanket as still as possible and listen to my baby wail 3 feet from me for 20 min to 30 min. Then I became detached because I would end up sobbing too and then he would feed off of that and scream louder. Once I tried the CIO I didn't know how to stop cause I was told I would confuse him if I did anything different at this point.
Presently I nurse him for as long my back can stand (I'm currently transient so I do not have a rocking chair.) or my shoulder if I side nurse. He will be nearly asleep but JUST WILL NOT GO totally asleep. I will nurse him for over an hour sometimes till I finally give up and give him a kiss tell him I love him, Put him in the pack n play and walk out of the room (were at my parents house atm) he cries for two minutes tops and goes to sleep. He sleeps mostly through the night. We both get a good nights sleep and he seems to be a very happy baby in the morning.
And here I am doubting myself. Wondering if some of the new aggressions and crankiness during the day is due to what I chose to do. I'm reading articles against CIO and am in tears at the accusations of how bad a mother I am.
How can I heal this. How can I change patterns?
I don't agree with some of the methods that keep parents and babies frustrated for HOURS every night for YEARS purely to avoid CIO but am scared that I'm truly screwing up my kid. I dont let him scream to oblivion but he has definitely figured out that I'm not going to do whole circus acts for hours trying to get him to sleep.
There are so many parents with so many different views. One of my friends who is very in line with my natural parenting style did a variation of CIO and is confident that her child is fine. And she seems fine! Normal. (whatever that is). I'm bogged with trying to pay attention to my own intuition and listening to the experts and the parents who have experience. At the same time.... I need advice. I love my baby and want the best for him but worry I'm not reaching deep down to give my all.
Thanks for reading my vent/rant and thanks for any opinions or words of support.
You obviously love your child and are trying to be the best parent you can be. I don't do CIO w/ my kids, but many friends do and they have amazing kids and loving relationships. I know it's against the norm around here, but I think CIO is fine if it works well for your family. Stop worrying about it and put a smile on your face and give your kiddo a big hug. Your child needs a happy, rested, confident mama and her smiles more than he needs to be nursed to sleep if there are other ways that work better for helping him fall to sleep. I don't buy the "your child will loose trust in you" line for a second.
I decided to help my daughter achieve independent sleep because her sleep schedule would never, not in a million years, make it possible for me to always be in bed with her. For the first 6-8 weeks I was holding her, or had her wrapped to me for her early evening hours, but nearing the 3 month mark, when I noticed her sleep was starting to follow it's own pattern and after I'd been able to capitalize on that and establish a firm and well-ingrained sleep schedule, I started putting her in the bassinet alone, until I joined her several hours later and brought her into bed with me. I never let her scream - and I know you can tell the difference between freaking out screaming and general complaints with your own baby - but I certainly did let her complain for a few minutes. The minute her pitch changed, I'd go get her and comfort her, and give her whatever she needed... sometimes just some more snuggling, sometimes we'd scrap the whole plan for the night and she'd just come fall asleep on me while I went about my evening. At this point she has about 30 seconds of "Hey! HEY! Whaddya mean you're leaving the room!?!?! I don't care for the way the ceiling is painted! I don't like this blanket! HEY! Oh... hey, my thumb... hey, my thumb is deliciou... zzZzZZZzzzzz..." and she's off to dreamland. Once or twice she's started actually crying instead of just making that indignant baby squawk, and I go and give her what she needs.
So, my point is this: some people would consider what I do to be a CIO method. (I disagree.) I don't think my baby is ruined. She's happier for longer during the day because she's getting lots of deep, restful sleep. I swear she's proud of herself for being such a rockin' sleeper! She's well-attached... very, very well attached. She eats well, sleeps well, plays like it's going out of style... Mama, don't beat yourself up! Do the best you can, if you eff up, do something different and move on. If your baby is giving you less than 5 minutes of grief about bedtime, I'd say he's less crying, and just reminding you that he has the right to cry if he wants to. Lots of good luck to you for you and your baby's future!
And on 09/23/2011, we were three; husband, daughter, and me!
Hi, I think you will find this blog immensely comforting: http://scienceofmom.com/2012/02/06/the-cry-it-out-controversy-and-my-familys-sleep-story/
I'm having my own set of sleep sagas so I have nothing personal to add - except that I sense in your post the same anxiety I am having about "screwing up" my baby. Hang in there!!
I just wanted to say Im sorry, Ive had that feeling of just not knowing what to do and been tempted to try cio. we were lucky and the phase passed, we lie together on a mattress on the floor till he falls asleep, about 5 minutes now. in the beginning it was closer to 45 minutes... so difficult. in any case. good luck. I hate the feeling of not knowing whats right. When I tried cio, I cried too. then I thought, if this is this upsetting for both of us, I have to try somehting else. I had to do what felt right for me. Good luck!
Also, this may shed some light on why your kid will not fall asleep from nursing: