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CIO 10 mo old - feel horrible now!

952 Views 17 Replies 16 Participants Last post by  momkat
I think I'm caving in under the CIO pressure and would appreciate some advice…

As I'd mentioned in a previous post ( we want dd to sleep in her crib because its really hard for both dh and myself to get good sleep with her in our bed. Thanks to the NCSS book hints she now goes down easily to sleep for both naps and bedtime. The problem now is that she will get up in the middle of the night, when I rock her back to sleep and put her back in the crib she pops right up crying for my arms. The only way to keep her asleep is to bring her to my bed. We don't mind getting up and rocking her back to sleep but we DO have a problem with her refusal to go back in the crib in the middle of the night.

DH is a SAHD who gets impossibly cranky if he doesn't get enough sleep, and he can't really take naps during the day (just doesn't fall asleep) so he really needs his beauty sleep. I've been able to stall him regarding doing CIO for months but he's at the end of his rope. Already he's done CIO for a couple of naps when I wasn't home and she was giving problems. Now he keeps asking me when are we going to draw the line and stop bringing dd to bed with us and let her CIO.

Since I have to work in the week he's given in regarding co-sleeping but he keeps asking me if we'll be doing this still when she's 21, and keeps telling me how EVERYONE does CIO (including all the moms in his playgroups) and that its worked for them and that we should have done this months ago, that postponing it just makes it harder on everyone.

To shut him up. tonight I gave in and let her CIO with me in the room. She got up at 2:30am crying, I picked her up, rocked her to sleep, put her back in the crib and she popped right up half awake and crying. Although I did not pick her up I did my best to comfort her through the crib bars until she fell asleep a half hr later.

I feel like I'm caught between a rock and a hard place. On one end if I keep co-sleeping I'll probably need a full time chiropractor in my house 'cause my back keeps going out of alignment when she's in bed with us. Not to mention the cranky husband. But I truly hate letting her cry her heart out even with me in the room. I'm pretty sure he'll want me to do this again any night that's not a 'work' night. And I don't want to - but even less do I want him to do it since I don't trust he'd comfort her.

And here I thought I'd won him over to my side… What to do???
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We were big cosleepers also but had to stop fairly early on for the same reason, which is my kids were so active in sleep that myself and DH couldn't get any sleep. So what I finally did was bring the crib in (ok, so we had to buy one) and put it next to my bed (completely against it) and then before they were able to climb out, I put the side rail down and they felt they were in bed with us but we still had the freedom to move and be comfortable. That worked out well for us. An additional perk was that they stopped waking up at night because they felt more secure from the beginning. So we ALL slept better.

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That sounds really hard. I think your baby is crying because she needs you and your instincts are to hold her and meet her needs. Why is your dh so against holding her and co sleeping? Maybe you would like a larger bed? She is 10 mos. old and experiencing some developmental changes, so nightwaking is more common. I absolutely wouldn't want her crying for naps or bedtime....sleep should be a safe and comforting time.

As for, "will she be doing this when she's 21..?" I think that is disrespectful and she is a baby. By meeting her needs now, you are helping her to feel secure and loved, that doesn't stop at a certain time of night.

Good luck to you.
I'm sorry for what you're going through.
I don't think getting a larger bed is realistic for everyone (we co-sleep in a double bed and we may never have the money for anything bigger) but i think the other posters had good points and advice. We do the crib in the room thing and I rarely get dd into it (my own issue
: ) but when I do we all sleep better.
I would also give your dh some info on the negative affects of CIO.You and your baby deserve to feel safe and comfortable in your sleeping environment. Good luck.
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Parenting can be so hard sometimes. I'm sorry you are DH are not seeing eye to eye on the sleep issue.

We sort of fell into co-sleeping with our first son (wasn't the initial plan!). We had a gorgeous Pottery Barn crib and expected to use it... boy was my Mom who bought it disappointed :LOL I started out just wanting the baby near by for easier nursing, I had tried to transition to the crib for awhile and did the same as you - I would get him to sleep, put him in the crib and he would sleep there for an hour or two but then would wake up crying so I brought him into bed.

DH was totally against co-sleeping at first just like your husband. We had quite a few arguments about it - he also thought we should just let him CIO. One night I gave into his pressure and put DS to bed and listened to him cry, I stayed there with him and stroked his back but he just got more hysterical. DH told me to get out of the room - that it wasn't working because I was there. So I went into our room (next door) and sat on my bed and cried while DS cried.

I couldn't take it though and after a few minutes I went and got him and hugged him and kissed him and told him how sorry I was. I decided at that point that it wasn't my baby that was going to have to learn to "deal with it" - it was my DH
We've been co-sleeping ever since.

DH didn't instantly stop pouting about it but he did see how important it was to me and that it wasn't something I was going to yield on. Eventually he came around and now he's a huge co-sleeping advocate!! He's even made some great nasty comments about people that CIO :LOL

I like the idea of putting the crib against your bed - we have that set up now in case one of the boys rolls too far. Would that work for you? When one of my boys wakes up in the middle of the night, often all I have to do is pat his little back and tell him I'm there and he'll be back out like a light in seconds. That totally wouldn't disturb your husband. Believe me - my DH gets a GREAT nights sleep every night!
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i second the general message that she really needs to feel secure and loved so she really shouldn't CIO...but i also understand your need for sleep. we pushed two beds together and our 23 month old ds sleeps on one bed and we on the other. he actually started sleeping through the night and still has our comforting closeness should he wake up! i recommend you try to figure out a situation that works for all of you while maintaining a sense of security for your daughter
best of luck!!
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We're all on the floor (single futon mattress next to our queen mattress). DD starts on the futon at 7pm and usually comes into bed with me around midnight. We usually all sleep in our bed; however, if DH has a big work day or really needs his sleep for some reason, he moves to the futon with some earplugs. That way, we're all still "sleeping together", but his sleep is largely undisturbed.

Good luck
I tried CIO when my first child was 16-17 months for all the reasons you describe. It is one of only two things that I STILL regret (the other is circing my first son). I would take it back even now if I could. Seriously, I don't remember lots of other things about my first three kids when they were small, but that's one of two I remember. I understand your husband is upset, but you will be upset FOREVER if you cave. That's just my opinion of course.

I've co-slept with all my kids and I can assure you that the older ones, at 14, 12, and 11, have been sleeping out of my bed for MANY MANY years.

Sounds tricky. However, I think that babies usually really NEED to sleep with their parents. They're programed that way. I'd try to find a way that she can sleep with you that's less disruptive for you.

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I totally hear the frustrating spot you're in...but despite the know-it-all attitudes of other moms in his playgroup, it might be easy in the short-term but in the long-term, the sleep problems are in no way solved. All the CIO parents I know have kids who are waking up through the night throughout the toddler years (teething is in no way done yet, nor growth spurts), and once they figure out how to get out of the crib...they're in the parents' bed anyways. We have friends whose kids are terrified of sleep and are still CIO - at ages 4 and 5! The cosleeping parents I know transitioned the children at an age that they understand reason (around 3-4) and have no sleep problems. Our daughter is five and we have a strict rule about not being able to come to our bed until 6AM - she figured out how to tell time, what do you know.

I doubt this is always true, and probably depends a lot on a child's unique personality. I think the best way to think of it is how Sears describes it - what type of relationship is set up between child/parent? What's the long-term approach? Where do you see the relationship in a few years? Just things to think about.
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How about putting an air mattress or futon on the floor in the room she sleeps in. Then when she wakes up, you and her can sleep there for the rest of the night. Maybe when she is really sound asleep you can transfer her back to her crib and get back to your own bed. That way your dh's sleep isn't interrupted, and you don't have to CIO.
I think you can reasonably assure your husband that she will not be sleeping with you when she is 21. It's hard when everyone surrounding him is telling him it's the thing to do. Would he ever visit this website, or visit an AP playgroup?
Good Luck.
Hey, have you thought about having him have the bed all to himself while you and DD share a bed together, at least until she's old enough to WANT to sleep by herself??

That worked for us, because my DH is like yours -- he needs his sleep or he's a crankmeister. I sleep fine with DD in my bed (actually by now, I sleep BETTER with her in my bed than I do by myself). Dh and I don't argue about crowding or snoring and we *ahem* can always find each other for "married time" when need be.
I talked with my husband and let him know about all of your comments. He was really interested in reading the harvard article link so I sent it to him but he is concerned about any impacts from CIO.

For now we've decided to :
1) make sure she's in deep sleep before trying to put her into the crib
2) Follow the NCSS techniques for getting her into the crib
3) If all else fails or if we're too exhausted, bring her to bed with us.

I liked some of the ideas suggested here but they wouldn't work for us, I guess that's the drawback of a small house - I could never fit an air mattress in her room or her crib in my room (ok, I could fit her crib but then I'd loose access to my closet!) Its looking like we'll be doing some co-sleeping even though we'd like to avoid it, but we're more committed to her well being than to our comfort.

I guess one good thing from this episode is that he got to hear her crying for that half hr and it broke his heart - I think he felt horrible that he could do nothing to soothe her.

I also did my best to reassure him that she WILL learn to sleep through the night and in her own bed.

Thanks for all the support, it helped to know I'm not the only one with this battle!

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I had a lot of difficulty w/ my dh regarding my dd's sleep until she was 15 months old and we went to an LLL conference (she'll be 3 in Aug). He and everyone else (except my LLL friends) were telling me to let her CIO, which I refused to do.

I'm glad to hear that things are going better. It is very difficult to live each day in conflict w/ your partner over your child. I lived it for a long time; I feel your pain.

My dd now will go to sleep at night pretty easily. There is still a routine that takes a while, but she's comfortable w/ going to sleep. She isn't afraid at all. I think so many kids are afraid of the dark and don't want to go to sleep b/c of all the tactics used by parents to try to get them to sleep. I think most of the sleep problems we hear about are created by the really bad advice some many people give & take.

Here is another article that may help, if your dh starts to pressure again, or if he wants to do further reading. I wish that an American group would publish something like it!

Keep us posted!
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"I decided at that point that it wasn't my baby that was going to have to learn to "deal with it" -
it was my DH. We've been co-sleeping ever since. "

what she said

if someone (anyone) tried to tell me that i should let my baby cry so that they could sleep, i would probably let that person sleep on the street...
but that is just me

i also would rather move into my parent's basement and leave my dh if i felt like he was having me work instread of staying at home
and then was letting her CIO, not meet her needs, or feel resentful about all the parts of parenting.....(24/7)

but that is also just me,
it sounds like your dh needs to let you do the parenting and him get a job, but if that is not gonna happen then at least he should find a new play group that is more AP to peer parent with and read some info on why he needs to be there for your child.

I know i am sounding harsh, and i am sorry that this is hard for you, my dh and i have had our own hard issues (thankfully not about how i parent dd) and i know it is painful

but it breaks my heart to hear a woman have to feel pain over how her dh is treating her child and/or forcing her to treat (or mistreat) her child.
i want you to feel support here, that is important
but my honest opinion is that you and dh might need to rethink your priorities.

can he not work while you stay home?

my sister and her dh put their makeshift family bed on the living room floor, b/c their house was so small and that was the only way they could make a bed that everyone could fit in.
yes it was not ideal, but
i think that when you agree to be a parent, you have to be willing to sacrifice for your child (esp a baby)

it sounds like $$ is an issue for you all (it is for us too)
but i assure you that your baby RIGHT now needs her mom more than anything money can buy.

when i got preg and had to quit my job, i had a physically dangerous job and i also could not stop throwing up till third tri mester....

we had to move in with my parents for a while, and we had to sell one of our cars, go into more debt (just to make it with food and housing with no frills or extras...)
but now my dd is older and i can take her to work with me and make some extra money and it will get better
what i am trying to say is that you can not replace the the first few years of life
you can not put a price tag on your child's head

it would be one thing if dh was staying at home and was parenting in a loving way that you felt good about, but that does not sound like the case

good luck
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Dear Moma Justice

Thanks for the suggestions & concern.

DH happened to be unemployed when I got pregnant, and we decided he'd be the SAH parent if he was still unemployed when dd was born. And I happened to have the really good job with fab benefits in a family friendly company so we decided it was best for me to be the working parent. Believe me we both would want to switch but he'd been actively looking already for 3 yrs so switching parenting roles right now isn't an option financially.

He is actually a very conscientious parent, he's just very confused about how CIO works. Between exhaustion so hearing everyone around him talk about CIO as an 'instant' fix sounded too good to ignore. But he does trust me enough to lay off, at least for a while. I think that telling him that CIO can have a detrimental effect on our daughter got through him finally... but time alone will tell.

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