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Saturday, March 20, 2010

a tough one

Dear friends...we are at a point in our parental journey that has brought us to a stand still and I'm here to share with you a tough decision that Wins and I have had to make. I have to get this off my chest because I'm having some guilt issues about what we are about to do.
Here it goes....we have decided to do "sleep training" or in other words "the cry it out method"- shudder, wince, sob!
It has just come to a point where I am beginning to resent Noah's multiple wake ups throughout the night. And when I say multiple I mean anywhere from 3 to 6 wake ups a night! To put it into perspective, that means that for the last 7 months I have not had a single nights sleep. And the fact is, is that he is not waking up because he is hungry. It's because we have allowed a bad habit to turn into a cycle, where Noah's sleep schedule is all thrown off. This results in a babe who sleeps a lot in the day and not so much throughout the night.
If you aren't familiar with sleep training you can read about it here. But you probably get the idea just from reading "cry it out" that the parent must leave the child to deal with the night waking on their own, meaning not picking your child up when they are crying, rocking them or feeding them in any kind of way. The idea is that you train your child to soothe themselves back to sleep, and ultimately training your child to have a full nights sleep. And this is where the terrible guilt comes in. For months I have been soothing my child when he needs me, tending to his cries and wanting him to know that mama will always be there for I'm expected to abandon him when he calls out for me?
I realize that I am not alone in this guilt. I have talked about this method with many parents and have also done my research. And as much as I hate the idea of letting Noah cry himself to sleep I can't bear the alternative....a babe who continues to have bad sleeping habits, a babe who grows into a toddler who can't sleep.
So I'm asking you to think of us as we spend the next week or so dealing with some difficult nights. Here's hoping that we have some success.


  1. I finally caved and did the same thing. And it really only took a few days. We still have to do it to him once in awhile. Don't worry. When they wake up in the morning they don't remember. They still love you and are ready and roaring to go. It'll be worth it. And each minute feels like a long time...just let it ride. And really...I just prayed a lot as he was crying and I'd almost talk to him in my head and it made it better. Like I'd say "it's okay buddy, go to sleep" all in my head as if I could send him the comfort somehow. I'm glad you started earlier then me. It took me almost a year! You deserve some sleep. :) He needs you to have sleep too.

  2. Remember: It's not something you're doing TO him but FOR him. Little Noah needs his mummy's help to sleep all night and so even though he cries for you, you've made a strong parenting decision to show him how to do it by himself. It's hard for you. Just think: the great thing about babies is they don't remember any of this!
    I hope for your sake it doesn't take too many cry nights. :)

  3. that is a tough one...i don't have any little ones, but i did work in childcare for years. it was always hard letting some of the kids cry themselves to sleep at naptime, but eventually they don't and they fall asleep (and stay asleep) on their own. best of luck!

  4. My son will be 15 months old next week. 15 months old, and he still wakes at least once in the night, sometimes twice. We're having another baby in August, and unless we take control of Charlie's night waking, and SOON, we're going to be in a world of hurt when the new baby comes.

    I understand all of your emotions, because I know its something I really need to stand my ground and do, but just like you, I don't want to.

    Good luck to you Mama. Keep us all updated??

  5. Thanks so much for the words of encouragement dear friends! xox

  6. big e-hugs! i know this is a hard one.

  7. Good luck with this.... ChloƩ is 16 months and STILL wakes up 4 or more times a night... I am an exhausted wreck these days so let me know if this works for you... then I might have to give it a go as well. (long overdue!)

  8. That is a tough one. it goes against our instincts to let our babies cry. I think though, a rested mum is a more effective, patient and happier mum in the long run than an exhausted one. Good luck with it all. Hope it isn't as bad as you think.

    Ugh. So hard. The first time we let Kip cry it out he cried for TWO hours. I was crying with my head under the pillow. But I can say it was worth it. And within a week we were all getting sleep and he is still a super sleeper.
    We followed the book Healthy Sleep Habits, Healthy Child.
    Thinking of you. You'll know what's right.

  10. Thanks for that article Sarah Jane. It seems like many people are on the same page when it comes to sleep training. Of course you have to do what is right for your family and each family situation is unique.

  11. Wow, this is one of the difficult parts of being a parent to a little one. Not so long ago I went through sleep training with J. A friend recommended it and my initial reaction was no way. But really, like someone posted above, you are not doing this TO them - you are doing this FOR them. Now I look back and wish I had done it sooner. Finally after 4 years I have two kids that sleep through the night (most of the time anyway lol). Good luck with it Jo. Before you know it, you'll BOTH be sleeping better. :) xo


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