Thursday, November 04, 2010

Crying It Out



Jillian has never been a good sleeper. Because of this, bedtime has been a constant struggle for us and I can't remember a time when I didn't dread it. We made the mistake in the beginning of never putting Jillian to bed 'drowsy but awake'. We always made sure that she was asleep when laying her down at night because we hated to hear her cry. Putting Jillian to bed at night would typically go two different ways. One, she would either fall asleep while drinking her bedtime bottle and we would successfully place her in her crib sound asleep, or two, she would not fall asleep with her bedtime bottle and we would struggle for 30 to 60 minutes trying to get her to fall asleep. When this happened, we would typically rock her or walk around with her to get her to fall asleep. We would then place her in her crib while holding our breath that she wouldn't wake up. Neither method is recommended by any Baby sleep book that you read.

As you know, I have blogged about the past several months being a sleeping nightmare with Jillian's chronic ear infections. Jillian has never been that great of a sleeper, and with these past few months, she has gone from bad to worse. Bedtime with an ear infection was a constant struggle for us because the laying down position brought on even more pain and discomfort for her. We would spend hours before bedtime rocking and soothing Jillian trying to get her to sleep. A typical night would consist of Jillian waking up 1-2 times with me getting up with her and holding her upright for several hours in her rocker. There have been times when nights have been so rough that nursing her was the only option in getting her to sleep.

Needless to say, Jeff and I were so relieved when Jillian finally had tubes placed in her ears. The tubes were a sign of better nights ahead and a happier and healthier Jillian. The first two nights after her surgery, Jillian slept through the night without a peep. Putting her to bed was still a struggle, however once asleep, she slept beautifully. It was such a relief. However, after those two nights, Jillian starting waking up again and staying awake for several hours at a time. I had to revert back to my old methods of trying to get her to sleep again. Jeff and I were so worried that the surgery didn't work and that perhaps there was still some trapped fluid in Jillian's ears. Perhaps the ENT didn't get it all and one of the tubes was now clogged. So we made an appointment with the ENT on Monday, convinced that something went wrong with the surgery. One look at Jillian's ears and our ENT told us that her ears looked perfect. She shouldn't be experiencing any ear pain or discomfort besides from a little teething here or there. I could tell by the look on our ENT's face that pretty much read that it was her, not her ears. It was such a relief knowing that Jillian's ears were fine. It also explained that Jillian was no longer waking up because of ear discomfort, but out of habit.

Jeff and I finally made the decision to sleep train Jillian and to let her 'Cry it Out'. Like any Mom, I really did not want to go down this path AT ALL. I had been living in denial that her sleep issues would all work themselves out on their own. However, I was wrong. No one was sleeping in our house and that wasn't good for anyone.

I am in the process of putting together a series of blog posts detailing out each night of Jillian's sleep training. I want to share our experience with you because I know that I had so many questions, doubts and fears about this process. I am hoping that I can some how help out another Mom who is also struggling with a similar situation. If you do have any questions about sleep training, please leave me a comment. I will try to answer them in my upcoming sleep training posts.



11 comments :

  1. We went through the same thing with our daughter, I think it was around 4 months. She wouldn't nap without us holding her and she had became so used to sleeping in her pack n play in our room that when it came time for the transition... NIGHTMARE. I bought the book The Baby Whisperer and followed the sleep techniques loosely and it saved us! It's sitting on the shelf collecting dust so if you would like for me to mail it to you I'd be glad to! I don't think you can ever follow a certain set of directions exactly since every baby is different but the suggestions in the book made me feel a little better about letting her cry it out and not feeling like I was adandoning her!

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  2. Good luck Karen! She'll figure it out- and you guys will too. :)

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  3. Thanks Karen! This is Meechrobi from TheBump. My soon is going in for tubes on Tuesday and it truly cant come fast enough. We have been on back to back to back antibiotic rounds since the middle of June. I am ready for my little guy to feel good. We did have a period where Liam slept through the night, but in recent months he has been waking 1-2 times per night. My gut is telling me that as soon as I know he is not in pain anymore- if he is still not sleeping through, I will have to resort to the CIO method. I am anxious to hear about your experience! Thank you in advance for sharing! I hope for your sake- it was quick and that Jillian is happily slumbering every night!

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  4. Looking forward to reading your posts. Camden has always been a terrible sleeper (because, like you, I didn't know the golden rule about putting a baby down drowsy but awake-- I'll know better next time!) As his first birthday approaches, I'm starting to admit to myself that this is something he might not just grow out of. I HATE the thought of CIO with a passion. Like, it makes me sick to my stomach to even consider it. So I'll be intersted to hear how it went with you guys. Hope everyone's sleeping much better now.

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  5. Oh my goodness its like you have read my mind! Even though my son is only 10 weeks old I am starting sleeping training now. Just with bed time right now. So far putting him to sleep 'dorwsy but awake" is working but he is still waking up 3 times a night to nurse and I don't know yet if its for comfort or hunger but I have a sneaking suspicion its just comfort. Our pediatrician just suggested the CIO method only for 5-6 minutes before comforting him but those 5 minutes seem like 30. He is a horrible napper so I am sure that will be a whole different issue! Looking forward to all you have to say!

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  6. I can't wait to read more about this! We are getting ready to do the same thing. Jillian looks so cute, even when she's crying. :)

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  7. I can't wait to hear more about this as well. I have a 6 1/2 month old at home who is having a similar problem. However, she has always slept throught the night until recently. At her last check up a week ago the doctor told us she was the healthiest baby she had seen in a long time. I too, plan on trying the 'Cry it out method', but I am nervous. I found your blog through a friend and love to hear your stories!

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  8. I hope it is going well, or has already gone well. (It sounds like you already did it.) We have never had any sleep problems with either kid, except for a bad night here and there because of ear infections oe whatever. But on those bad nights it is so rough for me, and I always say that my heart goes out to the parents that go through that every night. I don't know how you do it.

    I look forward to reading your posts, and I hope you all are having better nights!

    BTW...that picture is ADORABLE! LOL

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  9. Hip Hip Hooray! It's working...thanks Karen...! She is so cute! I've told you this and we've talked so frequently over email, but I'm a huge supportor of the Ferber method and sleep training. It was tough at first but ultimately so worth it! Email if you have ?s. So thrilled that I can comment once more!

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  10. Karen, you have to do it and stay strong! Caden wasn't a good sleeper. In fact, he was terrible. He didn't nap either.

    She has to learn to go to sleep on her on. She is okay and she will be okay through all the crying. It will hurt you more than her.

    Believe me, when she is 16 yrs. old (like Caden) she will sleep all the time. LOL!

    This to shall pass.

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  11. Good luck! We went through this with our son when he was 9 months old...and we're now sleep training our daughter (who's 5 months old). It's hard...but oh so worth it!

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