In my last blog I wrote about having to try the cry it out (CIO) method on my 10 month old baby Annabelle — and how bad it sucked! AB started to develop a pattern of waking after being put to bed and standing in her crib just crying her poor little face off. To get her to go back to sleep, my husband I would take turns going in her room and rubbing her belly, which would sometimes take 2 or 3 tries for it to do the trick! Well, in the last week or so even the belly rubs haven’t been working, so we were looking for a solution. After talking to some friends about CIO I decided to try it out last week and like I said before, it was no fun! And as the week went on, we had to keep trying it because ‘Lil Miss wasn’t going down without a fight! Ugh.
I’m not even kidding, on Saturday night Annabelle cried and fussed around in her crib for a while and eventually fell asleep standing up for an hour and a half!! I felt bad for her and wanted to go scoop her up and hug her, and the other part of me thought it was pretty freaking funny that she was so stubborn that she’d sleep standing that long! She eventually sunk down in bed all slumped over! Of course I went in and straightened her out when I was sure she was completely asleep. And pretty much every night since then we’ve had to do CIO. But the thing is, each night it’s taken less and less time for her to give in and go to sleep. I put her to bed asleep and she wakes right up and stands in her crib and starts crying. She cries for a few minutes and then just stands there looking out into her dark room, waiting for us to appear, I guess! The last two nights Jeff and I have watched her in the monitor just chuckling at her sheer will to stay standing as she’d slump down, lay her head on the bed and then stand up and repeat the cycle over and over until she eventually just gave up and fell asleep laying down.
Tonight, I decided not to go in and rub her belly, which hasn’t been working anyway so why prolong the inevitable? She cried for less than five minutes and within 10 minutes of her little stand fall stand ritual; she was out like a light! I’ve been having anxiety lately about looking for a babysitter to come on a weekend so Jeff and I could go on a date, fearing that Annabelle wouldn’t go to sleep at bedtime without being nursed or without mommy putting her down. But now I’m thinking it’s possible that this little waking issue may resolve itself after a couple more weeks of consistently letting her put herself to sleep. *crossing fingers*
I will say that one pretty decent side effect of this whole sleep standing thing she does is that it tuckers her out so much that she sleeps in much later than she has been lately — like passed 8am! Yay for me!!
So I guess CIO really does work. I don’t let her stand there and cry bloody murder for 20+ minutes or anything. She did do that the first night before slumping down in bed and passing out, but in the last week she barely cries for more than a few minutes. She’s learning and that makes me feel good, like that first awful night of CIO may have been worth it if little AnnieB learns how to put herself to sleep at night, especially when I’m no longer nursing.
Thanks for all the words of encouragement I’ve received either in blog comments, Facebook comments, or just friends and family sharing their experiences with CIO. It’s been helpful in keeping me focused on the desired outcome — a baby who can go to bed awake and put herself to sleep! I’ll keep you updated on how things are going and if she becomes a master sleeper again!
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