Friday, May 2, 2008

The Crying Game

Yeah so baby boy is back to crying at night. Lots of it. And I am about to make an admission that may or may not have you running for your phone, dialing 911, and asking for Children's Aid: Last night I let him CIO. Yup, that's modern mom's speak for "Cry It Out". In other words, I am "Ferberizing" or giving my baby "Healthy Sleep Habits". So, I have maybe read 100 pages of Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child due to the fact that the author's writing is as dry as Melba toast. He keeps repeating himself with this "types of sleep" mantra that I never came to understand at the foremost. And, being sleep deprived, some doctor mumbo-jumbo spewing is exactly what I need to put me to sleep. What I'm getting at is, by any good mother's standards, I am not prepared for this. I haven't laid out the plan! I haven't targeted day sleep and prepped my baby son by weaning him onto the new routine. I didn't make a routine! I haven't made my partner read the book, or at the very least all the pages I chronologically marked with a sticky for him. Actually I didn't even tell him I was doing it. I didn't even know I was doing it...until it was done!

Here's how it went down: Baby boy started to fuss at 5 pm as he has been doing in his jet-lagged way since our return. I gave him a bath as per usual. I fed him to shut him up. I turned on his noise machine like I normally do...he was crying. Major crying. Too worked up to nurse to sleep peacefully as he used to do a couple of weeks ago. I changed is diaper. I put on some "soothing" nighttime crappy cream. He still screamed. I shoved the boob back in his mouth. He quieted, pulled off (using my nipples like a taffy tug-of-war). He cried. He went back on. Wash. Rinse. Repeat. He rubbed his eyes. He was sooooo tired. He kept doing the head bob, and I swear at one point he was asleep with his eyes open. He settled and closed his eyes finally. I silently did a hockey arm pump of joy!

I laid him in his crib. I tiptoed out. He screamed.
Wash. Rinse. Repeat.
On the 4th time of me going in, offering up the boob, him screaming seconds after I laid him down...well I was losing my cool. I decided the next time I would let him cry for 5 minutes to see if he could settle himself. I just needed some time to myself! He didn't, so I went in and picked him up, rocked him and put him back down-asleep. 20 minutes later he woke up screaming. From what I've read this is the problem: He doesn't know how to let himself fall asleep. We all have this natural 20 minute or so sleep cycle but falling back asleep is something we have to learn. He was so used to having my nipples at his beck and call-he couldn't do it without. So I decided. Ok first time was 5 minutes...this time I'll go 10. But I got on the Internet and 10 turned into 12. Then 15. Then he started easing up. He was whimpering and moaning but not crying anymore. I thought-I think he is ok! I can do this. After 22 minutes, he was sound asleep. And I had checked and replied to all of my emails. Score!

Like a friend said: life is tough. Boys don't always just have nipples around when they wish to fall asleep. It's a hard lesson to learn...but a necessary one. I would hate for me to have to wean him at 18 and him go off to college and not get any. He'd be so homesick and sleep deprived! Then he wouldn't pass his exams and become something successful and buy us a retirement condo! What a nightmare! So we are Crying It Out. Did I feel so sad and guilty all night? Yeah. Did I get over it when I saw him smiling at 12 am? (Yes...crying it out still means he wakes up to feed-there are no miracles!) Yeah.'ll be a man, soon.

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