Crying it out – could you?

Well we have hit that point in every babies life (I think!) where sleeps deteriorates rapidly…  From my repeated googling the consensus is that it s a combination of a 4 month growth spurt (there’s also some lovely tips to get through it on this page), sleep regression (this is a great article) 19 week wonder week and of course the dreaded solids debate

It’s tough.  BabBee has gone from 1 wake up a night to sometimes 5 – which is bad enough – but made worse that he no longer falls asleep again immediately after feeding.  I am tired.  I haven’t written anything for a week as I’m so tired (and also a little overwhelmed, how do people keep up with reading other blogs!?!).  But as much as I don’t want to create a monster, if he cries I go to him and do whatever is necessary to make it stop.  Fortunately DaBee is totally on board and (with a sharp kick in the leg to wake him up if needed) will also comfort his every whim.  I can’t help but wonder if we are “making a rod for our own back” (etc etc!)

To be clear BabBee is generally a good sleeper.  He settles himself at night and has regular naps in his cot when home.  If he is whinging but I can tell he will sleep I will leave him – but these new night awakenings are much more dramatic than that and need intervention.  We have tried patting and comforting, gentle rocking, sticking the thumb back in and they will work temporarily but he will generally wake again pretty quickly and need feeding, and then feed a lot!  So I am resigned to it, he clearly needs the food – and the quicker I feed the quicker he will go back down – I’ll worry about that rod later!

But to get to the point, another (not friend) mummy (lets call her Cowbag) told me how she left her baby to cry for 15 minutes and she’s much better now.  15 minutes! She obviously justified it by saying how dreadful she felt but if you can not go in for 15 minutes you can’t feel that dreadful.  It is of course the controversial crying it out, or more accurately The Ferber Method (some interesting science here)

I can’t ever imagine doing this… I’m far too “attached” but at 4 months???? Really????  Could you????


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8 responses to “Crying it out – could you?”

  1. monk-monk says :

    My kid’s 16 months old and the longest I’ve ever let him cry has been 5 minutes, and that’s because I was in the shower or some other occupied space. No way could I just let him lay there screaming!

  2. Marija Smits says :

    Hi Beeee,

    I remember that time well. It’s so tough; really tough. I heard the ‘rod for your own back’ comment plenty a time. It made me feel so isolated, low and weepy, which only fuelled my tiredness more… Thank goodness I went to an LLL meeting and found some much-needed non-judgemental support (and the knowledge that what was going on was normal). Lovely to meet other tired (!) mums who could understand where I was coming from and NOT give me unwanted advice/scolding!

    If you’re interested in reading some research-based facts on the various kinds of sleep-training methods – this is super:

    ISIS is the infant sleep information source – and they’re on the side of babies AND tired parents 🙂 Wish I knew of this when my first was a littlie.

    Take care, thinking of you.

    • beeeeeinmybonnet says :

      Thank you for this, it is so difficult to get actual facts rather than opinions (I know I am guilty of giving opinions, but at least I don’t claim they are facts!) am also going to A LLL meeting next week so looking forward to it now! Bee x

  3. Marija Smits says :

    Oh, I forgot to say that Lisa Hassan Scott’s piece ‘The Other Side of Sleeplessness’ in Musings on Mothering is simply one of the best pieces about nighttime parenting I’ve ever read.

    I also touched on my own sleeplessness in this article here.

    Dealing with sleeplessness in today’s (unsupportive) society is tough; and I hope you find a way through that feels right for you, your baby and your family. Best wishes x

  4. katesurfs says :

    Night waking at that age is very common in babies 🙂 Don’t worry, that phase doesn’t last forever… have you ever heard of ‘cry in arms’…. sometimes, when my girls are waking up every hour (yes, you heard me right, my first would do that sometimes), I knew it was no longer the boob she was after, so I would hold her in my arms and let her have a big old sob. Like a big stress relief of some sort. Afterwards, they sleep much better. I could never put my child in another room and let them cry… imagine how crazy the cave people would think if one of them put their babies on the other side of the rock, to be eaten by the wolves, because it wouldn’t go to sleep! Absurd!

  5. rebeccaannemarshall says :

    The crying it out thing seems to always be such a controversy among parents doesn’t it? I was a “cry it outer” though I don’t know I ever went as long as 15 mins… maybe I was an in-between-er? I would base it on how baby was crying, I could tell if it was an uncomfortable cry or just an overtired cry, obviously if it was an uncomfortable one I wouldn’t wait (if it was an unfamiliar cry I was in there in a heart beat!) Though many a times I would have to explain this to my mother who would always give me the stink eye when she was around if i let one of my girls cry for longer then 30 seconds. I knew when it was necessary to go in and when going in would actually make it worse, and that is what mattered I suppose, it worked for me 🙂 15 mins seems a little long to wait before at least a check in… Luckily I am past the days of having to worry about that now!

  6. The Real Mummy says :

    Me & TRMan spoke about CIO and agreed it all depends on the age of the baby and the length of time you leave them to cry for, Young babies don’t understand why they’re being left to cry so I wouldn’t recommend it under the age of about 9 months. Good luck xxx

  7. beeeeeinmybonnet says :

    I like the cry in arms if needed – will definitely keep that in mind. I know he is far too little at the moment but I also know some mummies who CIO at under 5 months… it makes me sad 😦

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