Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Kicking and screaming

You should all be very jealous of our night life at the moment.

We're going on night four of letting Kaylee cry herself to sleep at night. When she was an itsy baby I was very much into rocking her to sleep. My thinking was that she is only a baby once, and gosh darn it, I was going to rock her to sleep.

The experts said it was a bad idea, and that it would create bad sleep habits.

Well, it did create bad sleep habits. Now she's screaming like the dickens because she has to be in her crib when she's not all the way asleep and she's wondering what in tarnation would possess her otherwise awesome parents to do such a mean, cruel, and torturous thing to her.

But, the child must learn to put herself to sleep.

Night one went well. We decided to let her cry for 10 minutes and then go in and check on her. She cried and screamed for a few minutes, she'd take a break for a few minutes, cry a little more, but eventually, before the 10 minutes was even up, she was asleep. All on her own.

Night two? We all hung out on Kaylee's bedroom floor at about 7:30 and let her play. Meanwhile, Dennis and I had both about dozed off into La La Land, and Kaylee managed to cuddle up and fall asleep, too. So, in her crib she went, but she still put herself to sleep.

Night three. We were misled if we thought night three would be anything at all like the first two nights. She turned up the drama factor about 8 notches. Crazy, outrageous, ridiculous amounts of screaming ensued. I think it was at least an hour long process to finally get her to sleep. We'd go in every 10 minutes, and then the crying got so much it was every 5. I know, we were wimpy parents who caved into her trickery. Oh, well...

Then, she'd be fine as long as we didn't walk away from her crib. Such a smart little stinker we have on our hands. Eventually, she was asleep.

Tonight? It's 9:30. We've been going for about 50 minutes, and she's pulling out all the stops yet again. For the moment, she is quiet, and we think she may have finally given in. But, there are no guarantees at this point.

So, bottom line? Do I regret rocking my baby to sleep for the first year of her life? Not in the least, and I'll do it again with the next one.

Those sweet, quiet, peaceful moments are something I'd never take back and that I will always cherish. Now we're just spending some time (hopefully only a few more days...please?) undoing a bit of a bad sleeping habit, but it's okay.

(I think) We'll all survive.


Becky said...

We went through this with our first daughter. I was determined I would never do the whole crying thing, I read books about getting baby to sleep gently but in the end the only thing that did work was letting her cry.
You've got a great attitude for still being in the first week - I remember how hard it was to hear her screaming but in the end it worked and now she sleeps beautifully.
You're doing an awesome job!

Marcie said...

You will survive and so will she. We're dealing with similar issues here, especially at nap time. The second I begin to go from snuggling Delaney to putting her in her bed, she begins kicking and screaming. But we just let her scream it out and eventually she falls asleep. Hang in there!

Kiki (G.G.) said...

BabyWise. Best book ever. My son was sleeping through the night at 5 weeks and still does now at four. I would also rock him and sing to him before I put him down. Every situation is different. Your little one could possibly become so conditioned to crying and having you both help her get through it, that she will continue the behavior just to be with you. I know parents who are still dealing with these issues with their 2 year olds, and some since their kids were infants and are now 5 and 7 year olds. they weren't consistent with sleep habits. I wish you the best of luck with all this. It's always difficult for everyone to adjust at first. Take care.

Kelly said...

Good luck!! My daughter is 2.5 and I still cannot bring myself to do this! You are so brave.

April said...

One day you will look back and remember the times you rocked her way more than these nights. I agree with you (although I didn't do with my second and third because it's hard when you have other kids around).

Summer said...

You'll get through it! We had to do that with Taylor, and I think it took about a week. Just don't give in!!!

Elizabeth said...

You will survive! I did the same when mine were little. A few nights of undoing the bad habits were TOTALLY worth the year of cuddling my babies to sleep at night:)

Dani said...

Wow! I know nights like this, if ever! My son is now out of his crib because he started climbing out - and it's stinkin' hard to get him to stay on his toddler bed long enough to fall asleep!

Jenners said...

I totally tried this and caved. DO NOT GIVE IN. It will work. I did cave and I'm still paying for it. She will be OK. You must WIN this battle. : )

Sue said...

I'm visiting from SITS, but just wanted to suggest that you not go in there. We always trained our children by just letting them cry, but going in there only gets them all revved up again. When it got too painful to listen, I used to turn on the vacuum. But none of them ever did it more than a week. And for most of them, it took less than that.

Good luck! You will be glad you did this so you can get enough sleep to be a happy mom.