Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Cry Me Out

I am awfully afraid of sleep training. In my past life as an idiot without any children, I judged many a parent in my heart for their seeming incompetence/obsession with their children's sleep habits, and I even went so far as to make some vom vom vomitous predictions while pregnant (yes, you heard me, pregnant, not even with a child in my freaking arms yet) about which 'method' we would 'do' with our extra special offspring. Slap me. Slap me across my damn face.

Anywho, JP the monster baby is screaming his 10-months-old-today head off in the other bedroom right now, because I had the audacity to hope (see what I did there? You're welcome) that he might go to sleep without being nursed into unconscious bliss, then tentatively and oh-so-gingerly transferred onto a fluffy pillow of dreams and unicorns, where he would lightly slumber whilst the entire rest of the household would tiptoe around and scream silent curses at each other for the remainder of the evening should anyone have the misfortune to close a cabinet door too enthusiastically. End scene.

I can't for the life of me figure out why this kid doesn't sleep.

Admittedly, we were a tad more schedule-driven with Joey. in face, we did Babywise fairly hardcore, and feedings, nappings, and the like were all more or less fixed in place. With John Paul...I feel like we've been in emergency triage for his entire life. From ca-razy post-partum depression to a surgery at 6 months old to our recent move to Italy, we've always had 'something' major going on, pressing down, a foot crushing our throats and demanding we fix our attention elsewhere. But now, it's time.

John Paul, you're a big strapping 10 month old, and I can't nurse you to sleep twice a day and wake up 1-4 times per night to top up your gas tank anymore. I also can't handle not ever knowing, on a given day, if you're going to nap. Not when, but if. I have become my formerly childless self's worst nightmare.

Pass me a drink.

Last night was our first official 'cry it out' venture in Italy. It was more or less successful, if by successful you mean 3+ hours of varied intensity of bloodcurdling screams, punctuated by deep philosophical pillow talk peppered with 'will he need counseling?' and 'does this seem like something the neighbors might call the cops for?' queries. Riveting stuff, I know.

The upshot is that he did, technically, cry it out to put his sad self to bed, and he didn't nurse last night....though he did get a conciliatory bottle of actual formula around 3 am from Daddy dearest, which seemed to satiate him until the godly hour of 7 am.

So why do I feel so awful|?

I don't know, maybe it's the prolonged sleep deprivation, maybe it's the lingering uncertainty over reading too many entries at BabyCenter.com, or maybe it's just the straight up wicked hormonal cocktail that floods mah brain courtesy of my endocrine system whenever his crying sessions begin.

Whatever the case may be, I hate hate hate hearing my babies cry. And I hate being so sleep deprived I press the same button in our building's elevator 5 times before Dave nudges me and points out that I'm pressing the floor we're already on. Awesome.

The moral of this story is, we're on night two of cry it the frick out, and God help us if he wakes soon...


  1. You're a good mama, Jenny. :-)

    Here's something said by a very wise woman: "When they're screaming in the middle of the night, they're not hurt or sad. They're PISSED."

    As far as I know, no one has ever had to go to therapy because they were pissed off as a wee one.

    Continue on, brave one. This time next week you'll be ONE.HAPPY.WELL-RESTED.MAMA.


  2. Way to go Jenny for biting the bullet...it is SO hard to hear your baby cry, but when you know that they lack for nothing and need to learn how to sleep, than its for the best.
    Thinking of you inthis tough time... Hope he learns quickly!


  3. I will send prayers your way tonight! (Which might be right now ...? I don't know time zones.) Cry it out is rough rough rough, and I imagine it is even rougher when the baby is ten months old (we did it at five), because at that age they get so ANGRY and have all the different tones of voice to make you feel guilty ...

    God bless!

  4. CIO is my best and worst friend. I will always do it and I will always hate it. I will also always have to leave the room/house and have Mike listen so that my head does not explode. Lastly, I will always drink before during and after the bouts. It is the worst and it is the best.

    Seriously wish I were over there with you to comfort you and drink with you. Stay strong!!!!

  5. Prayers!! CIO is no fun but as a fellow survivor of ppd I wanted to remind you that doing what you need to do to preserve your sanity (ie not suffering through the stress of struggling to get your babe to sleep...been there and it's stress city!!!) is what your boys need from you. you But I still dread listening to my daughter crying it out even though I know it's for the best!! (She's 2 now and finally starting to not battle sleeping, haha.)

  6. I'm a regular reader, but don't comment often enough. You ARE a good mom and will be even better when you can get some sleep! Praying that John Paul catches on quickly and you won't have too many more scream sessions in your future.

  7. You can do it. I did it with all 4 of mine. He's big enough and can go without nursing. It won't take long and will be SO worth it! I have a friend who take LONG walks around and around her neighborhood when she's doing CIO, while her husband stays in the house. He can handle the trauma and she can't, so she removes herself.

  8. Jenny, Patrick cried it out as a baby and I probably don't have to tell you how much better emotionally adjusted he is than his attachment-parented wife : ) You will be so relieved in a few more nights when JP sleeps through the night, or at least most of it : ) Miss you so much and I will be praying for you!

    1. Sarah, have you actually been able to see a different in how adjusted you 2 are? I always wonder about the long term effects and hope and pray I am not screwing our girls out with all the crying it out.

    2. Ana, just that Patrick is the most emotionally stable person I have ever met, so at least I didn't worry about long term trauma when we did CIO with Jack : ) I think I was the only was permanently harmed.

  9. Oh my gosh. That is so tough! I feel the exact same way you do about it: it's sooo painful but sooooo necessary sometimes. You'll be in my prayers!


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