sleepy-baby.jpg

We have really struggled with our son’s night time sleep routine. Recently he has been waking up in the middle of the night for hours at a time, refusing to go back to sleep.

Since he was born I have nursed and rocked him to sleep, which worked fine until he learned to sit and stand up on his own. If he wasn’t completely asleep when we put him down, he would automatically sit or stand up and then all drowsiness had vanished. That was so frustrating!!! Every time we put him down we would just pray that he would stay asleep.

I have been consistently opposed to the “cry it out” method. I just didn’t think that letting an infant scream himself into exhaustion was a good thing. I felt that we needed to respond to his communication efforts in order to cultivate the development of an independent child. I still firmly believe all of that, however, I also now believe that a child must learn to put himself to sleep at some point.

Last Monday we let him cry himself to sleep. I went grocery shopping so I didn’t have to suffer along with him and Dad did the dirty work. We used the Ferber method, which I felt more comfortable with. After my husband put him down, he went and checked on him periodically to reassure, comfort him, and let him know that he wasn’t being abandoned but that it was time to go to sleep and no amount of crying would result in being picked up.

The first night was pretty rough; our son cried for a good hour before falling asleep. He would stop while my husband was in the room but as soon as he left, the crying began again. But after the first night, things got way better! Since that first night it has only taken 10-15 minutes for him to fall asleep.

The one night of sadness really was worth our son gaining the independence to fall asleep on his own. Now he wakes up in the middle of the night but he doesn’t cry. He eventually puts himself back to sleep and my husband and I are getting much better rest.

[photo from babycenter.com]

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

1 JHS February 17, 2008 at 8:11 pm

Every parent has to find their own way with their child, so I’m glad this is working for you, but I could/would never have done it. I never, ever let my kids cry for any reason. If they were crying, they were picked up. I always got them to go back to sleep — eventually. But I figured that if they cried, they had a reason and it needed to be addressed.

Thanks for contributing this post to this week’s Carnival of Family Life, hosted at Modern Sage — Practical Living Blog. The Carnival will be live tomorrow, so please stop by and peruse all of the wonderful articles submitted this week!

2 Michelle July 2, 2008 at 1:30 am

Well, seeing as it is 5:30 am and I have been awake for a few hours I can definitely relate to this. My daughter finally fell asleep and I am about to follow her. I’ve been reading The No-Cry Sleep Solution by Elizabeth Pantley and I think it will be a big help. Right now my daughter is so young (almost 3 months) that I can’t expect her to sleep better -her rhythms haven’t developed yet. I don’t think their is one right answer about sleep and kids. Each family and child will find what works for them.

3 Chris January 21, 2009 at 6:38 pm

I am so going through this right now with my 13 month son. Will he ever sleep:9

4 margie July 30, 2009 at 7:33 pm

hello, thanks for the info. With my three year old, i never really have problems in that department, but my little 8 mo old is sure keeping me awake. SInce I still breastfeed her (and not planning on stopping anytime soon) I usually lay her down in HER bed until she wakes up in the middle of the night and then bring her to our bed for feeding and for the rest of the night. Which has worked fine, until we returned from vaccation. Now she doesnt want to sleep in HER bed at all and cries and cries and cries… The last few nights I have had to rock her to sleep, praying, that she wont wake up when I lay her down!
I have mixed feeldings. Like one lady here before, I dont want her to cry for anything. I hate to let her cry it out. But on the other hand… i like to fall asleep on my own…able to toss and turn! … smile! She needs to learn – again – how to go to sleep on her own!
its just that sometimes, i just cant hear it no more, feel sorry for her and bring her to my bed. I know its wrong, but I just cant help it. At least we all get sleep and I can be half way ready for my 3 year old in the early morning!
Yeah, and my hubby is not much of a helper, cause if it was up to him – we would be 4 people laying in our bed,… smile…
Maybe one day i can do the ferber method…cause it sounds like a good thing. and I have tried it…kinda…..its just that after a while… i give in… just wanted to share my story…keep me updated! Have a good one! :)

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