After 8.5 months, my husband and I are on the same page that it’s time to stop night waking. We have been tired for a long time and miss the days when we had at least a 5 hour stretch of sleep the night before and we didn’t feel like zombies surviving on coffee. we considered our options of how to help our baby to sleep longer through the night. Ferberize, the chair method, the no tears, the don’t feed but still soothe, the stand at the door, the lay under the crib and hide..etc. Granted we didn’t do more than a few google searches of research on any of these methods in particular. I just thought that mothers instinct would get us by on this one. We were going to Cry It Out. For those who don’t know what that is, basically you let your child cry, scream, wiggle, squeal, and whimper for you for however long it takes until they are all cried “out” and well, basically figure out that they can just fall asleep again.
We are on night three, and I’m terrified of bed time. The confusion of whether this technique is the right thing to do or not has been one of the hardest parts about it. I wondered if she was hurting as much as I was hearing her cry an watching her on the monitor. If so, isn’t that abusive? But if we don’t do it, am I setting her up for poor sleep habits for the rest of her life? I was just so struck by how un-natural and flat out awful it felt to be resisting my impulse to go soothe her. It literally feels like I am the one in the crib, helpless, lonely, afraid, and yearning to be held and soothed. I have to wake my husband…(how could he possibly be sleeping?!?). We use each other for support, him being silent and strong as I shake, roll, and talk to my baby even though she can’t hear me. Im DYING for her to just stop crying and fall asleep. I continue to remind myself to breathe and repeat why I’m doing this over and over again. “Because you are HELPING her sleep, allowing her to figure out how to do it on her own, and teaching her to develop the skill she will need to have good sleep through out life” bla bla bla…Uch, is that really TRUE?! because at these moments, there seems like a MILLION and one ways in which that ideology seems like a CROCK of you know what, and there is one much more convincing reason to quit this whole thing and go in there and save her…simply that I love her. And so, the back and forth of what is the best thing for her, for us, is a confusing mish mosh of things I’ve read, things I feel, things I know rationally, things other moms did, what the doctor said and what my mom said.
I realize that I sound very dramatic, and without actually experiencing this first hand as a mother, you really have no idea. I’m struggling through it, and all I can do is hope that tonight is an easy breezy, put you down to suck your beautiful thumb and you doze off into a peaceful slumber night; And I can breathe a sigh of relief followed by a sense of pride that I did what had to be done, and that I know you’re better for it. But, G-D, what if I’m wrong, and instead you cry and cry and I let you cry and then you begin to fear bedtime and have anxiety, or get sick with a cold or something happens to your body that I can’t see because it’s related to your cortisol levels, etc?!?
(Update 1/20/17) Our daughter is now 9.5 months, still waking two times a night, and I’m still torn about this issue. We’ve let her cry a couple nights, then she got sick with a cold and we haven’t don’t it again. Now, she’s sitting up in her crib and it’s almost harder now than before. I’m curious to know about the experience of sleep training for others. Did you struggle this hard? Did you chose to do or not do any one thing? why or why not?