Crying it out

Over the last several nights, the Webmaster and I have made an executive decision.

Baby Boy is done milking it for this round of teething.

He’s been waking up consistently each night between 1 and 2:30 am. We finally decided to let him just cry it out. He had been sleeping through the night before his top central incisors began to move, and these teeth even looked painful coming in. Ouch. But they’re through now, so we just had to break him of the habit of waking up at night. He was pretty easy to settle back down – usually a 15 minute cuddle would do the trick, since I stopped feeding him at night a long time ago, so he didn’t get used to midnight snacks. I took the wisdom of my mother a long time ago and applied it to the Munchkin, so my kids know that a snack at night is not going to happen.

Anyway, Baby Boy was positively pathetic when he cried it out. When he finally fell back asleep, I tiptoed into the nursery to tuck him in. He was huddled up on top of his blankets, with one hand clutching the bumper pad, as if he was trying to pull himself up to stand and cry. It was truly sad. But he’s gotten the picture, and we’ve had a couple of quiet nights now.

Last night, however, was one of his I’m-going-to-stay-up-and-party-and-you-can’t-refuse-me-because-I’m-so-happy-and-cute nights. After falling asleep while nursing (thus providing me the opportunity to cut his fingernails), he woke up as the Webmaster was trying to lay him down in the crib. Then it was party time. He was tired, and would drift off temporarily, but forget trying to lay him down.

So, the Webmaster rocked him for two songs (we had “Junior’s Bedtime Songs” playing), and then popped him in the crib, raised the rail, and said “good night.” The howling started about 45 seconds later.

The Munchkin was still awake, but she was in her own bed and knows better than to get out now, so she didn’t care that the baby was fussing. That has been one of my concerns about letting him cry it out, but it hasn’t seemed to affect her at all, so I’ve just let him go at it.

The Webmaster and I sat down to watch “Supernanny” (this is one of the ways we build up our parenting self-esteem – we’re not as bad as these people!), and during a commercial, he commented, “I’m curious to see how long he can go on.”

“Do you remember doing this with the Munchkin?” I asked. “She was a little bit older when we made her cry it out and go to sleep after putting her down. I think we did this at nine months.”

“I remember that it really bothered me then, but you told me to not go in there, and you were right,” he said. (I was right!!!) “This time, it doesn’t bother me at all because we’ve done it once and it worked out really well.”

Twenty minutes later, the cries became quieter. By the time “Supernanny” was over, we checked on both the kids. The Munchkin was fast asleep, with her stuffed animals all around her and her teddy bear snuggled up against her. Baby Boy had mussed up all his blankets, and had fallen asleep sideways in the crib. We straightened him out and tucked him back in with his stuffed lion.

Peace. Quiet. Beautiful, sleeping children.

Let’s keep this up, kids. Mommy and Daddy need their sleep, too.

2 Responses to “Crying it out”

  1. Little Cousin's Mommy
    April 4th, 2006 05:58

    I can wholeheartedly empathize. Little Cousin’s first night of crying it out went two – yes TWO – hours. The next few nights she didn’t wake up at all during the night, and then she had a relapse (one hour). Over the next few nights, she did a roller coaster of waking up one night (40 minutes), the next night not, etc. Thankfully, things have settled, but I won’t count on her yet. She likes to make a liar of me.

  2. CroutonBoy
    April 4th, 2006 08:11

    We haven’t had the guts to let our daughter cry it out yet, but I don’t think we’ve hit the worst part either. I’m a big proponent, but tuning it out sure is hard. Congrats on getting over the hump!