Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Cry Baby...


My youngest is 7 weeks old, or will be tomorrow.  She is now sleeping 7 and 8 hours at a time and has been doing this for about 2 weeks.  My toddler did the same thing. I watched very carefully this time around to see if I could figure out what it was that causes my babies to sleep so well.  I have talked with numerous parents struggling to get their infant to sleep more than 2 or 3 hours at a time.  So, hopefully this post will help those of you either struggling to get you baby to fall asleep or struggling to train your baby to stay asleep.  Please note that is just something I do that has worked very well and I am sharing it with my reader-mommies simply as that.  I don't take any responsibility for other's experiences.  

I have found that the answer to this very stressful and extremely frustrating issue is to simple let my baby cry!  I pick a reasonable hour for my baby's bedtime.  I choose the time based on when she starts to show signs of fatigue such as excessive crying, droopy eye lids, restlessness, etc. If I wait too long, she becomes overly tired at which point she can get inconsolable and completely irrational making my job nearly impossible. If I choose the time too early, she won't be tired, therefore, this whole plan of attack backfires.  It is very important that this time stays consistent.  I put her down at 10, one hour after my toddler which gives me some one on one time with her. I make sure she has clean diapers and a good meal.  I have found that it is very important that she has had a good meal before bedtime!  This helps makes her feel tired.  

Okay, now she is all ready...I just have one more thing to do, put her in bed and let her cry!  I make sure she is safe with nothing in her crib that could hurt her such as excessive blankets, stuffed animals, etc.  I make sure she is warm and comfortable.  I try to have everything done right in order to be able to assure myself and she is not crying because something is wrong.  Sometimes babies just cry.  Maybe they are just like the rest of us and get cranky when they are tired. As soon as I lay her down she begins crying.  It's okay.  I just think of it as a baby workout.  It is going to wear her out so she will sleep better, hooray!  While she is crying I stay close enough to hear her, but not in the same room.  I let her cry for about 15 minutes.  If she hasn't stopped for at least 30 seconds during that time, I go in, pick her up and cuddle her for about 2 minutes.  Sometimes she will instantly snuggle in and falls asleep in my arms.  After the 2 minutes, I put her back down and do it all over again.  

What I have found is that even if I didn't put her in her bed and let her cry, she would be fussy anyways.  Then it becomes one of those situations where you say things you don't mean like "I HATE BEING A MOM!" "I AM DONE!" "IF THIS IS THE KIND OF BABY YOUR ARE, YOU'LL NEVER HAVE ANY FRIENDS WHEN YOU GROW UP!" and so on.  At the end of the day when Baby has finally fallen asleep, you find yourself repenting for everything your said earlier and praying that they won't remember the last hour and become some kind of crazy person when they grow up because they were damaged my their mother at such a tender age.  When I do bedtime or nap time the way I described above, there are a couple of very positive things that happen.  First and foremost, me and my baby are not getting angry at each other.  Second, she learns to put herself to sleep.  She also learns that the world does not revolve around her, the first step in not becoming a spoiled brat!  Finally, bedtime becomes a breeze instead of a two-hour struggle!  

I hope this helps some of you-mommies.  It is a little bit trial and error.  The main thing I do is to make sure that Baby learns to put himself/herself to sleep.  

Today I learned that multi-tasking cannot be a man!


Carmen said...

i"m not a mom, but i thought this was awesome and will keep it tucked away for a later time. you should be proud of what a good mom you are.


sarah said...

I agree whole heartedly! Babies need moms to set schedules for them, nit the other way around. WE are the parent who knows what is best for them (thanks to doctors and research we know that a newborn baby NEEDS to sleep 16-20 hrs/day). So it's our job to let them cry it out when it's naptime...and learn to sleep without sleep aids. well said!

Linz said...

The struggle of teaching a man to multi-task is something i realize they cannot do, but I continually want to help Micah learn. To funny. :)