Crying It Out

Some mornings nap time is difficult. My daughter is exhausted but she won't go to sleep. Her shrill little tired cries echo through her bedroom and find their way out under the bedroom door to reach my ears that are covered with my trembling hands as my heart aches knowing that my baby girl is upset.

However, I know I have to press on. I've broken down too many times only to swoop her up from her crib and with her whole body sobbing she won't give in to me. She won't go to sleep if I rock her. She won't go to sleep if I sing to her quietly into her soft tiny ears. She won't go to sleep if I walk the length of the living room while bouncing her gently.

She's tired, but she won't give in.

She's tired, but she still fights her good fight.

She's tired, but she refuses to give up her argument to stay awake.

She's stubborn.

She's sure.

She's strong.

I hear her beating her chunky hands on the crib. I know she is standing up, watching the door, waiting.

Oh sweet girl how it pains me to listen to you putting up this incredibly forceful fight. But I can hear the sleepiness in your screams. I can hear the drowsy tone in your defiance. I know soon you will pass out into a peaceful slumber and you will wake all smiles rested and ready to play with your mommy.

My baby girl is almost ten months old and I am still trying to get her to have decent sleep habits. Decent as in not nursing her to sleep every nap she takes or bedtime that comes upon us. I spoiled her and I. I include myself because nursing has been an inspiring, amazing experience for me this time around and I didn't mind having her fall asleep as I nursed her. However, we have quickly learned that we created a routine that was difficult to break. Therefore I brought in the cry it out method.

For those of you that do not care for the cry it out method, it isn't for everyone. I would never expect you to do it with your children. I don't expect anything from you as a fellow mommy but doing what works best for you. No judgement here, just encouragement and love.

For those of you that need help, that need encouragement in the crying it out method, this post is written for you. It truly becomes easier because they cry less and they eventually learn to go to sleep when you put them down. From all of the material I have read it is a lot easier if you start out earlier than we did. At this point in Remy's life she understands how to manipulate more plus we are having to break her habit of nursing to go to sleep.

And just as I predicted, as my mommy instinct was sure, less than ten minutes later and baby girl is fast asleep.

Here are some tips for the Cry It Out Method.

-Remember that crying is just a side effect of this method. It wasn't even called Cry It Out but that is the most popular term for it currently. It's training your child to self soothe. When a child becomes used to being rocked to sleep or nursed to sleep when they wake in the middle of the night they do not know how to put themselves back to sleep by themselves. This method gives them the opportunity to learn how to self soothe, which will make naps and bed time easier in the future.

-Don't try Cry It Out until your baby is emotionally and physically ready. Most sources say that is between 4 and 6 months old. 

-Don't let your baby cry for a long period of time. The point isn't to leave your baby screaming in his or her crib for half an hour before they fall asleep. Set a time that you feel comfortable with. I started with five minutes with Remy when we first started using this method. 

-Make sure both mommy and daddy are on board with the idea. Team work for this one! On nights I couldn't stand listening to Remy cry I would take a shower and let Justin take over. 

-Consistency. This is important. If one night you try this and the next you forget it's just confusing for everyone, baby included! 

-Understand that this method does not work for everyone. Some babies take to this easily. Within a couple nights they are putting themselves to sleep. However for some babies it just doesn't work and you need to figure out something else that will work for them. All babies are different!

-Trust your mommy instincts. You know yourself and your baby best. 

-You may fail. I failed multiple times. I ended up getting her quickly because my heart couldn't take it and I nursed her to sleep. This definitely set us back, but I just couldn't emotionally do it. I wasn't ready. 

Whatever your method, getting your baby to sleep is healthy for everyone. What methods have you tried? What worked for you and what didn't?

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