Just had a reality shock when I opened up my own blog. Yep, it's been awhile. I feel like I should say Hello Readers, my name is Tracy and I have only one day of blogging because I had a relapse...bad humor, I know. Well, we better leave the sense of humor behind and move on to what I am hopefully better at...writing a blog entry.
We have been so busy. We have two busy times of year and one is holiday time although the holidays are a small part and one is the end of Spring. This time of year includes getting the garden in, doing Spring Cleaning (ok not this year or last year or .....), my collective jobs need more of my time, and our hobbies such as hiking and mushrooming beckon us wildly...A little tangent here: mushrooms beckoned us with loud yelling this year, but we ignored, so beautiful, fresh, young chicken of the woods appeared along my park running trail....Thanks mother nature, I love you! This year we added to the list of usual suspects for Spring with some extras including being part of a busy bag swap (I promise to blog about that later), sleep training, preparing to run in a real race (send positive thoughts out into the world for me), and extra house rehab. We are silly like that or we should fire the master of our schedule.
Today, though, I want to focus on sleep training. As this is my current and largest compromise so as The Compromising Mother, I feel it is my duty to share. I did NOT want to do Cry It Out (CIO). It did not feel natural to my parenting style and I had significant concerns about the emotional impact. In my perspective, I would theorize that CIO works because kids cry and cry and cry and become overwhelmed and frustrated and then can not stop crying, so they fall asleep out of exhaustion and simply giving up. This has meant a significant commitment on my part with a lot of time and energy. I never minded either, I promise. I LOVE bedtime. My son loves books and cuddles and mama, so it worked well....that is UNTIL he turned 22 months old. I do not know if his age had anything to do with it, but he was suddenly unable to be soothed to sleep by me. I think, he had grown up and needed to figure it out on his own. I tried every tool I knew and nothing worked, so CIO was my last resort.
We started it on a night where I worked late since I still have a very emotional reaction to crying (unless it is tantrum crying). My husband and I made an agreement that he would not tell me how long it took as we feared hours per stories from other parents. Well, he broke his promise because it took under and hour, only 50 minutes. The next night 35 with dada putting him down again while I worked. The third night, I put him down and it took about 25 minutes. The fourth night I again put him down and it took about 20 minutes. We had one small setback on night 6 due to tornado sirens at dinner time, but by night 8 there was no crying at all and no talking and no pleas and cries for mama. And from the beginning, naptime resulted in 5 minutes or less of crying. Yep, my little Mr. B grew up. He now looks like a little boy to me and not a toddler. It worked and I think it did so quickly because we prepared him, we were firm, I was absent the first 2 times, and he is now so much more aware with an excellent memory (he calls for whoever put him down and if he wakes up in the middle of the night he calls for that same parent). My kiddo is now getting as much sleep as he is supposed to get, doesn't cry, puts himself to sleep, does not wake up in the middle of the night anymore, and looks so cute when I lay him in his crib and he cuddles his buddies.
One interesting note about our situation. We live in a one bedroom house, not kidding. When he was younger, I researched sleep training and was happy to see a special section for our situation. That part of the book though basically said, "If you live in a one bedroom home, good luck!" That is paraphrased of course, but that is about the gist. So, I do think that we had to wait until he was more aware and communicative. When he was younger, he knew that mom and dad were mere feet away, so we have always been part-time co-sleepers, which for us means the second half of the night Mr. B has taken the middle of the bed. But, not now.
The Compromise: interrupted sleep, frustration, and then finally using CIO, which I did not want to do.
The Sweet Reward: Mr. B is a big boy now....please send help immediately these transitions are harder on me than him...did I mention how much I cried each night?