Thursday, August 21, 2014

Cry It Out

I know the title of this post probably makes some people cringe.  There are many opinions on crying it out and like everything else with raising babies, it is all what is best for your family and your baby.

At Gavin's 6 month appointment we discussed with our pediatrician how frequently Gavin is waking for a feeding at night (remember, he is formula fed).  I picture Dr. S slowly turning around in his chair, haha.  He told us that nutritionally, Gavin does not need those night time feedings, and likely he was waking out of habit.  So I asked, to be clear, "We could let him cry it out, and he will be fine?  He isn't starving when he is in his crib screaming?"
Dr. S said, "No, he is definitely not starving. If this continues, he will become over weight."
To which I replied, "So, we can let him cry it out?"
"It is a personal preference, but he does not need those feedings, nutritionally."

Done.  That's all I needed to know.  He was fine without eating in the middle of the night.  Obviously, I would sacrifice my sleep if my child needed to eat.  While I'm super tired from getting up/waking up (when Carl does one of the feeds), I wasn't asking as a way to be able to get more sleep (that's just an added bonus).  And honestly, if Carl and I had just listened to his crying instead of jumping out of bed as soon as he started to cry, we would have been able to tell that it wasn't a "hunger" cry, it was an "I'm awake and I have no idea how to soothe myself to sleep" cry.

Dr. S also asked if Gavin was falling asleep to the bottle (before bed) or if we were putting him down awake.  We put him down awake and he goes to sleep on his own.  "That's half the battle and you've already done that part." That also made me feel pretty good.

Night one went something like this....
6:45- 2 ounces of food
7:00- bath, topical medicine, lotion
7:45- bottle
8:15- placed in crib awake on his belly, fell asleep on his own
10:15- woke up and cried for 20 minutes but went back to sleep
1:00- woke up again, cried for 20 minutes, I went in and rubbed his back for about 10 minutes, went back in my bed.  He cried for another 20 minutes, I did the same thing.  At some point I thought he had pooped, so I changed him (at this point he stopped crying and was just smiling and talking to me), then put him back in his crib on his back.  He was happy at first, then cried again.  The coming back in and rubbing of his back went on for THREE HOURS.  Yes, you read that correctly.  Three.Hours.  Again, it was not a hunger cry.  It was a "I cannot believe you are not picking me up" cry, which is why he stopped once I picked him up to change him.  Stinker!  I did not give in.  I did not give him a bottle to put him back to sleep.
4:00- FINALLY asleep
5:30- Woke up. I finally told Carl to get up and feed him.  Gavin didn't even finish the 4 ounces, which tells me he definitely wasn't that hungry.
6:00- Carl sat him on the bed next to me and Gavin poked me in the face until I opened my eyes and looked at him.  Then he smiled.  I'm not sure I wanted to be friends with him in that moment.

That day was a cup of coffee in the morning (wishing there was actually a coffee IV drip) and a Mt. Dew in the afternoon kind of day (and I'm not a soda drinker!).

Night two went something like this...
6:45- 3 ounces of food
7:10- bath, topical medicine, lotion (because that boy's eczema is finally starting to get under control!)
7:45- bottle
8:15- placed in crib awake on his belly, fell asleep on his own
10:15 (do you see a pattern here?)- woke up and cried for 20 minutes, but did not soothe himself back to sleep.  I went in, rubbed his back for maybe 5 minutes, and he went back to sleep.
3:00- woke up, cried for maybe 10 minutes, went back to sleep
3:30- woke up, cried for 20 minutes, I went in, rubbed his back for maybe 5 minutes, went back to sleep
6:25ish- woke up happy as can be.  Didn't even cry for a bottle.  He took one at about 6:40 and didn't finish all 4 ounces.

It was only a 1 cup of coffee day today.

Tonight is night three (I should probably go to bed!).  I'm hoping we are just going to be getting better and better.  Clearly, this child was not starving when he would wake up in his crying fit.  I know when he was younger he was obviously hungry, but if nutritionally he doesn't need it (and I definitely don't want him to become over weight), then we just needed to do a little sleep training.  We never had to do this with Hunter because he was sleeping through the night at 6 weeks (which I know is not the norm).  Each child is so different!

*Updated 08/29/2014*

Night 3 was the worst night.  He was up for another 3 hours and I was trying to soothe him.  Again, it was a very angry cry, not an "I'm hungry" cry.  Finally, at 4:30, I just fed him.  He then went back to sleep until 8.  After that night, Carl and I decided to not go in his room.  I think he was having a really hard time soothing himself when I was in there not picking him up.  Night 4, he cried probably 45 minutes, but went back to sleep.  Night 5, night 6, and night 7 he woke up 1 time with varying amount of crying, some nights it was 10 minutes or less and another was 20-30 minutes.  Night 8 he slept through the night!  Not one peep!  It was glorious!  About every other night he is sleeping through without making a peep and he is soothing himself to sleep within 20 minutes on the nights he does wake up.

I've now just jinxed myself.  He will be up like 3 times tonight.  All in the name of blogging, ha.

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