CIO advice?

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Registered: 04-07-2003
CIO advice?
8
Tue, 03-02-2010 - 5:04pm

Elena has been STTN since she was less than 3 months old, but she keeps going through these periods where she just cries and cries when I put her to bed. She also goes through periods where she goes to bed like an angel, and we just finished up a nice month and a half long stretch of that and now she's back to crying.


We do everything right (to my knowledge anyway). We have a set routine, bedtime is the same time every night, and all that. I don't know what else to do there. It sounds awful but I've been letting her CIO for half an hour these last couple of nights because going in to soothe her just drags the process out longer. I'll soothe her, and then the minute I walk away she bawls again, even if she's fallen asleep. On a really bad night, this cycle could go on for an hour and a half. It just seems easier to let her cry by herself.


Thoughts? Advice? I just feel like such an evil mommy letting her cry herself to sleep like this.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 09-08-2007
In reply to: unicorn21
Tue, 03-02-2010 - 5:10pm

No advice, just wanted to reassure you that you are not an evil Mommy. If leaving her helps her go to sleep faster than trying to soothe her, what else can you do?

Will she go to sleep if you rub her back? That is how we used to put the kids to bed in the various daycare's I've worked in--that was mostly for kids 1-2 though, not as young as Elena.


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iVillage Member
Registered: 12-04-2007
In reply to: unicorn21
Tue, 03-02-2010 - 6:21pm

That totally stinks Kelly. I know exactly what you're going through. James will always either lay down and go straight to sleep, or he'll cry. He really won't be comforted to sleep. If you try to rock him or something he just wants to get down and play, or he'll cry.

I feel bad about it because CIO is not my idea, but if he doesn't go straight to sleep (the way he often/usually does) I will give my self an amt. of time that I'm comfortable letting him cry. Usually 15 minutes depending on the type of crying etc. Then if he is still crying after that amount of time (sometimes he isn't..) I will go in and rock him for a few minutes and sing to him and then lay him down again. I totally know what you mean about going in there making the process take longer. I've learned that it's really only productive to go in there if I think his crying has escalated to place where it's not going to lead to sleeping.

I think you probably know Elena's crys and know what's best for her. I wouldn't feel bad about letting her cry sometimes when you know she's fine and everything. IDK, it's really hard to know what to do, but I think if you're going with you're instincts, you can feel good about that. (((hugs))) I hope if gets better soon. Maybe she's getting another tooth or something?

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iVillage Member
Registered: 08-04-2003
In reply to: unicorn21
Tue, 03-02-2010 - 8:07pm

Take a shower.

Your doing a great job, and CIO is hard (on parents). Assuming that Elena is safe in her crib while CIO (and I don't see why not based on what you posted), then you need something to distract you while she cries. I always found showering a good distraction. But whatever works for you.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 07-14-2008
In reply to: unicorn21
Tue, 03-02-2010 - 9:30pm

I'm not a BTDT, so please take everything I say with a grain of salt :)

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Registered: 06-25-2006
In reply to: unicorn21
Tue, 03-02-2010 - 10:09pm

Is it just the fussy cry, or do you think something is bothering her?

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iVillage Member
Registered: 12-04-2007
In reply to: unicorn21
Tue, 03-02-2010 - 10:32pm

Happiest baby on the block tricks are so great! Unfortunately, they don't work forever. I noticed in the DVD he mentions the "4th trimester" a lot, and it's really true. The first three months babies need that stuff so much, but then they get so much more independent, and that stuff totally stops working. Parenting is such a journey, you're constantly having to learn new things and new ways to deal with baby as they develop...

FWIW, I remember feeling really judgmental of CIO when James was tiny, because I never had to do, but now, while I like to take as gentle an approach as possible, sometimes he just needs to fuss at night.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 04-07-2003
In reply to: unicorn21
Wed, 03-03-2010 - 1:52am

Thanks for your thoughts everyone. Thankfully tonight she went down with zero fussing again, which is sooo nice obviously when compared to the crying.


Adrienne - I used to try rubbing her back, or rubbing her tummy since she sleeps on her back - lol - but it never worked because she would just look at me and keep crying.


Grace - I could have written everything you said! It's exactly like that - I give myself an amount of time and then I will go in there if I truly don't think she will go to sleep. But usually when I let her cry for a long amount of time (ei: half an hour) it's because she sounds really tired. She'll cry hard, then taper off, and even stop for 30 seconds to a couple of minutes, then start again. When she does that I know she is going to go to sleep, it's just a matter of time. Going in there to soothe her would just wake her right up and we'd have to start all over again! Other times I've gone in there after only 15-20 minutes because I know by the type of cry that there is no way she is going to sleep, and it's usually because something is wrong (teething, upset tummy, needs a little more to eat, etc.)


Kate - funny you should say that - I DO go have a shower sometimes! It's just so heartbreaking to listen to sometimes, knowing there's nothing I can do.


Jen - we actually swaddled up until Elena was about 4 months old. After that, most babies don't like it anymore. She was probably ready not to be swaddled even before that, because she used to kick it off no matter how tight I made it long before we stopped actually doing it! Oh and we also have a fan in her room. Since it's cool in there anyway, we don't have it aimed at her, it's strictly just for the white noise.


Heather - as I explained to Grace above, if I know it's a fussy cry I will go get her much sooner. But I'll admit that in the past, if she is still really fusising after more milk, or some gripe water, or whatever, I've still resorted to letting her CIO on occasion. But only if it has been well over an hour since her regular bedtime, I've already



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iVillage Member
Registered: 09-08-2007
In reply to: unicorn21
Wed, 03-03-2010 - 7:49am

Yeah I figured you had probably tried rubbing her back.

I think she is probably at one of those tough ages where she is old enough to know how to keep herself awake even when she is tired, but too young to not be distracted by "soothing" methods.

It sounds to me like you are doing all the right things. When she gets a little older, it will definitely be easier to soothe her until she is sleeping, like with back rubbing or letting her hold onto your hand (from my daycare experience this stuff definitely started working between 12-15 months).

Trust yourself, it sounds like you are really in tune with her and there's nothing more you can do (as far as I know)!


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