It Wasn’t Supposed To Happen This Way

22 01 2012

Here is our sleep log from Friday night:

Down at 7:25

Up at 7:40

Down at 8:10

Up at 8:15

Down at 8:30

Up at 9:05

Down at 9:15

Whoops… Up at 9:15

Down at 9:20

Up at 9:35

Whoops… Fell asleep nursing her…

Up at 10:00

Down at 10:30

Whoops… Fell asleep nursing her…

Up at 12:45

Down at 1:15

Up at 1:45

Down at 2:00

Need some sleep… Both of us try to sleep while she’s nursing.

Up at 6:15


Sleep Log from Saturday Night:

In her crib at 8:45, crying until 9:15

Up at 12:00

Nurse 15 minutes, in her crib at 12:15, lightly fussing until 12:30, crying until asleep at 1:00

Cried out at 2 and 3am, back to sleep in seconds without help

Up at 4:15, brought her to bed with me to nurse and sleep

Up at 6:30


She has battled sleeping alone after nursing down so hard and for so long, that I thought crying it out would be a nightmare of 6 hour crying stints.  I imagined such hard crying that she would make herself sick.  That she wouldn’t nurse because she was too upset.  That she would hate me when I finally went to her.

Last night, I was finally so frustrated with my No-Cry book, which described a process that my own child would have NONE of, and so stressed about my deadline for figuring it out, that last night I decided we just needed to rule out the CIO method and move on.


It worked.

Two three-hour chunks of sleep?  Alone in her crib?  And, actually, with LESS crying than a typical night, when I go downstairs for some dinner and she wakes up every 15 minutes (all those two-minute crying jags when I go racing upstairs to put her back to sleep add up to A LOT of crying)?


Of course, Jason and I stayed up THE WHOLE TIME, waiting for her to wake up, checking on her obsessively, and eventually just talking to each other like a married couple does when there isn’t a screaming child to distract them.

The first half hour of the evening, I was a wreck.  I drank a beer in about two minutes (to prevent myself from running upstairs, snatching her up and nursing her – I won’t nurse for a couple of hours after a drink, a drink that I’ve not ever had since she ALWAYS nurses after an hour or so).  I went down to the bed in my office, curled in a ball, and sobbed hysterically, while Jason sat next to me and talked and reminded me that we could go to her after an hour.  And told me I’m not a horrible mother.  And reminded me that the pediatrician told us to do this.  We listened to her calm down and then… sleep.

Maybe this was just a strange night, and maybe tonight it will be much, much worse.

Certainly, I never, EVER wanted to let my daughter cry it out.

But just now?  I put her in her crib for a nap.  And she cried.  Then she fussed.  And now she is getting some sleep.


The one bad moment came after she fell asleep for the second time.

Jason went up to check on her.  After a moment, he called out my name at full volume.

I jumped up, not knowing what to expect, if she was awake or hurt or what, although it was quiet.

I was already to the stairs when he yelled, “WHERE’S THE BABY?”

My heart stopped.

Then he said, in a quieter voice, “Oh.  I found her.”

She had worked herself into a dark corner of the crib, and with her light pajamas on the light sheet, tucked next to the rails, she was damn near invisible.  I had trouble finding her, too, though Jason had just told me she was there.

I was shaking so bad that I could barely walk back down the stairs.

So, other than losing the baby for a minute or two, it was a pretty good night.




One response

22 01 2012
Alison Vickery

Honey, you didn’t cry it out. You let your child learn to self soothe. Cry it out means you ignore her needs and leave her crying endlessly. Trust me, I know people who’ve done that. Let your baby fuss herself to sleep for 15 minutes is fine. You learned, she learned, it’s all good. Love to you all.

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