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Sunday, April 15, 2012

For Crying Out Loud

A friend posted a question on Facebook about getting little ones to sleep through the night.  This got me thinking about what we had done.  I thought I'd share it here for anyone who might be struggling with this.

We started letting our kids cry it out when they were about 8 months old or so.  First, we'd make sure they were fed enough, dry enough and warm enough, so that we were sure that none of those things would play a factor in the tears.  Letting the kids cry would make me crazy. I doubt there's a mother out there who likes to hear their children cry, but having read up on things, I felt this was the solution to our problem.  It taught a child to calm him/herself.  It proved to do the trick for our family.

The first night, I'd go in and check on the child every ten minutes if he/she was still crying. I would set a timer. When it went off, I'd walk in and say "Goodnight" and walk back out without touching the child (unless, of course, I needed to lay him/her back down).

The next night, I'd go to twenty minutes. The next night 30. You get the idea. Usually by that third night, though, I wouldn't have to; the child would settle him/herself down before I got to the 30 minute time. Really, checking on the child was for my sake not his/hers.

Sometimes, because patterns are pretty well set, it may take a bit of time to build new habits, which is a total drag for a mom, but that's kind of how human nature is. So much of dealing with children is undoing old habits and replacing them with better ones. That's all that this is doing. It sometimes just takes a bit of perseverance and patience.

1 comment:

Jeanette said...

Calista is still not sleeping through the night, she's up generally about twice a night to eat... When I go to her and feed her, she focuses completely on the task at hand, and chows down for 10 minutes, and then is soooo easy to get to go back to sleep.
I know you don't really know the answer to this, but how do I know if she "needs" these feedings? How do I get them to stop? Or I can just let her lead the way, which is pretty much what I've been doing lately.
I'm feeling pretty good that it's only two times she wants to eat: back in January, we were topping out at five times a night. That was not working.

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