Saturday, April 18, 2009

on my mind

Tonight's the night. I'm starting to help Reed learn how to self-soothe. Our doctor suggests putting your baby to bed when he is tired, but not asleep. Then, if he starts fussing, you give him a few minutes to calm down by himself. If he doesn't, you go in and calm him down, then put him back in the crib before he is asleep. You do this for as long as it takes for the baby to put himself to sleep.

It's not going so well. I initially put him down one hour and fifteen minutes ago. And he's still crying. I've been in eight times. Each time he calms down right away--then screams as soon as I leave. I don't know how much longer I can be strong and not just cuddle with him until he falls asleep. I feel so bad! And our neighbors probably think I'm a bad mom--we have paper thin walls. At least it's not 2:00 a.m. But I want him to learn how to self-soothe so he can sleep through the night and during naps. He'll be happier. And I'll be happier. It's worth it, right? And does anyone have any advice for me?

So here is my distraction. A random blog post. Here is what the Hambly fambly has been up to lately:

My graduation is next Friday and Ryan finishes his finals the following Tuesday. We are moving the day after he finished and skipping his graduation, which would be the next Saturday. We're almost done!

Reed loves to stand up. It's one of his favorites. Recognize the outift? It's the one he came home from the hospital in. Yes, it still fits. Well, more like it finally fits. It was a little big then :)

We got a new camera! Nikon D40x, woot woot. It takes sweet pictures. We've been having fun playing with it. I'm excited for my sister-in-law, Grace, to teach me mad photgraphy skills. And I love the flower in this picture. Such an awkward looking flower, but pretty in its own way.

Reed update: I just went in for the eleventh time. He's been crying now for one hour and fourty minutes. His body is soaked with sweat from crying so hard. And my heart is breaking in half. I'm not going to make it.

We tried rice cereal again tonight after waiting a few weeks (it was a little bit of a fiasco last time). He loved, loved, loved it. I think he now realizes that rice cereal is food. He was very excited for each bite. I'll have to take a video and post it--he's a pretty cute eater.

This is the face he has been giving us lately. Doesn't he just look like he's up to something? He has also started smacking his lips. All the time. And thinks it is so funny when you do it back to him.

This is the cuteness I get to see every night after his bath. He just kills me. Love this kid!

Okay, it has officially been two hours. Should I give up?


Bethany said...

My advice, for what it's worth ... go with your instinct and what you think is best for your child and then stick with it. I have two kids. We had to teach him to self-soothe around 6 months old. It took about three nights of crying and then he had it figured out and has been a terrific sleeper since.

I rocked my daughter to sleep until she was 9 months old. I knew crying it out wouldn't work for her so I never tried.

My point? Every child is different and I firmly believe that mother's should trust their own feelings and instincts and do what they feel is best for their child.

Take advice from other experts and make it work for you.

And if you decide to continue hang in there! It is an investment that will be worth it in the long run.

Kim and Devin said...

Keep it up!! We have had the same issue with Hallie. We have neighbors (the Dahl's) who probably think we are awful parents too, but honestly Hallie is a terrific sleeper now. We went through a ROUGH few nights too doing the same thing, but it has definitely been worth it. She still cries herself to sleep most nights, but it takes 5 or 10 minutes instead of hours and we are all much happier. Naps are great too because we can just lay her down and she will fall asleep. I think she is happier and sleeps better. She didnt' know how to self soothe before because we didn't give her the chance. Now, if we try to rock her too much she gets agitated. It is just easier for her to lay down and do it herself. Reed can do it! Even though it is heartbreaking for you, it will be worth it!

Sorry this is a novel!!

Heather and Spencer said...

We used the book Healthy Sleep Habits Happy Child. I love it! It says something about when you continue to go in and soothe the baby, it is teaching him that if he cries long enough, you will eventually come in. It is like every time you go in the room, you are starting the whole crying process over and again and undoing his ability to self soothe. Our little guy cried over 3 hours the first time we tried it! I cried most of it too, I would suggest putting him to bed on a full tummy, clean diaper and the exact same routine every night. Once the routine is complete, tell him you love him, kiss him and lay him in his bed. Do not go back in if he cries. You will know he doesn't need anything, he is just protesting and wanting to have company. Each night should get better...promise! I can now lay our guy down totally awake and he knows it is time to go to sleep, he has a little blanket he sleeps with and if he is not tired enough to fall asleep on his own, he starts to rub the blanket on his cheek. It is his way of soothing himself and I love that he can do it! I know it is hard to listen to him cry, but it is helping him learn a skill that you will forever be grateful for...I know I am! Check out that book, it just seems to make sense to me. (There are other methods in it other than crying it out too, but that one just seemed to make the most sense to us) Good luck! Sorry about the novel! Reed really is adorable!

miriam said...

it's hard to be a parent! do what you think you should, not what you've read you should. i didn't force ava to self soothe until she was a year and a half and i don't think i will with ava.

don't make yourself do things you think other children are doing or other parents are doing unless you really think it's a good idea. you're a good parent, megan and you can make good decisions for reed.

Traci M said...

We did the health sleep habits, happy child book, too, but I didn't get around to letting Naomi cry herself to sleep until 11 months. I just let her cry herself to sleep, no matter how long it takes, and leave her in her crib until morning (unless the cry changes and you can tell something is wrong). But there are so many ways to be a good parent. That's just what worked for us. I wish I had started sooner, though. She sleeps so much better now and now she hardly ever cries when I put her down for bed. I don't remember how old Reed is, but the book recommends not letting them cry to sleep (without going in and soothing them every few minutes) until 6 months.

Mandi said...

I hope the soothing is going better. And I totally love the pics of I always do!

I love the look on his face when he's standing on the couch.

I totally love the look on his face in his carseat I think and he's got the sheepish looking grin.

The rice cereal look is classic. Totally love that one too!