Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Sleep Training

My little Mr. Harrison is such a good baby in almost every way. The one area he qualifies as a "hard" baby would be his sleeping habits. He falls asleep pretty well but staying asleep is another story. I think he has only slept through the night about 5 times since he was born. Typically he is up about 3 times a night (11, 2, and 4 or 5).

Two nights ago he was up about 5 times between 11 pm and 4 am. I knew Jon was leaving town in the morning and I would be single moming it. So when he woke up again at 4 am after being tended to like 5 times in the last 5 hours I decided it was time to let him learn to self soothe. I just didn't think I could do all I needed to if I got up again with him.

So I turned on every fan in the house and went back to bed. When Jon got up at 5 to leave town, he told me Harrison was not asleep. (He was probably still crying.) As much as this kills me, because my mother heart hurts thinking of him crying all that time, I knew it was essential for me to function.

When I got the girls up at 6:30 he was asleep. He slept till about 7:30 and woke up happy. Last night I put him down around 7:30 and he slept till somewhere in the 3 am hour. I held myself back from going to nurse him because I wanted to build on the self soothing lesson from the previous night. So again I turned on the fans and went back to bed. The girls and I got up at 7 and he was still asleep. He woke up around 7:30 with a big smile on his face.

Sleep is so essential for we humans. It makes us in such a better mood. I am crossing my fingers that tonight will go well and perhaps by this weekend our little Harrison will have learned that when he wakes up in the night it is time to just roll over and go back to sleep. This is not one of those fun lessons to teach but it is so completely wonderful once it is learned.

22 comments:

Anonymous said...

I can understand that you want to teach your child to self-soothe. This method is a very mean and cruel way to handle a little boy. I sure hope you do not do this again your child could have deep emotional problems in the future.Try keeping him up to 8:30 P.M. This way he would get up a little later in the morning. I will pray that you will not do this abusive thing to your child again. Pleas try and not be so selfish you should of had only two kids.

Diana...aka...MeMe said...

It is a hard to listen to the crying, but so beneficial in the end for the baby to learn to self sooth themselves. Hard to trust that they are ok~ The baby monitors with cameras are so helpful, to see baby while sound is turned off, and then of course, fans running!! Good luck this weekend~ it sounds like you are on your way to a good nights sleep for everyone!!

chanel said...

whoa, that first comment makes me MAD! I was going to type that every mama does what is best for her and her family. I am WEAK and can not let my babies cry it out, but I have a 14 month old who has slept through the night as much as Harrison!! It is ROUGH, but I am blessed to be able to go on less sleep; cause I KNOW when you're tired you're not the mom you need to be.

anyway, i had a dream last night that i met you. it was very emotional. we hugged and it felt awesome. I just thought i had to share that with ya??

i hope you don't let those RUDE and ridiculous and hurtful words from the first comment hurt you. that was just pure evil.

Jana said...

I wish you wouldn't have to see that first comment. It was so uncalled for, downright mean (and false). You are a wonderful mother with very lucky children. I feel your pain. I woke up every two hours for over a year with my first child because I couldn't bear to hear him cry. On the second, I let her cry it out for two nights at 4 months old and she has slept perfectly eery night of her life since. Not every lesson we can teach our children is easy on us or them, but it is out job to teach them these lessons that are essential for life. Keep up the good work and don't let mean people get to you :)

Natalie said...

wow Anonymous, you have problems. Chalk me up as another "abusive" parent then! I have 4 kids (14, 11 and 5.5 yr old twins) and I let them cry it out. They are all the best sleepers and none have "deep, emotional problems". Please, get a clue anonymous. Hopefully, you have NO kids because you are judgemental and hurtful. Go away!

Familia Martinez said...

I agree with those that are shocked by the first comment. You are a wonderful mother and all six of your children are truly blessed to have you as their mother. It is pretty cowardly to make a comment like that and then sign it anonymous.

The Lord sometimes lets us cry so we can learn the things that are best for us on our own. He always there and won't let us bear more than we can handle.

You are always there and won't let Harrison cry until he is sick just to teach him a lesson but this lesson is one that is vital to you and to him. Keep up the good mothering. We love you guys and wish we could be closer. It would be fun to get the kids together for play days again!

Melanie said...

Long before I had kids, I learned in school (and from watching older siblings) that sometimes you have to let your baby cry. It's not torture. What is torture is not letting them learn how to self-soothe, so they never sleep well the first years of their lives.

When we had our first child, my husband and I were ready and prepared to let her cry it out when necessary. Ha! Much easier said than done. I was much weaker than I thought I'd be.

What I finally realized, was this: If I had older children crying to get their way, I wouldn't give in to them just because they were crying. Especially if I knew what they wanted wasn't good for them. It goes the same (eventually) with babies who wake up in the night and want to be cuddled back to sleep.

My daughter was happier when she slept through the night. I was a better mom. Some moms might not make the same choices, but there's no reason to criticize each other. We're all doing what we think is best for our families.

Stephanie said...

Dear Melanie,

Thank you. Your comment echoes my own thoughts and experiences perfectly.

And thank you to all of you who were so quick to defend me.

Luckily my sleep training my babies is not one of the many areas of my mothering in which I am insecure. Like Melanie, my head tells me I am doing the right thing by helping my children learn to self soothe and my experience doing this with 5 previous children backs this up. So does my research and reading on the subject (Healthy Sleep Habits: Happy Baby is my favorite guide book in this area.) My heart on the other hand does ache listening to my children cry no matter what age they are or if their crying is necessary. I don't like having to give them shots for immunizations or making even making my older children suffer consequences for their actions. But that is part of parenting.

So, I am fine and have no hurt feelings. I agree with Melanie and chanel in that we are all doing the best we can. We find our own way to do what we feel is best for our children and just because someone chooses to do it different from you doesn't make their way lesser or wrong.

Stephanie

The Robinson's said...

Keep up the good, but hard work!! I have 3 kids and each one was sleeping through the night by the time they were 4 months and that was due to self soothing.

If I can make a suggestion that you didn't mention, but you may be doing already is make sure Harrison goes down to bed with a very full belly.

I hope you continue your discussions with us and not let the first commentor get you. I guess they never heard of "if you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all". Enough said.

Every mom is different in how she raises her child(ren). As long as the child is loved and well taken care of, then the mom is doing her job the best she can.

I really hope this all works out for you and Harrison. He seems to be catching on to it quickly. Best of luck to you!

Take care!!

Anonymous said...

I am currently working with my son with these similar issues. He is having to learn to suffer consequences for his actions. As a mom you want to shield them but it is part of their learning to face consequences. I have seen too many parents who shielded their children and it never turns out well. The first time I had to sleep train my daughter, it about killed me but it was so worth it. She is in college, doing great and a great contributor to the world. Don't give up. They need to know that they can do for themselves even in this small way.

Carrie said...

Stephanie, you are a wonderful mother and I only know you from the blogging world! As always, I love reading EVERY post. You life me up and help me be a better mother, wife, daughter, friend and follower of Jesus Christ.

And can I say something to "Anonymous"...if you feel so strongly about your point, why are you hiding behind "Anonymous"???

Love to you Stephanie!

Sue said...

You are doing exactly the right thing. Both you and your baby will be happier.

=)

Karol said...

I guess I need to be added to the list of abusive parents. My babies were great sleepers.....after they learned to self soothe by crying for a couple of nights. Keep up the good work. You are a great mama.

Ashton and John's mom said...

I also 'abused' my kids when they were little. amazingly they turned out to be wonderful, emotionally stable teenagers. follow your heart and know that you are a great mom and anonymous may be the one that needs some help.

Sleepless In St. George said...

I think it is important to note that Harrison isn't a two week old baby. He is old enough to sleep through the night! On a completely different topic...I thought of you today. I have a little girl in my preschool class named Kami. I started singing the Cami Camille song to her and then told her about another special little girl named Kami! Sending hugs and wishes for a good nights sleep!

Shelley

Brittany said...

I let both of my girls cry it out and my first started sleeping through the night at 9 weeks and my second was about a month longer because she was colicky, but they are both really good sleepers still. They sleep about 12 hours. (They are 4 and 14 months) They have no emotional problems from it and don't even remember. I love being able to put my baby in her crib, she cries for about 2 minutes and then is out for the night. I am definitely a mom that needs sleep to be a good mom. And it is so beneficial for children to get all the sleep they can. I love reading your blog and I think your children are going to grow up to be super respectful, hardworking, and great mothers and fathers because you care enough to teach them from the beginning.

RayHome said...

www.gordonneufeld.com
Don't harden your hearts. Your children need your compassion and empathy. So do other mothers!

Anonymous said...

Love to you Stephanie.

Jane
xox

Anonymous said...

Sorry...I don't get it. Sleep training? Yes. Literally overnight with NO "soothing" at ALL?? NO. I know you have lots of self-confidence, Stephanie. And that"s great! But to turn on the fans to block out your baby screaming...not understanding WHERE Momma is when you've wonderfully been there nursing him (also wonderfully!) every single night, time and time again? That makes me very, very sad. Sleep training takes TIME. And Harrison is old enough to be very confused by the "silent treatment," without any help learning how to self-soothe. Sorry, but there are better ways to teach your child this skill. And yes it takes a few days and no you cannot just turn on all the fans in the house and tune it out. I think this is one area many of you could improve upon. Just some constructive criticism from a fellow mother...

Angie said...

Anon, it's not that you don't make some good points, but the harsh and judgmental way you make them is a real turn-off! You don't have to agree, but at least be respectful. I understand many of your points. In fact, I agree with you on many points. I personally cannot let my babies cry it out, not even if I drown out the sound with something like a shower, so I sleep train my babies a different way. It's exhausting. It takes a few nights and it's hard, especially when I am dead on my feet, its the 3rd night in a row, and it's after midnight, but it's the way of doing things that I feel good about so I do it. BUT, that does not mean that Stephanie is wrong, or a bad mom in this area. It just means that we do it differently. That's ok. We can. She does what she believes in and I do what I believe in. Sometimes we are on the same page and sometimes we are not. There is not a winner and a loser. We both love our kids and are trying to do what we feel is best for them, so we are equals. It's fine to have an opinion but please express it respectfully, and if you are confident in your beliefs, don't hide behind the title "anonymous" it discredits your opinion to so many. Own who you are and how you feel.

Stephanie said...

Thanks Angie. I totally agree. Whenever anyone has asked me for advice on how to sleep train their babies, my advice has always been that you just have to find the way that works for you that you can feel good about. THere are lots of books and different theories. There isn't one right way. Read the books, ask others what they do, do the research and then do what you feel is best -- find your own best way.

Stephanie

Jeanna said...

Anon, I'm glad we're not close, you'd have turned me into the CYFD years ago. One of the best and hardest things about being a parent is that YOU get to make decisions for YOUR kids. Please give other parents the respect enough to do the same. Stephanie-keep up the good work, the world needs more moms like you !