Sunday, March 15, 2009

To Cry or Not to Cry?

I wasn't up to post next on "the Village," but the other ladies so graciously gave me another turn. I really need some help with the following issue. So I would appreciate it greatly if all you ingenious moms would comment and give me advice. Even if you don't want to comment I would be ever so grateful if you would at least vote on the poll on the sidebar - that will help me out a great deal. This post is not short, but you would be helping out a bewildered and sleep deprived mom a great deal if you were to bear with me and read it.

I know for a fact that the whole "cry it out" issue is something that will plague most moms at least once throughout your child rearing years. I have pondered and researched this topic for months. The pendulum swing between the two schools of though is incredible. I have read and reread many books about babies and sleep. I have vacillated from "The No Cry Sleep Solution" by Elizabeth Pantly which indicates that letting your child cry it out is the worst possible thing you can do and doesn't advocate letting your child cry at all. I have read "Babywise" by Gary Ezzo which directs you to let your newborn (as in less than a week old) cry him/herself to sleep, and also encourages you to let your 2 month old cry it out if he/she wakes in the night. These two books were so extreme for me that I couldn't agree with either.

Then I read "The Baby Whisperer" by Tracy Hogg. This to me seemed to be the middle of the road philosophy. Tracy believes that letting a baby cry it out is a trust breaker, but that you can help them go back to sleep even whilst the baby cries. I thought all my questions were answered. I read her book, and I believed in her method. . . . After a month of adhering to Tracy's recommendations my son is still sleeping horribly. So now I am back to square one. I still believe Baby Whisperer works, it just didn't work for Linus for some reason.

Sorry to give such a lengthy intro, but I think it's important for you to know where I am coming from so that you can help me (and the countless other moms that are struggling with this).

More background. . . my little girl is now 2 1/2 and is a STELLAR sleeper. She slept through the night at 6 weeks. At about 6 months she started night waking and when it turned into a habit I let her cry it out. She cried for 3 nights, and then never had a problem again. It was great. . . She only ever woke up once per night though.

My son on the other hand. He is 5 months old and has rarely slept for longer than 3 hours in a row without a feeding or some other type of intervention. I have tried everything. He wakes on average 2-6 times per night. So I am nervous that the crying it out will be so horrible. If you have let your baby cry it out please see my questions below and answer them the best you can.

How old was your baby when you let him/her cry it out?
How many nights did it take?
Did you intervene at all? Or did you just let your baby cry until he/she fell asleep?
How did you feel?
How did you resist helping the baby?
Did your baby continue to night wake even after the crying it out?
If you didn't use cry it out, how else have you gotten your baby to sleep soundly?
What other advice can you give me for a baby who wakes multiple times in the night.


andrea and heathe said...

okay, i have no advice but i feel like i'm in a similar boat! my six month old is a terrible sleeper! i've tried to let him cry a few times but it hasn't helped at all. he still wakes up to eat or be rocked at least every 3 hours...uggg!!! i need help too!

Jessie said...

This is how my first was, too, though I don't remember it being quite so bad (though she was my first, so I didn't know any better...). Finally when she was about 9 months (why did we wait so long?!? How did I stay sane?) we decided to let her cry it out. Here's how it went down at our house:

Day 1: Put her in bed awake, let her cry for 30 min., went in to check on her, lay her back down, tell her it'll be ok. Leave. Let her cry for 15 min., follow the same routine. Leave. Let her cry for 15 min., same routine. At this point, I broke, and fed/rocked her to sleep. Also, I got up with her in the middle of the night, but gave her a sippy of water instead of feeding her.

Day 2: Pretty much the same as day 1, maybe 4 bouts of going in with minimal contact before I broke. Same thing at night, though--sippy of water.

Day 3: I think at this point (it's been a while, sorry) we only went through 2 rounds of 30 mins. of crying, then during the third, she actually fell asleep on her own! Woke up again at night, gave her the sippy.

Day 4: She fell asleep in the first 1/2 hour, and I left the sippy in her bed where she'd see it when she woke up--I got a full night's sleep. Amazing.

And while she has had several occasions where she has woken up at night since this time, I can't believe the difference it made just letting her cry it out for a couple days. It is hard, and I think sometimes you have to cave, maybe, but the important thing is to keep consistent. If you want them to learn to sleep on their own, getting them to go to sleep by themselves first thing is the most important part. Then you just have to convince them to break the habit of waking up at night for another little drink--they can drink water and be just fine at this age. Good luck, Tannie. I know you'll do great--you're a wonderful mom.

Jared and Delia said...

Get ready for the longest comment I have ever made.Let me take the questions in order:

How old? ummm...I admit I did babywise with #1 and started at two weeks. With #2 I started to let him cry to go down for just naps when he was almost 5 months old.

How many nights? I just remember a lot of crying in the beginning. It was a lot of crying for 15 min., comforting him and letting him cry again for 15 min. and then going back in if he still hadn't fallen asleep...for I don't know a week or so and then after that he pretty much just cried for 10 min and was out after that, each time. Some days after a trip or when he was teething we would have the cry 15 min,, comfort, and cry again routine but not often. Around 9 months or so he would rarely cry at all and play by himself or talk to himself until he fell asleep.

Did I intervene? Yes...after 15 min. or sometimes 20 min. I would go in and comfort him. If I intervened too much though it made it worse I felt. I just made sure he knew I was still there by giving him a pat and talking to him very briefly and then leaving the room again. I would also make sure he wasn't too hot or cold, had a dirty diaper, seemed hungry or had something else bothering him. This all depended on the cry. I could tell if he was just tired by his cry. If it sounded like he was in pain I would go in right away.

How did I feel? I felt guilty about it but felt it was right for him at the same time. I felt guilty because my family disapproved of this method and so many books and literature are against it. I felt it was right for him because he was an awful sleeper those first few weeks and I was about to go insane - REALLY. I don't know how you have done it this long Tannie without getting counseling or something. I was a brand new mom with no experience with newborns and NO family around too though so I had those things against me as well. So I guess it was the right thing for the both of us at the time. It gave me permission to not have a nervous breakdown every time he cried or wasn't sleeping. Sometimes he would cry whether I was "intervening" or not when he was tired, and holding him and not being able to "fix it" made me feel like a failure and still didn't help him sleep better. It turned out to be the right thing because he slept great after a while and became a super happy and easy baby once we overcame the sleeping hurdle.

How did a resist helping the baby? I had to convince my husband to be on board with it. When one of us was weak and wanted to just give in or give up the other one would be strong. You need a support system. I also had to remind myself that by helping him learn how sleep on his own WAS helping him, I didn't feel like I was being neglectful. It was also helpful to look at a clock. When you are just standing outside the door listening to your baby cry, 2 minutes seems like 15. The clock can simply help you keep perspective as you wait it out. It will seem like forever, but it is really not.

Did my baby continue to night wake?

Yes and no. He wasn't ready to sleep through the night until after four months or so. At that age he slept 8 or 9 hours and then eventually slept 11 to 12 hours at night at around 6 or 7 months (I can't remember exactly). Once he slept through the night I don't remember him having a problem with night waking after that. He would have a night here or there, but I would let him cry for about 10 min. and usually he would fall back to sleep on his own. If that didn't work I would check on him but never feed him and just put him back to bed. I would take that as a signal that he needed more nourishment during the day and increase feedings and food the next day and that would fix it right quick.

Not using cry it out? Well I didn't with #2 really until much later. I broke a lot of rules and still do. I nurse him to sleep at night but have stopped that for naps. I let him cry 10-15 min. max for naps. If he cries a lot I just skip the nap and he will just pick up a longer nap the next time around. No big deal. After just a few days of crying he started to not cry every time I put him down - already! He is a very different baby and maybe I am a different mom as well. We are definitely not as scheduled this time. With #1 I had a strict bedtime and naptime ritual. Sleep took top priority in our house. If it didn't fit with his nap or bed time we didn't do it. Traveling and church were difficult because they didn't fit in his strict babywise schedule. He would sleep great but not if he was not in his crib.

So...if your baby needs more parental guidance than most like mine did, I recommend that you create strict routine - same song to sing, same order of doing things - all that good stuff. A white noise maker helps a TON. I still use a humidifier in #2's room now. It can help if your baby has to share a room with a sibling too because it can drown out any little noises that may cause waking. Have a fairly strict schedule for naps and bedtime. Any variation could throw a sensitive sleeper off. It can be frustrating...I know. I always just weighed it against a good night's sleep. What is worth more? Besides, as they get older the sleep training to get them to sleep through the night and such matters less, at least it did for us. By two years old we had other sleep problems that were more behavioral but that is another story.

Another tip that has worked for us is solids. I was hesitant to jump right into solids before closer to six months for #2. He started night waking though. I tried nursing him more but that only helped him to wake once per night instead of twice. I now offer solids right after a morning, afternoon, and evening feeding to supplement (in line with breakfast, lunch and dinner). Sometimes he takes 3 bites and sometimes he takes everything I have prepared for him. Now he sleeps 9-11 hours at night far that is. I just started this a couple of weeks ago (he is 6 months now).

Good luck!

Christina said...

I read both those books as well and felt they were extreme. "The No Cry Sleep Solution" was no help to me at all. At least "Babywise" advocated scheduling, something I appreciated as a new mother of twins. I HAD to let my girls cry it out for my sanity. They slept through the night beautifully at 7 months, but still go through phases of waking (and are 20 months). Honestly, the best thing we've found is to put our girls up or downstairs so we can't hear them cry. It's still very painful.

Megan said...

My doctor actually advocated starting some solids at four months and Lucas started sleeping better at that point. He still woke up once a night, but it was easier to get him back to sleep. If you do, you might try mashed potatoes. The starches in them tend to fill them up longer and they tend to sleep better. Lucas didn't really care for potatoes, but the solids did help him sleep longer.

Shantel said...

Like I told you when we were talking yesterday, I don't really know if I trained Ryan to sleep, or if he is just a natural sleeper, but here are the things that I did with Ryan.
#1 I never woke him up to eat. A point that one particular nurse made when Ryan was first born struck me and I followed her council. She believed that if you wake your baby to eat that you train them to wake during the night out of habit not necessity.
#2 When Ryan woke during the night and I needed to feed him I would use as little light as possible, usually complete darkness, and would not talk to him at all. I have heard of babies waking in the night because they learn to appreciate the time alone with their parents, and although that sounds nice, sleep sounded better to me. (Man, that makes me sound mean!) So basically my rule was that if the sun was down no talking (usually not even to comfort) and no light.
#3 When it comes to crying it out, it was hard for me at first. We first started letting Ryan cry it out during the Olympics and I would turn the TV up really loud to tune him out. I just had to find something to keep my mind off of his crying. I also found that trying to comfort Ryan just made it worse. He would get even more mad if we went up to comfort him and then left again. We did however try to make sure he had his binki if he had been crying for a long time without falling asleep.
My guess is that I haven’t shared any new insights, but these are the things that worked for Ryan. And once again, like I told you yesterday, I am sure that these things won’t work with my next kids!

Kelly A. said...

OK, I don't know if this will help any but I will share what we did with our little one. I never thought that she was a horrible sleeper, but at about 6 months she was still getting up once or sometimes twice. I talked to several moms and they ALL said that crying it out worked great for teaching your baby to fall back asleep on their own when they woke up at night. I had the HARDEST time with the thought of letting my baby just cry, so I didn't do anything until she was more like 7 or 8 months. I heard about the Ferber method from a friend's pediatrician which is where you let the baby cry for 10 minutes, then go in and tell them it's going to be OK, pat the their back, but DON'T pick them up and leave the room again. Then wait 15 minutes before you go in again, then 20 the next time and keep expanding by 5 minutes each time. I heard not to let the baby cry for more than an hour at a time, but thankfully we never got to that point. My daughter cried for about 35 minutes the first night and it was awful for me. I seriously sat outside her room and cried too! Hey, what can I say-I was a new, first time mom :) Thankfully it never got much worse. After that she only cried for about 10-15 minutes before putting herself back to sleep. It was still hard, but my hubby kept telling me that it was good for her in the long run to learn healthy sleeping habits. So I agree that you need someone to support you. It's so hard because every baby and every mom is different but I say pick a plan and stick to it. Like someone else said above, I agree that consistency is key.

Tannie Datwyler said...

I don't have a problem letting him cry, I'm just really nervous because he is so inconsistant. Some nights he only wakes up twice (or once but that is rare) and others he is up half the night. I am just not sure if it is going to work or if it will be more difficult for him.

Most of you tried the cry it out method when your baby was older. What do you ladies all think, is Linus too young, or is he old enough? I thought about starting this in another week (he'll be 5 1/2 months) my pediatrician suggested we wait until he is 6 months, but I don't know if I can last that long. . .

Cara Jones said...

This is one part of parenting that can cause SO much controversy and tends to have some strong opinions! It sounds like most people have done similar things, and my daughters story isn't MUCH different! She has been an excellent sleeper from day one. She was waking up 3 times a night until about 4 months old. At 4 months, I decided to try to cut back until we were just waking up once a night (which she did until 6 months old). She would always put herself to sleep at night (because I knew that rocking her or feeding her to sleep could cause problems with sleeping- so I never did it) but would scream during the middle of the night until my husband or I went in to feed her and to rock her! It was so frustrating. I started reading about different methods and choose to read Richard Feber's book "Solve Your Child's Sleep Problems". That change all of our sleep- for the better. The first couple of nights were so hard. I would lay out on the couch from 2am-3am going into her room every 10 minutes to comfort her. He advocates NOT picking your child up or offering food because that under mines what you are trying to do. It took about two days to get rid of 1 waking. She was still young at 4 months old to not feed her at night, so we continued one feeding a night until 6 months old. She now sleeps about 11 hours every night and rarely has a waking. It is so hard to let your baby cry. There are many people out there that will preach to you about why you should NEVER let your baby cry because psychologist say that you shouldn't. There are also many people who have raised happy, healthy children who cried during infancy. As long as you still touch your baby while feeding and play with your baby you will not cause "damage" to your baby for letting them cry so that YOU can get some sleep or prepare a meal. One last thing, babies (and all children)sense when parents are stressed. So RELAX and they will relax!!!

Let us know if something works!

Tink said...

With my 2nd and 3rd boys I let them cry themselves to sleep at about 3 mths. It took about two nights of crying for 30 min. and then they were fine after that. With my last baby, I bought a really thin and cheap book at Deseret Book called "5 Days to a Perfect Night's Sleep for Your Child" by Eduard Estivill, M.D. I tried it at about 6 mths. but not very faithfully because I couldn't handle the crying. Well, by a year I was dying needing sleep, so I tried again and did it faithfully and by the 3rd or 4th night there was minimal crying and it was just when I first put him down. It's been almost a month now and he doesn't even cry when I lay him down. I tried it for naps at first and that just didn't work. He loves having mommy snuggle time for naps, but still goes down at night. He's sleeping about 10-11 hours at night. The book was really great because it teaches you how to go in at timed intervals for comfort, though they most likely won't stop crying at first. Anyway, I highly recommend it.

Shantel said...

Okay, maybe I am a bad mom, but I let Ryan start crying himself to sleep at about 2 1/2 or 3 months. I didn't let him cry super long, but started the process then.

Jes said...

Ok, first, I agree with Shantel's first comment post.
Next, I'll answer your questions, but first, as you know, Addie has always been an amazing sleeper... like 11+ hours pretty much since day 1... however, we have had a few times, so answering your questions comes from my small amount of experience during those times.

1) How old was your baby when you let him/her cry it out?
My Dr, as well as some of the baby books Id read before all said not to do that until close to 6 months old. Before that they need to have a strong trust and feeling of security. ...As well as they need to have the ability/reflex to be able to calm themselves down... most babies dont develop that until around 6 months. So we waited until she was about 6 months... but even then, when she would cry it out, it only took a couple hours the first time before she cried herself to sleep and then gradually shorter... 1 hour-ish... then 45... only took a few days before she learned to 'get over it' and be 'trained' on what nap time/bed time was.
**Also, some great advice I was given was to mention 'nap time' 'bed time'... ('Im going to be right back'(when leaving the room)and etc whenever about to do an activity. No, they dont understand exactly what youre saying, but they can learn to remember you words and attach a sort of 'time frame' to it you could say. For example, if I dont mention the words 'nap time' before laying Addie down for a nap, she struggles a lot longer to fall asleep and be calm, if I do say it, she will almost always stay calm and quietly play until she falls asleep. ... Hope that helps, it takes a while but has helped us greatly with taking calm naps and for helping her not to freak out when I leave the room.

**sorry this is so long.. hope it worth it, and that something helps you...

2)How many nights did it take?
I dont remember exactly, but Id guess between 2-3

3)Did you intervene at all? Or did you just let your baby cry until he/she fell asleep?
We didnt intervene, although I would 'sneak' into her room here and there (making sure she couldnt see me or peeking through cracked door) just to make sure she was ok (ie no blankets on face, hadnt rolled into the crib railings etc)

3)How did you feel? AWFUL!!! It was soooo hard the first time! I always had to put my ipod and headphones on or turn tv up... I did leave the baby monitor on though, but kept sound to minimum, that way I could watch the lights on it and gauge about how much 'sound' was coming from her room... once they started moving less I could know she was calming.

4)How did you resist helping the baby? ...Kind of already answered that.. tried really hard to distract myself...

5)Did your baby continue to night wake even after the crying it out?
No, it worked beautifully, and we havent really ever had problems since.
...I would like to note though, that I can kind of decipher between which type of cry Addie is doing and tell about how 'calmable' she is... if I can tell shes ok then I leave her, then there's the 'point of no return' where if she hits that i know I need to take her and give her maybe 5-10 minutes away from bedroom with me/us until calming a little before trying again. I do this rarely, but if you do need to (for your sanity or his) keep sounds, lights, etc low and as calm as possible. We even keep her bedroom lamp on all night, but have it covered so its VERY dim... seems to help. If theres a lot going on or bright lights she just wakes up so much more and it starts all over again.

Thats all I can really think of for now advice-wise, but hopefully something will be helpful. Good luck!

Jared and Delia said...

I don't think your baby is too young. Like I said before, I started earlier with my first because he was up every 2-3 hours and was fussy the whole time. I heard that Ferber recommends around 5 months so. I guess it is up to you.

Whatever you decide stick with it. Your baby won't be emotionally scarred by learning to go to sleep by himself. Those are my thoughts anyway :).

Megan said...

I've been thinking about this for the past couple of days and I remember the first time I let Lucas cry it out was hard. But it only lasted a couple of days. The thing that worked the most, like has been mentioned before, was consistency. I had to do it consistently or it didn't work.

Kelly A. said...

I too have heard/read that you shouldn't let babies cry it out until 6 months, but I think Linus is old enough. The mom needs her sleep too!! :) And I've read/heard that it usually doesn't take more than a week. So if you are worried that it won't work because he is so inconsistent and you decide to let him cry, maybe stick with it for a week. It might be a very long, hard week but if it works-hooray! Then if it's been a week and he hasn't gotten better, you can reevaluate.

Erin said...

1. How old was your baby when you let him/her cry it out?
Hayden was 6 months.
2. How many nights did it take? longer than everyone told me... over a week. And he would cry for hours and hours.
3. Did you intervene at all? Or did you just let your baby cry until he/she fell asleep?
The first couple nights we would go in there every 15 minutes or so, but it always seemed to make it so much worse when he saw us.
4.How did you feel? AWFUL!!! It was so hard for me. We were both crying! I just kept picturing him in there so scared, and wondering why his mommy wasn't coming in.
5.How did you resist helping the baby?
Derrick helped me. Whenever I begged him to let me go in he would remind me why we were doing it. We would try watching a movie or something else to distract us, but I could never concentrate. He cried really loud!
6. Did your baby continue to night wake even after the crying it out?
yes. It seemed like he would do really well for a couple weeks, but then he would start randomly waking up, or not going to sleep very easy. Sometimes it was caused by being sick or teething, but sometimes it was for no reason. So we had to go through the crying it out process SOOO many times. We still do sometimes. It's torture. But now he doesn't know any other way to go to sleep, except for one of us being in the same room as him.
7. If you didn't use cry it out, how else have you gotten your baby to sleep soundly?
Halle is just a good sleeper, kind of like Claire. I have no idea how it happened really. I do think it's important to teach them from the beginning to fall asleep in their own crib. It's easy when they are so sleepy anyway and they don't fuss when you put them down. Hayden got used to falling asleep in my arms and I think that's where a lot of problems started.
8.What other advice can you give me for a baby who wakes multiple times in the night.
I have no idea! I'm certainly not an expert on the subject. I just know that I really hated the crying it out method because it didn't work very well for us. I regret doing it and I felt like I was being cruel.I hope to never have to use it again. To this day, Hayden associates sleep with crying and being a negative experience. Derrick also remembers crying when he was a baby, and how it felt when his dad came in. I remember begin scared as a tiny kid and just needing my parents. It was so scary, and I hate to think I'm just letting my kids feel that. Of course, I don't know if that's exactly why he woke up, but it could have been that. But I certainly understand why moms choose to do it! I finally caved and decided to do it after I was waking up every 45 minutes in tears because I just physically couldn't do it anymore. I know what it feels like when you feel that you have done everything you can. I guess I go back and forth between thinking that CIO is cruel because they don't understand why we are doing it, and thinking that it can't be healthy for them or usto continue these sleep habits. I just think as a mom you have to decide what is best for your own baby. You are the only one who really knows them (well besides Heavenly Father who could help you know what he needs.)

Tannie Datwyler said...

So, if anyone is still reading these comments. . . three people mentioned that CIO didn't work. Why do you think it didn't work? What do you mean by it didn't work? How long did you try it?

Chris and Laura said...

Ok, Tannie, I thought I posted a big huge comment on this (and on the bottle one), but neither of them are there now. I'm guessing that I previewed the comment instead of publishing...lame.

Anyway, I am one of the moms for whom CIO did work, but I think I was a little more harsh about it than other posts sound. For the first four months of her life, Jane slept in our bedroom (for most of the night, in our bed, even). After that, Chris decided we were done with that and I was time for Jane to sleep in her own room. Yes, we let her cry it out at four months.

We put Jane in her crib at her designated bedtime--I don't remember what time it was, but we had decided something definite. Once she was in bed, she stayed in her bed by herself for the rest of the night. For the first night, she cried for about three hours. I didn't go in, I didn't comfort her at any point. I just sat on the couch and listened. I pretty much couldn't do anything else.

On the second night, she cried for about two hours. I still didn't do anything. I think Chris and I watched a movie, but I couldn't concentrate. I sat and watched it with him so he could keep me from getting up. On the third night, she still cried, but not as long.

The crying did get very, very intense, and I was sure many times that I was destroying my child's every hope at happiness in life, but it did work. She went to bed just fine after about a week of crying, and she goes to bed just fine now. When she does wake up during the night (rarely), she'll cry for ten or fifteen minutes and go back to sleep. I can tell the difference when she cries between just waking up and if something is wrong, like a dirty diaper.

Jane hasn't been a very bad sleeper for the most part, but she did wake up a lot during the night in the beginning. She wasn't fussy, wasn't hungry, she was just awake. I don't think it was nearly as bad as Linus, but I can relate to having much too little sleep! Good luck!

Forward With Fun and Faith said...

CRY IT OUT!! I remember going to work with my 6 month old waking up 2-3 times during the night. My students would ask me what was wrong becasue my eyes were so blood shot. At his 6 month well baby I was practically in tears wiht Dr. Visick and he got really serious and read me the right act. Basically he said...

*Cry it out
*After 4 months and if they are gaining weight well go for it
*Crying will not kill them
*You and your husband get on board together. Commit to a 1-2 week period where, no matter what, no matter how many times they wake up or how long they cry (1-3 hours) nither of you will go in and get him.
*He said that this could go on for two weeks but if you stay consistent it will work!
*We did it and it worked after the 1st night...tender mercy
*He also said that if your chiild can "put them self to sleep" when they first go down then they are capable of putting themselves back to sleep in the night.

I agree with Delia on the whole type of can tell if your baby really needs something.

My current Pediatrtian at the University of Michigan told me about a different tecnique...

You let the child cry for 5-10 min or as long as you can stand it then go in and nurse him 1 min less every night. After two weeks she said that his internal clock will slowly adjust and he will start sleeping longer and longer.

I hope something works Tannie! I know exactly how you feel. When B was like this and I was working fulltime and getting up at 6am to get ready for the day after a long night. Just know that someday very soon he will sleep. Good luck!!

Forward With Fun and Faith said...

I know that it is hard doing it with a "house full." We have had to let our youngest cry it out a few nights and I was always even more frustrated with him waking up my oldest. But, they get used to it and it won't kill them either! That is why my ped suggested the other method I mentioned.

~Sherry (Bear) and Stephen (Wolf) said...

My first son was born an awesome second not so much. He would sleeo 20 minutes at a time, stay up for 2 hours, sleep 20 minutes. I am not a fan of the Cry it out method, so never tried it. Then at 14 months we saw a sleep specialist. She discovered that he had acid reflux and perscribed Previcid, Skyler started sleeping through the night within a couple of nights. The doctor also suggested a book I believe it is called, Healthy Sleep Habits, Healthy Baby. Where you let them cry it out for 3 minutes, then cry for 5 minutes, then 7. (Each night has a limit of how long they are left to cry, never longer than 30 minutes before being talked to.) Each time they cry the limit you walk in, say, "You need to go to sleep" or some such simple phrase, and always the same.
If anyone wants, I can check to make sure that is the real title. Never used the system more than the 3 minute mark, because I never had to with Skyler, the medicine worked wonders :), maybe I will try it with my 3rd son though.
Now knowing my son was in pain when layed down to sleep, I would have felt bad making him cry it out.
My suggestion is if you are going to try letting your bad sleeper cry it out, make sure there isn't a medical problem.

Tannie Datwyler said...

I know he doesn't have reflux. He was on previcid for 2 months and it didn't affect him weather or not he was on or off prevacid. He was happy either way during the day and slept horribly at night. You are right that it is a worry that they are in pain or need something when they cry it out. I just am not sure what else to do. I've gotten to the point where I can barely function during the day sometimes. That's not fair to my family - most of all it isn't fair to my little girl.

Tannie Datwyler said...

I would be interested in that book though - let me know.

Debbie and Boys said...

As a general rule, sleep problems have a lot to do with routine and changing, however I have found that children with sleeping distubances generally have one or more allergies.
When cutting all forms of dairy out of my oldest sons diet, along with sleep training our lives improved dramatically. Later he tested allergic to milk, thus he was able to sleep-pain free once milk products (including traces found in cereals and crackers) were removed.
Another son was tested and treated for allergies to calcium and B vitamins. Once treated, he was no longer allergic and his body could relax (B vitamin benefit).
If you've tried everything else, this was the only thing I found to solve our complicated sleep problems. Discover their hidden allergies. ( was a helpful resource)