Monday, May 30, 2011

Crying It Out

Lynden sleeping on his mat

When Lynden was a baby he loved to be held, like all babies do, but it would also include when he would fall asleep.  Being our first we didn't mind holding him 24/7, but eventually we wanted him to start sleeping on his own, but he didn't seem to be ready anytime we tried.  Then one day while playing on his play mat he went quiet, when I went to go see why he had fallen asleep.  Finally, he had fallen asleep on his own.  I now knew he was able to so we stopped holding him to sleep at night. 

I would nurse Lynden to sleep at bedtime and then put him down.  Usually within 5 minutes he'd be awake and crying, but he was a smart boy and every so often he would stop crying for a minute and listen for us.  So, I decided to let him cry for 5 consecutive minutes, at the end of the 5 minutes one of us would go in and check on him, not pick him up, and leave.  It was not uncommon for Lynden to stop crying to listen for us at the 3 or 4 minute mark, which meant the 5 minutes would start all over again. 

The first few nights were longer but within a week he was pretty good about going down, sometimes he'd fuss for a few minutes but would fall asleep.  It actually took longer to train Danny than it did Lynden (I'm still working on Danny); he did NOT like to hear his son cry. 

Eventually bedtimes were a breeze with minimal fussing.  I remember one trip down to visit family some of my cousins were at my mom's and they were getting ready to leave and I said I just had to put Lynden down and then I'd come say bye.  They thought I'd be gone for 10-15 minutes, it took me about 3.  I took Lynden upstairs, laid him down, turned on his music, gave him a kiss and went back downstairs. 

Lynden was also quick to pick it up as a toddler.  When Danny went to the Cayman Islands for a month last year for his diving Lynden was not sleeping on his own again and it was going to be easier to retrain him when his daddy was not home.  The first night it took 3 hours (it was a long night), the second night 30 minutes and I awoke the fourth morning thinking I had just not heard him but he slept through the night all on his own again and continued to do so most of the month.  That was a great month!

Alyssa is a different story.  Knowing how well Lynden took to the crying it out method we've been trying, very unsuccessfully, with Alyssa.  She has a handy self defense system built in, if she cries for more than 3 minutes she breaks into a full body sweat.  If you let her go for 5 she's soaked head to toe.  If you let her go for any longer there is an 80% chance she will vomit all over you when you do pick her up. 

sleeping Alyssa
It seems, so far, she wants to be nursed down, which is ok with me since I do it anyways.  I just have to make sure she's fully asleep before I put her down or else she wakes up crying and wanting to nurse again.  The last 3 nights I've been really focusing on getting her to sleep in her own bed and she's doing fairly well.  Last night she went from 9:15pm to 3:15am without waking once (from then on was another story but we're taking baby steps), which was good because I didn't realize Lynden had crawled into bed with us (he even managed to get me to snuggle him) until he rolled over off the bed (good thing I was snuggling him or else he would have hit the ground hard). 

We're making progress with both of them.  Lynden is staying in bed at bedtime and isn't calling hysterically for us anymore and Alyssa is getting used to sleeping in her crib and making longer stretches on her own.  Maybe sometime this year Danny and I will get a full night's sleep in our own bed without any kids. 

Lynden sleeping on the floor

He's only done it twice

Not a thumb sucker, but for some reason he did

chillaxin' while sleeping

Alyssa sleeping in her chair

out for a walk

pooped after some tummy time

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