Wednesday, April 19, 2006

CIO works for us!

It's amazing how you change, even day-to-day, in this parenting game, huh? I was positive I'd do some things that I now refuse to do, and vice versa. It's a good lesson on getting adaptable and flexible!

I was talking to some other parents this morning, and discussion CIO (cry-it-out, for you childless folks). I have an online friend whose co-sleeping daugher is eating every few hours, and she's miserable. I always knew that co-sleeping was not for us. We've co-slept a little (on trips - at home he sleeps in his crib down the hall), and every time we do it, he eats A LOT during the night. It seems to me that if I was pressed up next to a quarter-pounder-with-cheese all night, I'd damn sure wake up and eat. At about 6 months, I decided that he was old enough to sleep through the night without eating anymore. I'm not lying when I say that it took ONE bad night, and ONE annoying night, and that was the end of night-eating. The bad night he woke up 3 times, and cried for about 20 minutes each time. The annoying night he woke up 3 times and cried for about 2 minutes each time. That was it. He sleeps 11 hours a night now. Not a peep.

Oh, the other thing I had to do was to let him CIO for naps, too. I figured that out after he relapsed and started waking up in the middle of the night again. I thought about what had changed, and I realized that if I put him down for a nap, and he cried for a while, I'd go get him and nurse him. Way to be inconsistant, Mama! So he figured, logically - hey, she comes and gets me during the day, why not at night, too?

So if I KNOW he's tired (eye rubbing is our best sign), I don't get him at all until he sleeps. As I was writing the first message, he was crying in his crib. It totally stinks - it actually feels like physical pain to me when he cries, but it was how it worked best for us. I was getting so frustrated and resentful, and I really think it was kinder to him to let him get some sleep! He now takes two long naps - 1.5 hours each, and he never did that before.

My online co-sleeping friend is actually considering CIO now, something she never thought she'd consider (I find this attitude very admirable). Do you ever watch Supernanny? When I was pregnant, I would watch and think "These parents are such idiots! Can't they see that by doing X they're causing Y!" I was totally sure I would never be that stupid. Now I watch, and I'm like "hmmm, yeah, I can see falling into that trap." It's like you're supposed to be able to see the forest for the trees, but you're pressed up THIS CLOSE to a tree! You can barely see the one tree, let along the bloody forest! That's what I'm finding hardest about it right now. How do I think longer-term about my choices and actions, instead of just getting us through the day. Trying to remember that he's going to be a baby for a short time, but an adult for A LOT longer, and I need to raise him with that in mind.

Enough preaching. That's my philosophy, recorded for posterity.

Requisite baby talk:

He's totally sitting up on his own, and can even reach for toys off to the side and get re-balanced (most of the time). He's not crawling, but he's up on all fours, rocking, and pushing himself over into a tilted-sitting position. Very into nursing, and sucking on my thumb again. His hair is growing! And he's still bowling us over with cuteness and wonderfulness. I adore him.


Anonymous said...

Some SANE parents don't do CIO ... and some do ... Don't judge people who don't ... After all it may work for you and not for them!

Anonymous said...

Some SANE parents don't do CIO ... and some do ... Don't judge people who don't ... After all it may work for you and not for them!