Sleep Training: Cry It Out Part 1

by Nicole on May 15, 2013

I’ve been staring at a blank screen for umm…30 minutes now. I have owed you all an updated post on sleep and where we are. I wrote a post on the 4 month sleep regression and two other posts on sleep (part 1 & part 2) and what we were doing to get her in the crib and help her fall asleep on her own. I get emails weekly from mom’s who are struggling with sleep with their little one. Most of them are regarding my 4 month sleep regression post and they want extra hope that it’s better now.

Good news is, it’s better now. It’s WAY better now. The bad news…that really no one wants to hear is…we did sleep training. Yes, we did cry it out.

Let me explain…

When I was pregnant/before we were ready to have kids, we had talked about sleep training & cry it out. Danny and I were both on board with it. We both felt that we would need to teach our baby how to sleep well. It was just something we assumed we’d have to do. I can remember babysitting while the parents were doing cry it out and the mom told me to just let him cry till he falls asleep. I remember standing by the steps listening for awhile, and then the baby fell asleep. Cool, I thought in my teenager, non-parent head.

Then I had Olivia and I couldn’t even imagine having her “cry it out”. Then she was a good napper and not a good night sleeper. Then she did okay. Then she regressed. Then she only got up once. Then she got up 13094098 times. Then she slept okay. Then she didn’t. AND ON AND ON AND ON OVER AND OVER AND OVER.

She would go through a phase where she would only get up once. Then it would be twice. Then occasionally she would wake up every hour. Then sometimes she would come in bed with us. We had this great plan where we’d teach her to fall asleep¬†because that is how you get your baby to self soothe. (I of course consulted my favorite baby site, Troublesome Tots.) And it worked! Until it didn’t and we were back to where we were. This is making my head hurt reliving this.

We went on like this always knowing that CIO (cry it out) was in the back of my mind. I (of course )read “Cry it out when and why?” and “Are you ready for cry it out?”¬† We were major yes to numbers 1-6. We didn’t have any problems with 9 & 10…but I just wasn’t really ready. We had tried it before a little bit, doing the checks and she NEVER fell asleep after over an hour. In hind sight, I wasn’t fully committed then because we tried it only for 3 days and stopped.

So how did we get to the point where we started? Well okay. It was taking LONGER and LONGER to put Liv to sleep. It was getting to be over an hour. Danny and I barely got to see each other because he would be rocking her for over an hour. Then she would wake up so much and we’d have to start over. The breaking point was two nights in a row where she got up every 20 minutes for 4 hours. We finally put her in bed with us and then decided the next night we would start. I happened to have my pediatrician apt that day, so I asked her about it and she 100% supported it.

Basically, there are two ways to do CIO…with checks (where you go in after a certain amount of time) and without checks. With the checks you just check on them and comfort them with your voice. Without them you just leave the baby to cry until they fall asleep. You have to KNOW your baby and what’s right for him/her. For us, it was no checks. This is because when we had done it in the past it made it worse. She would see Danny or myself and be more pissed that we weren’t picking her up. We felt it would actually prolong the crying.

I’m going to stop here because this is already a novel. I’m going to try really hard get the rest of this up this week because I know many of you want to read it.

But I will tell you that the outcome is a LOT better. We are sleeping a lot better now and overall feel MUCH more rested!

Update: Part 2 is here! 


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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Lauren May 15, 2013 at 10:17 pm

Oh my gosh, do I ever need to read the rest of this! We are in the depths of sleep hell right now with our 6 month old son. He has been waking 1-2 times every hour all night long for at least a month now. He was never a great sleeper, but after 4 months it really went downhill. This is even worse now though. I am so sleep deprived I can barely function at work every day. My husband and I know we need to use some form of CIO, but we are both having trouble committing. I just don’t know what to do!!!


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