Okay, everyone! *clap! clap!* Look here!
I need some serious help.
It's about the Curious Incidents of The New Girl in the Night.
Our night routine goes something like this:
Around 6:30 we start getting ready for bed. (I moved it up from 7pm.) She starts to get cranky, quickly gets over-tired and goes from 0-60 in minutes, screaming hysterically as we prepare and then I nurse her down. She falls asleep, normally in minutes and then I attempt to leave the room.
Usually she wakes up crying anywhere from 2-15 minutes later.
I go back in and nurse her (comfort sucking, really) or bounce her back to sleep on the ball. Usually nurse. She goes back to sleep in minutes and then I attempt to leave.
Usually she wakes up crying anywhere from 2-15 minutes later.
Repeat, repeat, repeat.
I eventually just go to bed with her and whip out a boob every time she wakes and cries throughout the night. Usually she sleeps for a MAX of 1.5 hours at a time. Meanwhile, I'm responding to the lightness of her sleep which comes with her wiggling up to me, flipping, flopping and whining. Some (most) nights I see every hour on the clock at least once.
It's making me fucking mental.
I don't know why she doesn't stay asleep but it's killing me. So, here's my question. Is it time to try CIO? Is she still too young? Do I really want to do that?
So, I'm looking to lean on you friends. This is what I need, dear ones (besides some Xanax and my own apartment), I need to know how CIO went for you. What was your experience with it? What was the process like and what was the result for you?
Here are some basic things to know about me and my thought process to help guide you:
1) I bought the *extinction method book* and have also read a lot of the *attachment/family bed method.* There are aspects of each of these methods that I find very helpful and pertinent (moving up the bedtime and baby-wearing, respectively) but my problem with each of these books is the same as my problem with most self-helpy kinds of books. It's the 'Do it this way exactly or you're going to ruin everything forever and ever. Amen.' You know what I mean? Marc Wessblahblah seems to believe that everything--even global warming, maybe--is due to sleep deprivation and parents who are too spineless to let their kids 'learn to go to sleep alone.' Dr. Searious seems to believe that you should carry and bounce that baby every minute of the day and night (night-time parenting) and that if you don't respond to cries pronto you are creating abandonment issues, possibly.
**Any die-hard disciples, please understand that I know I'm over-simplifying. It's just my opinion and general impression. With lots of love in my heart let me say this: don't nit-pick.
2) I do not believe that the actual crying at night when she's by herself is going to permanently damage her or her fundamental trust, her psyche or her sense of who she is in the world. I know it won't be at all pleasant for any of us but I don't think it's harming, per se.
3) I'm not necessarily convinced that this method works for 100% of kids and I wonder about The Littlest New Girl's tenacity and whether or not she will frankly outlast me.
4) As you know, I am no stranger to hearing her cry for hours at a time and so although I am sure it will totally suck to hear her cry, I'm no novice. And to re-iterate, sometimes she cries like that even if I'm there.
5) I do like waking up with her (she's usually smiley and very cute in the morning) and I'm sure that I'll miss that and other parts of being in there with her.
6) I would like to rejoin The Man in our own bed as I've been sleeping in the guest room since the bionic nose phase of pregnancy. I want some grown up *hem* play time.
7) I ultimately would like for her to sleep in her own bed peacefully, sooner rather than later because I SUCK without sleep and have I mentioned that I'm GETTING NO SLEEP??
8) I'm still exclusively breast feeding and so I expect that I will have to go in there during the night to feed her at some point, right?
9) I'm sort of a 'rip the band-aid off all at once' kind of girl. I don't have the stamina and/or the consistency needed for a gradual backing away, I don't think. Going in to pat the butt for a week and then just going in and standing there for a week, all that. I'm pretty spent, already. That might send me around the bend.
So, I'm asking you what it was like if you have the time and inclination to help a mama out. How long did it take? Did you want to die? Was it like magic or did it seem like a full time job? Did you feel like you were wrecking your child? How did you handle the feeding times?
Let me just thoughtfully and gently add this:
I believe that this, for whatever reason, is a parenting issue about which people tend to *opine* freely and with crap-loads of judgment. I get that and it's cool. But I'm not out to whip up a shit-storm. And since this is my blog post about my own position on my own rope (AKA near the tail end, there) I'm looking for a particular kind of discourse.
Namely the personal experience kind.
Instead of mere opinion, belief and conjecture, I am looking for those with experience (no matter how may degrees removed) with CIO. Those who have at least tried it or have some experience with it. I don't care whether it worked or not, as I'm exploring various options and I want to know the whole story. I don't even care if it's your sister's story, as long as she's tried it and you are willing to relate how she did it and the outcome, see? I am particularly interested in stories featuring a little one with a *challenging temperament*. Does it work for them?
If you've already blogged about it and don't want to write it all out again, would you just link it in the comments so I can come by and read it?
Otherwise, dear readers, please let your CIO stories flow forth like a beautiful tide that rolls in to save me. Or perhaps drown me and put me out of my misery.
I really, really appreciate it.
Thank you, thank you, thank you, my internet wonderfuls. I am very grateful for all of your stories as well as your non-judgment and your well wishes. The Man and I are steeling ourselves, getting in shape and strong for the upcoming *extinction.* I'll keep you posted. Because I know that the tedious, painful experience of letting your OWN kids cry it out just wasn't enough for you. Thanks again.