Posted in Infant, Parenting

The Irritating Pacifier

19:40 – Baby’s asleep

21:00 – Mommy goes to bed

21:00 – Baby wakes up, mommy puts pacifier back in

22:40 – Baby wakes up, mommy puts pacifier back in

23:00, 23:20, 23:45, 2:00, 3:35, 4:10, 5:10, 6:15 – Baby wakes up, mommy puts pacifier back in.

This is getting really old really fast…

…especially given that it started at the tail end of my son’s 3 month growth spurt and has gotten progressively worse over time.  We’re talking weeks of profound sleep-deprivation here folks, not days, weeks!  I’m not sure my body even knows how to sleep anymore.  Seriously, I am waaaaaaay past the mombie state right now.

Sooooo, I decided that I was going to wean my son off the stupid thing of it.

There are many ways to do this, but I decided that in order to save my sanity and eardrums, I would first try the Pantley’s Gentle Removal as explained in her book: The No-Cry Sleep Solution.

Basically, the method goes something like this:

1.  You let your pacifier (or breast, or bottle) addict suck until s/he gets drowsy and the sucking slows.

2.  You put your finger in the corner of your little one’s (LO) mouth to break the seal and remove the pacifier.

3.  You place a finger under LOs chin to gently keep it close or apply pressure on his/her chin, just under the mouth.  (She says to keep rocking or swaying gently, but I will be shhshing my son / rubbing his belly in his crib because we have weaned him off of being rocked to sleep).  If you have some key words, say them (mine are: “it’s ok, you’re ok, it’s just sleep time, mommy loves you”  I repeat them as though I was reciting a mantra until he either calms down or fusses).

4.  If LO fusses, put the pacifier back in, count in your head from 10-60 sec and try again (depends on how long it takes for LO to calm down and for the sucking to start slowing again).

5.  Keep repeating until LO falls asleep without the pacifier.

The author suggests trying this out at bedtime first and then do naps because if you tackle all sleeping situations at the same time, your baby will become miserable from lack of sleep especially when naps are difficult as it the case in my household.

She goes on to write that it can take around 5 times for your baby to successfully fall asleep but doesn’t say over how many days it can take for this method to work.  I figured, though, that with the majorly stubborn baby that I have on my hands (I think he has his mother’s and father’s stubbornness combined!) that it would take waaaaay more than 5 times per shot.

I was sceptical.  Very sceptical.  I mean, this kiddo needs his pacifier to fall asleep.  I was certain I’d spend the whole night just removing and replacing it.  But, since I had a choice between not sleeping and not sleeping but potentially weaning my son off his “suce” as we call it at home, I figured I’d go for option #2.

Here’s what happened on the first night of using the gentle removal (GR) method:

– 19:00 put down frantically crying little bundle of joy in his crib and swaddle him up.

– 19:20 asleep after 3 GR!

– 23:00 night waking #1, alseep after a night feed and 4 GR

– 00:50 night waking #2, asleep after 3 GR

– 01:10 night waking #3, asleep after 1 GR

– 01:25 night waking #4, asleep after 2 GR

– 03:05 night waking #5, asleep after 1 GR

– 04:30 night waking #6, asleep after night feed and 3 GR

– 06:00 night waking #7, asleep after 1 GR

– 06:30 night waking #8, asleep after 1 GR

– 07:00 up for the day!

Well, the night was by no means perfect, but it was a definite improvement over the previous night with 8 night wakings instead of 10.  Plus, his longest sleep stretch was 3h40min as opposed to 2h15min.

Small improvements, you may say, but improvements nonetheless.

In any event, the results were encouraging and I opted to try for a second night in a row.  And you know what?  I think there might just be light at the end of the tunnel because my little dude was down by 19:40, awoke at 22:00 (upon which time his father only had to remove the paci once before he fell back asleep), then again at 23:30 (3 GR) and a last time at 02:30 (I nursed and then 3 GR)!

Holy crap, I think I may just live through motherhood!

Have any of you been “graced” with a baby who had a pacifier/bottle/breast (or other) dependency to fall asleep?  What did you do that helped?

Posted in Infant, Newborn, Toddler

Devil’s Advocate: Cry It Out

Sleep: it’s the word on everyone’s mind in babycenter community’s November 2012 birth club.  It’s quite natural.  I mean, being a parent requires energy, a LOT of it, and to have that, we need to sleep.  Obviously, for us parents to sleep, we need our little bundle(s) of joy to sleep as well, that is something every parent will agree on.  Where there’s disagreement, however, is in the method used.

There are, as I understand it, three major schools of thought on sleep training.  The first is know as the “Cry it Out” (or CIO in the online lingo) method.  The second, is the Gentle Sleep Solution (proposed by the Sleep Lady).  The third is Elisabeth Pantley’s No-Cry Sleep Solution.

In a nutshell, the first method advocates helping babies develop self-soothing techniques to fall asleep on their own by letting them cry it out alone for set periods of time before going to them and soothing them.  The second method is, from what I understand, a variant on the first in that though the parent will let his/her child cry s/he will be in the room and will soothe their baby when they cry.  As for the third method it, quite obviously, encourages parents to not allow their child the chance to cry in their quest for sleep.

I bring this up because this week, a rather provocative thread appeared on the subject of CIO.  The user was clearly frustrated by the bad rep the method was getting in another thread.  At first, I found her reaction to be rather overwhelming.  I mean, when I’d first heard about the cry it out method my first thought was : “wow, what kind of parent would put their child through that?  I will never do that to get my child to sleep”.  I’m a pretty easygoing and ‘live and let live’ kind of person, so if I had that kind of a reaction, I can only imagine what others may have thought and written about it in the babycenter community (because let’s face it, a large group of women isn’t ever going to all agree on one subject and a group of women that have a two to three month baby on their hands is likely to be full of emotionally-driven hormones).

The thread, however, has been running through my mind all day today and I didn’t know why…until I had a light bulb moment.  I can imagine that at least one use must have been emotional enough to claim that a parent that used CIO was a bad parent.  After all, there was at least one study that concluded the method to be harmful.  On the other hand, another study found that there was no harm in the method.

Coming back to the user that sparked a controversy, I can imagine that she is a very loving mother.  I am certain that she loves her children deeply and cares for their every need and so, to be told (whether it be directly or indirectly) by others that a parent who uses CIO is a bad parent (and by extension that she is a bad mother because she has used it) must have been like being stabbed in the heart.  I know that if anyone ever questioned my love for my child because of a personal parental decision, I would be pissed.

I guess my point is that though you can disagree on a method (I, personally do not find the CIO method appealing), it would be best not to attack a person on his/her decision.  Also, though I can say that I much prefer using the No-Cry Sleep Solution if bedtime becomes an issue, I will not stubbornly declare that I would never use CIO.  Why is that, do you ask?  Simply because all children are different and perhaps I will come to a point (where all other options will have failed) that cry it out will be the only thing left for me.  I do not wish it, but I do acknowledge that it may happen.  After all, it has happened to other parents before.

I’m curious, how did you get your children to fall asleep on their own and sleep through the night?

Proof that one should never say 'never'.  I am finally able to swaddle my son to help him fall asleep!
Proof that one should never say ‘never’. I am finally able to swaddle my son to help him fall asleep!