Thursday, December 8, 2011

CIO, Attempt #2

I know, I know...I said we’d never try CIO again.  But desperate times call for desperate measures, and we were desperate last week!  Before last Friday our bedtime routine looked like this:

5:00 - 5:30 Dinner (1-2 ounces of purees)
5:30 - 6:00 Bath Time
6:00 - 6:30 Nurse to sleep

Once Lulu was asleep, I would wait for limp-limb sleep and then sneak out of the bedroom.  Fool proof, right?  Wrong. 

For weeks we battled the 45-minute intruder and/or constipation or teething pains.  And as a result, much of our night was spent taking turns soothing Lulu (until we’d finally go to bed, at which point she would wake in 1.5-2 hour intervals).  It was frustrating, to say the least.  I would finally collapse on the couch with my big glass of wine with Casey, and she'd wake up.   

But still, we persevered.  Bed-sharing was all we knew; we were committed. 

Until last Friday...when I finally reached my limit.  For three days Lucy refused to fall asleep after nursing; I spent hours trying to nurse her down before finally resorting to the car seat trick.  But even that wouldn’t put her to sleep!  As soon as we got home she’d wake up; and she’d continue to wake every 20 minutes all.night.long.  I dreaded going to bed each night. 

I didn’t know what to do.  I was mad (at myself).  I was scared.  I felt like a failure.  Everything I read said deal with it or Cry It Out.  Casey and I agreed that we had to try CIO one more time. 

We followed the same bedtime routine, except I nursed Lulu in the glider and put her down awake in her crib.  And once again, we followed the Ferber Increments to check on her.  The first night she cried for 1 hour and 15 minutes; she slept for 3 hours straight and then woke every 2 hours after that.  (I know that may sound horrible to some, but it was a huge improvement for us.) 

The second night she cried for 45 minutes, and woke every two hours. 

And for the past few nights, she cried for 20-60 minutes...and SLEPT.THROUGH.THE.NIGHT.  Say whaaaa?  I never thought the day would come!!! 

It was a big change all at once, the crib and CIO, but our girl did great!  We chose to bed-share to be closer with our daughter, and we will always cherish those memories; but we made a mistake by exclusively bed-sharing.  If I could go back in time, Lucy would start out in her crib each night and I’d bring her into our bed after her first night waking.  Also, we’d start CIO waaay sooner!  (Valuable lessons for Baby #2!)

And yes, hearing Lulu cry is heartbreaking.  That goes without saying.  I sit outside her bedroom door immobilized with guilt; but, when I wake up in the morning and realize that everyone got a full night of sleep, it is absolutely worth it! 

YAY for a well-rested Goosey!
(sorry for the crappy cell phone pictures)

Now go ahead and say I told you so!       


  1. Once they stop nursing to sleep, it's like they have to learn to self soothe. We went through the same thing, just a little earlier at 5 months and we had to do CIO. I felt bad because I felt like he was too young to cry it out, but there was absolutely nothing I could do; nursing, rocking, pacing around the house that would get him to sleep. However it was short term pain for long term gain and he is a great sleeper now. Glad it worked for you, good job on surviving such a tough week.

  2. Reading this brought tears to my eyes! We are in the middle of almost exactly the same situation with an almost 7 month old, but last night was the first night of crying and it was AWFUL.. I think I cried almost as much as he did! This gives me such hope that it will be worth it, will help, he won't be traumatized and hate me... etc.

  3. You are brave! Luckily Leland is still nursing to sleep. Hope we don't have to face this anytime soon.