Friday, May 27, 2011

Crying It Out

It seems every time I have subconscious questions floating around in my head, What To Expect drops me an email answering my question. As I previously mentioned, my son just started sleeping in his crib. Last night he woke up twice, crying and I was unsure how to console him. As I sat listening to the baby monitor, I thought to myself, should I pick him up or let him cry himself back to sleep? The only thing is when my son cries, boy does he cry. In his 4 and half months of being on this Earth, I have never heard him calm himself while crying, that could quite possibly be my own doing, I rarely let him cry for more then 5 minutes without tending to him. So last night, he woke up at 8:50, only 20 minutes after he fell asleep. I pushed his Gloworm Seahorse that plays lullabys, held his hand and he fell back asleep. I tried this again at 1:45am, with absolutely no success. I fed him, put him back in his crib and played the lullabys again. As I lay in my bed, I listened to him fuss and fuss and fuss. I went back in after 5 or 6 mins and pushed the toy again. I did this until about 2:30am. Finally, I picked him up, rocked him and put my sleeping baby back in his crib. Ugh, I know I should have not picked him up.

Back to the email I received from What to Expect. They sent an email suggesting you to let your baby cry it out. At first I was majorly apposed to this, it's just so mean I thought. I believe one of my problems with Ki is that I nurse him to sleep. Some say it's ok, some say no. With so many different opinions out there, it's hard to know what the right thing to do is. I definitely want my son to be able to fall asleep on his own without being rocked or nursed, as this will making sleeping easier for everyone, especially as he gets older. I researched a bunch of sites and they say feed your baby, read and/or sing and put your sleepy, but awake, baby in the crib. Then when they cry, pat their back and walk away. Let your child cry for 5 mins at a time, go back and start the process again, and eventually they will fall back asleep. The research suggests that sometime between day 4 and 7 your baby will learn to sleep on his own. I was interested in this process so I further researched and found a staggering number of sites suggesting that letting your baby cry it out may actually cause brain damage. Yes, brain damage. If the research is true (and even the suggestion scares me), I certainly can't let that happen. How do I decide whats best for my son? I want him to have good sleeping habits, but I don't want to do him any harm in the process. Our current night time routine is we all go into our room with dimmed lights. I nurse, as dad starts to read a book. I hold him and rock him lightly (if he is still awake after eating) while the story is being read. Once he is sleeping, I put him down in his crib and close the door. 

Moms, I need your help. How do I get my son to sleep at night (and even naps) on his own, without hurting him in the process? And not associating nursing with sleeping. HELP!