Friday, February 26, 2010

Questions Answered Part 3.5

I had a couple of questions about our crying it out method we've used with both girls. Here were the questions:

JAMES & SUSAN said...
I have Elise on a pretty good schedule right now too- but I've been giving in sometimes at night and going in and rocking her. She's started to roll over on her belly in the middle of the night and it FREAKS ME OUT!!!!!

I can usually tell when she flips over to her belly because she cries differently. Did you ever have this problem? Did you still just the let the girls cry it out or did you go in and flip them over??

Anonymous said...
Could you talk a little bit more on the crying method. At what age did you do that? How long did you let them cry?


I am a Babywise momma. I know this book/method has been given a lot of grief throughout the years. ETA: Kelsey gave me a Babywise blog. Holy cow.. good stuff on there!!!

My sister and I have been pregnant at the same time with both our pregnancies and she actually read the book with the first set of pregnancies and told me I was going to do Babywise when Adie and I came to visit her when Adie was 6 weeks old. =) She's a great sister like that. I had a horrible milk supply and fed her too often, Adie was super colicky, didn't take good naps and slept horribly at night. So Aunt Denise Babywise boot-camp got us on the right track. With Adie I started the regimin and "crying it out" at 6 weeks. Then before Joya came I re-read the book and decided to implement the schedule starting at 2 weeks. Joya caught on MUCH quicker than Adie did. MUCH.

Here's the gist of it...

*Newborn-6 month(ish) babies eat every 2 1/2 to 3 hours. No snacking, no nursing to put them to bed, if they start crying you don't automatically put a boob in their mouth, amen.

*The pattern of the schedule goes,
wake-time (do EVERYTHING you can to keep them awake during this time)
(Repeat until the last feeding of the night. Then they go directly to bed with no wake-time.)

*Nap-time/bedtime consists of you putting them down in their bed and walking out of the room. (And the book recommends always napping your babies in their cribs. Consistancy is key.) Pretty sure they will cry. =) In fact, I guarentee they will cry and cry hard. If they are still crying in 15 minutes, you go in, pick them up, soothe them and soon after they are soothed in your arms you put them back into their crib. The will probably scream when you put them back in their crib. Go in every 15 minutes until they are asleep.

There's other things that go along with crying it out like the "45 minute intruder". It is SO WEIRD. My sister and I have babies the same age and our kids all went through the 45 minute intruder at like 4 months and 6 months. It was a week or two long that the kids would wake up from a nap at 45 minutes on the dot and be screaming. I would go in, pat them on the back and walk out of the room. I would wait the 15 minutes if they were still crying and pat them again. If they exceeded 20-25 minutes then I would go in and get them. But MOST OF THE TIME they would fall back to sleep after a few minutes of crying. It's the weirdest thing but I bet your kids will do the same thing at some point!

I've had a lot of friends tell me that that they tried the whole crying it out with their kids and they screamed for an hour and beyond.. yep, mine did that too. It is SUPER hard to hear your baby cry (strike that, SCREAM) but it really pays off in the end. It will keep getting better and better. My girls are amazing nappers and great sleepers at night. As with most parenting things, it's all about consistancy. If you only cry it out for one nap a day and the other naps you give in and rock them, it's sending a mixed message. The book reminds us as parents that we are in charge and dictate when our kids sleep. It might be harsh but now when I say "no" to my 2 year old I know she knows I mean it. Sleeping is a learned process for most babies... they have to be taught. Maybe you are a lucky mom and your baby figured out napping and sleeping through the night on his/her own! LUCKY DUCK! My girls didn't come knowing how to sleep so this is how I taught them. Joya (10 months) still takes a few minutes to cry before she goes down for a nap or bedtime. I think Adie was close to a year old before she went straight to sleep and didn't fuss before nap time.

Now, to answer Susan's question about Elise (5 months) rolling to her belly, my girls have both been belly sleepers so I hear ya about freaking out!

Sidenote: we use an amazing monitor that I strongly recommend. Bebe Sounds Angel Care Monitor has given us a ton of peace of mind. It monitors your babies breathing and movement and if your baby doesn't move or breath in 15 seconds then an alarm goes off.

Since my girls were belly sleepers, I had the opposite problem as you had! They would cry bloody murder if they flipped to their backs! I would go in and flip them and then start the crying out process. I would wait 15 minutes to go back in and flip them again if they'd flipped a second time. Most of the time they'd figure out how to flip back to their belly's. Usually it only lasted for a week or two until they figured out that they really prefered to sleep on their belly so they wouldn't flip to their backs anymore. Hang in there.. I think she'll grow out of it soon!

I know the "crying it out" method is hard core. It's not for everyone but we've had extreme sucess with it. I might get some backlash about this very structured method but I also know my kids. I could tell when something is "off" and they are teething and just need some loving in the middle of the night so yeah, I try to be loving and compassionate with all this too.

Discern what is right for your family. This just happens to be right for ours!


Kelsey said...

if you're interested in hearing more about babywise, i found this blog of a babywise mom....she is excellent!

hope that helps someone!

ktlady said...

Hey Darcy! Thanks for your post! My hubby and I love baby wise! We have used it for both of our kids! It definitely saved my sanity!

I just wanted to expand on what you said at the end about telling when something was off. For those that don't know, you are basically putting your baby on a clock. You quickly learn what their cries mean, tired, hungry, upset. As they get more accustomed to the schedule, you will see that they cry at the same time every day. Eventually they figure out that, "mommy will feed me," or "I will get a nap today," and they will begin to cry less and be happier. They learn to completely trust in you and in that trust they are at peace! Just because they cry, does not mean that you are being mean. Since they are babies, they can only cry, think about it if they were 3 years old and verbally saying, "I DON"T WANT TO NAP!!" What would you tell that 3 year old? "Too bad, I know what is best and you need a nap!" If thinking about it like that, that they are arguing with you, it may make it easier for you. The key is, "Mommy and Daddy are going to win" and consistency. Like Darcy said, it does help you tell when they are crying for a "weird" reason. That really helps you learn what they want!

Also, my babies were both belly sleepers because they were also thumb suckers and couldn't find their thumbs otherwise. My solution to the worry was this prayer that I still pray, "Father protect them, because I can't." So far, He has answered that prayer every time! They would flip over, but eventually they learned to deal and just fell asleep the way they were.

Sorry my comment is so long! :-) Thanks for posting Darcy!
~Katie Hiler

Daisy Path said...

love baby wise. we did it with our first born. she is a great sleeper! i slacked off with our second and regret it so much. i started later and i can tell a big difference, but we're getting there. this is quite a controversial topic which is sad. i think it is a choice for each family and the choice should be respected by all. i have dear friends who would never dream of letting their baby cry it out and the child still sleeps with them and all. this is not for me but it works for them. it is hard when you feel like you just aren't sure what you are doing. haha! isn't motherhood so like that? thanks for sharing!

Anonymous said...

Can't let this go with out chiming in. Here is a link that talk a little more about Ezzo and Babywise.

Just want to let the mamas know who are reading this that the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has actually spoken out against Mr. Ezzo and his rigid scheduling of young infants. Babies have actually DIED of malnutrition and failure to thrive. No joke.

So please, think about this long and hard before you thing that cry it out is the only way to have "normal baby". I am a mother of one who has always responded to her child's needs no matter the time of day or night. Said child now sleeps 12 wonderful hours at night and takes a 2 hour nap. No CIO needed. Yes there were long days and nights and sleep deprivation on my part. But you know what? I survived. So did my child. And I can rest easy knowing that she trusts me implicitly care for her every need. Notice I said need, not want. Responding and caring for a crying infant is not catering or spoiling. It's called parenthood.

Ok. I will stop now before say something I might regret. :P

Jewel said...

I am a believer in the crying out method also...but I learned my thru the book "Baby Whisperer!" Great book to help your baby get on a schedule. A schedule & consistency is the KEY!!! Thanx for sharing, Darcy!

megan said...

I think you are brave to post this! I think that cio has got to be one of the most controversial parenting things out there.

I am also a firm believer in babywise and schedules. All three of my kiddos were/are excellent sleepers and nappers, and not a one of them starved or is neglected in any way, shape, or form. :) I started mine with a good 2.5-3 hour feeding schedule from the start and I believe it made a world of difference for us. I feel for people who are up all night with kids for so long or complain that their babies won't nap for more than 15 minutes, because it doesn't have to be that way. I firmly believe that just like anything, we teach our kids to sleep. Whether you are rocking to seep or putting them down awake, you are teaching them.

I used to get all passionate and worked up about this, but I have definitely mellowed some after having 3 kids. Every family is different, every child is different, and it's not up to me to decide if someone is doing things the "wrong" way. I just know for my family a schedule, consistency, and yes, even crying it out worked wonders.

Just wanted to say kudos to you for not being scared to talk about your opinion on this!

Amy said...

Darcy, I'm sure you don't want to wage a mommy war, but Anonymous, if you must chime in and criticize, have the courage to use your name. It's very hard to put any stock in a critic who is not brave enough to be identified by their opinions. Second, babies that are dying from babywise have bigger problems than sleep issues...but access to healthcare and education are another issue for another blog. Third, Darcy hardly said that babywise was the only way to have a normal baby...quite the opposite as a matter of fact. Darcy, you are to be commended for being an loving, intentional, disciplined parent. I admire your transparency and find your well-rested children to look quite healthy and happy.

DHiler said...

Okay, "anonymous" I couldn't let your comments go without chiming in...AND I'm even willing to sign my name...:)
There are GOBS of misinformation about the Ezzo's and babywise out there. In fact, my two biggest pieces of advice to new moms are 1. use babywise, and 2. Don't tell anyone you use babywise. As I like to say, it brings the "crazies" out. And by "crazies" I mean the people who are hysterically against it and yet have never used it, have never known anyone that used it, etc. And by using "it," I mean the principles of babywise-the cornerstones of which are feeding your baby on a schedule and letting your baby learn how to fall asleep on his/her own. The AAP does not speak out against either of those. In fact, feeding a baby on the schedule suggested by the Ezzo's in babywise is WELL within the recommended guidelines of the AAP. No baby has died because a mom fed every two and a half to three hours and let him/her cry himself/herself to sleep. It is no joke. And hysterically calling out a program I would guess you have no personal experience with is not a joke either. I fed all four of my kids on a schedule and my pediatrician was well aware of it and supported it. The principles of babywise could certainly be misused, as could the principles of anything. Better education of moms would help, not lactation consultants scaring moms off of the idea, like mine always tried to do. Using the principles of babywise gave me confidence as I learned to discern cries and was able to meet different needs with different solutions...much better IMO than offering a feeding with every cry. As far as learning to fall asleep on their own, we were very thankful for that as well. It allowed us to be rested sooner than we may have otherwise. If waiting many months (or often years) to have a good night of sleep alone in your bed with your husband is fine for another family, great! That was not what we chose to do. And a mom who lets her baby cry it out is not NOT responding to the baby's need. She is choosing to give her baby a very valuable skill to self soothe. One that the parents, any other care givers and the well-rested baby herself will appreciate. To suggest that letting a baby cry it out is shirking the duties of parenthood is mean-spirited and foolish. It is a different choice in parenting than you chose to make, but a well-thought out one that Darcy believes in just as much as you believe in yours. Darcy's children and my children do not trust us any less because they cried themselves to sleep when they were infants. As babies, they were just as crazy about their mommas as I'm sure your daughter is about you. All that to say, regardless of what you may find on the internet or hear from a lactation consultant or read in an "anonymous comment" helping regulate your baby's feeding with a schedule and helping your baby learn how to put himself/herself to sleep by crying it out is not risky or dangerous. In fact, for our family, it was a giant blessing. One we were happy to repeat four times. Darcy is brave for putting herself out there by sharing what she did in response to genuine questions, especially knowing that she was likely to get attacked or ridiculed.
Deborah Marie Hiler :)

Anonymous said...

Meant to put this in my above post. If you happen to be looking for sleep help (what new parent isn't!?) but aren't sure about cry it out there are other options.

The Happiest Baby on the Block is a great book for the littles, and The No Cry Sleep Solution is good for birth to toddler years.

Nichole said...

I will sign my name to this. I am happy someone said something different. I have not read but been told by our developmental pediatric specialist that Crying it out is not the way to go. She stated the same thing that Annonymous said above. I also don't think that she was pointing fingers at anyone in particular that they were neglecting their children. I know for a fact that Darcy does not. She is very aware of her children's needs. Our developmental pediatrician has given us other options. I agree whole heartedly though that Darcy believes that you have to choose what works for your family and she wouldn't push her views on anyone. So I am not sure this is the place to wage our wars. I just usually agree to disagree.

I am trying the method with my daughter who has been on a schedule since birth however has still refused to sleep longer than 20-30 minutes twice a day for naps. She is nine months old. She however has been an excellent night time sleeper since 5/6 months. I have a two year old as well with medical issues and he has always been a good napper, sleeps as well as he is going to due to his medical issues at night. there is no part of me anymore that thinks it is wrong of me to get up in the middle of the night when his sweet little voice asks for a drink. Time is precious...there will be many years that our children will want very little to with us. I have decided that I am choosing to cherish this time. We went in with him and lost sleep while he was young, and it has not taught him a habit. He sleeps through the night now. It is not easy to sacrifice sleep. But I think sacrificing for our children and their needs is something that we are called to do as parents.

Darcy thanks for sharing your methods and taking the time to put yourself out there on a very touchy subject. I appreciate your honesty and your respect for those that have other opinions. I also thank you for the time you have put in to helping me come up with ideas to get Avenlea to nap.

beachy keen girl said...

Babywise worked for me too. I'm so happy I did it. Thanks for sharing. :)

Kat said...

you are brave for posting darcy- and i wanted to also say thank you for making it clear that it works for your family. i don't care what a family does at home (we also did CIO, Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Baby/Child) but I DO care when they try to push their views on others!

anywho, thanks for sharing darcy!

JAMES & SUSAN said...

Thanks so much for your post!! I started out with Babywise from day one- mostly because your sister insisted that it was the greatest and I should look into it. I followed it faithfully for about 2 or 3 months- then I got lost somewhere!!! I think it was at Christmas when Elise got her ear infection and was really sick (for almost 2 weeks) with an awful cold. I started rocking her at night. She and I both got used to it-and she also started getting me up in the middle of the night for a feeding...

Anyway- I re-read Babywise this past weekend and I'm getting things back on track!! Today is DAY 2 of crying it out- and Elise is already figuring it out... I just put her down a little while ago for her morning nap and 8 minutes later she's already settled down (much better than yesterday). And- last night she fussed around 2:00, but after 10 minutes went back to sleep without me even going in!

Thanks to you and Denise for sharing your stories and encouragement. I love being a mom and are thankful for any help I can get along the way!!!!!

Niki "Marinade" Kline said...

So apparently I need to be worried about SO MUCH MORE than trying to stop my own vomiting?! ;) You ROCK Darce, at all things you do, don't ever let anyone suggest differently. Also, every time I "freak" out about if I'll do the right thing 100% of the time as a parent I just remember how my parents were born in the 50's and me in the 70's when we didn't have all of these "expert" opinions/how to's and I'm somehow still here living and breathing (and reproducing for that matter!)

Anonymous said...

critics of babywise.....

Critics include, for example, Dr. T. Berry Brazelton, MD, FAAP, Professor Emeritas, Harvard Medical School, developer of the Neonatal Behavioral Assessment Scale[3]; Richard Ferber, MD, Director, Center for Pediatric Sleep Disorders at Children's Hospital in Boston [4]; and Arnold Tanis, MD, FAAP, Past President, Florida Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics.[5]