Our Cry it Out Experience

Cry it out is a big part of the Babywise method..... and I chose to ignore it. I am definitely not against it, but I didn't feel it was necessary for our situation early on. I tried CIO when Beckett was just a few months old for about three minutes. I knew right then that I was not going to do that again until it was absolutely necessary, or when I knew he would have some understanding of what was going on. I waited until 10 months to do it and I am glad that I did. I can see that some babies need it earlier though if they are having a hard time sleeping on their own and waking up multiple times a night. There were a few times that Beckett woke up to 5 times a night. By the time I decided it must be time to do CIO, he was past that little sleep regression and back to sleeping good. I didn't research too much about how to do it, so I am definitely not saying this is how other people should do it, but I just kind of went with my instinct (hey, I do have a motherly instinct after all!), and it worked for us.

Once Beckett started sitting up on his own and pulling up on the crib to stand, it started to get harder to lay him down "drowsy". If he wasn't asleep when I laid him down then he wanted to have a party. That's why I decided to do CIO. I wanted to set some guidelines that would help me to be consistent and stay strong. I would go check on him every 10 minutes and if it took longer than 30 minutes I wasn't going to do it. The longest it ever took was 15, but usually it was 5-10.

At nap time I turn out the lights, give him his blanket, and we sit down and I sing to him for 4-5 minutes. This lets him know that it is nap time, gives him time to unwind while we snuggle, and I don't feel like I'm just plopping him down in his crib and expecting him to go to sleep. Then I give him a kiss and lay him down. The first 3-4 days he would stand up, shake the crib, and scream. But it wasn't a scared or sad scream. I think "yell" might be a better word. I honestly feel like he knew it was nap time, and he was just mad about it. I feel like it's heartless for me to say, but it wasn't that hard for me. I knew that he understood it was time to sleep, and he just didn't want to. If he had been younger, it would have absolutely broken my heart. The first few times I would go in, lay him down, find the binky he threw out of the crib, and rub his back until he calmed down. Sometimes that was enough, sometimes I would leave and he would start up again. I would repeat that 2-3 times, but I never picked him up.

After a few days of rubbing his back, he started to calm down before the 10 minute mark and I never had to go in. I would watch through the cracked door and after he realized I wasn't coming he would sit down, find his binky, and lay down without a problem.

Now it's been about 10 days that he hasn't cried at all before nap or bed time. I sing to him, put him in his crib, and he is out within a minute or two. The exception to that has been when we are away from home. I have been trying to let him CIO in the pack n' play at his grandma's houses, but sometimes it takes too long and it's just easier to go for a 2 minute drive and let him fall asleep in his car seat. So we are still working on self soothing away from home, but at home he's got it down.