I let my newborn cry it out… kind of…

(UPDATE: 7/27/2012,  IT IS NOT HELPFUL TO LET A NEWBORN CRY IT OUT (CIO)!  I spoke with my pediatrician and was told not to.  Newborn to 6 months cannot neurologically learn to self-sooth. The CIO method at such a young age is not going to work long term.  All that will happen when you let your newborn-6-month-old CIO, is they will become worn out from the crying and hysteria and pass out. It will not harm them so to speak, but it will not help them either.   Your best bet is to sooth them to sleep.  See my Post on Tips for getting a baby to sleep.) Continue reading for my experience letting my Newborn CIO before learning it was pointless! ; ) However, the following is a good start to teaching self-soothing...



After all of the great comments of sleep tips encouraging me to let my newborn “cry it out,” I decided the next opportunity I got I would give it a try, or should I say my best effort. I figured that so many courageous readers could not be wrong, and if they were, it would only take me ten minutes to figure it out!

Tonight was the night! Dad was off at the grocery store, all was quiet in the house… except for Ollie. He had a wonderful long nap in the late afternoon, so he was not quite ready to go down for the night, even though he was giving up all of the telltale signs of sleepiness. I decided when after a bath, feeding, rocking and cuddling he was still not fully asleep, I would give the “cry it out method” a try.

I laid him down in his crib, swaddled him tight, covered him with a light blanket, gave him his dummy/pacifier, a good “SHHHHHHH-ing” and one last “I love you” before walking out of his room. All was fine for the first few minutes, not a peep. Then came the low cry, the “I'm bored come back now” cry. I left him alone until a good cry came. I went into his room, let him know I was there, all was ok, put the dummy back in his mouth, and walked out. He was quiet again for a few minutes, then he started with a good cry, which progressed to a heart-breaking scream. At that moment I thought, do I run to the end of the driveway, or do I crack? I semi-cracked…. I went into his room, again, let him know I was there, again, rubbed him this time, SHHH-ed him until his eyes closed and waited a minute or so to make sure he stayed calm.

I was determined at the very least, no matter what, I was not going to pick him up. Luckily I survived that goal. Ollie went to sleep after my third trip into his room. Which just like everyone said took about 10 minutes total for him to fully pass out. I do feel pretty good about my first attempt at letting him put himself to sleep. I think my mix of letting him cry and soothing him from a slight distance was a perfect mix for the both of us. I am sure as he gets older, and I get stronger, I will be able to hold off on running to his side. But for now, I feel good about my parenting skills and proud of my big boy!

Two confused parents=One amused baby Hopelessly we are trying raise a baby who is clearly smarter than both of us. April is an award-winning writer, blogger and proud debut novelist - The Devlyn Disguise. Her work has been published in over ten countries and four languages. From books to newspapers, to print/online magazines and everything in between, you can find her work. For more about April, Visit AprilMcCormick.com

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Good job mommy!!! I'm a bit jealous that you are able to soothe him while not picking him up. Even at 6 weeks old, my little girl would scream her head off if she knew I was in the room and not holding her. Luckily, I can differentiate between her "I'm sleepy", "I've just filled my diaper" (I imagine her hysterically giggling at this, as it's always a nap-time blowout), and her "Pick me up now, dammit!" cries. From a been-there-done-that momma, you're doing a great job all around. :-)

Your gracious author and proud new mother said...

Yay! Thank you for the encouragement. After writing and reading that post I woundered if I was being a bit of a spineless twit for even going into his room at all. It's all a process I suppose...


Congrats on your little girl!

Kiwi mum said...

Yay, that is fantastic news :-) good on you finding a way of making it work for you and your son.
Im still working on finding the best balance of crying it out and soothing - and every sleep time is different, just to keep us mums on our toes! It does get easier though, as much as it sucks. :-)

Mrs. Loquacious said...

You are brave to even attempt it. I am far too weak to be able to listen to crying for more than 20 seconds. Thankfully my baby is not too often so overtired that she becomes unbearable, although she does fight sleep constantly during the daytime and requires a lot of cuddling. I am more than willing to comply of course, napping when she falls asleep on me (a no-no in some circles but works for my belly-sleeping lil napper).

Alissa said...

Congrats!! After reader your other readers comments about letting the little one cry it out I too almost employed that tactic... Until I found another way. It sounds similar to what you did, check out this website: http://elcaminopediatrics.com/helping-your-two-month-old-develop-wonderful-sleep-habits

I've been trying this with James for both bedtime and his naps, and for two days now he's been going to sleep on his own with just some minor soothing on my part.... and without me picking him up or him crying! I am so relieved to have found something that worked! Spending an hour rocking him to sleep was getting really old really fast.

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