Friday, September 7, 2012

Sleep-training...To let Baby "Cry It Out" or not?

baby sleeping
So, it's apparently called "sleep training;" the things parents do to get their babies/themselves to start having better/longer nights of sleep.  Frankly I think that's a stupid name for it.  I think it should be called "your-first-lesson-in-being-a-hard-ass-parent-for-the-greater-good-of-your-child-and-everyone-who-shares-the-house-with-him."  Yes, you're training them, but not to sleep.  They do that for a billion hours a day already.  Trust me, they know how.  You're training them to start being able to do some of the hard work for you at 2am.
We started 3 nights ago.  I felt like a complete jerk.  There's not much in the world that can make you feel like a smaller human being than taking someone smaller, and more helpless than you, and letting them cry when you have the power to easily make them happy again.  BUT, then the next night (feeling like a I'd already had my fill of being a giant meany-head), I broke down and did some rocking at 3am after he'd finished his bottle.  He was drifting soundly off to sleep in my arms (completely defeating the purpose of torturing myself by listening to him cry alone in his room the night before), and then our smoke alarm went off.  F*#k!

Quick back-story here:  About 3 years ago this happened in the middle of the night in similarly humid Summer weather.  We have those super sensitive detectors that if you look at the sensor sideways they'll read it as smoke and sound every alarm in the house.  Just for fun, they're all hardwired together.  And since we didn't hear the little automated man's voice over the screaming alarm telling us that it was "smoke" (that obviously wasn't there), we assumed the worst, figured it was the carbon monoxide portion of the detector, and called the fire department.  They were just thrilled to come over and hang out with us at 2am (wearing full on fire gear in million degree weather, and no exciting fire anywhere to be seen or played with).  Anyway, one of the nice firemen explained to me that the system we have is a pain in the butt, but it can be easily maintained by vacuuming the sensors off and clearing any cobwebs or debris from around them.

Well, shockingly enough, it doesn't matter what degree of OCD one possesses, if you're still getting into the swing of having a new baby in your house, your house chores may slip a bit.  And they did.  And just like 3 years ago, the frigging thing saw my dust-meets-humidity as a sign of terrible danger and set about notifying me (and waking my baby back up).

So, anyway, at this point I'm ready to scream, so before I do, I calmly go set the now awake Baby down in his crib, walk away, and set about getting his next bottle ready for the morning.  Guess what happened while I was doing that?  He fell asleep...on his own... *cue choir singing now*

Wondering if it was a total fluke or not, I tried it again last night.  He woke up, I fed him, then put him back in his crib without rocking him to sleep first, popped the pacifier in, stood like a creepy stalker in the hallway outside his room, and waited for the screaming to commence.  It didn't.  *more choir tunes please*  I waited until he was really conked out, took the pacifier away and tiptoed back to bed.  When he woke up again a couple hours later (not time to be hungry again yet), I marched into his room with my Mr. Pacifier Magic Man, popped it in his mouth, and walked away.  He spit it out about a minute later and started to cry.  Thanks a frigging lot Mr. Pacifier Not-So-Magic Man.  So I went back in, told Mr. Pacifier that we're on the same side here, put him back, and walked away again.  It worked!!!  He went back to sleep and slept until 6am!

I know I'm probably opening a HUGE can of worms here, because this is a subject that people feel about as strongly about (if not stronger) than most of their views on politics, religion, wars, and what your real hair color is.  But I'm curious about your thoughts on this.  Do you think letting your baby "Cry It Out" is an asshole thing to do, or are you on board with it?  Or are you like me, and totally think it's an asshole thing to do, but are doing/have done it anyway?

Thanks for stopping by,

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