Posts Tagged ‘ cry it out ’

Dadvice #9: Regrets On The Cry It Out Method

Thursday, July 26th, 2012

20 months.

It has officially been over a year now that I decided to incorporate the “cry it out” method to get my then infant son to sleep through the night.

Has it worked? Oh yes.

Do I have any regrets? Absolutely.

My regrets are that I waited until he was 7 months old. If I had it to do over again, I wouldn’t do it any later than at 3 months old.

But when you’re a first time parent, it’s hard to know who to listen to about whether or not to do “cry it out.”

You become instantly avalanched by blogs and books that completely disagree with each other. You have to choose a side.

Well, I ended up writing two separate blog posts on the subject to simply explain and demonstrate how it worked for me.

In the first one, Is It Wrong To Let Your Baby Cry It Out? I received this hateful comment:

On July 7, 2011 at 10:03 am

“Actually, what you have done is not teach him to sleep well, but teach him that, no matter how hard he cries, how scared and alone he feels, or what his needs may be, you will not be there for him. You have taught him to give up hope that mommy or daddy will be there for him no matter what, and to just give up trying. I see a major difference in the clinginess and dependency in kids that were let to cry it out, compared to those that were not. Kids go through stages and need us more in some then others. Congratulations!”

And then I received this condescending jewel of a comment in Getting My Infant To Sleep Through The Night.

On August 9, 2011

“Ummm infants are supposed to eat during the night. Not only because their tummies are small but preventing a super deep sleep cycle helps to prevet SiDS. The CIO method has been shown to cause distress in infants and leads to learned helplessness. It’s disappointing that parents don’t realize that having children is a sacrafice to themselves. Having children means less sleep. It’s called being a parent. I’m very disappointed in your touting crying it out. I’ve got two kids and I’m terribly tired a lot of the time but I’ll never leave my baby to CIO in a room by herself. She’s a BABY. I wish you and your wife would realize that your child is a baby and needs you.”

So what? There are extreme parents out there who think that way.

And then there are normal, down-to-Earth parents like me who didn’t traumatize their kid by using the “cry it out” method to get them to sleep through the night.

Now my son is 20 months old. I feel no guilt or shame for what I’ve done. Because he’s turned out just fine, a year later.

Other Dadvice Articles:

Dadvice #1: Why Doesn’t My Husband Help More With Baby and Chores?

Dadvice #2: My Wife Lacks Complete Desire For Post-Baby Sex

Dadvice #3: My Wife Wants Me To Be A Mind Reader!

Dadvice #4: Would You Recommend Using A Midwife?

Dadvice #5: How Is It Natural To Circumcise Your Son?

Dadvice #6: Is Circumcision Unnecessary And/Or Immoral?

Dadvice #7: A Skeptic’s Letter To Intactivists

Dadvice #8: Too Young To Medicate ADHD And Bipolar Disorder?


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I, Too, Was Once An Angry Zombie Dad

Sunday, July 22nd, 2012

20 months.

During the first 15 months of my son’s life, I was essentially in survival mode.

No matter how positively I narrated this thing, I felt like a souvenir mug that had fallen on the floor, shattered, and then was superglued back together. Everyday.

I was never really one of those dads who went around saying, “I love being a dad! It’s tough, but when you come home at the end of the day and see that ‘little you’ looking up at you with those big eyes, it makes it all worth it.”

Yeah, that was never something I said nor thought. (Especially because my son is not a mini-me.)

Ah, but then my son turned the magical age of 15 months old. My life instantly got better!

Since then, I’ve been getting a better understanding now of why people enjoy being a parent; not just simply learning to deal with their new, demanding responsibilities.

Everyone has their own struggles and “default sins.” One of mine is greed. Not really with material possessions, but with my time.

If you’re familiar with the popular book, The Five Love Languages, then it’s important to note that “quality time” is probably my main love language.

When you become a parent and begin caring for an infant, the concept of quality time basically ceases to exist.

I was so disgruntled by the fact that my wife and I had to sacrifice meaningful conversations that didn’t revolve around our son, as well as, just even getting to hang out with each other on the couch and watch a movie without hearing that annoying “baby buzzer” going off.

Despite being a very outgoing guy, I’d say I’m just as much an introvert as I am an extrovert. I require a decent amount of solitude to function properly, where my deep and random thoughts can be born. So yeah, that pretty much went out the window too when my wonderful son arrived.

But once we were brave enough to incorporate “the cry it out method for our son and he instantly started sleeping through the night, we began getting our lives back.

When my son turned 15 months old, he started making me feel validated as a parent. It was like on Lost, realizing that pressing the button in the hatch every 108 minutes actually mattered and did good.

I finally began seeing a connection between my input as a parent and his output as a child. Man, I needed that.

My zombie days are over. I paid my dues. I have earned the right to have a magnificent son who daily plays “Props” on Whose Line Is It Anyway? with me.

I get to watch him do weird stuff like put a plastic rabbit on top of a toy car as if it’s normal.

And he depends on me to fix his hair in the morning and scare him with a Spiderman mask during playtime.

Oh, and have I mentioned that he loves learning how to “go pee-pee” by watching me? I’m not sure if I’ve written about that before, but don’t worry, there’s plenty more “watching Dada pee-pee” material coming up soon.

But hey, I’d rather being an oversharenting parent than an angry zombie dad.

Grrrrrr! Sorry, just had a flashback…

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Getting My Infant to Sleep through the Night

Monday, August 8th, 2011

Eight months.

“Crying it out” plus “cold turkey” equals “everybody’s happy!”

It was only pretty recently (the beginning of July) that I was able to master getting my infant son Jack to sleep.  After he learned to crawl at six months old, my wife nor I were no longer able to get him to sleep without him (and us) getting extremely upset.  So I tried my own version of the “cry it out” method and it has worked great.  I highly recommend it.

Unfortunately, we soon realized that the getting to sleep was only the first half of the problem.  Even though we could get him to fall asleep, he was not able to remain asleep for more than a couple of hours.  That meant that none of the three of us were ever getting enough sleep (especially my wife and my son).  Additionally, it meant our son was drinking at least three bottles of formula during the night and therefore needing three additional diaper changes.

After a decent amount of research, and obviously acknowledging the immediate effectiveness of the “cry it out” method, my wife gave me the green light to apply the “cold turkey” method to get him to sleep through the night without needing to eat.  So I did.  And it is so awesome.  Life is beautiful, now.

Here’s what I did the first night of applying the “cold turkey” method: When I put him to sleep for the night (around 7:00 PM), I closed his bedroom door most of the way, then I didn’t come back until the morning when he cried after 6:00 AM.

On the first night of going “cold turkey,” he woke up after an hour and cried for 30 minutes straight, but then fell asleep for two solid hours.  Then he woke up and cried for 10 minutes and fell asleep for three hours.  Next he woke up and cried for 5 minutes, then another couple of hours.  As the night progressed, he continued to sleep longer and cry less.

We heard him cry at 5:40 AM, but knew not to go get him yet since it was still before 6:00 AM.  So we waited, and the next time he cried it was an hour later, and we went to go get him.

I can honestly say that the three of us were never happier to see each other in the morning.  Jack had survived his first night without eating since his dinner meal; plus, his diaper was dry.  And we, the parents, both were able to sleep more solidly than any other night while being in the same house with him.

More than a month has passed since that first night; this system has been so good for all of us.  Now when he does wake up in the middle of the night it only takes a couple of minutes for him to get back to sleep- on his own.

We had been hindering his sleep by continuing to feed him through the night; preventing him from progressing deeper into his sleep cycle because we would comfort him not only with food, but with additional soothing. Therefore we fed him too often and he never learned to fall asleep without parental help. We had been enabling him to overeat and under-sleep.

Have you half-way considered this technique, in your desperation to get your infant to sleep, but just felt that A) it was too cruel, B) it would mess up your kid psychologically, and/or C) you never knew any nice, normal parents to ever do this method?

Well, I am indeed a nice, normal parent who believes in the importance of raising my son in the most positively reinforced ways possible. I came to the conclusion I was hurting him more by not teaching him to fall asleep on his own.  And I can obviously see that, so far, I have not messed him up psychologically and he still treats me the same.

But if you should have any doubts, continue reading The Dadabase every day.  That way, you can still check in on my son to make sure that both the “cry it out” and the “cold turkey” methods are not only effective, but for my son at least, they are also a good and necessary thing.

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