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Cry it out.

February 7, 2010

I consider myself to be a member of the attachment parenting camp. During my pregnancy I hoped and prayed that I would be able to successfully breastfed. I am happy to report that Malone and I enjoy a wonderful nursing relationship. And nursing for me has been so convenient.

But, I didn’t set out to be an attachment parent- very early on in Malone’s life he let us know that the AP style was what was going to work for him. There was a stretch of about seven weeks during his earliest days where the only way he could be soothed was if my husband or I wore him in a wrap and bounced on an exercise ball.

At 4 months we started bedsharing because I was tired of getting up 3-7 times a night to feed Malone. I wasn’t in crisis, but I knew that was where I was heading if I couldn’t find a way to get quality sleep and get it fast.

At first, Malone fell asleep in his crib and then came into bed with us at some point during the night. Then, he got to the point where he after he nursed before bed, he would not go to sleep in his crib. He screamed frantically in the crib. We started snuggling and laying with him while he slept. This meant that whomever was sleep duty that night was then stuck in bed with him otherwise he’d wake up and scream.

I felt trapped.

I was resentful.

I was living with a seven month old sleep terrorist.

So we made him cry it out.

We’re now a week into CIO and things are looking up. The first nights were hard. He cried for upwards of 60 minutes (we went in to soothe when we needed to).  Now we’re down to somewhere between 8-10 minutes.

He’s still coming into our bed at some point in the night. But we’re getting at least 4 hours of sleep without him there.

We will be working on naps and the middle of the night wakings soon.

I can’t believe we survived this.

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