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Our cry-it-out weekend

June 28, 2010  —  Written by Julia Marcum 

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Friday was full of heated texts between Chris and I over Greta’s sleep patterns.  By 5-6 weeks, she was sleeping well and we were feeling so blessed.  Recently, she started waking up more and it got to the point where I was spending hours and hours in the nursery with her trying to comfort her, and rock her, and sometimes nursing her repeatedly just so that she would go back to sleep.  It’s exhausting.  Mothers know that.  But it is also what we do:  I’ll spend all night in Greta’s room so that she can sleep and I won’t.  Then I’ll spend the next day totally wired and feeling “sad.”  (When I get tired, I get sad–not mad, or irritable, just really sad. Hahaha.)  I guess Chris had about enough of it because he suggested we just let her cry.  The heated texts began.  This was maybe our second disagreement since knowing each other.  I was not going to let Greta cry, especially not right before she went to sleep.  I spend my whole day making sure she is happy and clean and full–I didn’t want to throw that all out the window come bedtime.  He just wanted his wife back.  “Fine! You do it!  I want nothing to do with letting our baby cry!” (Harsh, huh?)  After a few more words, we agreed to a weekend trial of the Ferber (cry-it-out) method, and we would do it together.

Friday night, it took her about 30 minutes to put herself to sleep.  We would check on her after 5 minutes and then 10 minutes and then 15.  It. was. hard.  I hated it.  I hated when I went to go check on her, that I couldn’t pick her up and just hold her.  And I hated seeing her red face crying with tears rolling into her ears.  But she fell asleep.  At 3:30 am, we went through it again.  Ugh.  She survived.  I survived.  The first night was over.

Naptime came on Saturday.  Greta rarely naps; and when she does, it is never in her crib.  It’s on our bed, or on the couch or in her carseat or in my arms–really, wherever she falls asleep.  Saturday, she took a 2 1/2 hour nap in her crib!!!  I was so happy and so proud of her.  It was really nice spending time with Chris, too.  We haven’t had just alone time in our apartment for, well, 4.5 months.  So, this was well received.  I was warming up to this method.  Saturday night Greta cried for about 20 minutes before falling asleep for 12 hours straight!  I woke up in a panic, but then I was sold.  Wow!  This is great.

The trend continues.  Sunday night she didn’t cry at all before going to sleep. We did have a little episode around 4 that only lasted 5 minutes.  She wakes up, refreshed and smiling and doesn’t seem to remember crying so hard.  And yet, it’s Monday–Greta is taking a nap in her crib and I am hating this again.  She cried before her nap for awhile and I hated it.  I am ready to give up on this again.  What’s wrong with me?  I should be happy that she is sleeping so much–she obviously needs it.  But maybe I am missing rocking her and holding her and soothing her? I probably sound crazy to some people, but this method is not for the weak…and I AM WEAK.  I am hoping in time, the crying will stop altogether because I don’t know how many more days I can deal with it.

She just woke up and wasn’t smiling at me….does she remember I let her cry and cry?

What do you think?

  1. oh my gosh Julia- you have to stick with it! we did this exact same thing with our Julia at 4 months… I just had to let Brian put her down while I went on a walk. It broke my heart to hear her cry. Naps were the same way, lots of tears. Mine didn’t nap well for months until I put her in her crib and let her cry it out. But she woke up so much more happy, it was worth it! I promise it will get better… hang in there!

  2. oh my gosh Julia- you have to stick with it! we did this exact same thing with our Julia at 4 months… I just had to let Brian put her down while I went on a walk. It broke my heart to hear her cry. Naps were the same way, lots of tears. Mine didn’t nap well for months until I put her in her crib and let her cry it out. But she woke up so much more happy, it was worth it! I promise it will get better… hang in there!

  3. It is SO HARD to let them cry themselves to sleep, but once they get it, its wonderful! Once we got into a good nap and bedtime schedule with Zoe, she was so much happier and more well-rested. The crying will stop… Now Zoe just lays down and says “I love you” and goes to sleep! It’s hard, but worth it. Stay strong! You can do it! :)

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