Monday, August 1, 2011

Cry-it-out hell

Today's parody is thanks to babycenter and Evonne Lack: If you read the original article and feel a desire to respond, I am asking that you do me a favor: respond with sheer kindness and leave one informative link. For a mama to experience and freely discuss that much emotional trauma means she must surely feel very unempowered and disconnected from her baby. She needs support and kindness, too.

“Sleep training is going horribly.

I’m not even asking for that much, for crying out loud. (Heh. “Crying out loud!” Get it?) I don’t expect Thomas, my husband, to sleep through the night, even though some paraplegics do. I just want him to soothe himself to sleep after his bedtime routine. That’s it.

Here’s our current bedtime routine: Bath, read a book together or watch a show together, then hold hands and talk. (Thomas will not hold hands to sleep.). Put in medical bed in other room. Cry head off (him, not me). Cave in (me, not him).

I know, caving and going to him to hold his hand is the worst thing you can do when using the cry-it-out method. But he will not give up. Back when I sleep trained the girls, it was easy. (Rather, it seems easy now, compared to this hell). They would cry lightly for ten minutes or so, then fall asleep. Maybe the very first night we did it, they cried for 30 minutes or so.

Not rogue-paraplegic husband.

Tonight, I had new resolve not to cave. I did the routine nice and early, made sure to give him a nice long cuddle so he couldn’t claim loneliness as an excuse, put him in the med-bed, left the room. He did not cry. Triumph! Then he cried. Demoralization.

That’s what’s really so tough about sleep training, in my opinion. You listen at the door, or on the floor by the bed, or huddled under a blanket in the closet, or wherever, and the husband stops crying and the loud silence fills you and you smile and all the tension drains out of your body and you think, “He did it! I did it! Good wife! I was right!” and then he screams for another million hours and all the tension rushes back in and your heart hammers and you sweat and your fists clench into balls and by the time it’s over, you’re a jangly mess of nerves and scuttling electrolytes.

Anyway, back to tonight. I resolved not to cave. I held out for quite some time (not going to tell you how long. Maybe in another post. Some of you will be shocked).

And then I caved. Cuddled with him. Brought him to my bed, which is where he is right now.

But I’m not giving up yet. Thomas needs to start getting on a schedule, and he needs to get better quality sleep at night. This is painfully obvious to me during the day. So onward I will go. Will we have any success? Or just fail, fail, fail? I have absolutely no idea. Check back in to find out.”

Additional resources on the topic:

One of the best resources for sleeping research:

New research on CIO:

What does science say:

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