If you’ve read any of my posts on sleep you will know that Sidekick does not relax into sleep easily.
We’re getting better at it but we are still a long way off what many so called sleep experts would say is good.
You will also know that I oppose Cry It Out methods.
On Thursday just gone I had my doubts confirmed. CIO is just cruel.
The week just gone has been an active one for Sidekick. She’s speeding around everywhere and not content with crawling she is practicing standing, pulling herself up etc.
In her sleep you can see her legs practicing the moves. Its exhausting as she jumps around her crib, our bed, waking throughout the night.
She also has been waking ridiculously early 4.20, 4.30, 4.45 and despite best efforts of boob, rocking, lying quietly she has been ready to start the day. The implication of this is that despite only wanting three naps, she’s been needing four. On Wednesday she was up from 2.30pm until 7pm. On Thursday she was set on being up from 12.30pm. I tried getting her to sleep at first signs of tiredness, no. I let her play again, lots of crawling to get her really tired, no. So again despite efforts of boob, rocking, jigging it wasn’t happening. It was hot on Thursday so we couldn’t go for a walk due to no shade so I thought I’d give it a go in the car.
All was fine and then it wasn’t.
My baby girl cried and cried. I kept pulling over when I could to soothe her, take her out of the car seat hold her close to me but as soon as I put her back in she would sob. This wasn’t some ‘i’m fed up cry’ this was I’m tried, I’m scared cry. I have never gripped the steering wheel so hard in my life. I tried everything I could to soothe her whilst I drove. I sang, I talked, I gave her a book. None of it worked. It was awful, I felt sick. My beautiful baby girl was distressed. I thought she was going to be sick. Each time I pulled over to comfort her she was clammy to the touch, pale. I hated every second of it.
This 20 minute journey from hell confirmed that I could never do CIO.
I know people say they don’t have a choice, they’re exhausted, they’ve got to work, we have to be strong and go through it as this will enable us all to get better sleep.
I’m sorry but no.
Being strong for m is what I and my husband are doing now. I have been surviving on 4 maybe 5 hours of broken sleep since my baby girl was born over 8 months ago. I get up every morning and I ache, deep down bone ache. Still I play with her, I talk to her, I make her laugh, I cook, I clean. I do it all even on the tiny amount of sleep I get.
Being strong is not letting her sit it out in the middle of the night, getting stressed, feeling afraid because I or Dada haven’t come to comfort her. Being strong is lifting her into my tired arms holding her close, feeling her body relax. Strong is parenting with as much attention at night as I do in the day.
Oh I know I’ll get flamed, be told to get off my soap box but I’m sorry I cannot understand anyone who thinks CIO is acceptable.
What makes us human is compassion, respect. If you see a person crying you ask if they’re okay, you see someone scared you hold them. Why then do we go against our instincts when it comes to our babies? How is it respectful to this tiny human, who depends on us, to be left to cry?
So okay according to some random person in a book my baby should be sleeping through the night, should be able to self-soothe. She can’t and until she is ready and her brain is mature enough to do these things, I will hold her and rock her.
To me that is being strong.