We have now closed the chapter on our "Crying It Out" plan. It truly couldn't have gone any better. I am amazed by how in 1 night we went from Adalyn waking up on average 8 times a night to her waking up once a night!
A brief review:
WHY: We chose to use the Cry It Out method with Adalyn because she was waking up SO MANY times during the night. Generally, she would go back instantly to sleep after being given the pacifier. But since she was up so many times it was hard for us to know which time she might be hungry, so we were also constantly feeding her. She would eat a little, but mostly just out of the fact it was being offered to her, NOT because she was actually hungry. She was just not getting solid chunks of good quality sleep and you could see it in her behavior during the day.
WHAT WE DID: We decided that the pacifier needed to go. She needed to learn how to self-soothe herself to sleep with out using the pacifier, since it really wasn't working for her any way. We also wanted to cut down on the amount of times she was eating at night.
HOW DID IT GO: Amazingly!! I know it is super hard to go into this whole "Cry It Out" thing with out knowing how long your baby/kiddo might actually cry. But the total amount of time that Addie cried/fussed was so minimal. The overall outcome of her being able to self-soothe herself to sleep, not use a pacifier any more and to only eat one time at night is worth the small amount of crying/fussing that happened. The stress that we were all under running into her room every hour or two to stick the pacifier back in her mouth (during the night and naps) was enormous. She is now getting good quality sleep, making her an even happier baby during the day.
I truly believe that generally all kids can be good sleepers. I think that we (the parents) do things to make it harder for babies/kids to sleep. We take away their ability to learn how to sleep on their own. (I am talking about after the first 2-3 months as an infant). We rock them, use pacifiers, keep them up too late, keep them too busy during the day for naps, offer food when it is not necessary or needed, etc. All of these crutches do things that we think are easier for us or helpful to the baby/kid, but really they are just that...crutches. It's hard to take these things away and hear our babies/kids get upset. But the end result of a well rested child needs to be seen as the prize that just about anything will be done to reach. There are just WAY to many overtired, and sleep deprived kids growing up right now. And it is effecting their behavior and how they learn.
I just read this article that has a lot of good thoughts in it. I personally don't want my kiddo sleeping with me until they are 2+ years old, but that doesn't mean you will have a bad sleeper on your hands either. It is up to each parent to decide what they are willing to "endure" and for how long.