Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Cry it out

Every once and awhile I feel like throwing up. Cry it out or 'CIO' for short is a 'technique' for getting a baby to sleep through the night. Baby wakes, mother (sorry, ladies, this is usually on us) let baby continue to cry and often until baby vomits or becomes exhausted. Baby learns to 'self-soothe' back to sleep. CIO makes me feel like throwing up.

I can say that because I have a kid who hasn't been a sleep champion. I've earned a couple Scout badges and military medals related to my misadventures in getting my child to stay asleep. We're far better off now - down to one wake up per night.

After attending three years worth of La Leche meetings, I've determined that every mother is trying to get their baby or child to sleep better. Every single one. There's always exceptions - some of those babies and children sleep better now, after time or dedicated (but gentle) work by mother and father. Sometimes I think there should be a Dormir League dedicated to babies, toddlers, and children's (and their parent's) sleep patterns.

I also sometimes wonder, since we are separated by years, walls, roads, lawns, hallways and all types distances from other families, we have no idea what is 'normal', especially after the sun goes down. We see other children in play groups, at school, activities, the library, the restaurant… some are well behaved, some are not. Some parents are well behaved, some are not. But how do they live day to day, and sleep night to night? I have no idea, except for what I observe and what I am told.

I am told that CIO is some kind of f*cking miracle. Two days of letting your baby vomit in bed as he or she cries hysterically for a suddenly MIA mother, and a miracle occurs. Baby sleeps through the night.

When I hear about CIO, it's always someone else talking about someone else's kid who experienced the CIO miracle.

I think it's f*cking bullsh*t.

I've been desperate, deeply desperate and depleted and exhausted and angry. We tried CIO, for about 2.5 minutes a couple nights. Jared and I laid in bed. My mothering instincts boiling as I listened to my baby cry. "I can't do it," I said and we agreed.

A vomiting child is a distressed child. As an adult, have you ever enjoyed being left weeping and desperately lonely? Have you ever enjoyed vomiting? Have you ever responded favorably to being told, 'get over it'?

Like I said, I think it's f*cking bullsh*t.

2 comments:

  1. R - I plan to write a post for my own website about my experience with CIO. I did it with my first daughter and it was the worse experience of my life. I literally felt my mothering instincts being smothered by that processes. I didn't do it with my second daughter (she is sleeping on me on the couch as I type this).

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  2. So agree. Different kids have different needs, but being attentive to those needs is... PARENTING.

    CIO makes me sick too.

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