Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Crying it out

With my poor sleepers, I've tried just about every technique there is to get them to sleep. I've never been a fan of the cry-it-out method because the kids I've tried that on would just scream until sunrise if I let them (Zoë included). I can't handle that (going in to comfort a crying baby every ten minutes all night long just isn't fun). We've tried (many) other gentler methods and nothing ever seems to work (at least not for long). It's just the way my kids are wired, I guess.

Zoë's almost two and I'm frankly not sure how many nights she's slept through the night. Somewhere between 0 and 5 would be my guess.

She's still coming into our room in the middle of the night, which is fine....lately. I just pull her into bed and she falls right back to sleep. I can totally handle that because she's recently begun going to bed at a decent hour.

For the past few months we've been putting her to bed and sitting by her—patting her back, and reminding her to lie down—for hours every night in order to get her to go to sleep. She'd been getting progressively difficult at bedtime and started doing really annoying things like pivoting so she could kick me or reaching over to pull my hair or other ridiculous things like that.

On Tuesday night I had finally had enough. I walked out, shut the door, and let her scream and pound on her closed door to her heart's delight. And I didn't feel an ounce of guilt about it (for once) because she had been being so annoying.

Much to my surprise (I was seriously shocked), she calmed down after a good fifteen-minute tantrum and seemed to have retreated farther back in her room. She was still fussing every few minutes, but she wasn't outright screaming so I just let her be. After another half hour or so I peeked in and found her fast asleep in her bed.

Wonder of wonders!

So with Andrew out of town all week, and the kids all "sleeping over" in the other bedroom (thank you, spring break), we continued with this method clear to the weekend.

I would put her to bed, turn on her little Lulla Doll, sing her a song, help her say her prayers, sing her another song, turn on the Moana soundtrack, say goodnight, and close the door.

She would follow me to the door and bang on it for several minutes and then put herself to bed.

It's been a bit harder—but slightly more entertaining—now that spring break is over and Rachel is back to sharing a room with Zoë. We have to make sure we time their bedtimes well so that Rachel's not interrupting Zoë's fall-asleep time and Zoë's not screaming through Rachel's fall-asleep time. It's a delicate balance. Rachel has her little iPod in there, though, and can chat to Andrew and me so we've been getting live updates on Zoë's sleep status.

Last night Rachel used the stopwatch function to time Zoë's tantrum. It only lasted 10 minutes. Rachel reported that she was screaming, "Mean, mean momma! Mean! Momma!" the whole time, but whatever.

Tonight she only screamed for one minute. As Rachel said, that must be "some sort of record."

And she was asleep by 8:18, apparently, giving Rachel plenty of time to fall asleep without the sounds of a screaming banshee filling her room.

Zoë might well be our first child to take to the cry-it-out method. 


  1. Wonder of wonders, miracle of miracles!

  2. I hope this is one of those things where you don't get to heaven in 90 years' time and discover that you could have done that 18 months ago with Zoë and it would have worked... you could have had 18 months more of sleep... :-/

    1. Haha! I hope it doesn't take me 90 years to get into heaven (I'm too tired for another 90 years—122?!). Heaven knows I tried 18 months ago. Heaven also knows (and is probably laughing) that this triumph was short-lived.

      Some kids are easy to sleep train. Some kids aren't. Some kids are easy to potty train. Some kids aren't. Some kids learn to read when they're three. Some kids learn to read when they're nine. *shrugs*