First, I loved your comments on my last post, where I asked you your thoughts about letting my five- and seven-year-old boys walk around the block together alone. For now, we’ve decided to hold off, and I swear it’s not because my mother called me up the night I posted it and more or less told me I was free to support the idea of free range kids but I was not free to subject her grandsons to the philosophy. Well, not entirely because of that, anyway… (*waves to mom*)
So today, let’s talk about what psychological damage I can wreak on her youngest grandson instead. Yep, I want to talk about sleep training. Ah, the controversy never gets old around here.
Lucas is fifteen months old, and for pretty much each night of those fifteen months, he’s been cuddled to sleep. I think it’s time he learned to start falling asleep on his own in his crib. Can someone please flip a magic switch so I can get him to do it immediately, without any stress to him or extraneous effort on my part? No? I didn’t think so.
I’m not opposed to letting him cry it out, if I must. It worked with both Tristan and Simon, although they were each a little less than a year old when we tried it. It took about five nights of fussing with Tristan (you can read my CIO diaries in the archives) and about twice that long with Simon, but in the end, it was soooooo worth it to just be able to put the baby in his crib, kiss him goodnight and walk away.
It’s not that I begrudge Lucas his nightly cuddle, either. I’d still cuddle him before hand, but I still believe that it’s important that they learn to sooth themselves to sleep. He’s not a bad night-time sleeper overall, but he’s been waking in the night a lot lately, and I think he’d be less fussy when he wakes up if he’d put himself to sleep in the first place. A couple of times in the past week, instead of dropping right back to sleep when I re-insert his soother, he’s been wide awake in the crib. He’ll stay in the crib and eventually drift off again, but only if I’m standing there. While I’m pleased with this development, I’m not overly fond of standing stock-still in his room for fifteen minutes at a time in the middle of the night, pining for my bed the whole time. I’m thinking I can somehow parlay this into sleep training, but not quite sure how to do it or if I want to start down that road.
This is, after all, my last baby and I’m coddling him for all he’s worth. As much as I’m a fan of Ferber’s ideas and I totally agree with the theory — I just don’t want to put either of us through it all and in my experience thus far, there’s been no middle ground. It’s either CIO or cuddle to sleep, and I’m not sure either extreme is where I want to go next.
This is where you come in. I don’t particularly want to debate the merits of CIO, and you should know up front that I am deeply offended by Elizabeth Pantley so I’d appreciate it if you didn’t drag her into the conversation, but other than that — what have you found works or doesn’t work in sleep training? How did you get your kids to start falling asleep on their own? How old were they? As with all things mothering, I know I won’t still be rocking him to sleep when he’s on his honeymoon, but even on the third go-round, I’m still not sure how I want to navigate this one. And you know I get all my best mothering material from the bloggy peeps, right?
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