I am so upset right now. Itty Bitty has been crying in his crib, alone by himself, for 37 minutes and 15 seconds. Before I put him down for his nap I snapped a few photos. This sleep deprived Tall Mom decided to make terrible meme of my child. I'm pretty sure this makes me a bad parent.
Itty Bitty's screaming has reached a whole new level. My husband and I are both sick, tired, and crabby. Itty Bitty's lack of naps and overall sleep is wreaking havoc on my entire family.
I know some parents completely disagree with crying it out. They find it cruel and unnatural.
Actually, I find it a bit unnatural as well. If I could, I would go out and purchase a king sized bed, right now, and be like Brad and Angelina. If it were up to me, I might want to cosleep with Tall Dad and Itty Bitty until Itty Bitty chose to leave.
But I'm not Brad and Angelina. I don't have millions of dollars to spend on childcare when I need a nap or a shower. And I certainly don't have a bed that should have it's own zip code.
So I have bit the bullet and have decided to take up Dr. Weissbluth's advice (his book - Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child.)
We have already tried the No Cry Sleep solution by Dr Pantley, I've read and tried all of the tips and tricks by Dr Ferber, and have read blogs about baby sleep methods until 3 in the morning when my eyes dried out. Tall Dad and I have begun researching different sleep consultants, but their hefty price tags made me decide to try one last sleep method.
Dr Weissbluth's extinction method is our last hope. This sleep plan is like the nuclear bomb for terrible sleepers or nappers like my kid. Especially ones that went through colic (like Itty Bitty.)
Here's our plan of action:
6-7am - wake Itty Bitty up
7-8:30 - breakfast, lots of activity, plus a short walk outside or sit on the porch. Dr Weissblueth says outdoor stimulation is key
8:30-8:55 - diaper change, wind down in bedroom, bottle and books, turn on white noise
9 - place Itty Bitty in his crib, tell him it's time to sleep, and leave him in his crib for an hour. Close the door, and do not return until 10am.
After Itty Bitty wakes from his nap, or after 1 hour of being awake in his crib, I will pick him up and start the awake cycle all over again- lunch, lots of activity, plus a short walk outside or sit on the porch.
12:30pm - diaper change, wind down in bedroom, bottle and books, turn on white noise
1pm - place Itty Bitty in his crib, tell him it's time to sleep, and leave him in his crib for an hour. Close the door, and do not return until 2pm.
Same as before. If Itty Bitty naps, I will let him nap for an hour to an hour and a half. If he cries or is awake the whole time, I will take him out of his bed at 2pm. I will not check on him until that time.
Since Itty Bity has a sleep debt (a years worth if terrible sleeping) Weissbluth says he needs an extra early bedtime.
5pm - dinner & bath
5:30pm - pajamas, wind down in bedroom, bottle and books, turn on white noise
6pm - bedtime
We are to close the door and not reopen it until 6am the next morning, and we are also not supposed to let him sleep past 7am. That way he will be ready for his 9am nap.
Crying is expected, especially for Itty Bitty. He is a champion crier who wants to stay up all day and night.
Our hope is that he will begin to realize that he is safe in his bed, and that we are not coming to check in or play with him. Hopefully he will get bored jumping and crying and eventually see that sleep and naps are actually a good thing.
We are also doing the nap training in tandem with the night time sleeping, because weissbluth recommends it. Sleep helps sleep, and he said that working on all sleep routines at once will bring about results faster.
Wish Tall Dad and I luck, cross your fingers and toes. I hate hearing my tiny baby cry, but I have gone well over a year without decent sleep. As I said, we have tried every sleep method I could get my hands on, and have decided to give this one a shot before shelving out money that I do not have to spend on a sleep consultant.
If you have any tips or tricks, please leave them in the comments below. I also am open to donations of the red wine or tequila variety.