Tuesday, November 6, 2012

au revoir, baby burrito

Now that Elden is 3 months old we decided to buy the Moms on Call 3-12 month baby seminar to figure out his new scheduling needs, as well as how to remove the swaddle from the equation in anticipation of him rolling over eventually. Plus, his newborn baby schedule seems to not be working anymore in that he has hardly been napping during the day but sleeping through the nights consistently. Except daylight savings time. Apparently 3-month-olds don't recognize that as a 'thing.'

Anyway, we watched the Moms on Call seminar Sunday night and decided that as we begin sleep training (which roughly translates to letting Elden cry it out if he wakes before 6 am--we had to tweak their schedule to fit our needs) we were going to wait until the weekend to start so that I'm not drained for work. But then we decided at the last minute to throw a whole lot of change at him at once and just see how the cards fall.

Sunday night we started his bath half an hour early at 8, nursing at 8:30 and took away his swaddle. He fell asleep pretty easily sans swaddle but awoke at 5:15 am and we let him cry it out until 5:45--then my heart couldn't deal anymore. He barely slept at all during the day Monday (not intentional on our part) so we attempted some of his new nap schedule after I got him from daycare. That resulted in one very tired baby and in an effort to move his bedtime up even earlier (we were waking him earlier than the course suggested to meet my need to leave for work EARLY) we did his bath at 7:30 and he was in bed right at 8, sans swaddle once again.

And then he slept until we went in to get him at 6 am.
Oh hey, ma! I slept like a champ last night!
You read that correctly. Our 3-month-old slept uninterrupted from 8 pm to 6 am. Do you hear that? Because we certainly did. When we went in to get him he was at an angle in his crib from kicking around throughout the night like his mama but gave us a huge grin, seemingly as proud of his accomplishment as we were. We're attempting a full day of a new nap/feeding schedule and we'll see how it goes before we determine if we try to get his daycare to do it tomorrow. It's complicated because it essentially requires you to leave your baby in the crib during naptime (unless they're sick) for the full hour and fifteen minutes... even if they cry the whole time. Not entirely feasible for a daycare that has other babies that need to nap. So we'll see. We might have to wait until Monday when we have 2 straight days to implement the new routine over the weekend. Either way, Jon and I watched an hour straight of television together last night... both on the couch... with a bowl of popcorn in hand... for the first time in 3 months. We're digging this new schedule!


  1. While I think it is awesome that you are getting him to sleep through the night I wanted to bring up a couple points.
    Babies under the age of one are not meant to be trained to sleep through the night. They wake up in the middle of the night because they are growing and it is how they alert you to say they need to eat. Babies eat to grow and stay healthy.
    Also, crying for an hour and fifteen minutes is highly detrimental to babies brain growth and can also cause bonding and trust issues. I can find a lot of articles if you want but if you google search Peaceful Parenting they have a lot of good ones. Also, babies cry because they need something. They are hungry. Cold. Need to be cuddled. Are wet. Something isn't right around them. Scared. They don't know how to manipulate their parents. I work full time and have two little ones at home. We co-sleep with them in bed with me so I can tend to their needs. It makes it easier to nurse my son in the middle of the night and makes it so we all get enough sleep. Think about it. You wake up at 100Am because you need a drink of water. You don't ignore that thought, you get up, get a drink then lay back down. Then at 400AM you have to go to the bathroom and instead of ignoring it, you get up and go then lay back down. A baby is the same way. They are just tinier and only know how to express their wants and needs through crying.

    1. While I appreciate your thoughts, we do not believe he's trying to manipulate us by crying at night. In fact, it is extremely rare for him to cry at night--he's been this way for over a month. It's not like we let him cry and cry and cry at night--he's sleeping. We believe it is important for him to learn how to soothe himself and for him to figure out how to sleep, and we believe we would be bad parents if we didn't help him learn this. Furthermore, stomachs are designed to rest at night so we believe it's in his best interest to give his stomach a break and let him digest the way ours do (I have never gotten up for a midnight snack). Since we feed him right before bed and right when he wakes up, we know he isn't STARVING. Every method of parenting has pros and cons, advocates and adversaries, and you ultimately need to find what works best for you and your child. There is no doubt in my mind that Elden knows we love him, care for him, and will meet his needs (and then some).

      And just for the record, cosleeping has many opponents and research showing how detrimental it can be as well. Doesn't make it true for your kids.

    2. If you were crying and Jon ignored you and just walked away from you that would probably make you upset, yes? He ignored your need of someone to hold you or talk to you. Letting a baby scream for an hour is horrible. Either they will pass out from exhaustion or make him sick. You even said, it breaks your heart to hear him crying. Your his mom. You hear in his cry he needs you, needs to be comforted. You said it was breaking your heart to hear him cry, how do you think he felt?
      And while yes, one way of parenting is right for some, not all. Parenting is unique and it's to each their own. But when their are numerous studies that say sleep training a baby so young is detrimental to their health and bonding and emotions would you still do it?

    3. There are several distinctions that need to be made here. As adults, yes, I would be upset if Jon walked away from me. That being said, as an adult, I have a concept of right versus wrong; abandonment and apathy. I can form coherent thoughts and make sense of the actions of others around me. Babies don't have that frame of reference. Don't get me wrong--I believe severely neglected babies exhibit behaviors that indicate their neglect as young children (as is evident by many children who have been adopted or fostered and came from neglectful homes/orphanages), but the reality is Elden's basic needs are met on the daily and on top of that we shower him with love, affection, kisses, and cuddles. Letting him cry for an hour when I know he's tired but refusing to nap is hardly neglectful. On top of that, he doesn't cry for an hour nonstop. It's more like 10 minutes of whining, 20 minutes of sleeping/quiet, 15 minutes of crying, 20 minutes of sleeping, etc.

      Moreover, Elden is healthy as evident by many pediatrician visits his first three months of life (despite my hysteria over every little thing he does and constantly worrying something is wrong); he smiles every time we come into the room; and some days (like last night) insists we hold him for hours at a time--which we do. Ergo, he doesn't seem to have any bonding issues with us whatsoever. He knows our voices, looks for us in a room of people if being held by others, and is comforted by our presence. As far as his emotions go you are toeing a dangerous psychological line--what 3-month-old has ever used words to tell you what he was feeling? Psychologists base most of their science off of what a person can tell you they feel or by the behavior they exhibit. If you ask or observe a 16-year-old who was sleep trained as an infant what they feel because of it, you are now including 16 years of other life experiences that impact that person's behaviors and emotions. So to speculate what crying it out does to an infant is spotty science at best.

    4. It really is a relief for parents when they find a sleeping solution that works for the entire household. Such a joy in "getting that one done." As parents we have to do a LOT of research to learn what others have tried and failed or tried and won. In everything I've read, from 'Cry It Out' to intensive attachment parenting, one thing, and one thing only, is consistent: Diffrnt strokes for diffrnt folks. Our babies are so wonderful and joyful and we are all so blessed with their little voices, be they in song or with tears. I think it's a great testament to our patience and love as parents to try different things to find what works best for our children as opposed to reading or hearing or watching about a notion and blindly plowing ahead with that path. Every book I've read, every physician with whom I spoken, heck, every reasonable parent with whom I've spoken all say the same thing: no two kids are alike. Our pediatrician had one bit of advice that has served us well thusfar: There is no wrong way. If your child is healthy, happy, and full of love, YR DOIN IT RITE.

  2. Dear anonymous- in all your article reading you must have read that you can accidentally roll over on your baby and smother him/her in your bed. In fact, a few Christmas back, I helped harvest organs from a baby that just that happened to. You must have also read articles on self-soothing? Or maybe you just plan on raising spoiled brats who don't know how to problem solve and will just let others fix problems. Until you become the perfect parent either grow some balls and include your name or maybe you need to forgo the parenting advice. Love, Elden's Aunt

  3. The parents bed is a place for intimacy and rest...not a child.

    You are doing a great job danielle. Do what works best for your family. There are studies online that support all aspects of parenting, from co-sleeping to self soothing. Elden is loved and thriving. Keep it up.

    I actually found a great article on how babies that co-sleep receive less oxygen to their system then babies who sleep in their own space. Ill send it to you if you want.

  4. I guess I have a question for you anonymous? At what point in time do you allow your child to start to take care of themselves? To clarify that question I'm referring to when your kids get older. Many things will happen in your kids lives that will grieve your heart deeply, but do you think that when they are in high school and someone is mean to them you're going to allow them to sleep in your bed so they feel loved, and then go down to the school and have a stern talk with the mean child. Absolutely not! This is merely my opinion, (never was co slept with, was put on a schedule, was well loved by my parents, and still am)but I think a lot of dependency issues will arise in the future. That was just my thoughts on that subject, but what really troubles me is this:

    "Parenting is unique and it's to each their own. But when there are numerous studies that say sleep training a baby so young is detrimental to their health and bonding and emotions would you still do it?" Do you happen to know my brother and sister-in-law? If you do I find it hard to believe that you would even insinuate that they don't put the best interest of Elden in every decision that they make. They (and others in his life) love him very, very much, and the advice they get, either from research they do independently, or from asking questions of their parents, (which based on the lives of all of their kids, is a good place to go for advice) is sound, thought out, and always, carefully talked about before doing it.

    In closing, as Elden's uncle I would like to say thank you for caring enough about him to feel the need to comment about a different way of doing things. We all love him very much and we all want what's best for him. Jon and Danielle are great parents, and I'm so proud of both of them for the wonderful way that they love Elden, and I'm so excited to be a part of his life, watch him grow, and watch him become the wonderful and amazing man that his parents raise him to be.

  5. I thought I would share a link from Psychology Today. I am not anonymous but I do agree with them to a point.
    That article is science based and has all the negatives of crying it out.
    We co-sleep with our kids. To Jacqui, in this article you can read that children who don't cry it out are shown to be more independent than children who do cry it out. So no, they will not be raised as spoiled brats. Also, studies have shown that when a parent co-sleeps with their kids they regulate their breathing together, especially a mom who is breastfeeding their child. Studies have also shown that co-sleeping is actually safe if done properly. That the mothers and fathers who roll onto their children are high or drunk when doing so. When you co-sleep you become aware of your child in bed with you and watch how you sleep so as not to roll on them.

    Oh and I want to add, while the parents bed may be a place for intimacy there are plenty of other places in the home. We have more than two kids and we co-sleep.
    In the end, parent how YOU want. But please do your research on both sides of the spectrum. Make sure you do your research on how CIO can be harmful. Don't just rely on your pediatrician. They may have a medical degree but they do not know everything. From going through your blog you seem to love Elden and are aiming to do right for him by breastfeeding, baby wearing, providing him a safe and loving home. No one is the perfect parent, all you can do is make sure you do your research and make the parenting choices best for your family.