How long can I go without getting more than 4 hours of sleep together, 6 or fewer total most nights, and never more than 8 total in any night? Apparently this long, or almost 8 months.
Last night I was at the end of my rope. Not in an angry, gonna-snap type of way, more of a sadness and despair type of way. The babies haven’t been napping well all week, and I have a ton of essays that need to get graded, which is adding to the stress. Yesterday Will and I got home from work, the babies were tired and cranky, and I just felt miserable. If given the opportunity, I probably would have traded places with anyone at that point, if it would mean I could get some sleep.
Bedtime is killing me. At this point I feel like we’ve tried almost everything, and we still put the babies down in their cribs three or more times each before they are finally down “for the night” (usually until 3 or 4 in the morning.) I feel like the only thing we haven’t tried is an organized method of crying it out. (We have tried letting them cry for a few minutes to see if they will go back to sleep. They almost never do.)
I have been reading Ferber’s book, and I feel like if we use his plan of letting the babies cry while completing graduated checks, that it will work, and the babies will learn to fall asleep on their own, but I worry. Is it right to let your baby cry when you know that picking her up will stop her crying? Is it psychologically damaging? Are they old enough to cry it out? Or is it more cruel to let them become dependent on you to fall asleep?
I have also read Elizabeth Pantlley’s book, The No Cry Sleep Solution. We have tried all of the age-appropriate solutions in her book, and they still haven’t fixed the bed time problem. What her book really did reveal to me, though, is how badly I want there to be a solution that doesn’t involve crying it out. If you had asked me during my pregnancy, I probably would have told you that I didn’t believe in letting babies cry it out. Then again, I also wouldn’t have believed that at 8 months old we would still be struggling with bed time.
Despite our best efforts to avoid it, though, I think it will come to CIO. Will and I are both thoroughly exhausted, and something’s gotta give.
I would love to hear about any of your experiences with bedtime and what has worked for you. Please feel free to leave comments.