Friday, September 3, 2010

Helping Liv get through this sleep regression

I had to implement the No Cry Sleep Solution back with Liv since her nights have got so bad.
In an ideal world I wouldn't have to worry about her night time seperation anxiety getting to her. I would love to be co-sleeping still, but with my husband and I both being poor sleepers we were actually disturbing Liv too much a night. So the next best thing for me would be to hsve her crib in my room, but my room in way too small for that. So we are stuck with her in her own room and having to work through seperation anxiety.
Many parents books say go in, check on them, if nothing is wrong let them cry and they will stop. As some one who as panic attacks and anxiety I could never let my paniced daughter just scream and cry. I know how horrible anxiety feels, like your heart is going to jump from your chest, like you might sufficate, like the world is spinning out of control. I can not let her go through that alone.
When she first started to have these night wakenings she was very paniced, shaking and screaming. I would immediately go to her, pick her up and rock her or nurse her back to sleep. This is also the first phase in the NCSS. We already have used her plan before so some of the other pre-steps we already have. Liv sleeps with a snoedel that I wore to make it smell like me. She also sleeps with a Seahorse that plays soothing music.
We also have key words.
Next after about 2 weeks of doing this Liv was still waking a lot, but not as paniced so I felt it was time to go on the phase 2. This involves not picking her up, but using soothing pats to get her back to sleep, while she is still in her crib. We have been doing this now for about 2 weeks and are moving on to phase 3. Phase 3 is comfort with out pick ups. This does not work to well for Liv so I modified it for her. That is one of the things I love about the NCSS. It is not a strict program that you must follow to a tee. You have flexability so you are able to do what feels right to you.
This, to me, is what is wrong with most Cry It Out programs. There is no flexabilty. You must follow the program, no matter what, or they claim it will not work right. No matter how hard or long your child cries you either check on them at timed intervals (Feber Method) or just leave them to cry alone (extinction method).
Our modification of phase 3 goes like this, when Liv stands up and goes to the side of her crib and cries out for me I immediately go in and first check to see if anything is wrong. If not I lay her on her belly or side (she is over 1year) put on her seahorse, tell her its night-nights and leave the room. I leave the door open and the door to my bedroom is open. The doors are right across for each other so she can peak into my bedroom. Then if she continues to cry I wait a min or so. How long I wait depends on how she is crying. If she is wailing I go right back in. Then I repeat. Since she has been weaned to this gently this whole process so far as not lasted more then 10 min, usually closer to 5. With the Ferber method she would have been left to cry the whole time. With this method, yes there is some crying, but I reassure her, give her some love with a hug or some words and let her know that momma is here in something is wrong, but right now you just need to sleep. At anytime she is too upset I stop the "training" and either nurse her, rock her or bring her in bed with me. This is a huge no-no in other methods. But I use my momma instincts to guide the way of getting her to sleep. Also if she is just whinning I leave her be, unless she stands up. For Liv that is her "I need you"
One good point Pantley makes in her book that children do make noises in there sleep. Sometimes they even cry, so give them an minute to resettle themselves and see if they really need you. This is why I love having a video monitor. When Liv cries I usually check it first. If she is not standing she usually cries out, grabs her pacifer or she snoedel and is right back asleep.

This way takes a lot longer then sleep training. I have been doing this for weeks now when most sleep training books say it takes several nights or so to get results. But to me I could not take hours of her crying. It doesn't feel right and it just hurts me so I can't imagine how Liv must feel. This was she is eased into sleeping right and I am seeing good results.

As a parent I feel much more comfortable with this method then any cry it out method. I also just feel that it would not work well with my child. She is stubborn at this young age. I feel she would cry forever till I gave her some attention.

And really what is wrong with giving you child attention when they cry? No contrary to popular belief that it will not spoil your child or teach them to cry for attention, as long as you child is getting positive attention. It will teach them that my mom and dad care, and will respond to my needs, love me uncondionally and help them be more secure and independent in the future
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