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Anyone use The Sleep Sense Program? It is basically CIO and we started it last night with Grady. It was so hard to hear him cry. I feel like it definitely could have gone worse but he still cried for a good portion of the night. The reason we resorted to CIO is because he is almost 4 1/2 months old and he was previously sleeping quite well and then all of the sudden he started getting up again every two hours. It was like he was a newborn again except I'm back at work full time now so I need more than 2-3 consecutive hours of sleep at a time each night.
Anyway, he was using a lot of sleep props (pacifier, car seat, swaddle, rocking, nursing, etc.) and the book says to just take them all away cold turkey. He was so tired last night that I put hHim down early and he pretty much fell right to sleep. He woke up about an hour later and fussed for about 5 min and then back to sleep. The same thing happened in another hour. I thought "wow, this is going really well." I suppose I jinxed us because from about 10 until midnight he was up crying more than he was sleeping, especially between 11 and 12. (we checked on him periodically to calm him and soothe him but he always started crying again) He finally fell asleep at midnight and slept for about 3 hours. At about 3 am I heard him waking up a little so I got up and decided to feed him (he's breastfed) because I don't think he's quite ready to go the whole night without a feeding and at that point it had been about 8 hours since he last ate.
The feeding went well and I put him back down awake. He fussed a little but drifted off within about 10 minutes or so. He woke up again at about 5am and pretty much cried until 7am when I got him up for the day. I guess this is the part that concerns me. Typically when he wakes up in the morning he is a happy little guy. He's all smiles and giggles but this morning he continued to cry until well after I fed him. He wanted to fall asleep at the breast again but I managed to keep him awake through his first feeding and then he cheered up a bit. I know he had a rough night and that is the source of the general crabby mood, but as my husband said "oh god, we've broken him" I guess I'm just afraid I won't get my happy boy back in the mornings. He went down for his morning nap earlier than normal and I didn't make him CIO for his nap. He would normally be at daycare but I am working from home today so he is still home with me.
Sorry for the long rant, I suppose I'm looking for some reassurance from others that have done this that this night was fairly normal and it does get better.
I'm sure you'll have your happy boy back very soon, he just needs some time to adjust. I'm not sure what the Sleep Sense Program is, but I think everyone does CIO a little differently and you just need to trust your gut and do what works best for your little one.
With my kids I never timed or anything, I just went back in when the whines became upset cries. I wouldn't pick them up, just give a kiss and thier soother and lay them back down. If they were VERY upset I would stay in the room until they calmed down, but again I didn't pick them up, just shushed and patted or rubbed thier backs. This worked very well for us, but I know a lot of kids get 100 times worse if you go back into the room, so each child is different.
One thing I think is VERY important is putting them to bed awake, so good for you working on that. I know it is so much easier to nurse or rock to sleep but they really do need to learn to comfort themselves too.
It definitely does get better, it's hard for him to understand why things are changing all of a sudden so it's totally normal for him to not be happy about it. Keep it up and good luck!