As the title of this blog suggests, I am all for crying out loud.
If you’ve read one of my first posts, “Juggling 3, 3 and under – how I do it” you will know that I am a huge supporter of the book, “Save Our Sleep” by Tizzie Hall. Recommended by a friend, this book literally saved our sleep and our lives! It can do the same for you, but only if you too are for crying out loud.
Listen to the cry
The key is the cry. Not all crying is the same. In “Save Our Sleep“, Tizzie Hall categorises cries as either serious cries or protest cries. A serious cry should never be ignored. If your baby is hungry, uncomfortable, or in pain and is crying for one of those reasons then you should definitely go to her. If the cry is just a “protest cry” then you can and should ignore this cry. Just as they say you should ignore toddlers if they are whinging or throwing tantrums to discourage the undesirable behavior, so too should you ignore a baby’s protest cry. If you don’t, you will only encourage this same undesirable behavior… And the longer you leave it go, the worse it will get.
The subject of “crying it out” is a bit of a sensitive one between us mothers. Some people believe that only selfish, self serving mothers let their babies cry it out – that it can’t possibly be good for the baby, and that Tizzie Hall should be prosecuted. To be for crying out loud, you need to be confident – confident that your baby isn’t crying because she is hungry, confident that your baby isn’t cold, confident that your baby hasn’t got a stomach pain… A lot of confidence is required to employ this method. And let’s face it, confidence isn’t something that a lot of first time parents have!
Like nearly all first time mums, I was seriously lacking in confidence when my first born arrived. I was anxious, nervous and completely out of my depth. I got into bad habits very early. After feeding my first born I would let her fall asleep while she was breastfeeding and just leave her there to sleep for several hours. I remember being stuck in front of the tv for whole afternoons, too scared to move for fear of waking her up. When she would cry I would jump up and down around the room each night until I (literally) knocked her out and then I would ever so carefully try and place her in her bassinet without waking her. It was heart in the mouth kind of stuff! Of course, she got so used to me settling her to sleep that she couldn’t go to sleep without my help. And so she cried out for it… every night, throughout the night. It was relentless 😦 We were exhausted and so was she.
Follow a routine
We were desperate to find a solution to save our sleep, and so we turned to the book our friends recommended, “Save our Sleep”. It didn’t happen overnight but it did happen. Tizzie Hall introduced us to routine, which was completely lacking in our house. We believed, as a lot of new parents did, that routine was just too hard and it would just put extra pressure on ourselves. We had a young baby – we just had to survive and get through the days whichever way we could. We couldn’t have been more wrong.
When I had my second child I knew better. Let’s just say I learnt my lesson. I started the Save our Sleep routine almost immediately. I never let my baby fall asleep on me and if she did I would wake her up before putting her down. I’d basically feed her, burp her, change her and put her in her bassinet and let her cry it out. I was confident she wasn’t hungry because she’d been fed, I was confident she wasn’t cold because she had on an appropriate sleeping bag, and I was pretty confident she didn’t have any stomach pains because she had been burped. All that was left was to listen to her cry. If it was a protest I just left her and within minutes she would be asleep. If it was a serious cry I would go in to her and find out what the problem was – perhaps she had done a poo, was still hungry or in pain…
Unlike my first born, my second started sleeping through the night from 8 weeks old on this method. It was a great success and such a different experience from the first time. I actually really enjoyed having a baby – in fact I remember at the time thinking babies were so easy I could handle another one. Its funny what the subconscious can do, as it wasn’t much longer before my third child arrived. Having had such success with the Save our Sleep method I used it again, and sure enough, by 8 weeks my third child was sleeping through the night from 8 weeks.
Some would say I’ve just been lucky. Having been through the ordeal 3 times, I would say its a little bit of luck, but its mostly through following Tizzie Hall’s great advice! If you’re pregnant or are having trouble getting your kids to sleep and stay asleep, then go out and buy a copy of “Save our Sleep”. Trust me, you won’t regret it! Take it from a mum whose 3 kids, 3 and under, sleep through the night (knock on wood)