I took Monster to her 6 month check-up last week. Our Doctor asked routine questions to make sure she is hitting certain milestones. She was surprised to hear that Monster is crawling already and sitting on her own. Monster is in 95th percentile for height but only 25th percentile for weight. When she was born she was 95th for both. Our Doctor said that this was completely normal as babies are sometimes born bigger and they later find themselves on the curve. As long as she isn’t losing weight she is good!
We then talked about sleep. The dreaded question came up. “How many times a night is she waking up?” I was honest. “Anywhere between 1-3 times a night depending on her day”. Our doctor told me it is time we stop night feedings and let her cry it out during the night as she needs to learn to self soothe. Being an Early Childhood Educator and a research crazy mom I have learned a few things about CIO and it is not a method that I believe in.
Cry it out or the Ferber Method requires you to put the baby to bed and leave. If they are crying you go in at particular intervals and tell baby it is okay and then leave. You are not to touch baby, rock baby, or pick baby up. There have been many studies and research that shows that ignoring your baby’s cries can cause post-traumatic stress and anxiety later in their development. Babies are also young enough to think that they have been abandoned or that they cannot trust you.
First, Monster falls asleep on her own; she has for a couple of months now. We don’t feed in the bedroom before bed, and she doesn’t use a soother to fall asleep at night. We have a pretty solid bedtime routine.
Second, Monster wakes up 2 different ways at night. The first way is her talking to herself. She wakes happy, she babbles and she falls back to sleep. Perfect no worries! The second way is crying, Monster doesn’t cry unless something is really wrong. So if she is waking up crying and screaming there is something wrong.
Third, she eats when she wakes up in the night therefore she must be hungry during the night.
This is the first time I am not listening to our doctor’s advice. Just because it worked for her and her children does not mean that it is the best method. So for now we will continue with our night feedings and letting Monster put herself to bed and forego sleep training.
It may benefit us or be disastrous in the future! Who knows?