Wednesday, November 11, 2009

What was I so afraid of?

I think I've said "why did I waste so much time worrying about that?" about a dozen Colin related issues already. You would think I would learn to relax. That said, I have absolutely no regrets about waiting this long, or actually going through with the plan. I will stand firmly in my believe that this worked because we were all ready. There was no other way I could have done this unless I felt I had exhausted all other options. I have to thank my very patient and understanding husband for giving me the time to do that. It is a very good think he loves me.

In this post I am going to attempt to outline my fears about having Colin cry it out (CIO), in the hope that anyone else out there who shares these fears might be comforted by the fact that they were all totally unfounded.
  1. Fear: That CIO would break my happy baby. Colin isn't now nor was he ever a crier, I can always calm him down and mostly I can do it easily, I was afraid making him CIO would change his overall mood and make him crankier. Fact: So far I have not detected any changes in his overall disposition. He is still a happy kid most of the time, regardless of the fact that he has spent some time crying alone.
  2. Fear: That Colin would resent me for making him CIO. Fact: I can't speak for how he will react to me since I've only been the point man for the first time tonight, but he was not angry with Sean at all the day after the worst night. In fact I think he was in a very good mood that day.
  3. Fear: That Colin would not be 'textbook' and would cry for hours. Everyone feels like there baby is 'special', along those lines I thought Colin would be the worst and longest crier ever. Many people told me it wouldn't be as bad as I thought... I think I may even owe my mother $100 because we made a bet. I was THAT sure. Fact: He never cried for more than 20 mins.
  4. Fear: That he was too young/old to CIO. Depending on when you asked I had a different fear. Fact: I don't know if there is a magic age for CIO, people have to make the choice that works for them and go with it. Like I said, we were all ready, and that is why it worked.
  5. Fear:I was being a bad parent by neglecting my child in his time of need. My gut was screaming that this wasn't the right thing to do, I was helpless but to follow that intuition until I could no longer deny that I was the real problem here. Fact: I think in some extreme cases there may be in a fine line between CIO and neglect or even neglect that people will claim is sleep training but for the most part it is a teaching tool like any other. It has its benefits and its pitfalls but it works or people wouldn't use it. Some people spank some don't, some would call that abuse, others wouldn't. There is a lot of gray area in parenting unfortunately. If your gut says CIO is wrong for you, it probably is, but remain open minded. I may have said I would never do it in the heat of an argument but logically and at least here on the blog I left the door open.
  6. Fear: That letting my child cry would mean I would desensitize myself to him and no longer attend to his needs or wake up when he cried. Fact: Unfortunately I can't really speak to this yet since we are only on day 4 but I'm pretty sure it is also unfounded. I'll come back to this in another month.
  7. Finally, this one is probably the biggie... and something that paralyzed me for a long time. I'm almost afraid to write it down for fear that someone will absorb this fear as there own but I hope that readers will see this for the disordered thinking that it is. (THAT SAID, if you are impressionable and have a young infant you might like to have CIO in the near future you might not want to read anymore) Fear: That my child would die of SIDS and I would have last head him crying. I never really was afraid that CIO would cause Colin to succumb to SIDS, because trust me I looked for a link for a while and never found anything to substantiate that idea. I was afraid he would succumb to SIDS and that I would have wasted precious time torturing the both of us when I could have been holding and loving him. Since Colin is now 15 months old his risk of SIDS is lower so this fear took a back seat which. Fact: I think all parents fear SIDS to some degree. For me that fear really modified my behavior, if someone had told me jumping up and down outside your child's room would decrease his risk of SIDS I would have done it. I put Colin to sleep on his back or side, I bought a chemical free mattress, I made sure air was circulating in his room, and I never put toys in his crib until he was very mobile. I am just very impressionable (in all aspects of life) so I couldn't get past this.
I think what it finally came down to for me was this: Colin flipped out in his car seat a few months ago at nap time since we were trying to time our drive with his nap. He wanted to be held but I couldn't take him out. He had to cry and fuss for a significant amount of time before he finally fell asleep. I figured CIO in his crib couldn't be much different than that. But if he had never flipped out like that, I might never have been able to do this...


Elaine said...

I think that just like textbooks, there are guidelines for when to use this or that, but very few things in life have a certain start date. You use things when they become necessary to you. I know that you and Sean can feel confident that you have exhausted all other options and therefore can rest comfortably putting aside the fears you had about CIO because you know as parents you did the research, you tried various methods, and then attempted CIO.

JJ said...

Hey..I forgot about that bet!! :)Just kidding spend it on my grandson and make him giggle uncontrollably! I just love his laughter!
And for the record...your Father's memory is not accurate. Kristy at 9months cried for 20 min. This is when I started the weening process of the pacifier. My rule of thumb was pacifier gone by age 1....bottle by age 2 and the potty training complete by age 3. "You" my darling girl cried for 45 min. So see Colin was so much easier than his Mother on this one. But you also got very sick around that time with pnemonia and ran a 104 tempeture...and it still "all" worked out. Hang in there!

Erin said...

I'm really proud of you for giving this a shot -- I know it was something you were opposed to, but like you pointed out, after exhausting all other options, it seemed like a logical thing to try. I think that being a parent is all about making the hard decisions, even when they go against our natural instincts, and you definitely did what Colin needed you to do at this point -- he needed to learn to sleep, and it seems like he's as pleased with his progress as you are! Keep up the good work, Mama!