Berlin turned 8 weeks yesterday and today I started implementing crying it out. As I've written, she has a very difficult time taking naps during the day, for whatever reason, and I wasn't treating it with letting her soothe herself. I was using The Baby Whisperer method of comforting her every time and letting her fall asleep with me in the room. This past week, after 5 days of her only sleeping an hour a day, I pulled out my trusty Babywise and read the words that I knew were there:
Research has clearly demonstrated that immediate-gratification training negatively impacts a child's ability to learn, affecting the skills of sitting, focusing, and concentrating. All are prerequisites for academic advancement. These are facts. No evidence exists to prove that an immediate response to every cry teaches a baby about love. Likewise, there is no evidence proving that some crying fosters insecurity. A child learns love and gains security from the total context of the parent-child relationship and not a single act. (page 141)
...If your baby cries longer than fifteen minutes, check on the baby. Pat him or her on the back, possibly holding the child for a moment. Then put the baby back down. Remember, you aren't training your child not to cry, but training him or her in the skill of sleep. This may be the only time in your baby's day that the practice of nonintervention is best. (page 148)
I know I did it with Olivia and she has slept like a pro ever since. She goes down at 7pm every night, wakes up at 7:30am every morning, and takes a nap from noon to 2 every day. She never has to be rocked to sleep, never needs to sleep in our bed, and can happily go down at anyone's house as long as she has a pack n play or a crib. She is well adjusted, socially adept, and has no problem when I leave her with babysitters, friends, or at nursery. I know not everyone is a champion for crying it out and some are downright against it. I respect that everyone has their own opinions and methods for what works for their baby. This works for us.
For some reason though, I have had a seriously difficult time letting Berlin cry. She seems to be a more sensitive baby than Olivia and I have rocked her to sleep more than I should have and only let a minute go by before I rush in and offer her binky or pick her up to soothe her. But I'm tired of the no naps, and reviewing Babywise again somehow felt like I was getting permission to let her cry. Today for her morning nap I let her cry for 10 minutes. Then 10 more after comforting her. She had a fitful sleep, but it was sleep! And at least I knew what kind of timeline we were on and wasn't rushing upstairs every 5 minutes. It's a hard day. I hate hearing her cry, but we are on the road to a happier baby and momma. I know it.
Olivia is doing great with potty training. That first week was the longest of my life, and so hard, but I stuck with it. Many people recommended that I just give it up and revisit it when she was more "ready," but I knew that she was ready now. She had all of the signs, it was still just hard. I knew I didn't want to confuse her by putting diapers back on, and I knew that Berlin would only need more attention the older she got, making it harder to keep a close watch on Liv, so I muscled through. It is paying off. At this point, when we are home, she has a 99% success rate of going in the potty.
After two weeks she was still having accidents at night, so I finally put her in pull-on diapers at night instead of underwear. With her eczema and sensitive skin, she had rashes and sores all over from wet panties all night, I was tired of all the laundry, and she would never wake to tell me she had to go so I didn't feel like she was learning. So night time training will come later I guess. She does wear panties during her naps though, and wakes up dry every time now. When we go out and she has to go potty I take her into the public restroom, but she ends up just holding it until we get home every time. I get so excited every time she stops playing and says "mama, peepee" and then walks over to her little princess potty, sits down, and I hear the music play from the potty's sensors that means she has had success! We still have the hurtle of peeing in public restrooms and pooping in the potty (she waits and then goes at night, whether she is wearing the pull-up or underwear), but it is amazing that we no longer have to fight a mini battle every time she needs her diaper changed.