Friday, June 4, 2010

Tough Love

Lexi went to the pedi today to talk about all the issues in my last post. His answer...Tough Love. He says her issues are behavioral and not developmental. She's spoiled and knows how to get what she wants out of us.

She gained 2lbs in the last month, so she's obviously getting enough nourishment. However, when I told him she goes through 2 gallons of milk a week...his answer was to cut back. He said she can grow on 24ozs of milk and 6 bites of food a day. We are to offer her breakfast, if she doesn't eat it, she gets nothing till lunch. If she doesn't eat lunch, nothing till dinner etc. No snacks. No more than 24oz of milk per day. That's only 3 bottles. She drinks that over the course of a night. How am I going to manage to do this?

We are not to pick her up and coddle her at night. It's just rewarding her behavior. This I don't really agree with. I mean, I'll let her cry for 5 minute stints...I guess I can increase this to 10 minutes. But I refuse to just let her cry herself to sleep everynight.

It's going to be a rough few weeks while we try to incorporate the tough love...well, as much as we're willing to do anyway. I know it's in her best interest...but I hate to hear her cry. I hate to see her look at me with those eyes while she's crying. I'll try to post as we go along to let you know how it's going. I know this is going to be harder on me than it is on her.


Alyssa said...

If you are willing to do cry-it-out with her, here's what we did. (By the fourth night, she was sleeping back to her usual 12 hours but no feedings, no swaddle, and no paci.)

Anyways, so what did we do specifically?

1. I took away her paci. I think this is key, because it had become a sleep prop where she absolutely needed it to fall asleep. We gave her a winnie the pooh stuffy/blanky thing for her to cuddle, hold, etc. Books I read say this isn't a sleep prop but is rather a "transitional" object. Like, we have pillows and blankets to help us fall to sleep comfortably.

2. Not picking her up. Some people (not Ferber) say to pick up till they stop crying and then put them back down. This seems weird to me. She got visibly angry when she realized we werent going to pick her up, and for a few days, she cried everytime we neared her room. But she's gotten so much better, and doesn't cry at ALL anymore.

3. We used the Ferber idea of intervals. The first night, we went in after 3 minutes of crying, then 5 minutes, then 7 minutes (it took about five additional 7 minute intervals of full out crying to get her to sleep that first night). The second night moved to 5, 7, 10 minutes. The third night was 7, 10, 12 minutes. Etc. The intervals are slightly different than in the book, but Ferber says to do what feels right and that's what worked for us.

4. At night time, we let her CIO / fuss as long as it took for her to fall asleep.

5. In the middle of the night, we didn't go in immediately upon her crying, we just started over with the intervals. Sometimes she fell back asleep before we even had to go in. Sometimes she didnt fall asleep. If she was still fussing/crying at 6 am, we got her up to start the day even though it's earlier than usual.

6. For naps, we use the same intervals. This is where we used a second CIO method (not ferber) for naps. She says to let them fuss/CIO for 1 hr 10 minutes. If they havent fallen asleep by then, take a break and pick them up for 20-30 minutes, giving a bottle if necessary. Then try again. If they havent fallen asleep after ANOTHER 1 hr 10 minutes, it's a "nap emergency" and you are to take them for a stroller or car ride to get them to fall asleep since they need sleep. We never had to do this. She fell asleep some time in the second 1 hr 10 minute wait.

7. If she woke up in the middle of a nap (i.e. after anything under one hour), we waited for, again, the same intervals. If after 25-30 minutes she still wasnt asleep, we ended that nap, and moved up her next naptime to earlier.

8. We also make sure she's not over or under tired, by keeping a close eye on her awake times (which includes everything awake, like feeding, diapering, playing, and the time it takes for the baby to fall back asleep). It's been amazing how her sleep has gotten better resulted in her being able to stay awake closer to her suggested awake time based on age.

Guideline for Awake time for babies
Newborn 50-60 mins
1 month 60 mins-hour and 15
2 months 1 hour and 15 - 20 mins
3 months 1 hour and 20 - 30 mins
4 months 1 hour and 45 - 2 hours
5 months 2 hours - 2.25 hours
Late 5 months/early 6 months 2.25-2.5 hours
6.5 - 7 months 2.75-3 hours. Some are getting more.
8 - 10 months 3 - 4 hours. Some are getting more.
11 - 12 months 3.5 -4.5 hours. Some are getting more if moved early to 1 nap

9. We make sure her bedtime is reasonable: i.e. between 7-8 pm, no later. Babies actually wake up sooner the later they go to bed, since they are often overtired.

Anyways, this is what worked for us, a sort of combination of a couple books. Let me know if you have any other questions! Or if I didn't explain something very well.

Amanda said...

I love Alyssa's advice. That's pretty much how we did it. Now, when Trip wakes up at night I let him cry for 20 minutes (and by cry, I mean scream). If he's just fussing, I'll leave him for longer.

This is definitely not going to be easy on you (it'll be easier on her than you). (((hugs)))