Rob and I are not big fans of the whole "let your baby cry themselves to sleep" thing. We've been very lucky in that Charlie has been sleeping through the night for many months. He sleeps a good 10-11 hours each night. But, he hasn't been a great napper. He'll do ok once asleep but its the getting him to sleep that is hard.
We don't just put him down awake. He either falls asleep on the bottle (bad, I know) or we rock him/sing him Steve Miller Band (Rob) or Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer or Happy Birthday To You song (Alyssa) for a good hour until he passes out and we slloooowwly lower him into his crib and tip toe out of the room and give each other a (quiet) high five. By the way, I realized after having a baby that I am not good at singing songs if there is no music, I forget the words and have to resort to the few random songs I do know the words to, like the Barney song.
This was working ok for us. The longest it takes us to get him down is an hour but I'd say 80% of the time he falls asleep on the bottle or it takes us (us meaning Rob) less than 30 minutes to get him to sleep. The shitty part has been naps. 1.) getting him down and 2.) knowing when his nap was going to happen. We have no schedule. The straw that broke the camel's back was Friday when Charlie only napped for 30 minutes for Mimi even though he was TIRED. The other crappy part of all of this is making plans. Sure we can make plans to have a playdate or go to lunch but we always disclose to who we are hanging out with that we will be there within +-2 hours from the time we are supposed to meet because when he takes his naps depends on when he gets up and how long it takes to put him down for naps. This is no way to live. That might sound selfish that I don't want to live my life like that but a routine and schedule is good for Charlie too.
So last night was night #1 of letting Charlie cry. We put him down to sleep in his crib and he immediately stood up. He was content for ten minutes. Just standing and looking around, not crying. Then the crying started. We waited 5 minutes then I went in there, rubbed his back and head, kissed his forehead and tried to put him down on the mattress (instead of standing). I stayed in there for about 30-45 seconds, didn't pick him up or talk to him. Then Rob went in 6 minutes later and did the same thing. Then he went in again 7 minutes later while I pumped. Rob had a few drinks earlier and lost track of time. Instead of being in there for 30 seconds, he was hanging out for 3 minutes. I was yelling "Rob!!" for him to come back but he couldn't hear me over the sound machine and I couldn't get up because I was pumping. Finally he came back and he said he didn't realize how long he was gone for. We were going to go back in at 8 minutes but after 6 minutes, he fell asleep!
So in summary, he was content for 10 minutes and cried for about 22 minutes. This was shorter than it would have taken Rob to rock him to sleep. We were happy that it didn't take too long.
This morning when I got him out of his crib, I felt like a huge jerk because he had a poop in his diaper. I smelled it when I went in his room which is saying something because I haven't been able to smell anything out of my stuffed up nose for a week now. He never poos at night and he woke up with a fresh poo on Sunday morning, too. I felt bad but there was a possibility that he had just pooped so I got over it. But this mornings poop was totally dry and crusty and stuck to his butt. I felt awful. What if he had poop during those 20 mins? Poor baby. :( I hope he gets back on his normal pooping during the day schedule.
Wish us luck this week - we hear its a week process of teaching baby that we aren't going to rescue him anymore if he cries and that he needs to put himself to sleep. I feel like an a-hole but I know its best for Charlie.
Its so hard hearing him cry....just look at this sweet face.