I have decided that we can immediately cease torturing terrorists and prisoners of war with traditional methods like water boarding. Instead, we can employ them to sleep train infants using the Cry It Out (CIO) method.
Prior to having children, I felt that CIO was inhumane. One week into the process, I still feel that way. Except, I don't know if it is worse on Lincoln or myself. He and I could easily get into a pissing match over who is suffering more! But then, I also feel conflicted....
I have suffered from chronic insomnia since I was 10 years old. It would be nightmarish for me to envision passing along bad sleep habits to my son. Sleep is vitally crucial to not only physical health, but mental health as well. Mom after mom after mom has told me that CIO is vital to teaching a baby to self soothe and become a strong sleeper. My pediatrician also recommends it.
On the other hand, I was reading a study on trauma and it said that even though you don't have memories from infancy, any time something traumatic happens (such as being left to cry with little to no interaction, especially if you're scared) the information is stored in your middle brain (amygdala.) This is important because scientists believe the information stored in the amygdala is what forms your personality. I don't think CIO will turn Lincoln into a future serial killer but I want him to feel safe, secure and loved.
I will be the first to admit, I have a mess on my hands. My mom seems to think I created the nightmare myself, but that is because she is a conspiracy theorist who doesn't believe in Lincoln's diagnosis of reflux disease (even as someone who suffers from it herself...but that's a whole 'nother Oprah!) Let me explain....
Lincoln never screamed his head off in pain from having reflux. We discovered he had it because he would barf and barf and barf some more. We're not talking a little but at a time, either. He has needing to eat constantly because he couldn't hold down enough food. We have tried various medicines and dosages, but part of the alternative treatment plan is that he needs to be burped for a minimum of twenty minutes and he has to sleep elevated.
The elevated sleeping is where we have encountered trouble. For the past couple of months he has slept in a bassinet that essentially leaves him in a sitting position. He has been an excellent sleeper since 6 weeks but started reverting to early infant cycles, waking every 1.5-2 hours. At first I thought it was a growth spurt but then I determined he was not able to sleep comfortably in his special bassinet. Additionally, babies need to sleep in cribs so they can wriggle and move as part of their motor development, something that can't happen when you're being squished to sleep.
Also, we are travelling later this month and I don't want to torture our lovely hosts with a baby who won't sleep because he doesn't have his bassinet, etc. I decided to transition him to a pack 'n' play for nighttime and his crib during the day. Thus far, he has decided his crib is entirely off limits. He cried for close to 70 minutes one day, which lead me to caving and picking him up so my neighbor wouldn't call CPS. There also seems to be a problem with the ducting going into his room so it is exceptionally cold. I need to have the landlord send someone to fix it but I haven't been too worried since sleeping in the pack 'n' play is priority for our trip.
I am torn about whether we have made any progress. I started with a wedge under him for elevation, but he would wind up sideways or upside down, which is not helpful. I took the wedge out but now he seems to cough on bile almost every night and sometimes it wakes him up. While he will sleep in there, he absolutely will NOT nap in there. And the longest he will sleep is four hours. So much for sleeping through the night at 6 months! I am not sure if the fact that he is breastfed is part of the problem, since he burns off the milk fast. I don't feel I am producing enough but formula is out. Rice cereal before bed hasn't helped. His frequent wakings have led me to put him in his swing at about 4 a.m. so I can get a solid two hour stretch of rest before conquering my day. This is a bad habit made worse by the fact that he is outgrowing the swing.
When we return from California he will be 6 months old and he will be sleeping in his crib, come hell or high water. The time is now. I do not want to "ruin" him and I need some more sleep for myself, even if it means a long trek to the nursery for frequent feedings.
I'm very frustrated. Please send encouragement.