In the blink of an eye, BabyDumpling’s two-month birthday has passed, and she is now 10.5 weeks old!
She is now a lot more aware of her surroundings, and also recognizes who is holding her. With that, comes fussiness. She is almost always fussy when PapaDumpling holds her, because he holds her the least. She is the least fussy when GrandmaDumpling holds her, who holds her the most. And I am somewhere in-between. I wish I was the one she wanted the most, but it’s not easy. During the day, I have to pump, run errands, and try to get a nap in, since I do all the night feedings. So while I do spend a lot of hours with her, those hours are mostly when she’s sleeping. If I spend an hour holding her during the day, that’s one less hour for me to do something else. We’ve just bought a house, so there are a lot of errands to run in preparation for the closing. Sometimes, I want to make dinner, or go buy some groceries, or just have an hour to myself and watch Game of Throne re-runs. So I’ve accepted that I will take advantage of the time while GrandmaDumpling is with us to do all those other things, and she can spend more time with BabyDumpling during the day.
BabyDumpling’s also gotten more fussy ever since we tried the Cry It Out sleep training method. Long story short, we failed. Instead of progressively crying for less and less time each day, she ended up crying for longer every day. We only lasted three days before we called it off, primarily because, after the one-hour mark, everybody was ready to bust down the door and pick her up. The problem with doing the CIO method now is that I’m not sure what we are really trying to achieve with it. Supposedly, the goal is for her to learn to soothe herself to sleep – in other words, being less dependent on us to fall asleep. But there are two problems.
- She is still swaddled in a Halo sleepsack at night – we keep her arms down because she often moves her hands around and wakes herself up and/or scratches her own face, sometimes clawing at her eyes even. When we tried the CIO without the swaddle, she scratched her face until it was bleeding. So the next night, we swaddled her before putting her down and letting her cry. Which led to the second problem…
- Without access to her hands, how can she self-soothe? She usually sucks on a pacifier, but she can also suck on her hands to soothe herself. Without that option, she’s not learning to self-soothe to sleep, she’s just crying until she’s utterly spent and passing out. But even when she stops crying from exhaustion, she’ll sleep for only a few minutes before regaining the energy to cry again. She didn’t really fall asleep.
The third night, after she’d been screaming for well over an hour, we decided to stop doing the CIO method and wait until she’s a little older to continue sleep training. When I went to go pick her up, she immediately stopped crying and broke into a wide grin. GrandmaDumpling says that it was because she knew she had won. We gave in to her crying, so she won. In the battle between us and her, it was 1:0 BabyDumpling.
After we stopped the CIO method, she seemed to be traumatized by it. She used to lie happily in her crib while I told her a bedtime story (part of the bedtime routine we were trying to establish). Now, as soon as we’re anywhere near the crib, she starts crying. It’s like she knows/is afraid that we are going to leave her. Even when I stay by her side, and try to tell her a bedtime story, she’s screaming through the whole thing. Not exactly the routine we are gong for. Moreover, she was sleeping fine through most of the night before we did this, and now she wakes up many times and I have to feed her more often than before. It’s not a growth spurt because she’s not eating more overall, she just seems to be waking more at night. I think the whole thing has just made her more insecure and clingy, which is – ironically – the exact thing we were trying to avoid when we decided to try CIO.