Our evening schedule sucks. That pretty much sums it up. I dread the evening. HATE it. I am still nursing all 3 babies down every night. That in itself isn't bad. I like that part. I get closeness with each of them and some (semi) me time upstairs. The part that sucks is that they don't STAY asleep because they don't know how. And it's my fault. They are too used to getting nursed back to sleep everytime they wake up. So I spend all evening in my bedroom. Nurse two, lay them down, go get the third from Aaron, nurse her, lay her down. At this point, sometimes I get back downstairs for maybe 5 minutes before one wakes up. And, if Im lucky, I can tear back up there before she wakes them all up. If she does, we are back to square 1. This goes on until about midnight when I just give up the fight and go to bed. Then, we do the same thing only since they are so tired, they do stay asleep after nursing which is good, since I need sleep too. This is where it is so.damn.hard for me not to CIO. I don't want to, but somethings gotta give.
Tonight, my son Noah, says to me:
Noah: "Mom, I probably won't see you until Saturday (it's Thursday at 4pm)
Me: "What? Why not? It's only Thursday"
Noah: "I know, but I'm going to soccer practice in an hour and by the time I get back, you'll be upstairs with the babies. I'll go to bed before your done. Then tomorrow , your still asleep in the morning and I have school and then I'm going to a friends house to sleep over. So I won't see you until Saturday"
Me: "Oh buddy, yes you will. I won't go upstairs until you and Dad get home"
Aaron and Noah get home, Noah takes a shower and get something to eat (So I SEE him but I don't SEE him) and I go upstairs to put babies to bed. Noah comes in and whispers " Goodnight Mom, I'll see you Saturday"
I'm still in denial about that and I say (again)" Oh buddy, no, I'm almost done here, I'll be in to kiss you goodnight and talk with you in just a few minutes".
Nope. Babies didn't have a good night. By the time I got into Noah's room, he was already asleep. Pass down that 'Mom Of The Year' Award now please. Oh, wait, I've already gotten like 235 of them since the babies were born. Fabulous. Now, not only are the babies growing up before I can blink, so are my other kids.
So, that story does have relevancy here. If I didn't have to spend 4+ hours fighting babies to sleep every night, I would be able to kiss my older kids goodnight. Yes, I KNOW that they understand. Doesn't matter to me right now. Understand or not, I want to kiss ALL my kids goodnight Dammit!
So, CIO is very tempting to me right now. But we semi tried. We lasted exactly 8 and a half minutes. And I know that it was 8 and a half minutes because I watched the clock as I looked up every study on the dangers of CIO that I could find. When we got back upstairs, Gwendolen had given up and was staring to the side of the bed. Her look was haunting to me. She had given up any hope of Mama and Daddy coming back. Rosalie and Emilia, even though they were swaddled, had managed to wiggle next to each other and were desperately trying to console each other by Rosalie sucking on Mia's head and Mia grabbing desperately for Rosalie's hand. In EIGHT AND ONE HALF MINUTES.
And there are ALOT of dangers to CIO. It is NOT good for babies. Not good for their brains. Not good for their emotional well being. And it is NOT effective. Not for the long term anyways. They don't learn to fall asleep (contrary to what supporters of CIO want to believe). They do fall asleep, but it's from utter exhaustion from crying. They learn that their cries aren't answered. That their needs aren't met. That they aren't worthy of the ones they love meeting their needs. So, in a sense, if you want to think that they "learn", Ok. But really, they just give up. Give up hoping that someone will come to hold them, feed them, cuddle them.
Studies have shown that they stress levels in a babys' brain that have been left to CIO are equivalent to an adult suffering from post traumatic stress disorder.
- CIO can lead to a baby being Failure To Thrive (Dr. Ezzo anyone?, For the record, Dr. Ezzo wrote a book, Babywise. In it he condone CIO for tiny babies. Babies have DIED, thanks to his methods)
- CIO teaches a baby to not trust his caretakers.
- CIO leaves a baby to feel hopeless and insecure.
Is that what we want for our babies? I don't. But at what expense to my older children?
I'm pretty sure this is a dilemma that I will continue to struggle with until it's a moot point. We will never do it. I just threaten it so that I can get back online, read all the dangers and reaffirm my decision to NOT CIO. That's how it goes I guess. Never an easy moment in the world of parenting. Not yet anyway.
**I am adding this in kind of late after reading all the comments. When I say CIO, I am referring to putting your baby in his/her crib and just letting them cry themselves to sleep. The parents that do this, do so with the intention of 'sleep training' their babies. The thought beyond CIO is that the babies will learn to self soothe. In my opinion, all a baby learns is that his needs, wants and fears are not addressed. I will say that CIO is also different than a baby vocalizing himself to sleep. One reader called it 'baby bitching'. Perfect description. I have triplets. Of course they cry. Way more than my other babies had to. There are 3 of them and only 1 of me during the day (not to mention 2 toddlers) I am outnumbered. But I will not lay them down, in their crib, with the intention of walking away as they scream for me, only to return when they awaken after falling asleep in a fit of exhaustion. I just cannot do it. And studies have shown that it is not healthy nor effective. CIO and a baby crying are 2 very different things**
Again, I'm providing some links to studies/literature/stories on CIO. Read what you wish. :)
Dangers Of CIO
CIO Causes Brain Damage
Dr. Ezzo & Failure To Thrive
Confessions Of A Failed Babywiser