THAT’s IT!?!

So I haven’t put Clare to sleep, meaning rocked her or bounced her to sleep in my arms, for 3 months.  At some point she just got to ornery and long and heavy to spend a half hour bouncing her around the house.  We decided to stop and allow her to fall asleep on her own. We thought it would teach her independence and help her discover self soothing techniques.

But basically it was just torture.  Just prolonged torture.

She got pretty good at falling asleep on her own. But on the chance that we were anywhere but home or if she disagreed with me in the least way… FORGET IT! She would scream and scream until the slot for nap time was over and we moved on to the next option which always seemed to be eating…a lot, which is draining…literally.

It’s embarrassing and even though Clare is still pleasant I feel ridiculous in front of other people who are like, “Are you letting your precious baby scream like that? Really?”


I am because she is tired and I know it and I’m not going to bounce a 15 pound baby around, who will cry even if I’m holding her, while you stare at me or worst, try and have a conversation with me.

Anyway, our technique worked fine.  Clare is great at going to sleep but recently she discovered a will that she didn’t previously knew she had. So we’ve been fighting over nap time.

15 minutes of screaming then 10 minutes of comfort then 15 more minutes of screaming and then she generally goes down.

But I just can’t take the screaming any more.  It’s torture as I said before.  I’ve gained like 10 pounds because all I can do is eat chocolate while Clare wails away.  Yeah. I’m serious.  Like at least 2 pounds of chocolate while she is upset.

The worst part is that her eczema flares when she is stressed. So the more she cries the more itchy she gets and the more she scratches and gets worked up.

I had to find another method but Clare doesn’t like to be held when she is tired.  So that left me with few options.

So last night it started – the screaming.  I looked at Andrew like, “SAVE ME!!!”

He looked back and shrugged. “Val, you have to let her learn.”

I went back in anyway and out of desperation started rubbing her little back.

Well people…she calmed right the heck down.  IN MINUTES!

Then, I did it again this morning and it worked like a charm.


That’s all it took?

I should have known.  She looks just like Andrew she would fall asleep the same way too.  If I so much as lay a hand on Andrew’s back he starts falling asleep.  Well, not really. I exaggerate but you can see his whole presence relax.

Why didn’t I think of that?!


Of course now that I put it on the internet she won’t ever fall asleep that way again….


5 responses

  1. Its ok I was fighting to get my boy down a few months ago and my daughter goes and sits next to him and pats his back and Zonk. So when I told my husband how brilliant and helpful and amazing it was he was like… “yeah, he has always been that way.”

    HOW did my son get to be over a year old and Everyone but me knew he calmed down and feel asleep if you pat his back?

  2. Here’s hoping you didn’t jinx it with the internet!!
    Kids always keep ya hopping… just when I get one figured out, I either have another, or they decided that suddenly that wasn’t working anymore. 🙂

    I feel your pain on the crying… I can literally remember crying myself in the hall when my son was crying it out.

    And I know the looks… you get em for letting them cry, you get em for not.

    My son too liked the back rub… and shh… don’t tell sometimes I would lay on the floor with my hand on his back till he settled down and then slide out of the room on my belly so he wouldn’t notice….

  3. I hear ya, Crystal and Val. Annalia was the same way – she has never actually fallen asleep after “crying it out.” She only got more upset, until hours later it was just too much to handle (and I mean HOURS). She needed physical touch, and patting her back is what worked for her too. Then one day – seriously, out of nowhere – she feel asleep on her own, and slept through the night for the first time. We were both shocked! I hope it lasts Val 🙂

  4. My mom always said that worked for my brother and I…I wish that worked for Caleb (because he too just escalated if you let him cry it out for a long time)…it would have been a great fix!

  5. I don’t believe in formulas for life which is why your blog entry makes so much sense to me. For awhile crying worked. It might not have worked every time, nor did it nor will it work for ever.
    If a child needs a back rub to help them fall asleep, what’s wrong with that? Within reason of course, not as a legality or a formula but as a gesture of love and support?
    I read some wonderful wisdom, “sudden desertion makes them [babies] roar.” I think it was in Karen Pryor’s Nursing Your Baby. In it she advises just laying a hand on the baby’s back after she is in the crib so she knows that you’re still there… always made sense to me and somehow my kids managed to go away to college and fall asleep there all by themselves.

    Being a mother is about listening and praying for the living wisdom needed for each child, each day. There are things that generally work, but because life if fluid and always changing, nothing works every time. But what does work has to be the thing that answers your child’s true need in a way that fits with your personality and beliefs. Your child changes, her needs change, your response must be sensitive to that.

    I also love the comments above.

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