Only do what you can handle, Part 2. Getting your baby to sleep can be a daunting and dreadful task. Some babies drift off into dreamland with no problems. Other babies it takes a prayer and a miracle to get them to finally let go and relax. So many people say, "Let them cry it out, you have to do it!" Well I can tell you that when Alea, my first daughter was born there was no way on earth I was going to let my precious new baby cry. Absolutely no way. I rocked that kid to sleep until my arms fell off or she fell off my arms, since she was 2, I was pregnant and she no longer fit :) I will say that when she was about a year and a half I did try it a couple of times but I thought that I had to let her cry for an hour or something to make the whole CIO work and I just couldn't last an hour listening to my baby scream. When baby #2 came along, I was determined to get her to fall asleep on her own when she was too small to realize what was going on. I will have to say that I got a blue ribbon for that accomplishment. They only thing that I didn't realize is that she would not drift off into dream world every time I decided to lay her down without a fuss. Yes, some days I can lay her down and she is fast asleep before I leave the room but other days well, it takes a lot more. So here I am letting my precious baby #2 CIO...sort of. What I discovered with baby #2 and the whole CIO stuff is that I don't have to let my baby cry for an hour before it works. Several books that I have read say, let them cry for an hour, even our pediatrician, who I love dearly says to let them cry for an hour before comforting them. That doesn't work for me. Why? Because I can't handle it. Yea, it might be great sometime, somewhere but hearing or even knowing that my baby was crying for an hour sends my anxiety to a whole new level. What I did decide was that I can handle 15 minutes. No more. Some days I can't even handle the 15 minutes, sometimes it is 10 minutes and guess what? That's okay because I can only do what I can handle. So set a time that you can handle and work from there. Just because Dr whoever tells you in his book or your beloved pediatrician tells you you have to wait x number of minutes, guess what? You don't. What worked for them doesn't always work for you. Just because you can handle something one day doesn't mean you can handle it the next. Baby #2 goes to sleep just fine the majority of the time but sometimes I can't handle it and I don't let her cry at all. So set your time limit at what you can handle, on that day and at that time. Don't force yourself, I promise everyone will be happier in the long run.
Another thing I taught myself with baby #2 is that if she is having a tough time falling asleep go do something where you can not hear her. My favorite thing to do is take a shower right after I put her down. I relax and take as long as I want and need in the shower and 99% of the time she is asleep when I get out. And the best thing about it is that I have no idea if she even cried at all. I also vacuum or find something to do outside for 15 minutes. It helps a lot because I know if I am just sitting on the computer or doing something quiet, I definitely can't last the 15 minutes because I end up just staring at the clock.
So just figure out what you can handle and do just that! Good Luck!
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