CIO and The Sensitive Mother’s Constant Sinus Headache

I have been struggling all day back and forth between my feelings of “dear God, how many different ways am I abusing and damaging my child?” and “sweet Moses, I could live like this. 2 hour naps and all-night sleep? Sign me up a month ago.”

So, I put my feelings to science. I researched scholarly articles looking for research that would support the claim that CIO damages children, and after a precursory jaunt through the internet archives, having no luck finding any research on my own, I found this blog post sent from God. A tarty little blessing of comforting words:

She outlines all of the various articles and “proof” that CIO damages a baby and does the unthinkable, she calls it down. And for the first time I saw clearly through the eyes of someone with all the facts, not someone stumbling around with the angry words of other moms who have blogs on the internet.

Then I followed the links she posted throughout the article, and I found this blog, Uncommon Julia, and her post “To Sleep, Perchance to Scream.” I think this section sums up where we were as a family, and how I feel at this very moment:

Let me begin by saying that I had big reservations about letting my kid cry.  Not only is it tough to listen to as a new mom (or as a human, for that matter) but it’s also one of those topics that divides and seems to spark fierce allegiance and animosity on either “side”.  To that big divide I say a hearty “PFFFFTTTHHH!”

Around four months Hannah went from a glorious sleep-through-the-night-since-8-weeks baby to a disturbed, rather-not sleeper.  It was gradual, but within a few weeks we’d worked ourselves into a fine mess.  She wasn’t going to bed for anything – not even nursing worked – and she screamed non-stop.  Naps disappeared and all three humans living in our household began to loose their shit.

I am by no means a proponent of the Cry It Out, or Ferber method. I think if something else, anything else will work for your family, do it, because this sucks. I mean really big, totally to the max, sucks the most. I wanted to co-sleep with Elliott, but she said, “no thank you.” I wanted to nurse her to sleep ;she decided that wasn’t really working, but she wanted to keep trying every 1-2 hours all night long. She would kick and squirm and cry, and take an hour or more to go back to sleep. I also would NOT implement this method before my babies were at least 6 months old, and were gaining weight/eating appropriately for their age. I have had major issues with my milk supply from day one, and having recently corrected that problem thanks to modern medicine, I feel comfortable cutting out Elliott’s night-time snacks. If she starts to lose weight, or has any significant changes in personality/attitude, we will stop. But until then, this is our option, and this is what is working for us. Everyone is happier when they’re getting sleep.

Anyway. That is my mantra while we keep trying this over the next few days, and as I’ll be left alone to implement this new sleep arrangement during the day, starting Monday. Wish me luck.


6 responses

  1. Hang in there Emily. You have to do what works for you. You are a great mom and you know more than anyone else about your own child. 🙂

  2. Emily, I know you love Elliott more that anything. I know you are doing this, despite the pain it is causing you and Ryan, because you know that Elliott needs to sleep regularly to be a happy and healthy little lady. Learning to sleep now, will make life easier for her now and in the future.

  3. Emily, you are incredible, strong, amazing, a wonderful beautiful mother. I’m sorry this has been tough but I’m so glad things are getting better and working and that you are doing what you feel is right. It’s so hard being a mother. There are things I do and don’t do and I don’t have any real clue of how it will effect any of us. I just have to go with what I feel is right. Each mother and each baby is different. We as mothers just do what we think is best and man, we love our children and husbands.
    Know that you have my support, mother-to-mother.
    With love, Nikki

    • It’s called Domperidone, it’s an acid reflux medication, but when taken “off-label” it works as a lactagog for most women. I take it 4 times a day, 10 mg, and my supply more than doubled. Before I was only getting 1-1.5oz when pumping, and feeling really empty when Elliott would try to nurse, and having a really delayed letdown. Now I feel more full all day, I have a letdown earlier on that lasts longer, and I can pump anywhere from 2.5-4oz depending on how long it’s been since Elliott ate last. I wish I would’ve known about it from the very beginning! After a few months they wean you off of it, but supposedly your body will continue to produce what it’s been making. Amazing.

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