Every year there is one particular photo that pops up on my Timehop and I’m instantly taken back to those first 4 months of my son’s life. I break out in a sweat, my heart races, and I have to tell myself to breathe for the next few minutes. My son had colic. If you had a child with colic…you know that I’m talking about. Days on days of listening to a screaming child that you have no way to comfort. As a new mother, you instantly think you are doing something wrong. Am I right? You pace the house, you try to block out the noise, you do WHATEVER you can to get through those few hours until the crying subsides.
I think back to that time in my life and wonder how I ever got through it. I only took 6 weeks of maternity leave and went back to work full time. Sleep deprivation on top of the crying episodes were almost too much for me to handle. To add to the mix, I had also had postpartum depression. I wouldn’t wish that on any parent. I felt like I couldn’t do anything right. I began reading every single book out there on infant sleep. I read about the 5 S’s, Cry It Out, the Ferber Method, Babywise, The Sleep Lady’s Method, etc. (By the way, I wouldn’t have made it through those 4 months of colic without reading “The Happiest Baby on the Block”). I was determined to figure out how to get my child sleeping. I wasn’t expecting him to sleep through the night. I was just trying to drop one feeding.
My husband and I talked about what WE wanted to do and what would be BEST for our son. We decided to make up our own method. It was more of a “Cry it Out” method but we put some hard stops on the length of time we would let him cry. We decided we wouldn’t let him cry more than 60 min at bedtime and 20 minutes at naptime. I knew I wouldn’t be able to listen to him cry. So I locked myself in my bedroom, turned on the white noise, turned up the TV and told my husband that he was on monitor duty.
I’m not going to say that the first week or so wasn’t HARD. It was. It was brutal. But here is the thing…he never cried more than 30-45 min at bedtime. Seriously! I was amazed. After several days, he would just lay there and fall asleep on HIS OWN. Naps were a little harder and took some time to come together but HE DID IT! On the eve of his 6th month birthday, he slept through the night. I was up all night watching the monitor to see if he was breathing! Ha.
The rest is history. My son is now 6 years old and has been an amazing sleeper since then! You know what…we made it through! I even somehow convinced the hubs to have a 2nd child. 🙂
Stay tuned for another post about our experience with sleep and baby #2. Hint, hint – it was and still is a totally different ride.
Comment below if you have survived colic and how you did!