Tuesday, July 15, 2008

"Should We Let Him Cry it Out?"

This is a question many parents of a young child deal with. At six months we bit the bullet and did let Z cry it out. It was painful but the best thing for our family. No one was sleeping and Z had to be bounced on a bouncy ball for 30 minutes before he would drift off to sleep. Our backs were killing us and babysitters who liked to bounce were hard to come by :)

When Z turned 15 months, he was weaned and he finally started to sleep through the night. Usually (knock on wood) when he is crying it is for a reason (dirty diaper, hungry, thirsty etc.). But there are times when we just need to let him cry himself to sleep.

The other night we took Z to the doctors for a rash he had had for a week. It turns out it was an allergic reaction to either a bug bite or our new laundry detergent. The doc recommended Benadryl and said that it should put him right to sleep. She said there was only 1% of the population who did not fall asleep and got a bit hyperactive. I shared with her that I was in that 1% of the population and we all looked at Z. We hoped he did not inherit that bizarre trait from me :)

The first night he had the Benydryl he went right to sleep. S and I breathed a sigh of relief at this. The second night, our baby became a drunken fool on Benydryl with no alcohol! He was stumbling around and quite crazy. We put him to bed and he would not sleep. He was up for over an hour talking (not too unusual) and then he started to cry. S and I thought he was just over tired and I told S to let him cry it out. Well the crying became screaming and S looked at me and said, "Should we let him cry it out?". The screaming became louder and then he announced that he was going to get him.

Z sat with us in the dark watching TV, quite content to be with us and enjoying Last Comic Standing. At one point S looked at him and said that he didn't look right. We turned on the light and immediately saw that Z was covered in BLOOD! What the H-E double hockey sticks was going on?

S got a cloth to wipe away the blood from his face and arms. I noticed it had come from his nose (third bloody nose for the kid in 2 weeks!). It was all over his shirt and so S went upstairs to investigate. He came down from Z's room with the very bloody sheet in his hand and explained his theory of what had happened (CSI style). He thinks that the medication made Z a little loopy and that his sippy cup of water (which he always keeps on the crib rail) fell and hit him in the nose. My theory was that he just hit himself in the face on the rail of the crib in his drunken state and that caused the bloody mess.

Whatever the cause, the poor baby was cuddled with love and rocked to sleep. I was so full of guilt and shame for having suggested that we let him cry it out! I remembered my sister's story of when she was going to let her daughter cry it out one night and just happened to look at the video monitor only to find her daughter being strangled by her blanket! So I guess the moral of the story is, when they are good sleepers and they are screaming...go check on them!


Anonymous said...

A friend sent me your blog as I, too, am a mommy to a very active little boy (he was 2 in July). Bless your heart for sharing ideas and activities because it seems that all the mommies that I find that blog or scrapbook have just girls. So, this is a breath of fresh air! Thank You!

About the first trip to the dentist. I have read that little kiddos should see the dentist for the first time anywhere from when they get their first tooth to age 4. That's quite an age-span! So, we asked our dentist and she said, "Not until 4...and even then, she just makes sure that they have all their teeth!" HUH? I'm not sure I'm so keen on waiting THAT long! Did you find a pediatric dentist, or?

We brush his teeth (well, he sucks off the toothpaste and sorta brushes and then we brush for him) before nap and bedtime when saliva is down and doesn't naturally "clean" the teeth.


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