From Car Seat to Crib (pt. 2)

I knew this day would come and so I was trying to decide the best method to go about getting Eva used to her crib. In the past, we would take her out because she would cry a lot so I was preparing myself for the worst.

The question came up… do I let her cry it out? How often to I go in to check on her? Should I pick her up when she won’t stop crying for a long time?

I researched it and I talked to a lot of friends. Here’s what I did, but first, here’s my justification. Judge me, roll your eyes, tell your mom. I don’t care. It worked for Eva, it might not work for all babies. It might not even work for our next.

  1. Eva sometimes will cry 45 minutes in her car seat when we are driving to Salt Lake or to visit our in-laws. She’ll be sweaty when we get her out, but she is not hurt or in harms way because of it.
  2. Some articles I read said that long amounts of crying kills brain cells. That’s crap. If that is true, I don’t believe it does enough damage to make a difference because think of babies with colic… they’re no worse than the babies who don’t when they get older. Eva’s pediatrician had to remind me that babies just cry and it doesn’t hurt them!
  3. Babies need to learn how to fall asleep on their own at some point. You can tell your baby learns if they cry, you’ll pick them up. So if they can learn that, they can learn how to comfort themselves enough to fall asleep on their own after you established a routine.

That being said, I’m sure you can guess what I did. First, I established a routine for Eva before putting her down to sleep. I give her a bath, turn off the lights, swaddle her in one of those special blankets with the velcro (a must for Eva since she was used to being in tight quarters in the car seat), give her a bottle if she is hungry and then rock her. Right before she dozes, I put her in the crib. (Make sure there is nothing in the crib, like blankets or stuffed animals.)

Next, I decided to let Eva “cry-it-out”, ferberize her, if you will. The ol’ ferberize method is a little more complex than what it sounds like. The traditional method says to check on your baby periodically after you put them down. First, you go in after a couple of minutes, then five, then ten, then twenty. I did that for the first couple of nights whenever she would wake up so Eva wouldn’t be too scared in her crib, since it was brand new to her. But I wouldn’t pick Eva up, I’d comfort her from outside the crib by shhing her and patting her back. She’d still cry, but it felt good to go in and check on her.

Sunday night (three days into it), I laid her down after doing our nightly routine. She started crying and I decided to let her cry until she went to sleep, without going in to comfort her. It took about 40 minutes. It was hard, it really was. But I knew she’d be okay. She’s five months, guys, it’s like not like she’s 5 weeks so stop judging with those judging eyes! Also, like I mentioned, she’s cried that long if not longer in the car when there was nothing I could do. So, I knew she’d survive. And she did! She fell asleep and slept for five hours straight!

Yesterday for her nap, she cried for 15 minutes then took a 2.5 hour nap. And then last night, she fell asleep after crying for about five minutes and then slept until 7:30!!! She did wake up once in the night, but very briefly and fell right back to sleep without me even checking up on her. See the progression?

There you have it. I read on my friend’s blog when she was dealing with her baby waking up every couple hours that to be a good mom, she needed sleep too. She did what she thought was best for her baby by letting her cry-it-out. How are you supposed to be a good mom if you are exhausted from staying up all night with your baby, holding them all the time during their naps, and having no structure to your day because they sleep so sporadically? (When they’re brand new babies, that’s a different story.) The way I see it, you’re helping your baby by establishing a routine and teaching them how to fall asleep on their own, a skill which they must have.

It was a rough couple of days at first for me, but it paid off in the end. Your baby will not love you any less, nor will they think they are abandoned… don’t believe those websites that tell you differently!

At least that’s my opinion.

4 replies
  1. Kari
    Kari says:

    I have never believed there was anything wrong with letting them cry it out! They have to learn to soothe themselves and fall asleep on their own. Good for you mama for sticking to your guns and getting to where you are!!

  2. Celisa
    Celisa says:

    I totally agree with you Katie! I did the same thing with Olivia when she was five months and she’s slept wonderfully through the night with a good nap in the day ever since (other than during being sick or teething, but those are different circumstances). I plan on doing the same with Kate when she gets bigger as well. Learning how to soothe themselves and fall asleep on their own is a super important skill, and I think you are a great mom for helping Eva learn how to sleep well!

  3. Elise Parker
    Elise Parker says:

    I’m so proud of you!! It seems like these days, people are extra judgy about crying it out. I am not – I did it with Kaden, and he’s a great sleeper now. I’m so happy it worked for you and hopefully it will continue working!


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  1. […] I put her down for a two hour nap. Then another nap at about 4. She goes to bed at 8. Life is good! I’m still a firm believer in sleep training and getting your baby on a schedule. It makes a huge difference in their lives, as well as […]

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