Reflections on motherhood...


Sunday, September 11, 2011

The cry it out equation

I've decided that whether or not you get to the cry-it-out point depends on a number of factors.  These factors can be expressed in an equation, as follows:

NN + TLD X MF + (10/NA) > 5000 = CIO

Or in words:

Where (Number of consecutive nights without unbroken sleep plus total number of times you've said 'lie down please, it's time to sleep' multiplied by minutes of fussing you've already put up with plus (10 divided by the number of adults in the house at bedtime)) all divided by Length of tether (where short = 2; medium = 5; long = 10) is greater than or equal to 5000, it's more likely than not that you will resort to crying it out to get your baby to sleep.

For me, last Wednesday, that equation looked like this:

425 + ~826 X 120 + (10/1) = 30026

In other words, I was pretty much off the charts in terms of likelihood of resorting to crying it out.

Which is what I did.

The cry-it-out theory has its origins in a book
published in 1894 by the guy in the  middle, Dr Luther Holt.
I am hesitant to claim that it "worked", but for that night, I think we ended up on the positive side of the equation in terms of the ratio of total baby sleep (TBS) to total mama sleep (TMS), even with a little Reading Time (RT), a random OMG-he's-still-sleeping wakeup, and a sleepwalking interruption from the DH (DHS) - and once I actually went to sleep - after counting the Minutes Crying (MC).

That equation is represented as:



420 - (40 + 15 + 15 + 20) = 330 (5.5 hours)

That's right folks, read it and weep. I'm rejoicing over a single stint of five and a half hours sleep. And it was still interrupted. But hey, if we follow the equation above, there's hope for even longer, uninterrupted stints.

So... I know you're wondering... Has she, overnight, become a cry-it-out convert?

The answer? Not really, no. BUT... having tried it once, and a few times since last Wednesday, I'll admit to having added 'cry-it-out' to my list of parenting theories that I may or may not put to the test... if I'm tested enough. Just consult the equation above to determine the likelihood of it being employed.

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