Baby Wars: Ali and Iram

Baby Wars: Ali and Iram

"My husband says, 'Just let the baby cry it out and stick to the plan,' but I feel that letting the baby cry it out is mean. It's cruel," says Iram, referring to her 10-month-old son. "I have a 3-year-old daughter as well. I tried a method with her that worked in three days, which was letting the baby cry it out, and that just did not work with my son."


"We haven't had a good night's sleep in God knows how long," says Ali, Iram's husband. "Our plan is to let the baby cry it out, but my wife is not following through with the plan. I'm not the type of person to give up on a plan that easily. My wife is doing it, and it's irking me."


Iram says that their son goes to sleep at 8 p.m., and he gets up shortly after. "I go back into the room, comfort him, put him to sleep, pat him on his back, and it's like that every two hours. Out of pure exhaustion, I just give up and I bring him back to my room so he can sleep, and so I can finally rest," she explains. "When I'm not in the room, my baby goes completely hysterical. I can't let my baby cry for hours. He's just

a poor little thing, and it breaks my heart."


"The pediatrician has told us that the baby can cry for two to six hours and not to bring the baby into the bed. That is exactly opposite of what my wife is doing," Ali shares. "We're just digging ourselves a deeper hole. We have to get the situation sorted out right away"


They both turn to Dr. Phil for help. "One thing we both agree upon is we need more sleep."

Dr. Phil explains, "We found Kim West. She's a licensed certified social worker who has helped thousands of parents as the Sleep Lady and author of Good Night, Sleep Tight — The Gentle Guide to Helping Your Child Go to Sleep, Stay Asleep and Wake Up Happy. We sent Kim to pay a visit to Ali

and Iram to help them come up with one plan to end their baby battle."


Kim arrives at Ali and Iram's house. "We're going to work together, and we're going to create a plan to help your son sleep through the night," she tells the couple. "The goal is that he's in his crib at 7:30 p.m. I want him to be aware that he's being put in the crib. I don't want him to wake up an hour later really upset and say, 'How in the world did I get in here?'" she emphasizes. "Once we start, it's important that everyone in the house do the same thing and are united and consistent, especially the two of you." According to the plan, for the first

three nights Iram should sit next to the crib at bedtime and each time their son wakes up, reassure him until he falls back to sleep. "Patting and shooshing and reassuring every single time he wakes up, for as long as it takes, until his breathing changes and he's asleep," Kim explains. "You're going to encourage
him to lie down. You quickly sit in your chair. When and if he gets hysterical, you're going to pick him up, but you're not going to give him a bottle or rock him to sleep. Just to calm him."


On the fourth night,  Iram should move the chair next to the door. "When we're sitting here in the chair, we're using mostly our voice," Kim explains. "You can get up from this position if he gets hysterical. Pick him up to calm him, and then come back to the chair." She notes that the number of awakenings will become fewer, and the length of time that he's awake will be less, until finally he will be able to sleep through the night. He should sleep through the night in seven to 10 days. 

Iram puts the method to work.


Day 1: "I put my son into the crib using the methods, and it was a little hectic. I was supposed to go cold turkey with the bottle, and I actually gave it to him at one point. It was difficult the first day.

Day 2: Dr. Phil, basically we saw the same thing on the second night — Him crying, same number of awakenings. I actually ended up bringing him back to my room around 4:30 a.m., so tomorrow I'm going to be stronger and not do that again.

Day 3: It's actually just a tiny bit better. I'm still sitting here right by the crib. I'm seeing him get a little more accustomed to staying in the crib where he can see me the whole night.

Day 4: We had a rough night last night. Me moving closer to the door was not a good thing for him. He started, actually, standing up on the crib, on the railing, which he's never done before, wanting me to pick him up, which led to the crying. Once we got that out of the way, he only woke up three times throughout the night. So that's still a good sign, so I'm happy about that.

Day 5: Now we're actually seeing some improvement. He's only waking up twice throughout the night, which I'm really happy about. He's still waking up, but it's more length between them. So it's a good sign for us. We're really happy with Kim West's methods. We just hope that eventually it will be down to one awakening, down to zero."

"Do you get that you bootlegged a couple times in here?" Dr. Phil asks Iram. "You understand that if you'll stand your ground then you will extinguish that behavior, because consistency is really important."

Kim agrees. "It's really what trips us up, in parenting in general and certainly in sleep coaching, and you start over from the beginning each time," she says.


"What are the biggest mistakes you see parents make in getting their child to go to sleep?" Dr. Phil asks Kim.

"Not being consistent, not making sleep a priority and making bedtime early enough, and not being united in your approach," she says.


"Kids can sleep through the night without a feeding, correct?" Dr. Phil asks. 

"Yes, if they're growing well and after the age of 6 months," Kim replies.

"Are you going to stick with it?" Dr. Phil asks Iram. 

"I am, absolutely," Iram says.

Ali agrees.


For more information on how to get your child to sleep through the night, click here.


Update: After consistently following Kim's plan , Ali and Iram's son is sleeping through the night and taking naps.