Wednesday, October 6, 2010

can too much data be a bad thing?

Results from the household cleaning survey are forthcoming. I've run some basic descriptive statistics and now I'm trying to put together some good visualizations to showcase the findings.

In the meantime, Abe and I have been up to our ears in baby data. First, I've tried to put Genghis on a more structured feeding schedule. To track results, I've been recording each feeding time on our oversized calendar in the bedroom.

Second, after waking up every half hour between 4 and 7am last night to console a crying baby, I've decided it's time to help Genghis learn to soothe himself back to sleep. And by that I mean I'd like to try "crying it out" for a few days and see if Genghis can come off conqueror. Abe has a dissenting opinion. As a compromise, we decided to perform a social experiment on our child using an interrupted time series design. We will keep a detailed event log of Genghis's sleeping, waking and soothing times for a few days. Then we will try an intervention, track the data, and compare to see the effect.

Of course, I whipped out a spreadsheet for this pretty quick. It has 2 columns: "Time" and "Event". The event options are:
  • "calming" for when we start trying to get Genghis to sleep
  • "sleeping" for when he is asleep
  • "wake and calming" for when he wakes up and we go in to calm him
  • "wake and self calming" for when he is awake but calming himself
  • "wake" for when he wakes up and we let me stay awake (if it's time for him to get up)
  • "we wake" for times when we wake him up (say, because we have to go somewhere)

Another of course - this afternoon he woke up 5 times during his nap from 3-4:30. I've already filled an entire sheet in the event log! (And perhaps helped my case for the need for us to intervene - or rather, stop intervening...)


Elizabeth Downie said...

My parents let us cry it out when we were babies. We survived. ;)

Delia said...

Ha are guys have such an analytical approach. I agree...once they get a bit older crying it out is best. I first go back after five minutes so they know I didn't desert them. I don't pick them up and just reassure them in a calming voice. Then that is it. I let them at it for up to 20 min before going back in. They usually fall asleep before then though. If not they might have a poopy diaper or be too hot, etc. Eventually they fuss for only five minutes each time or not at all. Good luck!

You probably didn't want or need advice but I gave it anyway! :)

Mary said...

i just went through this - i couldn't do crying it out - he cried for almost 2 hours!! instead i now go in after 20 mins and the frist day he feel asleep after 30 min with the 20 min visit - but you know what - you've got to do what is best for you and what you feel comfortable with - that is all it comes down to and to be honest i really had to pray about it and i just felt the 20 mins was the best for max - i'm not sure if you heard of baby wise but that is a great book to help one set up a routine and structor

Megan said...

The pacifier is my lifesaver. When Andrew wakes up too early in the morning or at nap time, I just pop it in and he falls right back to sleep. I had to work with him to take it because he used to not like it. I think that is the only "easy" part of him. Good luck getting more sleep!

Jen said...

Could you please do some analysis with my kids and their problems then let me know what to do about it?

candice said...

I don't do the whole crying it out thing. I think that young babies especially don't cry just to cry, there is usually a reason, perhaps they are not getting enough sleep during the day, teething, upset stomach, hungry, cold, too hot etc etc. (it is always a guessing game with kids) Instead of letting them cry, I would try to figure out why they were crying and address that---usually it worked. Another thing to remember is, this won't last forever. While Eden has never been a good sleeper, Tommy sleeps through the night like a champ. Some people say if you don't let them cry it out they'll never learn to sleep on their own, but that is a bunch of hewie (is that a word? :) ) I've always "intervened" when Tommy was upset, and he sleeps beautifully. You'll figure it out. Good Luck, the sleep thing is hard.

AdamAndMelaine said...

Okay, this has nothing to do with your recent post. But I just had to say...I was watching Conference this past Saturday. Suddenly, a man comes up to speak that I have never seen before and I notice his last name is Gong. "Hmmm...sounds familiar." Then it hits me, "Oh yeah, Erin's new last name is Gong." And then it hits me again: "Hey, this man looks a lot like Erin's husband!" Then he shows a picture of his new grandson. Now I'm super curious. So I come look at your blog and, sure enough, there is a picture of him! What a neat man. I really enjoyed his talk.

Dave said...

In order to make the data more useful I suggest to have 30 babies (preferably at once) and then randomly assign 15 to follow the self soothing policy and keep waking up with the other 15 as a control group. You might not sleep for a couple of years but think of how large the t scores will be!

Anecdotally, Margaret and I took a no food routine in which I went in picked him up hugged him and put him back down and he started sleeping through the night within 10 days.

Of course this might just mean he doesn't like me but either way the result was a success.