So, lately we've been trying to get Sophie to sleep in her crib. Again. We tried about a month ago, but trying to do it during the 4 month sleep regression, while simultaneously unswaddling her, proved too much. After a week of little sleep we were done.
Still, we are growing quite tired of the cosleeping routine, so now that we've caught up on sleep, we decided to try again.
Our method at this point was to nurse her and then rock her until she fell deeply asleep before transferring her into the crib. So, around 10 pm, we began our bedtime routine--change diaper & clothes, read a book, then nurse and rock. I finally was able to put her down at 11:30 pm. She laid right down without waking. Sweet!!! I tiptoed to bed, congratulating myself on my awesome parenting skills.
Of course, then I laid in bed, listening as hard as I could for any noises that would indicate she was waking. I don't know why I do this--however long she sleeps is never long enough, and I really should just try and get some sleep while I can. But I do it anyway.
She gave me 30 minutes. I had just started drifting off. Damn it! So, knowing she wasn't hungry, Vic got up and tried rocking her back to sleep--for an hour. By then, she was hungry again, so I had to get up and feed her, then rock her and put her back down. Vic and I tiptoe to bed. He felt a little bad that he couldn't get her to sleep by himself--I felt secretly smug. He usually is better than I am at this sort of thing, so it's nice to be the winner for once.
Five minutes later, guess who's awake. So, to recap: over 2.5 hours trying to get her to sleep, and she slept for 35 minutes. It's now about 2 am. We throw in the towel, and into the bed she goes.
Repeat of Day 1, except we gave up at 12:30 am.
I don't even remember what happened, but I know she slept with us for the majority of the night.
We decided on a different approach. Instead of spending forever rocking her to sleep, we were going to try putting her down drowsy but awake. This approach we had always laughed at, knowing our daughter, but it was time to try something different, because what we were doing wasn't working. So, after nursing her, I laid her down and then sang and patted her tummy to try and keep her calm. She still got hysterical, so I picked her up, calmed her down, and put her right back down, patting and singing again. Instead of learning that these actions meant she needed to sleep in her crib, Sophie quickly deduced that insane crying the second she was laid down = Mommy picking her back up within a minute. Or two. I was getting pretty irritated. I stuck it out for an hour though, before calling Vic to take over before I threw her out the window. How long did it take Vic to get her asleep, you ask? Twenty minutes. So much for my smug superiority of a few nights ago.
OK, so this took us almost 1.5 hours total to get her to sleep initially. Just as long as rocking. The difference, however, is that eventually Sophie *should* figure out how to fall asleep independently. We'll see.
It was pretty sweet, though, because Sophie then slept for 2 hours! Woohoo! Beats the hell out of 30 minutes. And she went back to sleep quickly, for every subsequent waking. I couldn't believe this was actually working. Until the 8:30 waking...at that point I was so tired I just pulled her into bed with me. Oops.
Today was the day to step it up a notch. I needed to teach her how to sleep in the crib during naps too. The more we put her in the crib, the more she will associate it with sleeping. After nursing her, I spent about 45 minutes with each attempt. She stayed awake all day long (a blissful 5 minutes being the only exception), getting progressively crankier. She was also very needy, constantly wanting me to hold her--even more so than usual. While this made sense, since she was not used to being by herself at night and was feeling insecure, it did not make for the easiest day for me.
Around 7 pm, she finally got tired enough to fall asleep in the crib for a nap. Vic, naturally, was the one who got her to sleep. I hate how he shows me up all the time. Thank god I'm breastfeeding so at least there's one thing I can do that he can't.
After waking at 8:30, Sophie stayed up with us until around 10 pm. This night showed improvement--we were able to get her to sleep 30 minutes after first putting her in the crib. Yay! There is hope that this method will work. She still woke us up every 2 hours, but at least it didn't take so long at the beginning.
We also decided that she could sleep in bed with me after Vic goes to work in the morning. Inconsistent, you say? Nope, we're consistently putting her in the bed in the morning only--I hope this works. Putting her in the bed is the only way to get past the stage after the 5:30 (or 6:30) feeding, in which she seems dangerously awake. This is not cool, because then I would have to get up. I have, when there's no other choice, but usually I can get her back to sleep (with feedings) until around 10 am or so, which is so much nicer.
That has been our struggle so far. We'll see how it goes. It would be wonderful to be able to put her down for naps and actually (gasp!) get stuff done during the day. Vic and I getting more sleep again after we reclaim our own bed is a pretty good deal too.
A Warped Sense of Reality
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