Ok ok, I warned you that everything right now is about Taylors sleep...
Over the past few months we have done SO much to get things under control. Co-sleeping ended, we moved Taylor into her very own room, establised day and night routines, got naps under control, stopped the endless car rides/walks to get her to sleep, etc. etc. There is just one final piece to the puzzle, those darn (to put it politely) night wakings. I have known that a huge problem is that I nurse Taylor to sleep every night/nap and that when she wakes up at night, I nurse her to get her back to sleep. In the beginning, it was all I knew, but as she grew, it was just so easy. Well my lazy approach has come to bite me in the butt!!!! Two nights ago, Taylor literally woke up at least once EVERY SINGLE HOUR!!! Oh my gosh...needless to say, yesterday Bruce and I both decided that something had to change. Nither of us have really been able to do that Ferber thing...it just seems so mean to leave a baby in a room all alone to cry until she finally passes out all by her lonesome. (I think that it would take a bottle or two of wine to be able to follow thru with that method...per night!!!!!!!!) Yesterday afternoon, Taylor and I took a trip to the book store. I had heard about this book "The Sleep Lady's Gentle Guide Helping Your Child Go To Sleep, Stay Asleep, and Wake Up Happy" and I was on a mission...must find book!!! (Thanks to Half Price Books, I found it, and got it....well....half price. lol) I'd been reading the "No-Cry Sleep Solution" book, but its complicated and gave me a bit of guilt for even feeling like I needed to stop night nursing. This book seemed different.
In my sleep hungry haze I devoured the first few chapters during Taylors afternoon nap yesterday. I began to feel hope. Here's what I like about the book - No guilt, no fuzzy wuzzy malarky about things, and most of all, she actually gives you a day by day outline of what you need to do to get your baby to sleep thru the night. No other books that I saw did that. The guessing game is gone. Enter her routine: "The Sleep Lady Shuffle" No nursing to sleep, always put baby to bed drowsy but not asleep. Nights 1-3 sit in chair next to crib til baby falls, 4-6, move chair across room, 7-10, move chair to doorway, etc. until eventually you are out of the room and the idea is that at that point, the baby has learned to put herself to sleep. Yes at the heart of it, you are still letting your child "cry it out", BUT at least you haven't abandoned her to do it herself, you are sitting right there, sushing is allowed and limited patting.
SOOOOOOO...we weren't going to start it last night so I did the usual nurse Baboo to sleep. Only she woke up after about 45minutes of sleep screaming. It had to begin...tonight. Wait what?!! No more nursing her back to sleep? CRAP!!! Ok, here we go...
I went in there, comforted my sweet one, and then I sat in that chair, shushing, patting, doing all I could to assure her, mommy is here to cheer you on and keep you safe while you learn to fall asleep, all by yourself. I sat there while she SCREAMED. I had to death clutch a bottle of teething tabs in one hand while I chewed the nails on the other. About halfway in, I began to doubt but stayed strong. And then I realized, it was a whole lot easier to be there with her than listen to the screaming thru the monitor. THEN SOMETHING MAGICAL HAPPENED....20 minutes in and she fell asleep!! All by herself.
Then we had to make a plan. I took the bedtime-3:00am shift, Bruce took the 3-wakeup. I think there were like 3 night wakings and we stayed strong. No nursing, and sitting there comforting Taylor as she learns the vital skill of falling to sleep on her own.
Tonight is night 2. I am nervous and excited all at once. We'll see how it goes!!!!!!!!!!!!