After months of no sleep I decided to try the Dr. Ferber "crying it out" method. I really shouldn't say the Ferber method. I didn't read his book, I just followed the advice of friends who had tried it. I really got to the point of desperation, because Melody at 13.5 months still was sleeping like a newborn. Nursing to go to sleep and waking up every two hours--at least--to nurse. She wasn't rested, I wasn't rested. We've both been so cranky. As much as Joe tried to help, he couldn't. She would only let me put her back to sleep. She wasn't hungry, she just wanted to suck. Plus poor Joe was on the couch most nights since she would take up so much room on our bed.
And so out of desperation I started day one of sleep training. I put her in her crib at 8 and didn't go in at all. After a little while of her screaming Joe said "I'm gonna get her, this is so mean." I asked him to first read a thread of emails between me and some friends who had tried it. After he read it, he agreed to give it a shot.
What made it harder was Theo getting so upset. He kept saying "Mommy, go get her! She's scared!" which broke my heart and made me feel worse than I already did.
But then miraculously at 8:30 she stopped screaming and was asleep. I can't believe it took "only" a half hour. I was expecting at least 2 or 3 hours of crying the first night.
Then over the next hour she kept waking up and giving a cry every five minutes and then going back to sleep. It was so bizarre. But I refused to go in. I stayed in the living room and watched TV on low volume to distract myself.
At 9:30 she was asleep for good, until 1:30--which is a really good stretch for her! Now ordinarly I would go in when she cries, but I decided to wait and see how long it would take for her to fall back asleep. I kept my blackberry next to me to keep track of time. Well, five minutes later I no longer heard her crying! I couldn't believe it. I wondered how many times I've gone in when I didn't need to.
She cried out again at 4 a.m. and again at 6 a.m. and both times fell back asleep right away. She cried again at 7 a.m. and at that point I decided to get her because Theo and Joe were both up and I figured she may be up for real. I wasn't sure how to know which wakeup was the "real" one! Anyway, Joe and I both noted that she seemed particulalry cheery this morning and more well rested than usual.
But I think we may have gotten lucky the first night. Will she cry for less time or longer tonight? Here's hoping that before long, Melody will understand the concept of soothing herself to sleep. In my wildest fantasies I'll put both kids to bed at the same time. Bathtime together, storytime together, sing songs together, cuddle, then shut the lights and leave them both in their bed/crib with no cries.
Wish me luck!!