Last July, we decided that in order to get some sleep around here, we were going to let Melody start crying herself to sleep. CIO (crying it out, a common method used by parents) usually just lasts for a month, and the baby usually adjusts.
But months later, Melody was still crying herself to sleep. She wasn't scared--she was just crying out of protest, every single night. But that 5-10 minutes of crying in exchange for a full night's sleep were worth it to us. She learned to sleep through the night, which was better for the whole family.
Still, I was sad to be deprived of one of the sweetest joys of bedtime--tucking in your child, kissing her good night, and singing her a lullaby. Whenever I tried to sing to her, she screamed, knowing that meant the next step was my leaving the room.
About a month ago, kind of by accident, we started putting the kids to bed in their room at the same time. Prior to that, we would put Melody down first and put Theo on our bed or the couch, and transfer the sleeping boy to his bed once Melody was finally asleep. But one day she lay on his bed and put the blanket over herself. Once we put her in her crib, she started to yell at us. But the lightbulb went off...hmm, if she sees Theo get tucked in, maybe she'll go to sleep more readily.
That didn't happen at first. She continued to cry when put in her crib. We felt guilty making him lie in bed listening to her cry, but within ten minutes they were both asleep and so we stuck to the plan. Once we bought him a nightlight, he no longer complained. He said he wasn't scared anymore.
Then, a miracle happened a couple of weeks ago. After watching me tuck Theo into bed, Melody lay down in her crib, put her head on her pillow, and pulled her blanket over her. WOW! It seemed too good to be true.
For the past week, she has been going to sleep with no tears every night. Not only that, but she's been going to bed smiling. She even says "Good night, EO. Good night, mommy. Good night, daddy," as we leave the room.
On Valentine's Day I put her in her crib and I sang her a lullaby. She shot me with a grin so big I'm surprised it didn't burn right through me. Thanks for the VDay gift, my little love.