I thought I would give you a bit of an update on our sleep situation – it seems to be the thing moms obsess about the most. So in case you’re in a similar situation to me, I hope this helps.
Willow is sleeping quite well at the moment: she is usually in bed for the night between 6.30 and 7pm (our aim is to have her asleep by 7). She will sleep like a log until 1.30ish when she wants a feed which is normally short and I’m back in bed within 20 minutes. She will then sleep until 6am.
We still have two naps a day with the morning one being two hours on average and the afternoon one and a half to two hours.
All that said she hates going to bed. She will nurse quite happily and often will go into the drowsy but awake stage on the boob – then I just break the latch and pop her in her crib. A few pats on the back and she’s out. Simple.
If, however, she doesn’t get drowsy I have a battle on my hands. She’s incredibly resistant to being rocked to sleep. She will arch her back and squirm in my arms to such an extent I fear I may drop her. Worse still she screams like an extra in a B grade horror film. Its awful.
Just putting her in her crib doesn’t work either as she will stand up immediately and start screaming.
So I have come to the conclusion that she will scream whether I hold her or not. I try to make the process gentle, I try to have her calm and relaxed and ready for sleep, but no dice. Its almost as if she has elected to to do cry it out herself.
So now I go through the sleep time ritual as normal and when we get to that stage I tell her I love her and to sleep well then I leave the room.
We’re doing a loose version of the Ferber method. So the first check is after five minutes, the second after 10 and the max time is 15 minutes. My husband and I alternate visits and each time we go in we lay her down if she’s standing, pat her tummy and use our keywords “shhhh, shhhh its ok, just go to sleep”, until she calms or her eyes are closed, but no more than five minutes. Then we leave again.
The first time we did this was torture for me! I hate hearing her scream and cry; but after 45 minutes she was asleep and slept so well that night (I’m pretty sure its because she was so tired from crying). She didn’t seem to have any ill effects from the experience, she still had a good response to her bed and room, so I decided to try again.
The next time was at 2am. I went in as normal, fed her and went to put her back in her bed but she wanted to play. So I told her I loved her and it was sleep time then left the room. This time 30 minutes was all it took.
Last night it took 20 minutes – 10 minutes of crying, one five minute check, five more minutes of crying and she put herself to sleep! And it wasn’t proper crying, more like whining, moaning or what I like to call bitching.
This morning at nap time it was just five minutes of bitching and she put herself to sleep.
I think we may be making progress here.
I’m not saying that this method works for every family. We tried no cry for the longest time but eventually it became unsustainable for me. Bed times were become 40 minutes to an hour of torture. I read The No Cry Method and agreed with 90% of it – we introduced the lovey and key words, we refined our bedtime routine and we still struggled. So we were left with no alternative. As always do what works for you and go with your gut.
I’m glad it seems to be working for us and I long for that day when I can put her down, tell her I love her and she will go straight to sleep with no drama.