Where have I been this week??? Well I have been deep in the trenches of sleep training Lil' C. We started Tuesday night and it has been quite an adventure. S and I are now even more sleep deprived and trying so hard to be pleasant. We hope that all of this craziness will pay off :)
Z was sleep trained at 6 months and my goal was to wait until then for Lil' C but our crazy schedule and having to balance two children made it impossible for me to wait any longer. We let Z cry it out (the extinction method) and it worked in about a week (you can read all about Z's sleep problems here).
At C's 4 month appointment, the doctor and I agreed that C was a little young for that method and she suggested the gradual extinction method (a lot of people know this as the Ferber Method). She suggested not trying this though until C was sleeping in her crib full time and eating every 4 hours. Well we tried to do this but then C went through her growth spurt and all went out the window....she was back in her chair and eating every 2 hours! So I got out my sleep bible (Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child), borrowed another great read from a friend (sleeping through the night) and read like crazy. I made a plan and discussed it with S. The plan meant that we would not be able to sleep away from home for at least a month, which meant only going down to his parents for the day on Easter and no trips to the lake until the month was over. We both agreed that C's sleep was very important and agreed to make these sacrifices and truly commit to my well researched plan :) Here was our Plan:
-Start nursing her downstairs
-rock her to sleep
-she sleeps in the crib
-put her in her crib drowsy but awake
-let her cry for 5 minutes, check and console her without picking her up
-check on her 10 minutes later, then 15, 20 etc. until she fell asleep
-let her cry for 10 minutes and then check and console and then 15 minutes etc.
Continue doing this every night until she falls asleep on her own. I planned to go and nurse her to sleep if she woke up during the night. We would then wait two weeks and then start nap training in the same fashion.
All in all she has been doing very well. We are making small gains each day and I am so proud of us for sticking with it even though it is so hard to listen to someone you love cry. Sleep training is a bit of controversial topic but we feel it is just like teaching C how to walk or talk....she (like many children) need to be taught how to fall asleep on there own. Once she has mastered this skill, she will be better rested and so will we!