So....a few weeks ago, I let on that it was Time. Time to let my baby girl cry it out. I reached this point waaaaaaaaayyy sooner this time around (before five months with Molly to Max's six and Evan's TEN). Maybe in part because I have learned (twice now) that my babies CAN handle sleep training (and so can I), but also because, now with three?, I really just wanted my evenings back. Especially now that Bachelor Pad is on again. Kidding! (Or am I?)
Two weeks ago, we started. Our routine would be: Sam gives her a bath, I nurse/rock/sing with her, put her in her crib drowsy but not asleep. Assuming that she would be crying, Sam would go in to soothe her (but not pick her up, and for just a few seconds--no longer than a minute) after three minutes, then after five minutes, then after 10 minutes (and continuing to go in after 10 minutes until she falls asleep). And then....we were off!
Night #1: Routine was on point, Molly cried, but didn't scream (and we all know that girl knows how to use her lungs!) for 50 minutes. No fun, but not horrible.
Night #2: Same thing....perfect routine, crying but not inconsolable, this time for 30 minutes.
Night #3: Ditto...tonight, out in 25 minutes.
...and so it continued for the next four or five nights. She never cried for more than 20 minutes, and it was an intermittent, fussy sort of cry that didn't even require Sam's consolation after the first two nights. It wasn't great (because she was, after all, still upset at bedtime), but it did help her to sleep on her own (and gave me my evenings back...call it selfish if you must, but this mama needs her alone time). We're not cold turkey CIO people though, so when she did wake up for her first nighttime feeding (which I'm not ready to drop yet, even if all the books say that nighttime feedings aren't "necessary" by this point), she'd come into our bed for the rest of the night. And it was working! We were all sleeping and all relatively well-rested.
But then, as summer schedules often do, our routine fell out of whack. A few nights of overnight guests plus a few nights of staying-up-later-than-normal plus a few nights of Sam-is-out-of-town-so-all-bets-are-off and somehow, some way, this little girl managed to get her mommy to nurse her to sleep again. Ooops.
That's not so bad, right? I mean, she's still sleeping from bedtime until after Sam and I go to sleep...so she gets a good stretch, I get my guilty pleasure summer TV fix, and everyone's happy....
And who cares that her naps are all over the map and becoming increasingly inconsistent?
And it's not TERRIBLE that, by 11pm or so she's attached to the boob all night, right?
I mean, really. Who can resist this face?
We're in Big Trouble with this one.