A new strategy: Day 1

Have you ever been so tired, your body ached?

Yeah, that's us.

I've been logging Emily's sleep for three weeks now and the only thing consistent is that she is up 3-5 times a night. She is going through separation anxiety, is teething and has an attachment to her pacifier that is like none other. We don't want to go the Ferber or CIO (Cry it out) method but we know we need to do something to teach her to soothe herself when she wakes up at night or else David is going to fall asleep at work and get fired and I am going to pass out while driving one day. Ugh.

When she wakes up, one of us will go in and give her back her pacifier (problem #1), roll her onto her side (problem #2) and "shhh pat" (problem #4) her until she falls asleep. When that fails, we pick her up and rock her back to sleep (problem #3) and put her back in her crib. Unless it has been 10 hours since she went to bed, I do not feed her as I know she can go 12 hours at night without feeding and I don't want that to be problem #5! I think, because we are desperate for sleep, we are creating a monster (see problems #1-4); we do what it takes to get her back to sleep quickly, rather than investing the time (and further lack of sleep) into teaching her to self-soothe, and she has come to depend on us all night long.

Our new strategy:

1. So, we decided to begin with our Pediatrician. We have Emily's 6 month appointment on Monday so, we'll show him the sleep log and ask for his advice, knowing what kind of baby Emily is, I'm sure he can help some.

2. We are going to start letting her "fuss" for 5 full minutes before going in her room at night. We tried this a few nights before and she always ended up quietening down and going back to sleep, even if just for an hour. Us jumping up and running to her has been a mistake all along but it's so hard to hear your baby cry!

3. We are also going to put her in her crib sleepy but awake and without her pacifier. We'll stop giving her back her pacifier at night too, so that she will break the habit of needing it to fall asleep.

4. During the day, I will put her down for her naps fully awake so she can learn to fall asleep on her own.

We may not go at this "cold turkey" but we will do the best we can to ease Emily into this new way of sleep so that she is comfortable and won't reject it immediately and just cry all night long.

Last night was actually Day 1 because, after completing her bedtime routine, I put her in her crib, sleepy but awake, without her pacifier. She fussed for 15 minutes and then, began to scream and cry real tears so I decided to not go cold turkey with the pacifier just yet... I went in and gave it to her and she fell asleep within about 5 minutes and that was at 6:35pm. She slept 5 1/2 hours, waking at midnight, crying. We let her cry for 5 minutes before David went in and soothed her back to sleep, giving her the pacifier back by mistake. Oops! Oh well, it takes practice to remember everything. :-) She slept another 4 hours, waking just after 4 am, crying. We let her cry for 5 minutes and she fell asleep on her own. She woke up again at 4:15am, 4:45am, 5:30am and 5:50am. Each time we watched the clock and she always got quiet after less than 5 minutes.

It was a rough night, to say the least, but it's a start. :-)


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