I’m still here, I’m still alive. I know I totally went all dramatic about Muppet’s sleeping habits and then disappeared. But the past month has been a challenge. Lets just say things got much much worse before they got better. All of you had awesome advice and I took all of it in. We tried a lot of different things, putting her down earlier, going back to swaddling, adding solids, ect. But nothing seemed to help. After 2 particularly bad nights when she woke every 20-40 minutes I made a middle of the night decision…I was going to take away her pacifier for sleep times. Because that is why she was waking so frequently, as soon as we put the paci back in her mouth she went right back to sleep. But I had enough, it was not a good night and I knew things had to change. So I just did it. At 1 in the morning I decided the next time she woke she wasn’t getting it back.
At the same time we decided to do something I thought I’d never do, sleep train. Yes those dreaded words that are met with so much controversy. But I’m telling you, when you are in a heavily sleep deprived state, you’ll do anything to help the situation. I read a lot of different books and we ended up deciding on the Ferber Method. The chapter on sleep associations hit us hard, especially when he talked about a child with a need for a pacifier at night. J even substituted the child’s name for Muppet’s because it sounded so much like her.The method is basically graduated cry-it-out where you go in to soothe them at extended times. I won’t lie, the first night was awful. She was crying, I was in the living room crying, it was a bad situation. After 30 minutes I broke down and told J I couldn’t do it. That night I held her close so she knew I still loved her and let her fall asleep in my arms. A few days later my resolve strengthened again. That night it took her 10 minutes of crying to fall asleep, the next night was less than a minute, the third night she went down without a peep.
Now she goes down for naps and bedtime without any trouble. Sometimes she takes 10 minutes or so to fall asleep but she never cries. At this point she was sleeping from 9:00pm (the earlier bedtime did NOT work out. We tried and tried but she made it clear she was not ready to sleep that early so we went back to what worked for us.) till 7:30am with 2-3 wake ups. Two of them I would feed her, and let her self soothe the third time. After a few weeks of this improved schedule I came to a realization, we were waking her up. She was such a heavy sleeper as an infant that it never occurred to me that we would be able to wake her by rolling over in our bed, but we were. So with a heavy heart we moved her from the pack n’ play in our room to her crib in her own room. I shouldn’t have worried at all! It has been an amazing transition! She loves her room and her crib. The first week she woke 2 times during the night to eat and then went right back to sleep, but even better, recently she has gone back to her pre-sleep troubles schedule of waking only once per night! I hope posting this isn’t jinxing it but we are so thrilled that all 3 of us are now getting a lot more sleep. We are all happier for it.
So for now we are in the clear. Our little girl turns 6 (!!!) months old next week and is such a joy. She is rolling and scooting around, desperately wanting to crawl but having trouble figuring out that she needs to use her arms to do so. She loves her daddy so much that it makes my heart burst to watch them together. We couldn’t have gotten luckier, she is such an amazing little girl. And for now at least, well rested.