Last night I only lasted till 9.00, despite my best intentions of duking it out with her till ten. She was more tired than the previous day, and the night before had taken its toll, so that by 8.30 she was into some concentrated crying; abject misery ahoy. Her body so badly wanted to sleep, but she had no idea how to go about it without the mumeet. I wasn't just depriving her of a crutch she no longer really needed; I was taking away her life support.
Winning pathetic quote from the first night: "Why is it raining in my bedroom?" "It's not raining, Baby, you're crying."
So yes, no more of that. Which leaves me feeling (a) sorry that I put her through it, but (b) at least I know and will stop thinking about this as a possibility for a while, but also (c) like a wuss who is totally pushed around by her baby. Sleep training just isn't for me.
Hah. I bought the Marc Weissbluth book, Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child, when I was delightfully innocent about babies, and pregnant with Monkey. I had all these great intentions of getting it right from the start, so that I would lose as little sleep as possible, because sleep was important to me. If you had told me then that five years later I'd be resignedly getting up several times a night, I might have shelved the entire idea of having children. It's amazing how adaptable the human body is.
Weissbluth had some useful things to say, especially the fact that most newborns can't/shouldn't stay awake for more than two hours before needing to nap again, and the 2-3-4 pattern for babies who take two naps (if that's even where I read about that); but he is basically a proponent of crying it out, though on a less cruel scale than Ezzo, whom I've never even read. We tried his methods (Weissbuth's, not Ezzo's) a little when Monkey was young, but they had no effect and I wasn't willing to keep trying. After that I read every sleep book on the block (or in the library, as well as the ones I leafed through standing up in Barnes & Noble) with equally little success.
The Sleep Lady's technique, of moving your chair a little nearer the door every three days until you'd left the room, was particularly laughable. I remember reading large chunks of Harry Potter in what I hoped was a soporific drone to Monkey as he yelled from his crib - from the moment I put him in, there was never a point when he wasn't crying to be taken out again, so the notion of softening the blow by moving gradually a little further away was totally pointless. Eventually I just left the room and shouted to him every now and then so he knew I was still around. He would fall asleep, but it was pathetic and never got better. One day he finally conked out kneeling up hanging onto the bars of the crib, with his face all smushed up against them. It was the saddest thing I'd ever seen, but kind of hilarious too. We stopped after a while.
Mabel is even more disinclined to sleep than Monkey ever was. If I remove myself from her orbit too soon, even though she's 98% out, she'll rear up like a zombie, eylids fluttering heavily open, and demand the other side. She's always been a light sleeper, so my creeping back to my own bed in the middle of the night is enough to rouse her a little, so that five or ten minutes later, just when I've got comfy, she'll wake again. This is really the first time I've tried to go against her will with sleeping, as after our experiences with Monkey I was happy enough to take the easy (quiet, angst-free) road for a long time with Mabel. I'm pretty sure if I'd tried to do it sooner the result would have been just the same, albeit with less conversation. We'll try again in a few months, or maybe - hey, I'm an optimist - she'll just grow out of it.
The truth is that nobody who wrote a sleep book had my babies. And even if I wrote a book, nobody who read it would have my babies either. Some things work for some babies, but mostly you just have to grope your way in the dark (often literally) towards the best solution for your family - for now, or for the future. Good luck.
Probably one of the few times he slept in his crib. Which is why I took a picture.
And I can guarantee you that he did not go in there awake.