So we started actual sleep training last night. Yes...I am STILL talking about sleep training. But this time I mean it.
Up until now, I was using the Wish and a Prayer approach to sleep training. You can try looking it up on the interwebs, but it's a little less popular than Ferber or Weissbluth. The Wish and a Prayer approach involves a lot of pretend sleep training where you let the child fall fast asleep in your arms, place them gently into their crib, do some sneaky ninja moves to escape the room, pray (SILENTLY) that they will sleep through the night and whenever they wake up, stick them in bed with you.
I convinced myself The Bean would suddenly just sleep through the night in her crib one day and it would be magical elves and a sunshine disco party up in my house.
There have been no elves.
So in order to preserve my sanity, my health, my marriage and my daughter's life I am making my own damn elves.
Like a deranged Dr. Frankenstein I aligned all the information on sleep training from the books I read, advice I'd gotten and gut instinct and crafted a monster sleeping training technique I felt would work best with the type of kid The Bean is. Because I totally am qualified to take on this task; what with all those courses in pediatric sleep habits (read: briefly scanning the chapter on sleep habits in the books before skipping to the "Here's what desperate parents do" section).
You know those moments when you're super hopeful and pretty sure everything's going to turn out all right and then it all turns to sh*t? Yeah. That's what sleeping training is like; times a hundred because you are faced with the scary possibility that you may never sleep ever again.
NIGHT 1 OF FOR REALZ SLEEP TRAINING...NO JOKE...MEAN IT!
The Bean went down easy enough. We did a bedtime routine. I placed her into the crib nearly asleep. She passed out quickly and I escaped. No crying. At all.
Until midnight. Then I realized the sleep training was to begin NOW.
She woke up wailing. I waited 15 minutes. I went in and soothed her. She quieted down and would begin to fall asleep. I crept out of the room. And she woke up again 20-30 minutes later. Rinse and repeat until FOUR AM...
I may have placed an ad on Craig's List offering ALL.MY.MONEY.EVER for someone else to take on this hateful duty. (Note to self: draft business plan offering to sleep train other people's kids for the low - and totally reasonable - sum of $1MM...a night.)
At 4, she finally went down and slept until 6:30. I considered this a massive coup. So when she woke up at 6:30, I whisked her out of the crib, grabbed a bottle and cuddled the hell out of her.
But the story isn't done yet. Because sleep training isn't just about nighttime sleeping. THAT would be too easy. No, we must also make a production out of naps as well (read Weissbluth. I'm too bleary to write out the logic. But it makes sense. When you're desperate it all makes sense. 'Rub canola oil on her back, sprinkle rose petals on her toes, and put a rabid ferret in the crib? Why didn't I think of that?')
A nap schedule also needed to be implemented. (Note to self: implement nap schedule for self. Run it by boss. Look for new job.)
We needed naps at 9AM, 1PM and (maybe) 4PM.
Guess who wanted nothing to do with a 9AM nap after not sleeping most of the night before? You'll never guess.
There she was puffy-eyed from exhaustion and losing her mind because we had the gall to think she needed a nap and the nerve to place her on a comfortable sleeping surface to facilitate this goal.
THIS is the moment where you think, "F*ck it all, let's just hold her to sleep all the time. She can sleep whenever and wherever she wants." You don't have this thought the night before. The night before you are still pep talking yourself into giving one full night a try. The night before you think "Well at least she'll sleep tomorrow since she's not sleeping now." The night before there is still a glimmer of hope.
But that first morning nap is hell.
So she "napped" for 15 minutes. But the 1PM nap went much better and much longer. A whole ever-loving hour. But the 4PM nap never materialized.
It's 7:31 PM right now. Day 2 of sleep training. And I already have a ton to share with you...tomorrow.