Just decided to drop into blog-land for a moment so I can relax a little. I'm in the process of trying to help Victoria learn how to go to sleep by herself. Sigh.
She hasn't been a terrible sleeper; she's only been waking up occasionally -- at 8:15pm, 9:00, 9:30, 10:15, 11:30, 12:00am, 2:30, 4:00, and then of course we get up at 7:30 for the day. And she ain't crying to be fed, either. She's crying because she's always rocked to sleep and when she wakes up, she doesn't know how to relax and go back to sleep. She also cries because she expects us to pick her up whenever she cries in her crib -- Keith and I are both at fault here. It's automatic for us, has been since day 1. So she never has a chance to put herself back to sleep, and what do we do once we have her in our arms again? We rock her back to sleep. And I've come to realize that this is simply a habit that I've gotten her into because I LOVE to rock my baby and could spend all day just rocking and cuddling and singing to her. But it's important to me, at 8 months old, that Victoria learns that it's ok to fall asleep (and fall back asleep), while knowing we're still there, and haven't abandoned her.
So this is Night 1 of Victoria's "sleep training" (bleh). Yes, I had to let her cry. Some people may not like that idea. But to each his own. I say whatever works. Besides, I didn't just give her a bath and feed her and then dump her into the crib. I followed my normal bedtime routine (including rocking) and let her get to sleep. It was when she woke up that I made a point not to pick her up. But I didn't leave her alone to cry. I patted her and sang/talked to her while she cried. That. Was. Hard. Thank the Lord for earplugs. But then in 30 minutes, she had reduced to an agonizingly pitiful "sniffle sniffle cry" and then drifted between sleep and awake every minute or two. I felt like the worst mama on the planet.
Then magic happened. She opened her eyes, lifted her head and looked up at me, then after a few minutes of shifting to get comfortable, she dozed right on off by herself.
45 minutes of awfulness. And as of this moment, 50 minutes of quietness.