As I alluded to in another post, I finally had to put the hammer down on Annie's sleep shenanigans again. I successfully did the Sleep Lady Shuffle with her in January, and all was well for a few weeks. But then one morning at about 5:30, I heard crying, looked at the clock, and gave in to my laziness. I went in and nursed her, and nine minutes later was back in bed sleeping. Boo! That went on for a few more mornings, and then she started waking me up around 3-ish. Then 1. Then 1 and 4. And every night was a new surprise. I completely gave up and went to her every time she cried, reasoning that these nights were still easier for me than nights of doing the Sleep Lady Shuffle. For awhile that was true.
Then I finally had a night that was worse than any night, EVER, since I gave birth to her. Nothing could be worse than that night, right after she'd gotten over her illness, when she went into hysterics every time she was laid in her crib. She still wanted and expected the sick baby treatment, I think. Even Tim tried to help get her to sleep, rocking her to sleep, only to have her start screaming once he left the room. We tried every quick fix in the parents' playbook -- rocking, shushing, nursing, rocking again. We knew that we would have to train her again, but for that night, we just wanted the easy way out.
Unfortunately, there wasn't one. I sat next to her crib as she screamed, then cried, then at last went to sleep. Two hours later we did it all again. I was in turmoil. I gave her Tylenol in case it was her teeth. I gave her a sippy cup of water, in case her throat hurt after screaming herself hoarse. I remembered that she'd acted normal that day. If it's teething pain, shouldn't she be crying all day too?
That night, she slept a grand total of about six-and-a-half hours, and the longest stretch was the last two-and-a-half. The next day, she was fine. She didn't hate me. She played like usual, got cranky when it was time for a nap, and otherwise, just looked for trouble like she always does. That night I prepared myself for a long night, as I would put the Sleep Lady's techniques back into practice. This time there would be no backing down. I was in bed by 9:30, and said a fervent little prayer before I fell into a deep, exhausted sleep. Then I heard her cry and looked at the clock. 5:30. Really? I squinted and looked again. That was terrific! But her wake-up time is 6:45. I waited a while before going in, hoping she'd go back to sleep, but soon her cries became loud and demanding. It was show time.
I went into her room with my pillow and her sippy cup of water. She was kneeling at the side of the crib watching for me, and at first her cry was almost a snarl or a growl, as if to say, "You're late!" When she realized I wasn't picking her up, she was furious. She cried and cried (about 15 minutes -- not long at all compared to the night before!), took a couple sips of water, and kept on crying. Then, from my spot next to her crib, I spotted her lovey bear on the floor, and handed it to her through the bars. She quieted as she rubbed the soft material against her face. At last she laid down with a sigh, her bum in the air. I waited for a few minutes, until I was sure it was safe, low-crawled to the door, then slowly stole out of her room. Even with her white noise machine turned all the way up, every little noise is deafening. Downstairs in front of the TV, I heard her wake up and cry again, but I didn't go back up there. She was soon asleep again. Night 1 of Sleep Lady Part 2 was complete.
Night 2, which was last night, was even more uneventful. She was in bed by 7, and didn't wake up until 6:15. Then I remembered that 6:15 was really 7:15 (darn Daylight Savings Time!), and so she was up for the day. So was Delaney, because I'd remembered to change the time on her My Tot Clock before putting her to bed. So we adjusted to the time change without a hitch!
We'll continue to see how it goes ..