Alright, so now: our sleeping plan...
I wrote that post on a Friday. Friday went just like normal, and Saturday night started out the same too. But then at about 4:30 after being up with her for another hour we frustratingly kicked her out and put her in her room. She bawled and was so upset - and I can understand because I'm sure it felt like she was being banished. But we were all exhausted. She cried, I cried. And after about 20-30 minutes of both of us crying we all fell asleep. Chris fell asleep much sooner... :)
Sunday night Chris and I went out to dinner for a date night and my mom was babysitting. We talked about what we should do moving forward and vowed that we really had to be consistent - so that night we would put her to bed in her own room. I was super sad thinking about it and it honestly gave me anxiety, but I knew it was the right thing to do. I was really happy about having co-slept up until this point, but clearly me, Chris and Zoe were not getting enough sleep and something had to change
That night we came home at 6:30 (early dinner, we're 28/34 going on 70) and started her nighttime routine. Then, when it was bedtime we brought her into her room to her mattress still on the floor and read her some stories. We read a couple more than normal (because I was sad) but we kept things the same. Then, it was bedtime. I got teary, so I exited first so she wouldn't hear or see me cry and Chris stayed in her room with her for another minute or two. She was laying on her bed and he was giving her some little cuddles and then he made his way out. She was definitely a little upset, but to our amazing surprise she only whimpered for about 10 minutes, and then fell right asleep. Holy shit!
We agreed that we wouldn't do a full on cry it out strategy because we didn't want so much change at once. But when she did fuss we decided we would go in, pop her pacifier back in, give her a couple back rubs and then leave. She fussed two times from 7:30 to when we went to bed at 10:30, but as soon as Chris popped in she went right back to sleep and wasn't upset when he left. Yay!
That night she woke up two more times and Chris popped in and again, she went right back to sleep. I didn't even feed her! Chris told me I might want to at some point in the middle of the night, but I was honestly too tired to really comprehend what he was talking about and fell right back asleep :)
|The girl LOVES pillows - which I know, are a SIDS warning. But sometimes you have to give in to something that works.|
The next night we did the same thing and it was only one wake up before we went to bed, and another one in the middle of the night. This time I did feed her.
The next night it was 3 times, and no feeding.
And each time when we first put her to bed she would fuss a little bit, but never longer than 15 minutes. Once in those first 4 days Chris went back in to give her some rubs, but other than that she put herself to bed each time in her room all by herself, and it made me very happy :) Hooray!
As for the nighttime feedings, she usually wants one at about 3:30, and with her being in another room I become fully awake now feeding her and I used to only be semi-awake with her laying right next to me. I have had sleeping problems throughout my life, and for the last 3 or so years 2:30-4 seems to be a very problematic time of waking up and not being able to go back to sleep, so that feeding usually wakes me up to the point of not being able to fall back asleep for at least an hour. And that sucks. So now I'm trying to completely wean her from feedings at night - she's finally sleeping so I want to sleep through the night too! :)
By night 5 she fucking slept through the night! I on the other hand woke up at 5am because I wasn't used to so much sleep and I had no idea what to do with myself. As the nights have gone on, she's been doing great. A bad night now (3 wakings) is what a good night used to be, which is so awesome. Most of the time it's just one wake up, but we've had a couple other sleeping through the night days too, which has been completely awesome. The last 3 days have had a couple more wake ups than normal, but still, way better. Fingers crossed it stays this way. Sometimes she even puts herself to sleep after only a minute or two. Bless that child :)
Naps though? They still suck. Well, they don't SUCK anymore because she no longer just wails and wails, but she still struggles to go to sleep. Now that her mattress is on the ground she'll crawl around and play
Sometimes she'll wimper a little and fuss and we'll go rub her back. But for the most part, she's content to roll all over the place making a mess :) Then when she's tired she crawls up on her mattress to go to bed. Sometimes she doesn't make it all the way
Why do they suck? Well, they're still not very long. Every once in a while she takes one that's 40 minutes, but for the most part they're still just 30 minutes. And sometimes she won't take them. We have decided to give her an hour in her room - and if she hasn't fallen asleep by then and is still messing all around, we come get her. That happens about once every 3 days. Usually her afternoon nap. Then she's up from about 1pm to bedtime at 7:15. She usually doesn't actually have a problem with it and isn't really too fussy.
Two things of note:
1) We decided not to fully let her cry it out. It's just something I can't do. I know that some people think that's what's best for kiddos, but for us, letting her fuss a little bit to figure it out and then have us go in there to pop her pacifier back in or give her a little back rub seems to do the trick. And it's something that makes us happier. We don't stay in with her to make her fall asleep, we just go in to say hi, and then leave. It usually results in a wail right after we leave during the day, and then either immediately playing, or falling asleep within 2 minutes. At night she just wants her pacifier and can't find it. So it's a practice that seems to really work for us. And I feel like because we aren't staying in there to get her back to sleep, more just reassuring her, she's still figuring out how to go back to sleep on her own.
2) I do not believe in sleep begets sleep. I know that has been one of the biggest pieces of advice that people have given us (both here and elsewhere), but I have found it to make absolutely no difference at all for Zoe. In theory when she has taken really great naps, that would mean she sleeps well at night - but sometimes she slept like complete shit and sometimes she slept good. In theory when she slept really well at night, that would mean she would take great naps - but sometimes she would take her standard 30 minutes, or sometimes she wouldn't sleep at all. We used to track her sleeping on a spreadsheet and I found absolutely no correlation between good sleep during the day and good sleep during the night. Or vice versa.
So that's Zoe's sleep for you
We seem to have found a structure that has really worked for her sleeping at night, and frankly, if we're all getting better sleep at night, "bad" naps are something I can deal with now. Thank you for always giving your input and always caring. You folks are wonderful.