Come 4 months, Clara was still sleeping basically 8 or 9 PM - 6 AM, but all of a sudden it was hard to get her to go to sleep. She'd fall asleep on my shoulder after nursing, but when I put her in the crib, she'd flip out. It was taking an hour or so and numerous attempts to get her to settle down. Before this happened, I would've told you I'd NEVER let her "cry it out," but I started reading up on sleep training, and realized two things: (1) we'd just been lucky from 9 weeks to 4 months -- now she was becoming more aware of our existence, and would naturally freak out if she fell asleep on our shoulders and woke up alone, on her back in the cold, hard crib, (2) "cry it out," or some variation thereof, is pretty much the only thing the mainstream experts say works (other than letting the baby sleep with you, which is something we're not willing to do indefinitely for a variety of reasons).
|Sometimes she plays so hard, she falls asleep on her playmat.|
Night 1: Cried for 45 minutes, checked on her twice, picked her up once. Then nursed her a little more and put her back in the crib. Cried for 10 minutes then fell asleep.
Night 2: Cried for 10 minutes then fell asleep.
Night 3: Cried for 45 minutes before falling asleep. We checked on her twice but never picked her up.
Night 4: Cried for 2-3 minutes then fell asleep.
Night 5: Cried for about 5 second then fell asleep.
Night 6: Cried for about 10 seconds then fell asleep.
Night 7: Cried for about 2 seconds then fell asleep.
Night 8: No crying!
I hated to let her cry AT ALL, but ultimately bought in to the idea that a good night's sleep over a long period of time is better for her than crying for a few minutes a few nights is bad for her. Of course maybe it's just easy to say that because this WORKED for us. Who knows?!
|My baby, asleep tonight in her crib.|
In the last few days, she's been going to bed a little earlier (7 PM) and waking up a little earlier (5-5:30 AM). She always nurses as soon as she gets up, then helps me feed the pets, and plays on her playmat while I eat breakfast. Then, we wake up Daddy and they start their day while I get ready for work.
It's very hard for me to leave in the mornings, and many times I can't resist helping feed Clara her morning fruit or just watching her and Scott playing sweetly. This morning, we had mangoes*(WARNING: this video is ridiculously long and boring for anyone other than Clara's parents or grandparents):
Clara thought it would be fun to feed herself...
|What do I do with this?|
|I got MOST of it in my mouth, Daddy...|
|I love you, |
After mangoes, Clara and Scott took turns making funny noises:
Then I nursed her again, put her in the crib for a nap, and headed to work with a smile on my face.
*we had a very juicy mango, and just peeled it and put the cut-up pieces in a mini food processor, squeezed in a bit more juice from the pit, and gave it a whirl to create a delicious puree. you could add a little water or formula/breastmilk if your mango isn't so ripe.