::Henley:: Sleep--what's that?!

Sleep---this has been a topic of conversation for many weeks in our household. For the past four weeks Henley has been waking more frequently and taking longer to put down, even needing us doing everything short of climbing in the crib with her. She ended up coming to bed with us every night simply because we were too exhausted to fight her.

All of these sleep issues were driving us crazy so to Google I went. I was reading so many different articles and I couldn't really decide which course of action to take. I read it was a typical sleep regression that would pass, I read that if she was acting like this then she must be having issues with separation anxiety, and I read (and wrote) multiple message board posts of mom's asking for help. Once we had been having these issues for two weeks I decided that it must just be a phase and she obviously needs me. This too shall pass (plus who would complain about night long snuggles!). After four full weeks of this I was singing a different tune...enter Troublesome Tot Blog to the rescue!

I came across this blog at work on Friday and I felt like she was talking to me. Everything she was writing was exactly our situation. She explained that babies around Henley's age start learning "object permanence", here is how she describes it:

Most babies develop a new skill around 6 months (give or take a month) calledobject permanence. Prior to this for babies, out of sight LITERALLY meant out of mind. Now they can remember things, people, etc. exist even when they can’t see them. This is closely linked with stranger/separation anxiety which occurs because now your child actually remembers that you exist when you aren’t physically present. For the first time they are capable of missing you. Which is really sweet but often hard to enjoy. It also means that they are now capable of remembering that you were THERE when they fell asleep but are MISSING when they wake up.

This hit home so I definitely kept reading. Here are the links that restored my faith in the prospect of a good night's sleep---here, here, here, here, here, and here.

After reading all of these articles plus more I decided that it was time to cry it out again. It worked the first time so I had faith it would work again but I knew hubs would hate this idea----rationally he knows something had to change but no one wants to make their baby cry. I decided to forego the checks as I have learned that the checks with Henley get her more upset.

Since I found all of this on Friday we thought it was the perfect time to start being it was the weekend. Friday night we had a relaxing bedtime routine of bath, book, and nursing. I picked her up, gave her a big hug and a kiss, and told her I loved her and good night/sleep tight. I closed the door, grabbed the monitor, a bottle of wine and my Kindle, and headed to the back porch. [Dad had a planned escape to the grocery store ;-)] She immediately started crying, standing up and angrily shaking her lovey around. I had the monitor with me and had the volume turned down but I could see she was crying. I prayed she would just lay down and make it easier on us all. After 29 minutes, she curled into a little ball, grabbed her lovey, and was down for the count! Success!!

I was thrilled especially since Troublesome Tot Mom said that it's common for babies to cry up to an hour on the first night---I was expecting that but hoping for way less. 29 minutes---I could definitely handle this. Here was night one:

6:47 - Mom says goodnight, Henley immediate cried
7:16 - Out!
1:55 - Up for nursing
2:05 - Finished nursing, Mom leaves the room and she cried
2:16 - Out for the rest of the night
5:30 - Up for the day, brought her in our bed (typically gets up another hour)
6:45 - Up with Dad
7:45 - Mom wakes thanks to my amazing husband! [Love you so much!]

Henley is still waking during the night (prior to this phase) once a night so I didn't want to worry about CIO and weaning at the same time so I fully expected her to wake. I am planning to wean the night nursing after I get 3-4 weeks of good sleep from her. 

Night 2 went a little weird. She went down at 6:30 after only 30 seconds of crying but woke up at 10:45 crying. She would lay down for 3-5 minutes, appearing asleep, then would wake up again crying. She seemed in pain and since I can't tell if she's teething (still no teeth here), I went ahead and gave her Motrin. She was still fussing and was wide awake so I went to get her and bring her to our bed (bad I know!). After about an hour she was still awake and just was playing so I took her back to her room and put her to bed. She fell asleep within 5 minutes and slept until 5-5:30.

Tonight she went down at 6:40 and cried for only a minute. I feel such a peace with this plan, even considering her mid-night waking yesterday. I really feel this is what I should be doing and she had a great weekend of naps as well. I look forward to seeing how she continues and how the weaning of the night nursing goes. I will definitely keep you all posted.

Any other mama's out there going through the same thing? What have you found that works?!

Hope you have a great week!

Mere :-)