Saturday, October 09, 2010

Kara's managed to "cry it out"

About 30 minutes ago, Kara was able to put herself to sleep. It's Day 2 of using a makeshift Ferber Method in the hopes of getting her to learn how to put herself to sleep. Yes, that means that we've had to soothe her to sleep every time she's slept for the past 6-months-minus-2-days. Additionally, Kara has decided that she's just so happy to be alive that she doesn't want to miss a minute of daytime, so she goes some days in which she catches one 45 minute nap, and otherwise doesn't nap for longer than 2¼ hours in total, even when she's sick.

This morning, she didn't end up sleeping until she drifted off following her 7am feeding. She spent the hour previous to that crying in a manner similar to the one she used to use when she hated her car seat — a place where she will contentedly nap now. I took that as a sign that she was realizing that she was going to have to figure out how to relax on her own.

Kara napped briefly during a 10am walk that Matt took her on, then following her 2pm feeding for 2 hours with me, and another short nap again around 7pm, following a feeding. After her 9:30pm feeding (a little later than her usual 8:30pm feeding due to the fact that today was washroom-cleaning day), I put her down to co-sleep and she started fussing almost immediately, which prompted me to bring her downstairs to her crib (my approach: try to go easy on her first, then get progressively "harder" on her to show her I'm not rewarding bad behaviour). Her cries following the first 15 minutes became the familiar I-did-this-with-the-carseat cries, so I told myself to wait for 20 minutes instead. She was able to put herself to sleep, woke a few times, whimpering progressively less each time, then finally fell properly to sleep around 10:30pm. She woke briefly a few minutes ago and Matt was able to calm her back to sleep by shushing her and rubbing her chest.

I'm telling myself not to feed her until 12:30am at the earliest, so hopefully she learns that she can wake for feedings and no other reason. With any luck, she'll also start to normalize her feeding schedule, as she is usually a snacker (my "fault", but motivated by bad advice). Today's feeding times sorted themselves out quite nicely as a result of last night's hard-line approach, so maybe I'm actually hitting two birds with one stone this way.

Once this hurdle has been jumped, I'm hoping she'll sort out a longer feeding schedule on her own, rather than requiring me to "push" her. As always, I'm cautiously optimistic regarding Kara's progress in this arena. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that this is the last time I have anything to say about the Cry It Out method.



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