These past couple of weeks since Emily's stomach bug have been pretty challenging on the sleep front. Before she got sick, we'd gotten her into a fairly good routine of going to bed with only one or two wake-ups per night. To be totally honest, I was rolling with that routine, but I wouldn't say I was happy with it by any means. She typically had to be re-swaddled at least once per night and it was taking at least an hour to get her to go down. After the stomach bug, she fought me when I tried to swaddle her, woke up multiple times each night, and was taking about two hours to get her to sleep. Most nights when we took her up at 8:00 to put her to bed, I never was able to come back downstairs.
After a couple of particularly rough nights, I'd had it with the swaddle fights. I unswaddled her and just laid her in her crib without it. Although it took her awhile to get her to sleep, she slept all night. The next couple of nights, she woke up multiple times and it was still taking forEVER to get her to go down. On Thursday night, we decided we would begin trying the cry it out method. I didn't want to go that route, but our strong willed child wasn't giving us any other options. I must say, there is no way I could've done this with her when we first moved her to her crib. After a month of having her in her crib, though, we finally felt comfortable trying this method.
Our plan was to just let her cry and not go in at all. I know that probably seems harsh, but sweet sister knows how much we love her. Also, we have a video monitor where we could watch her and an AngelCare monitor which monitors her breathing. We knew that if we did the Ferber method, she would probably cry for much longer than if we didn't keep going in. We also made a few changes to her routine/room. We put her down earlier than normal and we also unplugged her nightlight. After about 30 minutes of crying, she got still and started to fall asleep when the AngelCare monitor started beeping. She had gotten too far away from the sensor, so I needed to turn up the sensitivity. I went in her room to do that, so she saw that we were there. She cried for another 30 minutes or so, but fell asleep after exactly one hour and slept for eight hours.
Friday night we got her to bed about an hour late, and she let us know about it. She found her pacifier and fell asleep after about 25 minutes of crying, but woke up at 3:15 and cried for an hour and a half. In hindsight, I should've gone in and comforted her once just so she knew we were still there. I don't think she would've cried for so long if I had. If she wakes up in the middle of the night again, I will do that. She slept for two more hours after that, so I think she got a total of eight hours.
Saturday night, we put her down at 8:15. She cried until 8:50, when she found her pacifier. She slept until 6:50 this morning. Ten sweet hours.
Tonight, I put her down at 7:45. One little whimper and she fell asleep. She normally starts letting us know she's tired about 7:00 PM, so we're planning to just start putting her down for the night when she does this rather than trying to keep her up longer.
Cry it out worked for us. I have no doubt that there will be setbacks as we go, but for now, things are SO much better. Emily is even happier than before (which is kind of hard to believe) and we aren't as tired as we were.