So, Norah and I went to a sleep seminar today. No one gave us the magic solution like I was hoping they would, but we did get some good tips. I figured I would share what we learned because someone else might be in the same boat (plus, if I don't write it out now I will so forget by tomorrow):
1. One can't even begin to think about sleep 'training' until baby is 3 months old AND 14 lbs. Norah is 3.5 months and 14.5 lbs, so we just make it.
2. Sleep begets sleep. We knew this one. Basically it just means baby needs a nap. Multiple naps. While some of the books say she should sleep after 2 hours of being awake (yeah, right), she should be getting a decent (as in 1 to 2 hour) nap in the morning and again in the afternoon. I have been pretty much letting her sleep if she wants to, but I instead need to be making a concerted effort to put her down.
3. Baby should have an active half of the day and a quiet half of the day, and it should be as consistent as possible. This means we should do our activities and errands either in the morning every day or in the afternoon every day. That is supposed to help her expect what will happen during her day and sleep accordingly. We will do this as much as possible, but I am not going to be tied to the house. If we need to get out or I am going stir-crazy, it's gonna happen.
4. Babies love routines. So, bedtime should consist of the exact same routine every night. It doesn't have to happen at the same time every night, but it should be in the same order. We have started doing this and it seems to help. Starting at 7:30 or so, she gets a bath, new diaper and pj's, a story, a song, a boob, and a rocking. We are supposed to do a modified version of this during the day before a nap. Since she currently naps wherever she falls (swing, floor, on me, etc), we will have to make an effort for this one.
5. We need to decide if we are going to embrace the co-sleeping or commit to getting her in the crib. This is the one I am most torn about. I believe in so much of the attachment parenting concepts and both BVZ and I actually really like co-sleeping. It's good for her right now and I truly believe she needs it. Plus, it has made her way more attached to BVZ even though he hasn't gotten to spend very much time with her lately. I just don't want to have a baby who a) sleeps in my bed at 5 years old, and/or b) can never learn to go to sleep on her own. I want to read a few more books on the subject before we decide for sure.
6. Don't change the diaper in the middle of the night. She should get a diaper in a larger size for nighttime and it should last her until the morning. Changing her diaper wakes her up and she is ready to play. This has been especially harsh since BVZ has been working until the wee hours of the night and when he gets home he changes her and then gives in to her wish to play. No diaper change, no talking, no eye contact, etc when she wakes up during the night. Harsh, but considering the fact that she has been waking up and staying up at all hours of the night, I am ready to try this one.
I think that was it. We won't consider crying it out anytime soon or any kind of Ferberizing, ever. I don't want her to end up on 'Intervention' some day because she believes we abandoned her.