After a particularly bad week of Norah sleep last week, BVZ and I have decided to get serious about sleep training her. You wouldn't think a 15 lb sweet baby girl could wake you up 12 times a night by punching you in the face and twisting the skin on your neck, but you'd be wrong. Even though I have told her a million times that I can hear her when she cries, she insists upon pummeling me to get my attention. And, then after she's up (at 4 am) why go back to sleep when you've got two adults right there? Instead, make them play with you!
We are taking a united front and have both been reading 'The Sleep Easy Solution' and we now have a plan. The first thing is weaning her from night time feedings. This involves first establishing what her patterns are, so for the next 5 days I am keeping notes during the night of when and how much she eats. We started last night and it is harder than you think to keep track of times and durations when you are a waking zombie, but I did it anyway. Then, after 5 days of figuring out her pattern, we start to wean. We (and by we, I mean I) wake her up an hour before she usually gets up and feed her for 2 minutes less than she usually eats. For example, she woke up at 3:45 last night and ate for 12 minutes. So, instead I would wake her up at 2:45 and feed her for 10 minutes. The feedings decrease by 2 minutes every night until she gives it up completely.
Once she is weaned the real fun begins. It does involve some level of 'crying it out' but is designed to teach her to put herself to sleep so that she can put herself BACK to sleep when she wakes up in the middle of the night. And this needs to happen in her crib. I have been so conflicted about the co-sleeping for many months now, but I am now convinced that what she needs is to get a good night sleep, and that's only going to happen in her crib. BVZ is sleeping in the guest room this week so that he can get a week of solid sleep (so he can take the lead on the crying it out portion of the program), and last night was the best night of sleep all of us have had in months. I really do think that we wake up Norah constantly when we move, talk, or I punch BVZ to get him to stop snoring. Once she is comfortable in her own space, in her own bed I think she will sleep so much better. She shows all the signs of sleep deprivation that the book describes (rubbing her eyes, red eyes, tugging her ear, etc), so I don't think we are doing her any favors by continuing to let her sleep with us.
I am actually really excited at the prospect of us all becoming functional again.