Here is the sweet face I was greeted with this morning. Looks like she had a great night's sleep, doesn't it? You wouldn't suspect that this angel was up at 4:00 in the morning, screaming her head off for so long and so hard that it woke up Claire. And prompted me to get out of my warm bed and rock her back to sleep. After what seemed like an hour, she finally fell back asleep. For approximately 10 minutes. This went on until 5:15, when I gave in and fed her a bottle.
Arden has what we call a "sleeping problem." By that I mean that she doesn't. Sleep, that is.
Claire began sleeping through the night, on her own, around three months. I naively thought this was due to my superior parenting skills and was perhaps a little (a lot) smug around those moms whose infants were not sleeping through the night. I now realize I am paying for that smugness. To the tune of nearly 11 months (more like 13 if you count the final stages of my pregnancy) of no sleep.
Early on, Arden tricked us into thinking she was going to be a great sleeper. For one thing, you could just lay her down in her crib and she'd fall asleep, unlike her big sister who still enjoys being rocked. For another, she only woke about once a night for a feeding. But now, almost 11 months later, she still wakes (at least) once a night.
I've read all the books. "Babywise" (hated it), "Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Children" (OK, but not very effective), "The No-Cry Sleep Solution" (don't even get me started). I've searched the internet, scoured the parenting message boards (not recommended unless you feel like dealing with smug know-it-all moms--please see above), and asked all my friends for advice. So far, the general consensus is "let her cry".
Oh, if it were only that easy. This child, while seemingly mild-mannered and mellow, is not phased by the so-called "crying it out." She will cry for a minimum of an hour the first night. The second night, instead of just waking once, she'll wake two times. And so it goes.
I know that this will pass and that eventually Arden will sleep all night. Someday, when she is big, I'll probably look back on this time and think "that wasn't so bad." Well, actually, I probably won't.