Day 7. Do you believe in the "cry until he sleeps" method?
Yup. I do. Monkey required approximately zero sleep training - she's generally been more difficult to wake up than to put to bed. When we told people that, they universally advised us we would NOT be so lucky with our second child. You know what? They were wrong. Lion is a pretty rock star sleeper, too. Sometimes he stirs in the middle of the night, but he usually goes right back to sleep. And when he wakes up in the mornings, he's totally happy to chill and play in his bed until we come get him. Love that kid.
He wasn't always that way, though. He started sleeping through the night when he was two or three months old, and we thought we were golden. The he got sick, and we would come in and hold him in the middle of the night until he went back to sleep, which he apparently liked. Truth be told, I really liked it to. Treasured it. Then he got better and, smart kid that he is, had no intention of losing his snuggle time. After all, a second child doesn't get a lot of one-on-one. We tried lots of things - feeding him more, putting him down later, getting him more outside time, whatever. Nothing worked, and when he hit four months old I returned to work a tired mess.
It took four more months to realize my career was on the verge of crashing down around me because I couldn't see straight. I was getting up once or twice a night, and had been almost continuously since the sleeplessness started sometime mid-third trimester. One night I woke up sitting on the floor of our room, my hand jammed between the bed frame and mattress. I have no idea how I got there - maybe I fell asleep standing up and then fell? Or maybe I was sleep walking? I have no history (that I know of) of doing that. Maybe I was getting in or out of bed for something and slipped? Regardless, it was seriously disconcerting. What if I'd been holding him at the time? In any case, my hand hurt for several weeks and served as a sort of wake up (no pun intended) call that my body/psyche was NOT happy with how things were going.
So we tried the Ferber thing - let him cry for ten minutes, go in and soothe him, then leave. Stretch to 15 minutes. But going in and then leaving would only get him more worked up, and it quickly became clear the strategy wouldn't work. So we went to full cry-it-out. And we learned that Lion, mellow as he usually is, has inherited the family stubborn side. (We should have known this, considering every relative on both sides of our family for generations is darn stubborn, but whatever. We could hope.) This first night he literally cried for hours. It was terrible. The second night, he only went for an hour and a half, and the third night was cake. It was over.
He's been sick and/or teething a lot since then, and when he's hurting you can be sure I'm in there post haste to comfort him. So we've probably backslid a bit on the sleep training, and I hope we don't have to do anything like it again. But we won't know until we make it through the winter sick season, get a teething hiatus, and he has no more excuses. So here's hoping I won't have occasion to write about it again.