I hope I am not getting ahead of myself, but the last three days have been so wonderful sleep-wise with Agatha.
Our routine before was just waiting for Agatha to fall asleep. During the day this meant she would normally fall asleep after nursing or while we were rocking or bouncing her. Then we would lay her down and she would inevitably wake up twenty minutes later. Or I would put her in her bouncer chair and she would continue to sleep, but I wanted to break that habit.
At night, she wouldn't fall asleep until sometimes two in the morning, and only after being walked, bounced, sat in front of the stove fan, sang to, etc. It was very frustrating. She would sleep for 3 to 5 hours at a time once she fell asleep, so that was fine, but the timing was not acceptable. Or the amount of time it took to get her to fall asleep.
I read a few books on sleep and they all said to put the baby down and let her fuss and cry. I could check on her every so often but she would have to learn to soothe herself and would have to "cry it out." I tried it one night for about five minutes. It just wasn't for me. First of all, Agatha is still very young and I want her to trust me. Chris and I are her whole world right now and she looks to us for all her needs. I thought there had to be a better way for all of us.
I heard about The No-Cry Sleep Solution and requested it from the library. I started reading it the first night I had it and immediately had a few major breakthroughs. That night around 12:00, I laid with Agatha on the bed for awhile and just spent some quiet time with her. When she started to get quieter and looked drowsy, I moved her to the Pack n Play and swaddled her with her arms in. (We had stopped doing this several weeks ago because she seemed to fight it.) Then, I stayed in the room with her and soothed her by putting my hands on her when she started fussing. I also gave her a pacifier to suck on. When she started to look like she was about to fall asleep, I took the pacifier away, to try to encourage her to learn to fall asleep without sucking. It took about ten minutes total and she slept for seven hours straight!
The next day I started doing the same thing for naps. And I did the same thing that next night. That night she slept from 10:45 to 3:45 and then from 4:00 to 8:30, nursing in between. Last night she slept from 10:30 to 2:20, then 2:30 to 5:30, then 5:50 to 9:30, nursing at wakings. Every nap I have done the same thing and it takes her about five minutes to fall asleep.
I know it has only been a few days, but I am amazed. Instead of waiting for her to fall asleep, I pay attention to when she looks like she is getting tired and get her ready to sleep. Maybe this is a big DUH! thing to other moms or more experienced moms, but it was like a light coming on for me. There are lots of other great tips and insights in the book that I am looking forward to utilizing as she gets older.
Hopefully, we will continue to have success.