This post will be considerably shorter than yesterday's post, mainly because Harlow cried it out for a grand total of ELEVEN MINUTES last night. Allow me to do a little happy dance before I continue.
But wait. Before I talk about last night (aka DAY TWO), let me finish the rundown of Monday night (aka DAY ONE). I'll keep dancing if you need to get caught up.
In a nutshell, Harlow went to sleep after crying it out for a little under two hours. Hellish, but we got through it. And by "we", I mean "me", because Mike left the apartment because he couldn't take it.
Harlow then skipped her midnight feeding and woke up for the first time at 3am. I did as I was instructed by Erin, the sleep consultant— I walked in, replaced her pacifier, rubbed her blankie on her cheek, and walked out. No talking or eye contact.
Harlow continued to cry so at the ten minute mark, I walked back in and repeated the routine. About a minute after I walked out the second time, Harlow stopped crying and went back to sleep.
At 6:20am, I woke up.
Not because Mazzy was screaming for the television or because I almost rolled over a baby brought into our bed in a moment of exasperation at 4am.
I woke up just because that was the time I happened to open my eyes in bed. A foreign concept, I know. Miraculously, both kids were still sleeping in their room.
You know what I did? I TOOK A SHOWER. I didn't even have to tell anybody I was doing it.
At 6:45am, Mazzy woke up pleasant and well-rested. After all, she had just gotten over 12 hours of sleep. Harlow was immediately woken up by Mazzy's voice and after changing her diaper, I took everyone into the living room.
Erin says that if the girls get up any time from 5:30am to 7:30am, we should greet them with a smile, turn on the lights and start the day.
When Erin first told me this part of the plan, I was worried because typically Harlow wakes up at 5am and I get her to go back to sleep by bringing her in our bed. We can usually squeeze another hour out of her until Mazzy comes in and wakes us all up. But since the girls woke up at 6:45am anyway, getting up with them wasn't a big deal.
In fact, I'm feeling sillier and sillier that I did not sleep train sooner. Especially since Harlow woke up as A COMPLETELY DIFFERENT BABY.
She stayed still when I changed her diaper.
She didn't whimper when I put her down on the floor to play with her toys independently.
She didn't crawl her legs up my body and try to fling herself over my shoulder when I held her.
It's interesting. I didn't think Harlow had a bad temperament or was particularly overtired before the sleep training, but now I realize I was wrong. Over the past few months, she has been incredibly clingy. Prefering to be held all the time by only a very select group of people. If you try to pass Harlow to anyone who isn't myself, her dad or our nanny Ruth, she acts like we are having her incarcerated.
Harlow is also a bundle of energy. She moves constantly and is always turning her head this way and that, flailing her arms and legs in all directions, wriggling out of my grasp but then getting upset when I put her down.
I don't want to jump the gun but it appears that one night of sleep training has already made a big difference in Harlow's demeanor. Whether this means she is broken or rejuventated, I'm not sure. But by all accounts she seems…dare I say it?
This is a huge point I want to make, because I think the naysayers on my facebook page are all under the impression that parents sleep train for themselves. They think it's a selfish enterprise so that weary moms and dads sick of tending to their children late at night can get more sleep.
That is only part of the equation.
Sleep training is just as beneficial for the child as it is for the parents. Probably even more so. A well rested child with a solid routine and the ability to soothe themselves is the main reason people sleep train. A solid night of sleep for ourselves is a wonderful bonus.
Which brings me to the nap time plan, which we started yesterday morning.
Erin recommended putting Harlow down at 8am regardless of what time she woke up. She told us to treat nap times exactly like bedtimes. The only difference being that during the day, Mike and I depend on our nannny, Ruth while we are at work. I actually stayed home half the day so that I could be with Ruth during sleep training. I didn't want to put that responsibility totally on her, although I did foward her a copy of the plan so she could be just as well-versed in it as I am.
Harlow cried her way through the entire first nap. Erin said to go in every ten minutes to check on her, but if she didn't fall asleep after one hour (exactly what happened), to take her out of the crib.
We kept Harlow up until 12pm when it was time for her second nap. Harlow cried for ten minutes, but fell asleep right after the first check-in. She woke up an hour later.
Erin said to make the first two naps in the crib, with our new black-out shades in full effect (another thing I wish I did sooner). She refered to the third nap (at 3pm) as the "bridge nap" and said it was fine to take place in the stroller. At this point, I was at work but Ruth reported that Harlow slept for an hour in the stroller, waking up at 4pm.
Two hours later, at 6pm, it was time to start the bedtime routine all over again. Feeding, changing, books, etc.
Both girls were in bed by exactly 6:38pm.
Harlow cried for ten minutes, I did my first check-in and then Harlow stopped crying a minute after I walked out.
But it wasn't over yet.
Mazzy was still up talking to herself and started to call my name at about 7:15pm. When I poked my head in to tell Mazzy to be quiet, Harlow started crying again. I don't know if that was because Mazzy woke her up or because she had never actually fallen asleep. Thankfully, she stopped crying as soon as I walked back out.
Mazzy fell asleep about fifteen minutes later and by 7:25am the house was wonderfully quiet with both girls fast asleep.
Can I claim success on Day Two? I'll refrain and wait to see what happens tomorrow, but I'm feeling confident we are on the right track.
Which brings me to the negative comments on my facebook page, many of which I haven't even read. I gave up trying to delete them because I don't think I care enough to waste my time. Plus, it seemed like by last night's update, many of those people had unfollowed and the thread was almost 100% positive.
Thank you to everyone who has commented or emailed me with their support. Please know that I am not bothered by the people claiming "child abuse!" on my fanpage. I am no parenting expert. I do tons of things wrong and make decisions I am unsure of all the time. But this is not one of them. I am 100% confident sleep training is the best thing for my girls so I am not thrown by people flinging nonsense.
I sincerely hope if there are other readers training their kids this week along with me, they are confident enough in their plan to ignore the naysayers too.
If you'd like to keep following my plan in real time, join the Mommy Shorts facebook fanpage.
If you'd like to hire my sleep consultant, Erin, you can find her at Pickles & Ice Cream.