We decided it's time to sleep train, she's no longer a little baby and it's starting to take longer to get her settled at night for bed. Not a good thing for mommy-daddy time or my sewing time for that matter, lol!
So, loosely following Jo Frost's (the Supernanny) sleep technique, we're introducing her to the fact that when she's tired she doesn't need Mommy or Daddy to PUT her to sleep, she can do it herself if she just settles down, lies down and allows herself to go to sleep.
At 9:10pm (plenty late enough in my opinion) I got her to give us a kiss night-night and took her up to her crib. She has a night-light on the wall at the base of her crib (it's a slight sleigh crib with the short ends being solid, so there's no light in her eyes or anything) but the main light was off and the door was closed, so no light from the hallway to unsettle her either.
She cried and got up, I put her down and told her it was time to sleep, night-night. She cried and took longer to stand up. When she did I said nothing, just lay her back down. Each time i went back to sitting on the twin bed in her room, where she could see me and know I wasn't "leaving her", but i wasn't making eye contact, moving, or talking...just sitting very very still.
Now don't mis-understand me...when I say "she cried" I don't mean in pain, or that absolutely pitiful cry that little ones can make when they're feeling utterly alone and terrified. No, just that cry that says "I don't WANT to go to bed mommy"...then a little bit of sniffing and watching you to see if you'll pick her up....Then a bit more crying...standing again, I laid her back down again...little more crying, then sniffing and watching me...and then she didn't get up again...just cried, sniffed, listened and watched me...wash, rinse, repeat for about another 20 minutes...and at about 25 minutes, she stopped crying and watching me...she watched the fan...she "knocked" on her crib...
And then she started closing her eyes once in a while...a little more wiggling....a little more eye closing, but a bit more often...and then they were closed for longer periods of time than open....and then she started to doze! I waited...waited until her hand stopped twitching occasionally... waited until her sucking on her paci slowed so much that I was sure she was drifting deeper into la-la-land. Then I stood up, a little at a time to make sure she wasn't jerking awake when the squeaking of the floor and creaking and popping of the bed frame....and slowly and quietly I opened the door and walked out, closing the door behind me on a sleeping babe as cute as can be!
And now ladies and gentlemen, it's almost time for my sweet husband to put me to bed as it's past my bedtime as well. And while I am always finding "one more thing to do" before I let him guide me to bed, I can guarantee I never cry when I realize it's finally time to lay my head down, and sleep....