For a while there (like two weeks) Abigail was doing great with sleep. We didn't have much of a bedtime routine that we stuck to night after night, but she did follow some semblance of her own routine during the work week. However, the weekends were shot. Which, as someone pointed out to me, is likely why the first few nights of the work week are horrible for getting her to sleep.
SO, after lots of research, tons of motivation from friends and family (some of you are reading this now!), and talkign about this with Daniel, we decided that we were going to use a modified CIO (cry it out) method with Abigail. Ferber wrote a book about it, Babywise is a popular book about it, and there are lots of CIO sites where people describe their own adaptations of the method.
Here is what happened with us on night number 1 (last night):
8-8:20: feed Abigail a BIG milk dinner :)
830: begin bedtime routine - we do bath (last night we didn't bc we wanted to make this simple for the first night), turned off living room lights and mute TV and read a bedtime book twice and kisses and cuddles (she was already drowsy by this point). i took her upstairs and rocked her for 10 mins and put her in crib
NO CRYING - the girl was OUT!!!
850-905: she slept upstairs while i was able to start laundry, fold clothes into separate piles (normally I have no time so i throw everythign into a big, semi-folded pile), and start the dishes
905: pathetic crying begins
9:05: we went and and checked on Abs, rubbed her tummy, told her we loved her and "shhhh'd" for a minute then left
9:07: Howling begins.
9:12: I repeat 9:05 scenario, she doesn't quiet and I leave after one minute, cries continue
9:23: Daniel goes up and repeats 9:05 scenario, she gets quite (I secretly wondered if he picked her up and cuddled her!!)
Until 9:45 we continue this routine, with our resolve crumbling:
"Dan, are we doing the right thing?" "I don't know. This was your idea, not mine." "WE agreed on this. We need sleep. Remember, hard doesn't mean wrong." "I know." minutes pass. howling continues interspersed with pathetic little sobs that break our hearts. "Robin, this is hard." "I know. Is it the right thing for us?" "I don't know" "Me either"
At 10 pm it was Dan's turn to go up and check on Abigail. By this time, it'd been one hour and in the last 10 minute chunk she had stopped crying several times...for about one minute each time then started back with small, quieter cries.
10pm: Dan goes upstairs to soothe
10:01 pm: Dan comes down, Abigail in his arms and says, "I'm sorry but those pathetic little gasps broke my heart." (you know the gasps....the ones after you have had a good cry and you're kinda hiccupping?" I fell in love with this man 100 times more at this moment, I swear!!
10:01-10:45: she sleeps in bouncy seat
10:45-11pm: Abigail eats (she always eats around 11ish), I gently rock her and she is out seconds after burping. I go to bed and Daniel settles in downstairs with Abigail in bouncy seat.
1 am: Abigail wakes for feeding, Daniel brings her up to our room in bouncy seat and I feed her and she goes right back to sleep...IN OUR ROOM, IN OUR BED. (not thrilled with this because she moves and grunts in her sleep and it makes us think she's awake and we don't sleep). it's my fault she slept for hours in our bed because I fell asleep rocking her...*sigh*
530 am: routine feeding, back to sleep in bouncy seat by bed til 9 am...now following daytime routine as normal
SO - there you have it. Our first night of Operation: Bedtime!! Not what we'd planned, not quite holding totally firm, but we slept. We got about 7 hours of sleep. I'm down with that. We are trying again tonight, so expect another update.
And please continue to give advice here and/or on facebook. We APPRECIATE all of it!