Ok, sorry, I'm ignoring your inward groans as you see that I am, once again, on the topic of sleep training.
I'll keep it brief.
So Wednesday night, Calliope had her usual 4:15 am feeding... and then disdained her 7 am breakfast after less than a minute of nursing. She waited an additional four hours (the usual interval, but normally she eats at 7!) to chow down again.
This says to me that the child didn't need to eat at 4 am... otherwise she would've been hungry at 7 am.
And I really want her to eat at 7 am.
Amy, the mom I share a nanny with, and I were talking about sleep training that next weekend, and she shared that she was planning to work on sleep training that upcoming weekend. Not that night, Thursday night.
For reasons that made sense to my extremely exhausted, completely illogical brain, I got inspired by our conversation but decided to start, you guessed it, that night. Thursday night of my first full week back at work.
I know, genius, right???
And then I decided to combine two different methods... Friend Catherine's method of pushing the feeding back, closer towards the target wake up time (7 am) with Twe.lve Hours by Twe.lve Weeks method of reducing the volume of the feeding.
Even more super double genius, I know!
So yes, she woke up at 4 am, I let her squawk for an hour as I "slept" (not really) on the couch in the living room, where yes, I heard all of the louder peeps. After an hour, I got up and fed her for three minutes and put her back in her crib. Where she squawked for another half an hour.
So I was awake from 4 am until 5:30. With the alarm set for 6:15 am.
I got up and turned it off and went back to sleep for another 30 minutes because the world was just too ugly without a little more shut-eye, especially given the sheer and total fatigue I was already experiencing prior to that interrupted sleep.
The next night, Friday night, I went back to the drawing board and came up with the new plan. A brilliant one at that: namely, one method!
So I'm focusing on limiting the volume of the feeds.
Friday night (aka Saturday morning) I got up as soon as she woke up and fed her for three minutes. I put her back in the crib and amazingly, after about five seconds and two squawks, she was silent. I actually had to wake her up for her next feeding, the 7 am one!
Saturday night, I decided to decrease the time, even though I had orignally planned to do three nights at three minutes, because if it backfired, I figured it would be easier to cope on a weekend night.
But after the two minute feeding, fingers crossed, I placed her back in the crib and tiptoed back to bed, cringing and waiting for the crying.
But again, after two squawks, silence reigned.
So last night (this morning) I tried the two minute feeding again... and this time, there was more complaining. I'm guessing it was about 30 minutes. She never out-and-out cried, just did her occasional yell-thing that she does.
But then I had to wake her again this morning.
So tonight I am going to try again for the two minutes of nursing. I also topped her up with a bottle just before bed because she nursed early tonight, about an hour before bedtime. I wanted to make sure she was good and full.
We also had a lovely Mommy-Daughter bath together, very warm and cozy and nice.
I know she can do this because twice she has slept nearly twelve hours, the last time being the night before Thanksgiving.
If she can't, that's fine too... but I really think she can.
The only bad thing about my plan is that I am missing having the chance to bring her into bed in the early mornings. I'm missing my girl a little bit.
But it seems unfair to bring her into bed when I am trying to teach her to go back to sleep without nursing. For now.
Once we get acclimated to the two minutes of nursing, I will go to one minute of nursing. And then, I think, it will be just a pick-up-and-cuddle-for-a-minute routine.
The nanny said that Calliope took an extra ounce at one feeding today... though she took an ounce less at the other (for a total of 10 ounces between the two). So I don't know if that will help things tonight.