Up until about a month ago, Lucie would always go down for a nap or night-night in my arms. Yeah, you heard me. I held her in my lap on our big chair until she fell asleep, then I would *gingerly* transfer her to her crib.
Is that weird for a 9-month-old? Well, apparently, yes.
Ok, fine. So I decided enough was enough; she needs to learn how to “put herself to sleep.” SHE, however, did not agree one bit…
The first week was a dis-as-ter. I was cobbling together bits and pieces of advice from mommy friends and things I had read… who knows where. I would put her in her crib completely awake, say “goodnight,” and then walk away.
She cried. And cried. And cried. I even thought she was going to puke at one moment. This made me feel really great, let me tell ya.
As instructed, I would go back in after 5 minutes, then 10, then 20, blah blah (did it get to blah blah? Oh yes, it did). The problem was every time I would go in, she would stand there screaming with her arms outstretched. When I went to her, laid her back down and walked away – OH MY GAWD, this made the whole situation WAY, waaaaaay worse. Some nights I would have to leave the house to walk around the block because I simply couldn’t take it. It was about to make ME cry (and in fact, did, at one point).
Discussing with the Noe moms at lunch the other day, my friend Diane asked what our routine was.
Yeah, yeah, our routine. Right. It was something like, me: change her diaper, turn the lights down, sing a song. That count? Apparently, no. Diane suggested a more in-depth and… lengthy routine, at which I promptly rolled my eyes.
Ok fine, so that night (which was Monday), I put my lengthy routine hat on. About 45 minutes before bedtime, we started with a bath. A long, luxurious, soapy bath. This included a full hair washing and scalp massage (I was NOT going to skimp, no sirreee). This was followed by jammying, a long and un-rushed nursing session (num-nums), not one but TWO books, finished finally with a “slow-dance” to an Enya song, all the while turning the lights progressively lower at each step.
Well, SUMM-BITCH if that didn’t do the trick! She cried for maaaaybe 3 minutes. Then done. Out. Goodbye. Asleep. Finito.
Needless to say, since Monday, I have done this every time with great success. Yay me! Yay us!
Thanks, Diane. Your seemingly ridiculous idea worked wonders. I owe ya one.