Lately when Sarah Rochel wakes up in the middle of the night (fortunately she alternates with Llama) she often comes into our room because "it's too hard for me to sleep," and then asks to sleep anywhere but her bed - like one of our beds, or the chair in her room, or the chair in the living room.
Last night at bedtime, Sarah Rochel told me she couldn't go to bed because there were no sleepies in her tummy, only wakies.
(this picture is after many, MANY protestations that she didn't want to take a nap, and some tantrum whilst I went to tend to the baby. She really needs a daily nap still, but just isn't going to get it, which is a pity. She's even MORE wonderful and sweet when she's napped. Oh well.)
Tonight after she came out of bed for the nth time (okay, I think it was the third, but getting her INTO the bed in the first place was very challenging), I told her if she came out again she was going to get a BIG onesh (punishment). But mind you, I had no idea what it could be, since, hmm, I won't hit her, she doesn't have an allowance, I'm not going to keep her home from gan or friends because then nobody benefits... I finally had the idea that I would turn her night light off, but fortunately I wasn't called on it, as she (finally) passed out.
Tomorrow she's going on a gan field trip to the firestation. She wants to be a fireman. "But Sarah Rochel," I say, "then you'd be a firewoman." No. I want to be a fireman. "Oh."
Anyway, I had to sign a permission slip. A PERMISSION SLIP!! Considering I still feel closer to the life stage of needing to get permission slips signed, considering I have more experience forging parental signatures than performing parental signatures (it was for friends, honest Mom!)... this was somewhat monumental.
In other news, Shulamis is at that wonderful, delicious developmental stage of having a milestone a minute. Crawling. Pulling to standing in the crib (and trying and failing on many, many other less stable things). She gets to eat dairy in a few days (thus meaning we'll need to start buying cottage cheese by the case around here). She loves to laugh, loves to play with her sister, plays so nicely by herself. She stops when I say 'no' too (nice to have one child listening, sigh). Bli ayin hara! Her face also just totally changed, she just had a big growth spurt or something, because her head is less lumpy and some mornings I hardly recognize her.
But back to sleep. There's Shulamis. Wonderful, delicious, Shulama-llama, who has nights of lots of sleep and nights of lousy sleep.
So that's it. She'll be nine months old this week (!!) and it's time. We are not sleep training, but we are sleep coaching. Because it makes no sense that a baby can understand why they are nursed when they cry at 2 AM but not when they cry anytime before that (or whatever) it means we're attempting to eliminate night feedings, going with the theory that once she realizes she won't be nursed, she'll opt to keep sleeping. Since many nights she has gone long, long stretches with no food, I know she CAN do this.
And we're in the middle of the first test. About 20 minutes ago she woke up. I went in, and started my shushes and occasional back pats (bless her, she is brainwashed to lie down most of the time if I start patting her back - she did it to herself), and she would stop crying and be still (under my hand) and most of the time her eyes would be closed. She'd sit up, adjust her pacifier, I'd pat, she'd collapse down, I'd gently straighten out her legs (cause she was going from sitting to just flopping down, leaving her legs under her. Impressive!), pat pat, shush shush, she'd be perfectly quiet... until seemingly in her sleep, she'd come up to sitting again and we'd start over. After 10 minutes or so, her eyes were staying more and more open. So I left. She cried, and Yoav and I went in together - he saw what I was doing, and took over. Llama protested.
So he's been in there for a bit, she's been quiet. He just came back out (liveblogging!), she protested (darn squeaky door, must WD40), he just went back in... and we're getting there!
She CAN do this. I made sure today she napped well, that she ate well, drank a ton - she does not need to eat, she is not dirty or in pain. Her cry is that of the insulted babe (she's even cute when she's insulted, especially cute actually) and after the first few minutes she even stopped making her little right-arm rotation movement which I think is accurately interpreted as "pick me up now, woman, and I wouldn't mind a cuppa neither."
Did I mention I'm happy Yoav is back from his latest camp overnight? Last night I spent about 70 minutes with a wide awake Llama around 1 AM, whilst he got about 10 hours of straight, consecutive sleep. It is soooo his turn!
Hollering, hollering. He must have tried leaving again. But not getting worse.
Much quiet. He leaves. Crying. BUT within 60 seconds, petering, petering... now I'm sure she's still awake (Yoav said she was just crawling around the crib while he was there) but she's learning. We're coaching. She knows what she needs to do, just hasn't done it yet.
She's alone. Quiet, with the occasional token protest. She's learning!
The biggest hashkafic issue with letting a very young child "cry it out" is that it disrupts their nascent understanding of a parental / God figure who will always answer their cries. But by us being in there with her, that is avoided. So IY"H she'll still have healthy relationship with us and God, and will never forge signatures on permission slips (hers or those of others) and let us all answer, amen.