In the last few days, we have finally succeeded in Elisa crying herself to sleep ocassionally! That may not seem like a big deal, but the books all said that they should cry themselves to sleep after a bit – and she didn’t! She could cry full-steam for a full hour without any abatement in the crying (so it wasn’t just that we were softies – even though we are – and picked her up early!) She could fall asleep in our arms and be fast asleep for 20 minutes and we could put her down and she would frequently startle herself and start crying…and crying.
Now, before anyone feels too bad for us, we should mention that she DID sleep at night and went to sleep without crying, even when we put her down with her eyes open. So we can’t complain – but mommy really wanted her to sleep during the day without having to hold her most of the time!
In the process we learned a few tricks that did and didn’t work. She could fall asleep in the car or stroller like most babies – although we don’t leave home to use these remedies. To keep from bothering her office-mates, Kristin did get exercise walking around and around the quad at Houghton for 25 minutes Tuesday until Elisa was asleep. However, the swing does not work, more frequently leading from calm to crying baby than vice versa. One discovery was that if she was put down on her side after already asleep, she was more likely to sleep. In fact, one day in desperation for a nap of her own, Kristin discovered that Elisa is very happy sleeping under the covers in her parent’s bed. This allows Kristin to hear Elisa’s cries while keeping the bedroom door closed to keep the bedroom cat-free. So Mommy and Elisa have had a couple nice long naps together!
However, at this point we seem to be getting to a routine where Elisa can actually cry herself to sleep – even if it comes with a little (and it has been little) crying when she is put down at night. Today she still had two naps that she barely went to sleep with all the crying, but it was not full-steam crying the whole time. (It appears she can cry while she is sleeping…her morning nap alternated between short bursts of crying and perfectly peaceful countenance, with the crying becoming more infrequent.) She is also learning the trick of sucking on her hand or one of our pinkies to calm herself for sleep. So we are enjoying a little more predictability – and maybe tomorrow she can REALLY fall asleep after some crying!