So, we tried the No Cry Sleep Solution and haven't been impressed. Even sticking to the book's methodology consistently for weeks, Emma was still waking up 6-8 times a night. The heartbeat CD helped Emma a ton but wasn't consistently keeping her asleep all night. Ryan and I had lost our patience with her and each other and Emma was starting to show signs during the day of being overly tired and stressed. It was time to find another solution.
A friend of mine recommended the Sleep Easy Solution a while back. She had used the methods on her son and said the results were great. The Sleep Easy Solution is a sleep learning that involves crying and we were against it at first. My friend who recommended it is a Child and Family Therapist and I trust and honor her opinion on a lot of things so, when Ryan and I decided we were willing to help Emma learn to soothe herself, we bought the book right away.
It all makes sense... Emma can't learn to self soothe if I'm running into her room all night long and attaching her to my breast... duh... The book is similar to the Ferber method with allowing the baby space and time to figure out how they can soothe themselves. Think about how you sleep, snuggled into a pillow? On your side? Holding your sheet just in the right way? Well, no one TOLD you how to do that, you figured it out at some point or another and everybody is different. So, by scooping Emma out of her crib at any little peep and letting her nurse back to sleep, I was telling her that she wasn't able to take care of herself and that she NEEDED me to fall back to sleep if something disturbed her during the night. Ooops.
Remember that space and time I talked about giving your kid so they can figure out how to self soothe? Well, that is a nice way of saying letting them cry it out till they figure it out : ( According to the book, we were to "check in" with Emma after 5 then 10 then 15 minutes of crying had passed. Checking in means approaching her cribside, not touching and not getting close enough that she would think we were going to pick her up, and saying encouraging, loving words. We told her she was alright, that it was time to sleep and we were very proud of her for trying to figure it out. Then, we had to leave the room... with her still crying... so.so.so hard!
The first night was rough. We drank wine and ate ice cream. We cried while she cried. I did the check in's and, after 37 minutes, she slept! All night long!
Last night, she cried for 7 minutes. Tonight, 1 minute! Not only is she going to sleep by herself, she's staying asleep by herself and, when she does wake up, she fusses for a bit but then she goes back to sleep... get this... by herself!
Naps are a little tougher but I'm so proud of her progress. I peek in on her sometimes when she's stopped crying and is quietly figuring out how to soothe herself. She's the most adorable thing as she grabs her feet and snuggles her blanket that my mother knit for her. She wiggles her body back and forth like she's nuzzling into a sandy beach and then, when I peek in later, she's passed out with arms and legs splayed out around her.
Not only has this worked for us better than we expected (and less painfully, I might add), we stopped swaddling AND stopped using the pacifier the same night we started! The book plainly states that the things I was doing to comfort her to sleep (nursing, swaddling, putting the paci back in her mouth) were keeping her from figuring out how to get herself comfy cozy and fall asleep independently. We figured, let's get it all out of the way and really get this done and tada!!! We did it!
I'm no expert on this but I can say that I am very pleased at how Emma has done and I would recommend this method to parents who have already tried other no cry solutions. Emma is happier during the day and I know it's due to her getting better sleep at night. Just look at this face!!!
I'm happy to answer questions about our experience if you have any, ask away!