We put her to bed (after her normal routine) at 6:45. She went down easily as usual, and she did wake up a handful of times, but only for a couple of minutes and then back to sleep! Until 3:21, that is.
She woke up fussing at 3:21, but she was not crying so after a few minutes we both fell back asleep. The walls are paper thin between our room and her room (the bathroom) so we will definitely hear her if she starts crying hard. We woke up again at around 4 and she was still fussing, so my husband got up with her and comforted her, trying to get her back to sleep for around 20 mins or so. No luck. He gave her another 15 minutes and went back in. This time he stayed with her fo 45 minutes and she got to sleep a few times but as soon as he would put her down or close the door she would wake up. He returned to bed feeling discouraged but I reminded him that his job is not necessarily to get her back to sleep, its to comfort her so that she doesn't feel abandoned and knows that we are there if she really needs us. Even in our sleepy state we can certainly decipher between a baby fussing (which many times they do to self soothe and get themselves back to sleep) and a baby who is crying out for help. It is actually very important to allow her some time to fuss on her own without rushing back in so that she can blow off steam/energy and get herself to ease into sleep. She will let us know when she needs us, and knowing that gave me a boost of confidence during the night while listening to her.
He went back in for another 5-10 minutes, and this time he got her to sleep... But this time it was 5:30!
We felt bad because now is when she could have woken up to nurse! But she was back to sleep, and slept until 7! So I would say that we have made some serious progress!
She went from waking up between 3-5 times a night, to waking up once on the 3rd night.
She slept a record of 8.5 hours on night 3. I never even expected that!
The Future Plans:
We will leave her in the bathroom in the pack n play until she is reliably sleeping through the night.
Then we will move her into her sister's room!
I have read that they need 12 hours (or so) of sleep per night so I will plan on reaching that eventually, (our older daughter was already doing that by 6-7 months) but I think that if she wakes up anytime between 5-6 from now on I will just bring her into bed and nurse her.
The Sleep Training Summary:
All in all, this is the first time we have seen real improvement in getting our baby to sleep-this is actually working-and without too much stress on our part or the part of our baby. It is tough, admittedly we have been frazzled through the process. But it was only 3 nights, and we hope that it will pay off.
I do notice that she is "clingier" ( I really don't like that term-it feels like it downplays and insults the need for affection, but I used it for lack of a better term) during the day and wants to nurse and be held much more than before. But I think that is great, because day time is the time for eating and cuddling!