Friday, March 18, 2011
What started off as a little "stranger danger" has seemingly escalated into full-blown separation anxiety. Well, at least at bedtime.
This week, Nora suddenly changed from being the type of baby we could put to bed wide awake, to the baby who's head will shoot up as soon as it hits the mattress, and who will scream bloody murder as soon as we turn our backs to walk out of the nursery door. As soon as we go back in, she's fine. As soon as we turn around to walk out again, screaming. Not just crying, SCREAMING.
We've tried different methods every night. First, we tried to do "modified" cry-it-out, where we let her cry for a few minutes, go in, shush-pat, and then walk back out. Previous to this separation anxiety stuff, if we ever had a night where she cried (rare), this is what we would do, and we were very successful with it. Now? Not so much. Two hours later, I had gone in at least a dozen times (had even picked her up and tried to rock her to sleep, but she woke up as soon as she was back in her crib), and she was still awake and crying whenever we were not in the room. Michael ended up patting her back until she fell asleep, and at that point she was finally out for the night.
The second night, I couldn't take anymore crying, so I stayed in there with her, patting/rubbing her back until she was sleeping. At one point, I was just sitting there, and that was apparently fine with her, too. Once she was out, I was able to sneak out of the room and all was fine.
Third night? She was really tired, so she actually went down really easily. But don't you worry--she still made sure to lift her head up to make sure I wasn't going anywhere before closing her eyes for the night.
Now, we are back to the SCREAM-YOUR-HEART-OUT fest. I'm sort of at a loss for what to do. I keep reading that the fear of separation is real, to not ignore it--and we don't. We go in there and comfort her. But she doesn't STAY comforted. And she really doesn't care to be rocked to sleep. It happens every once in a while that she'll fall dead asleep on me, but usually, she rests her head but she wriggles around like she wants to be put down so she can stretch out. It's like she can't get 100% comfortable. Patting her back to sleep doesn't always work, either. A lot of times it's a distraction and she keeps lifting her head to look at us.
I hope this phase is a short one! It's just too sad. :(