. . .or, as Mr. Trillwing puts it, "Hardass Time."
Over the past couple of days in dealing with Luke's distressing sleep habits, Mr. Trillwing and I have both come close to breaking down in our own special (but, thank goodness, rare) ways: me through depression and crying, he through displays of anger.
The crux of the problem, besides our obvious sleep deprivation, stems from our parenting philosophies on sleep:
I'm pretty much an attachment-parenting type. I believe that there are times, such as late evening, when Luke is obviously tired, when we should let him fuss and cry himself to sleep. However, during the day, I tend to rush to Lucas's side if he expresses discomfort.
Mr. Trillwing, on the other hand, has become a big fan of the ol' Ferber method of letting the little guy cry it out whenever it appears a nap is nigh.
This afternoon, after some heated "discussion"--we don't argue, and as strange and perhaps unhealthy as that seems, it's worked for us so far--we compromised. Our plan:
1. Mr. Trillwing will continue to rise with Lucas at whatever ungodly hour the boy chooses.
2. Lucas has the opportunity to take a fuss-free morning nap, meaning it's not scheduled and we don't force the issue. If he falls asleep, fine. If he skips this nap (he rarely does), that's fine, too.
3. The afternoon nap, which Luke occasionally skips, becomes mandatory. Around 2:45, Mr. Trillwing will sit down in his comfy office chair with Luke for some quiet reading and soothing music. If Luke falls asleep, Mr. Trillwing puts him in his crib. If Luke doesn't fall asleep, he still goes into his crib. We let him cry it out until he's asleep or until 45-60 minutes have passed. (This is the part of the plan with which I'm least happy, as I hate, hate, HATE hearing the little guy scream during the day, when my nurturing instincts are most powerful.)
4. Mr. Trillwing will continue to go to bed at an early hour (usually 6 p.m.). I'll be better about establishing an evening going-to-bed routine, with the hope of having Luke conk out between 8 and 8:30 p.m. I'll put him down no later than 8:30. If he cries and wakes up Mr. Trillwing, Mr. T will just have to deal with the noise (currently I rock and comfort Luke until Mr. Trillwing wakes up from his evening "nap" around 10-11 p.m.).
5. When Luke wakes up in the middle of the night, there will be no more regular bringing him into bed with us, because once he's in there, he stays for the rest of the night, refusing to go back into the crib. He also tosses and turns, which means Mr. Trillwing can't sleep and ends up on the couch. I'd really like to share a bed with my husband, and that means ending the co-sleeping on the average night.
If Lucas cries in the middle of the night, neighbors be damned. We'll comfort him, but we won't bring him into bed.
We're hoping being strict about this schedule means in we'll have a better sleeper in 2-3 weeks. I'm feeling kind of heartless at the moment (there's much screaming going on as I type), but really, we've reached the end of our rope on this issue. Luke is perfectly easy going about every issue but sleep, and it's time he establishes a human (and humane) sleep schedule.
Comments, advice, and good vibes are welcome!