An Update on The Rocker
1. I added back in the morning nap. It took her half and hour to settle, but once she did, she slept for 45 minutes and woke happy and stayed that way the rest of the morning.
2. We were consistent. Each time we heard her sit up and start to rock, we went in and told her to lie back down and that it was time to rest. Her daddy swatted her leg the third time (she had on thick pajamas, and she didn't cry, but it was a physical reminder to her that she was not being obedient), and we didn't hear from her again.
3. I followed the same routine for her afternoon nap, and I had to tell her three times to lie down. She woke an hour and a half in when police cars, a fire truck, and am ambulance pulled up lights blazing and sirens blaring two doors down, but I went in as soon as I heard the rocking start. I put her back down, told her quietly but firmly to lie down, and I tucked her puppy under her arm. I didn't hear from her for almost hour. Again, she woke happy and stayed happy the rest of the afternoon and evening, giving me hug after hug between entertaining our neighbors and running around the house with her brother.
4. For bedtime tonight, I put Jack and her in bed at the same time since her naps were great, and she wasn't overtired. In the 10-minute span after I left the room, I went back in 6 times. I expected that nights would be more difficult because the habit of rocking is so ingrained in her at that time of day especially, so I wasn't surprised or upset. I was firm with her, and I followed the same routine. An aside: she has not cried once today when being told she could not rock.
Firmness and consistency.
We have been so fortunate that she's been such a great sleeper since we weaned the night feedings around 9 months that this 18-month sleep regression just threw me for a loop. Add in the fact that I stupidly took away her morning nap too early, and it just caused chaos. I am crossing everything crossable that she doesn't do this at 2 years old, but I know it's pretty likely. We will stand firm and remind her lovingly but firmly that she is not the one in charge (although she has us both wrapped around every single one of her fingers and toes). ;) We know what's best for her, and if that means we will have to remind her that naps and sleeping at night aren't optional, then we will do that. Because the end result? A happy, pleasant child to be around. And, a happy, pleasant momma, too. Even one who has survived the day on 3 1/2 hours of sleep. Go me. And, go coffee. And, go half a can of Coke.
Really, I know this is going to be a hard habit to break, just like thumb-sucking or pacifier-needing or nail-biting or cheddar jalapeño Cheeto-binging. Habits are habits because time and energy were spent making them so. It'll take time and energy to help her break it, as well.
Now, if only I can remember all of my determination in the middle of the night when this feisty chica is having her own fiesta ;).
(P.S. If you were one of the ones who prayed for us, I felt it. This day could have been craptastic, and it wasn't. So, thank you!)