After trying to put my sleeping 18 MO down for the third time Friday night, I’d finally had it. She needed to learn how to fall asleep on her own. Being a breast fed baby, she’d always fallen asleep in my arms, even after I weaned her. She would take her little hand and stick it inside my shirt and rub my shoulder and chest until she fell asleep; then it was hit or miss whether she stayed asleep when I put her down in her crib.
Well I decided that was it, she was going to fall asleep in her crib on her own if it took all night. So I slipped into her room and carefully placed my nearly asleep daughter into her crib, then sat down in the rocking chair six inches away. Less than three seconds went by before she started to scream. Now, I don’t mean the cute little baby cries you hear on TV. I’m talking Janet Leigh, Psycho caliber screams. She screamed so loudly my 10 YO came downstairs with tears in her eyes and asked if she could pick up the baby and rock her to sleep. I sent my 10 YO back to her room with some ear muffs and tissues and sat back down in the rocking chair.
Every few minutes I would try to rub the baby’s back or lay her down, but she would scream even louder, hitting me or pushing me away. I turned on some soft music (not that she could hear it with all the screaming going on), I tried a night light, no night light, hall light on, hall light off, I even dragged out one of her old baby toys that clips onto the crib and plays music with a little light show. One hour later she was still screaming and my ears hurt.
Finally, after I was just about to give in, she slowly began to quiet down. Leaning against the side of the crib and stared at the lights from the baby toy. Her cries tapered off into one of those pitiful, hiccup-type breathy cries and her head started to sway back and forth like a drunk just before he passes out. I held my breath and eureka! she was asleep, sitting up in her crib. I debated what to do; I can’t leave her like that, she will wake up with a sore neck and plank marks on her face. So I very gently laid her down and OMG you’d thought I had dropped her 10 feet. The earsplitting screams continued.
By this time I’d had enough of her baby blackmail and I became even more determined to get her to go to bed on her own. Hey, if Supernanny can do it with all of those misbehaved children on her show in just a few short hours, how hard can it be? I searched under the bathroom sink for some ear plugs left over from my last business trip (two years ago) and armed myself with a People magazine and an Itty Bitty Book Light.
Her piercing screams sliced right through my ear plugs and this time she was just as determined to get me to lift her up out of that damn crib as I was to get her to fall asleep. It was the battle of the wills and 50 minutes later, the baby won. I was no match for her super powerful lungs and pitiful little tear stained face. I picked her up and sat down on the couch to watch the end of Letterman. Within seconds, she was sound asleep and snoring just like her daddy. I waited another few minutes just to be sure she was out for the count and then carefully placed her into her crib, covered with her quilt and tiptoed out of her room, closing the door behind me.
Yeah, I’m not Supernanny, so what; Supernanny can suck it.