We've enjoyed co-sleeping on and off--we put our daughter in her crib at around 8 months b/c we couldn't leave her alone in our bed safely. Most nights, she'd end up with us, but sometimes she slept through the night. Up until a few months ago, we could put her down for a nap or put her down to sleep. She would still wake up at night, but at least she fell asleep by herself. We were OK with things until recently, we realized that she doesn't sleep very well with us anymore, and she also doesn't let us sleep well, either.
I am now 5 1/2 months pregnant with Baby #2 and we have been making changes. I had to wean her a couple months ago. And I can't hold her as much b/c it makes my back ache. I don't know if these changes are what made her clingier or not, but for whatever reason, she has become a really terrible sleeper. No matter how tired she is, she will resist naps and bedtime. I tried a few times unsuccessfully to put her down, and had terrible meltdowns of my own when she resisted sleep despite being so exhausted. She used to be OK going to bed alone at night but now it is a very rare occurrence!!
I should note that the rest of the day, she spends with me. We laugh, play, read books, do chores, etc. Its not like I've made other drastic changes like put her in day care (not judging others who do, just saying that she is still with me otherwise). I have the sole responsibility of putting her to bed and training her since I can supposedly take naps during the day to catch up on missed sleep. Hah!
We finally decided to try to Sleep Lady Shuffle, where you put your chair next to the crib for 3 nights, staying there the whole time to reassure your tot that you are there for them, and then every 3 nights you move further and further away until you are in the hallway or in an adjacent room. We are on night #2 and she kept me there until almost 6 AM. She starts to cry for me and reach out for me, and to prevent total hysterics which would wake her up and DEFEAT THE PURPOSE OF HELPING HER SLEEP, I lean in and hug her or pat her, and she starts to fall asleep holding me tight. Eventually, she lets go, I sit back and pretend to sleep, and then eventually she sits down and falls asleep. That is what happened the last 2 nights. But she is exhausted today, and when I tried to lay down with her for a nap, she just played around and escaped. I was so tired from last night that I just put her in her crib. I've 'explained' to her that its nap time, that she doesn't have to sleep but she has to stay in her crib for some quiet time. I gave her all her dolls that she loves. And I left. 30-45 minutes she is still screaming her head off DESPITE BEING SO UTTERLY EXHAUSTED, but I don't think I can afford to be the slave of her sleep whims 24/7!!!
I have some doubts about what I will have to do to comfort her on day 4 of this Sleep Lady Shuffle, when I move my chair further from her crib and can't lean in to hug her and pat her head when she cries for me to hold her.
I've already worked so hard and I need to know that I can do this and that she will sleep better at nights!! I don't want to live a nightmare when Baby arrives!!! Do any of you have similar experiences with positive outcomes???!!!! I am trying to protect my sanity and prevent a meltdown of my own again. I am trying to not create negative association between her and her crib. I am trying to be rational and calm and loving about all this BUT ITS DRIVING ME CRAZYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY!