Last night we started the sleep training process. I took the advice of a comment (thanks, Jen!), and tried a modified cry it out approach. I nursed her and then put her down awake in her crib. Left the room and let her cry for five minutes. Went back in, picked her up, sort of settled her down (not really because she wanted to nurse to sleep and I wasn't giving that to her), left the room. She cried for fifteen minutes before Ryan went in to sit with her. He didn't pick her up, and she eventually got the idea that he wasn't going to and laid down. Ryan said it was like a light going on when she figured out that he wasn't going to pick her up. He sat in the room until she fell asleep. She slept for maybe an hour before she woke up. I gave in and let her nurse, but didn't let her fall asleep that way. She went back to her crib and laid there, awake but drowsy, for a long time. She didn't cry. I stayed in the room with her, sang to her for awhile, and as she started to fall asleep she insisted on holding my hand. It took a long time to extricate myself from her grasp once she fell asleep. She woke up crying a few minutes after I left the room. Ryan went in and sat in the room with her, not touching her, not picking her up. She quickly fell asleep and stayed that way for a couple of hours. The next time she woke up was around 12:30, and we let her come into bed with us, as is the usual middle of the night protocol. We want to work on that too, but I think we need to take things one step at a time.
For her nap this afternoon I followed a similar plan and let her nurse, put her down awake where she did not protest. She was tired but wanted to play, so I left the room and let her cry for five minutes. Went back in and rubbed her back, but didn't pick her up, and she fell asleep within a few minutes.
This is a lot of work but I think that we are making progress. She is learning that it's okay to fall asleep in her crib. She hasn't been protesting being put in her crib except for that first time. She does cry when we leave the room, and still needs the physical contact, or even presence, in order to fall asleep, but we're taking it one step at a time, and I believe that she will get to the point where we can lay her down awake and leave the room with no crying.
Thank you for all of the great comments and emails that you sent me about this issue! I should've asked for help long ago! I'm also looking into gettting the product that Sarah mentioned (see the past post comments). I looked at Target this weekend, but couldn't find it. I may have to order in online as I do believe that would help once she is in that drowsy state.
On another note, I will be calling the hospital tomorrow to find out when we should hear about the pathology report. I almost don't want to know the results.