The Discipline Book, by Dr. Sears, basically the guru on all things attachment style parenting.
I've always known that I was going to raise the owlet in the attachment style, as a former school based therapist and Naropan, it was really the only thing that made sense. But people and naysayers tried to get me to move away from that, especially when the owlet was still a newborn. People asked me why he wasn't sleeping through the night, and suggested that I tried Cry It Out, which we did, with no success, and with great suffering on my part.
(as a side note, Sears mentions that if you try this, as a last resort, or because it's what's been spouted to you and you feel like it's not for you...then it's not for you. Hmmm. Brilliant.)
Going back to what the hubs and I knew was right for us, although it took quite a bit longer with the owlet, actually worked. The owlet now sleeps from about 6:30pm to about 6:30am. Amazing, right? He also naps in his own crib, which means I can enjoy watching tv or blogging or whatever while he naps, without worrying about being too noisy and tip-toeing around.
What did we do, you ask? We listened to our guts and what we knew was right for our child and our situation. We still sit in his room while he falls asleep, both for naps and for bedtime. We shush him, from across the room, if needed. We let him know that we are there, that we care for him, and that we want him to be happy. If he wakes in the middle of the night, I go in to find out what's wrong. For a couple weeks he was waking up around 3am, like clockwork. For a couple nights, I sat in his room, next to his crib, waiting for him to fall asleep. But I was miserable. I was cold, uncomfortable and just wanted to sleep. So, I gave in and he came to bed with me, and we both slept until about 6ish. I don't know what changed, but he doesn't need that anymore. Maybe it was his way of reconnecting with me. He got his cuddles in, and realized that sleeping by himself was ok, so now he doesn't wake up anymore.
Lately, thanks to the Discipline Book, (and also thanks to getting a good night sleep again), I have been a much happier mommy, and a mommy who is more able to spend time actually enjoying my child. I spend time on the floor with him in the afternoons, letting him know I'm there for him, and there with him, instead of just sitting on the couch, letting him come to me with books.
I've noticed a change in him when I do this. He doesn't need to be told not to touch the tv as much, because he's getting the attention he wants in a good way, instead of in a bad way. He's fun. He smiles more (I didn't even think that was possible, but it is). He seems, calmer, somehow.
This isn't to say that before he was running around like a crazy, knife-weilding toddler. He has always been pretty great. But I've definitely noticed a shift in him. And, in myself. Getting enough sleep, working fewer hours, stressing less, has made me be able to not just run on survival mode anymore.
And it. Feels. Fabulous.
I think I just needed this book to say to me, "hey, you know all that stuff that you know about how to raise a happy, healthy, successful kid? All that stuff you used to tell the parents you worked with that they needed to do? Yeah, you need to do that. Because it's right, and you know it. And you're getting enough sleep now, and you're happier now, so, what's stopping you?"