Sleep Training Success!
We finally decided to bite the bullet and try to let Miss Holly cry herself to sleep to see if that improved the constant waking situation. It was very hard to stand at the doorway and listen to her wailing, but OMFG you guys it totally worked. It was obvious that every time she was waking up in the middle of the night she was miserable because she wanted to still be asleep but didn't know how to go back down on her own. We've been doing a closely monitored cry-it-out for about 4 nights now and it's like night and day from where we started. The first couple of nights were tough but she has finally figured out how to suck on her fingers to soothe herself back to sleep on her own. We can actually hear her on the monitor wake up, shift around, suck her fingers and go back to sleep. If she does wake up and start crying (and she's not due for a feeding) she will settle herself down in 10-15 minutes. The last couple of nights she's only had to do this one time. It's still hard to listen to her crying but knowing that in 10 minutes she will fall asleep and stay asleep is wonderful. I think I agree with the opinion of the pediatrician-author of Baby 411 who said that months/years of sleep deprivation is more harmful to your baby than a week of sleep training. If nothing else it worked for us and for that I'm grateful.
Here's our progress:
Before: slept 8.5hr, woke 6 times
Day 1: slept 9.5hr, woke 4 times
Day 2: slept 10hr, woke 5 times
Day 3: slept 12hr, woke 3 times
Day 4: slept 12hr, woke 3 times*
*might I add during one of the most intense windstorms I have ever witnessed. It was howling and shaking our room so severely that Steve and I had to sleep in the guest room. All I can guess is maybe she thought she was on a car ride??