It didn't occur to me until commenting on some other blogger's posts about sleep issues that I actually have a set of goals for B's sleep, and I am slowly reaching them.
The first and most important goal was getting B to sleep through the night - and this entailed removing the allure of my magical orbs, which then fed into goal #2 which is having B sleep in his crib. I have accomplished both of these, which is a cause of great celebration around here. Now to tackle goals #3 & 4, which are getting B to sleep before I go to sleep (so, alone in the bedroom), and then finally getting B to nap during the day in the crib.
Tonight I got B to sleep in the bedroom without me but more out of necessity - I had my book club over and there was a huge mess to clean up and it was after 10 already, so I had no desire to keep him up any later (he'd been rubbing his eyes for a couple of hours already) nor could I leave all the food out overnight. So I figured tonight was as good a night as any to get him to go to bed on his own.
It was rough, but we survived. I probably came in here five times in a half hour period to make him lie down; each time he'd stand and scream at the edge of the crib and each time I'd lay him down, cover him with the blanket, and put his stuffed animal in his hand, rubbing his chest and telling him it's sleepy time. It was similar to his first night in the crib (but quicker). Naps are harder because of the daylight...not sure how to handle that. Right now he mostly naps in the car, but that's becoming increasingly inconvenient. And you don't want to be around a one year old who hasn't napped. I did get him to nap in the crib once (see picture) but that was an anomaly. Subsequent tries have involved a couple of hours of cruising around the edge of the crib while crying until I just take him out because he's clearly not tired enough to settle down and sleep. So, naps are hard.
Still and all, I admit I am not bothered by my son's screaming. I mean, babies cry all the time. He used to scream every time we got in the car, for hours. So it doesn't feel bad to me. I know I'm doing what's best for him, and with me reappearing to lie him down he knows he's not been abandoned, he's just mad and frustrated that he's not getting to nurse to sleep in my bed like I did for a year. I don't know if I'm just a cold bitch, but this listening to him scream thing really is not a big deal.
Looking back now I can say all the warnings were correct - don't let them sleep in your bed, don't nurse to sleep, teach them to self-soothe, they need an early bedtime, etc etc. Now it's ok that I'm doing all this now; I'm fairly confident I can undo all these bad habits in just a few weeks. He's young enough that it won't be too hard - after all, we've already met two of four goals! But if I had it to do all over again I for sure would have done all of this about six months ago.
I'll tell you one thing - if there is going to be another baby around here (or a pregnant me), B's going to be sleeping like a champ, pronto. There'll be no fucking around if this becomes a two kid family, this I can promise you!