As night approaches the die has been cast, tonight we are going to start the graduated extinction method.
Multimummy puts out a clock on the living room table, a bottle of water, a notebook and a baby sleep book. She’s decided that during this process she’s going to give up on sleep once BabyBoy wakes up, and instead sit up with the monitor on, ready to time the intervals between going in to check he’s ok. A notebook is used to note down the minutes and to write down any observations. The baby sleep book outlines the method – she will have it ready to refer to during her vigil.
At 3.15am sounds on the monitor awake Multimummy. BabyBoy is stirring. He’s a bit on and off, Multimummy hopes that he might go back to sleep on his own. By 3.50am it’s clear that’s not going to happen. So she takes the monitor out of the bedroom, places it in living room with the sound turned down, and goes in to check on BabyBoy.
BabyBoy is sitting up, crying. He needs a cuddle and she gives it to him. Poor little mite. But this is for his own good. Once he’s calmed down and drowsy she puts him back in the cot. Wails immediately sound as she leaves the room.
Back watching the monitor BabyBoy has sat up again. Multimummy can hear his cries but resolutely writes down the first check time and notes down 4.15am, the next time she’ll go in unless he sounds too upset or (please!) he falls asleep.
4.15am, go in, check, cuddle, reassure, put BabyBoy in cot. Crying begins again. Multimummy swallows and checks baby sleep book.
4.30am, go in, check, cuddle, reassure, cot. Crying begins again. Multimummy has some water. This is hard. Will BabyBoy be traumatised by this?
4.50am, go in, check, cuddle, reassure, cot. A delay before the cries start up.
BabyBoy lies down, sits up, lies down, sits up. The cries are not desperate. Finally, at 5.12am, he is asleep. On his own. That’s my boy.
BabyBoy wakes at 6am. He plays and bit and then start to cry a bit. That’s enough for one night. Multimummy rushes in and sees BabyBoy holding his arms up for cuddles. He still wants mummy. She flings back the curtains as she picks him up. One night down.