So you couldn’t follow through. You “gave in” and relaxed your boundaries? Or went back to the same old? I’ve been there numerous times, as have many others. It is extremely normal. It is also OK, and I don’t think your time has been wasted.
I tried controlled crying once with Alex. Kept it up for a few nights, then cracked, and couldn’t follow through. About a month later I tried the Dream Baby Guide and it went extremely smoothly. The Dream Baby Guide approach with my second child, at the same age, had no effect. I think the “failed” attempt at controlled crying prepared us for the change. Alex settled with much less resistance into sleeping through the night, and I had steeled myself for anguish again, and the resistance was comparably mild.
I had a similar experience with Liz. Here is my diary after giving up on night-weaning Liz at 20 months:
I felt all those familiar feelings, you probably know them “I gave up”, “I couldn’t do it”, “I failed”, “I might as well give up on uninterrupted sleep”. Then I stopped thinking all or none and realised this is why I promote sleep options, so when one fails, you don’t have to give up.
I tried some other approaches that didn’t involve a sleep sacrifice, but they didn’t work.
4 months later I took the same approach as before. There were 2 nights of mild resistance. For 2 weeks she was waking up as usual but settled back to sleep quickly without milk. The turning point was when she no longer stood up when she woke. When she broke the habit of standing up, stayed lying down, then she began to sleep through the night.
Give yourself a debrief. What worked? What didn’t? Did you see any improvements? Do you still think it was a reasonable request? How would you change it next time?
Take a few nights or even weeks to recover. Recruit help to catch up on sleep if you need to. Then try again. Both you and your baby will be better prepared this time.
In hindsight, if you don’t think that approach was right for your child, choose a different one.
If you want to outsource the thinking, you can always upgrade to the Sleep Consultancy Package.
You can do this. You will get your sleep back.