I know that some people think that this way of thinking is flat out crazy! And to some degree, I do think that it is a little overboard, but the concept works. Basically you get your kid on a 3 hour schedule when they are itty bitty. It goes something like this: Eat, play and then an hour and a half after they eat, you put them down for a nap. They should hap for 1 1/2 hours and then wake up happy. It of course works best when they actually sleep for the entire nap time. As they get older, you start dropping naps and they start sleeping longer at each nap and their feeding schedule gets more in line with what you actually do, breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snack. We started this with SD when she was a week old, at least the feeding part. It was really hard at first, BG had to hold her while she was crying so that she wouldn't try to start feeding. Then when I would put her down for a nap, I would have to let her cry it out, again, very hard. The book says you should leave them for at least 10 minutes at a time, if not longer. I would let her cry and then if she was out of control, I would rock her or something. You can tell their cry though and what it means after a while.
So, you are wondering, why am I talking about this now? Well, even though it was really hard in the beginning, we are STILL reaping the benefits of that training. SD pretty much knows when she goes to sleep, both for naps and at night, and is relatively pleased to be put in her bed. Even if she doesn't go right to sleep, she usually just talks or sings to herself in bed until she does go to sleep. It is not a struggle to get her down at night (unless she has had horrible naps). I saw this play out first hand this weekend. On Sunday, I put her down for a nap, knowing that she should probably sleep for 3 hours. Well, Roscoe barked at someone walking down the street and woke her up after 45 minutes. She was screaming and carrying on, but I knew that 45 minutes was not going to cut it (we had a big day on Saturday)! So, I left her in there, she cried for about 15-20 minutes and then went back to sleep and slept for another 2.5 hours (until 5 pm). She was SOOOOO happy when she got up, she was a true joy to be around. Then, she went to bed at 8 like normal and slept this morning until 7:30. Again, this morning, super happy girl! If I would have let her get up after 45 minutes, she would have been a bear and would have had a really hard time going to be last night. It is a weird concept, but sleep does promote sleep.
***Disclaimer*** I don't think this book is for everyone. I think the concept would pretty much work for any kid (because you are basically training them), but I don't think it is for every parent. I think the success has to do with the parent. I have a friend who does not use it because it stresses her out more that they are not following the schedule than if they are not on a schedule. I don't think it is the be all, end all, but if it works for your personality, you should try it. I know this is a very controversial topic. I have friends who have done it and friends who haven't, but you will find that people who do it and stick to it, swear by it! I have a friend at work who pretty much thinks it is cruel and unusual punishment, but he is not a rules follower in general, so it doesn't fit his personality. Hopefully I have not scared SD for life, but I am pretty sure that I haven't :)
I am not looking forward to the hard work of the beginning phase with Linus, but it will be nice to have evidence of the results in SD to keep me disciplined!