So, it turns out that being convinced of cry-it-out and being accomplished at it are two different things! E has defied all expectations–in a bad way. After some three whole weeks of misery, we’re still at misery. A lot less misery than there was a week ago, but the child is still crying every time we put her down, taking unacceptably short naps, and being a wee bit clingy.
But it’s to the point of being quite livable, and is beginning to clearly improve.
She is also clearly doing vastly better in terms of intellect and even happiness. She takes a much more proactive role in playing with us–inventing her own games commonly rather than rarely–and has actually started to play with her toys, whereas before she mostly ignored them. Her babbling has increased. Her physical skills have multiplied; she’s well on her way to being able to do whatever physical task she can conceive (this is scary!). She has a new smile and smiles so much. She also doesn’t seem to “wind down” before nap/bedtime as much as she did, although she goes to sleep faster than before.
All in all, cry it out continues to have clearly been the right choice, but I wish the books didn’t all say “10 days or less.” With E, the 10-day mark left us with no hope in sight, and it’s really only been nearer to the 20-day mark that we’ve seen enough improvement in her sleeping habits to begin to feel confident that life would indeed go on, although many non-sleep-related gains were clear before then.
We’ve also found out the gender of #2–girl!–and named her R. :-) Hurrah!