Sunday, March 6, 2011

A Ferber success story

"Ferberization" was yet another word I'd never heard before having a wee one. A few posts ago I wrote about our "problem" with baby in the bed.

So many times in my life, my course of action has been determined because of a good deal:

As you have probably heard, several Borders stores are closing. I went to the nearest one last Saturday hoping to find some deals, in particular a baby sleep book. It turns out that the book by Dr. Ferber was on mega, mega sale so I thought I'd grab it and at least give it a flip-through. (For any of my friends who are "attachment-parenting" fans you are probably already getting nervous.) Dr. Ferber is the one whose sleep training method often gets dubbed "cry it out." I read the book straight through the first night (as my baby slept beside me in our bed) and started trying the method the following night. Now a week later, as I write this, the kid is in HIS bed sleeping soundly and I can actually have a bit of an evening. He has spent the past week each night all night in his crib.

There was some crying involved, but it wasn't unreasonable, and it worked. Letting him "cry it out" for over an hour once the other night before I had the book didn't work. This method involves more than that, and most importantly it explains that it is teaching him to fall asleep on his own - not the crying - that is beneficial. I need my bed. I need my son to sleep in his room. It's just my style, and overall this was pretty painless and well worth the reward for all of us.

Night one - he cried about 40 minutes before going to sleep. I went in at 5, then 10, then 15 minutes. At the end of the next 15 minutes he fell asleep. He woke up twice in the night and didn't cry more than about 20 minutes.

Night two - It took him 20 minutes to go to sleep. He woke up twice, for a little while each time. It sucked, and I wanted to give up but did not.

Night three - went to sleep in 6 minutes. Woke up once in night but not for long enough for me to go in.

Night four - went to sleep in about 6 minutes. Slept til 6:30.

A week in I think we are about back to where we were before his last illness when he ended up in our bed. He's 16 months old now so I think he was old enough to actually be mad and that made him cry more than maybe some younger babies. If we'd stuck to this from an earlier age it might have been easier, but it was simple enough just to correct his sleep after that hiccup in our schedule. Overall, I am VERY pleased with the result.

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