Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The Inadvertent Ferberization of Our Child

Who Me? Cause trouble?

If you think CIO stands for Chief Information Officer and have never heard of Dr. Ferber, count yourself lucky. Welcome to the delightful (not) world of parenting advice. There’s one school that believes in Crying It Out – if you don’t teach your baby to soothe himself to sleep and coddle him instead, he’ll be deprived of good sleep habits, ruining his life forever. There’s another faction that promotes No Cry, because if you don’t pick up your baby immediately, he’ll become traumatized, ruining his life forever. Whee!

Buster was a really good sleeper, for a baby that is, until the last month, where he started waking up a lot, and then he got sick, which sent everything into madness. We generally rock him to sleep, but things got so bad that I brought him into bed with us, where I could just sit up and cuddle him every half hour when he fussed. It was not doing wonders for our family health and alertness.

A few nights ago, we had a particularly rocky time where SwingDaddy took an unsuccessful 2-3am shift, followed by another hour of rocking from me. I was so exhausted by this point that I put the micro dude in his crib and staggered over to our bed, while he began to wail. I mumbled to SwingDaddy, “Should I let him cry?” He muttered back, “Yes,” although he was so disoriented that he has no recollection of the discussion.

I thought that I would just rest for a moment before picking him up again and trying to see if he’d finally chill out. The next thing I knew, it was 7:00am, the room was silent, and I’d had a full, continuous three hours of sleep! Buster was all smiley when he woke up a half hour later, so I’ll assume he fell asleep quickly after I collapsed.

We are hoping for some continued improvements in the sleep department. Right now, both boys are in bed. Fingers crossed.


Leeanthro said...

We Ferberized both children, but not in the harsh way that most people think the method is meant to be done. (If most people actually read about it they wouldn't think it was so bad.)

We picked an amount of time to let them cry and would go back in if needed. But frankly, within a few days both no longer cried. They are both fabulous sleepers and are always put down for both naps and bedtime wide awake.

I know so many parents whose children have major sleep issues, most of which are caused by the parent's either lack of willingness to take charge and parent for the good of the child (instead of doing what is easy at the moment) or unwillingness to create structure and routine.

I say let them cry for a few minutes. They will get over it and will be better for it in the long run.

And wasn't that sleep nice? Good job!

appleseed said...

I've intentionally done this with both boys. They get 10 minutes to figure themselves out. If they are still fussing after 10 we go in, don't say anything or pick them up, lay them back down and check to make sure they're not wet or uncomfortable. Usually they don't make it past 7 minutes. Jimmy even puts himself to bed now. If only I could get him to turn off him light first...hmmm...

mothergoosemouse said...

With all three kids, I've gotten so exhausted that I've fallen back asleep before actually getting out of bed to go to them.

They survive. We survive.

ewe are here said...

I pretty much did the same thing early on with both boys... I was determined they were going to be able to put themselves to sleep for all our sanity.

Glad it seems to be working out... long may it continue.

kittenpie said...

Seems he wasn't traumatized, then? (Yes, people get very overwrought, don't they?) This is actually why I have bottle-fed him his milk at night from the start - I kept falling asleep and thought I would drop him!