Sunday, March 27, 2011

My Alternative to Ferber

So the title of this post was supposed to be "Day 3 of Sleep Training My 9.5 Month Old", but as you can see that's not quite how things turned out.

After "Day 2" I was a bit worried. She cried a lot more than on day 1, and everything I read said it was supposed to get better. Well day 3 was not better. It happened a few days ago so I can't quite remember all of the details but it consisted of a lot of screaming and not a whole lot of sleep. I read that babies 8 months and older may start getting even more upset when you do the whole walk in and out of the room thing. Apparently, younger babies are comforted when you come back in the room, while older babies just get more and more frustrated. Well frustration turned into the loudest screaming I'd heard to date, and my little one's stamina really impressed me. LOL....seriously.

Whereas the previous 2 nights were screaming and crying for 30 minutes or so, the third night seemed to go on forever. I managed to get her to sleep by 9, but she woke up again at 10. I decided not to go in and she cried for about 5 minutes and then settled back to sleep. That gave me hope.....but then she woke up at 2....and didn't go back to sleep until 3:30. Then woke up at 5....and didn't go back to sleep until I nursed her. Then woke up at 7. When she would wake up before, we would hear her whine a little, then start to whimper, then start crying if we didn't go in her room. That night there were no warnings, just a loud YELL, which really scared me, each time she woke up. She'd be standing up by the time we went into her room. She would quiet down to rest and then get back up and scream with such determination that my husband and I just kept looking at each other in amazement. I really had high hopes for Ferber, but bit by bit my will power started to crumble. I really think Ferber can work with the right families....I just don't think ours is one of those.

So what have I been doing instead? I'm sure there is a name for it, or for some variation of it, coined by numerous people with loads of experience and credentials....heck I probably read it somewhere since I'm no parenting genius myself.....I just don't feel like looking it up right now. I decided - NO MORE CRYING. With Ferber she was crying for just as long as I'd be rocking her to sleep, so I felt guilty that I was letting her cry when I knew of a solution......especially since she didn't end up sleeping longer. I know the golden rule of baby sleep is to not put them in their crib fully awake so I decided to stick with that and experiment with the rest. On the first night I followed her bedtime routine of dinner, bath, playtime, and and nursing. I nursed her in the dark and got her pretty drowsy, then continued rocking her in a lying down position for about 10 minutes. She was drowsy but still blinking her eyes. I then laid
her down in her crib and she immediately turned over onto her belly. I laid both of my hands on her back and she continued lying down. I then patted her slowly with one hand for about 5 minutes, continuously slowing down my pat pace until I could feel her body relax completely. I then stop patting with my hand still on her back and took another 5 minutes to decrease the weight on her back until my hand was off. I was afraid I'd wake her back up by opening the door and letting the light in so I stayed in her room for another few minutes, then crept out. She slept from 8:30-5. Hoorah. I seem to have an inexplicable amount of beginners luck, so I wasn't counting my chickens yet (heck, look at what happened with the Ferber method).

A problem I've had is her daytime schedule too. Sometimes she sleeps till 9:30 after I bring her to my bed at 7 for a nurse, sometimes she's up for the morning at 7 after the nurse. Her late wakening pushes her first nap late, and if I try and make her skip her second nap she is REALLY fussy by bedtime. Otherwise, she takes such a late second nap that she ends up too energized to sleep at 8. I know, I know, make her wake up at the same time every day. So easy in theory, so difficult when you realize you can actually get more desperately needed sleep in the morning.

That morning she slept after I nursed her at 5 until 8, which meant her nap would fall at the worst possible time - 11:30-12, meaning her second nap would fall at gasp - 5:30-6. YUCK. Well, she didn't sleep until 10:30, and there were a few times when I thought to myself, "should I just let her cry it out and wear off some of that energy?" I feel so mean as I type it, but in my defense it was after trying for an hour and a half to get her to sleep. Also, when she falls asleep late it usually meant her getting up more during the course of the night. However, she didn't wake until 6:30.....a good sign I think ;). We'll see how it goes tonight.


Donna said...

Cute blog! Thanks for stopping by and following! I'm following back.

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Full Of Tips Mama said...

Hello! New follower from blog hop! Would love for you to follow back :-)

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