Monday, March 23, 2009

Ferber Night One

So we decided to bite the bullet and start the Ferber process. Last night was night one. I don't want to start a debate over whether or not sleep training is "right" or "good." I've already done my research, read the books, consulted the journals, and decided on the course of action that I think is best for us at this point in time. Baby C will still eat when he needs to, have clean diapers, and get lots of love and cuddles. I feel bad enough as it is, I don't need negative comments from random interweb peeps going all Judgy McJudgerson.

I suppose you could say that what we're actually doing is more "Ferber Lite" than the full-on Ferber method. I'm not 100% comfortable with the prescribed waiting period and their incremental build-up, so we're going to start smaller and work our way up.

That being said, on to night one. I think we got off to a bad start because our bedtime routine was altered right from the beginning. Our usual routine starts around 7:20 - bath (as needed), change diaper, get into PJs, read a book, bottle, and then into the crib. Unfortunately, there was a massive diaper issue* around 6:30 so he was already in his PJs. Is that enough to throw things off?

Anyway, we do the rest of the activities and then get him settled in the crib. We "plug him in," turn on his sleepy sheep and the fan, and then leave the room, closing the door behind him.

I swear, the squeaky hinges on that door are going to be the death of me. We need to WD40 the damn thing because that is always his cue to have a mini-meltdown. He wasn't hungry because we fed him until he was full and his diaper was clean. Baby freak-out, nonetheless. We went downstairs and set the timer for 5 minutes. I didn't even bother turning the monitor on, that would have just made the situation worse. When the timer went off I went back up to assess the situation. He was a very unhappy baby. Gave him back his plug, rubbed his back, talked to him, got him calmed down. Thought he was drifting off to sleep, so I turned to leave. Begin baby freak-out number two. Closing that door was one of the hardest things I've ever done.

I'll spare you the rest of the details, but it took 3 5-minute rounds and a 10-minute round before he fell asleep. It really sucked, and I didn't think it could get any worse.

I was wrong. He got up to eat around 2:00, which was fine. He almost always gets up to eat, and I'm not in the business of starving the poor thing. I gave him his bottle and tried to put him back in the crib. He wanted no part of going back to sleep. Thankfully this time it only took 3 5-minute rounds. He was up again at 4, but back to sleep within 10 minutes (I made sure he wasn't hungry or dirty). It's so much worse in the middle of the night - the agony seemed magnified in my half-asleep stupor. I don't know if it's easier to continue with the program and hope for improvement or to just give in :P

Tonight we'll try again, but I want to see if a slightly later bedtime helps. Maybe he's just not tired enough when we start. I do have to say that I'm surprised to see how much support I've gotten on this issue. Whenever the sleep training debate comes up it seems like people are reluctant to admit to using the method, so I was relieved to find that many of my mommy friends have tried it and succeeded. If nothing else, at least Dunkin will make some profits off of me until we're finished.

* The issue in question was miraculously contained within the BumGenius. Unfortunately, no diaper has yet been created that can keep a baby's hands out of his own mess.

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