for crying out loud

My “baby” Mary — really a toddler now — has never fallen asleep on her own in her crib.  Not even once.  I was much tougher on the boys, “Ferberizing” them by the sixth month or so.  I don’t know why I’ve spoiled her so — am I subconsciously coddling my only girl?  I think more likely it’s that snugging her to sleep is an excuse for me to crash on the couch in front of the TV at night.

Well, we’ve had it.  She’s getting so old that she won’t just relax and cuddle any more and it has become a battle.  I don’t want to be doing this for the next several years, so last night, we started the process of letting her cry at intervals in her crib until she fell asleep.  Let this be a lesson to you!  Don’t wait until a child is this old (almost two) to do this — it is so much harder!  I’ve always recommended the famous Ferber book, which when followed completely has worked for lots and lots of people I know, including myself three times.

Here is our Ferber Report, night #1:

2 hours of crying (we comforted her every 15 minutes) at bedtime; 1 hour in the middle of the night

She is bright-eyed and chipper this morning, Matt and I considerably less so.  And, she still seems to like me.  One night down.

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11 thoughts on “for crying out loud

  1. kira

    Keep it up! Good luck! In the stuff we read they said to wait 15 minutes the first time and then add 5 min for each time after that that you have to go in. You know wait 15, wait 20, wait 25 etc. I wonder if that matter? Probably not. I’ve even found myself not being as tough on Parker ’cause he is sharing a room with Lanette and we feel bad that she has to be trapped in there with a crying Parker. Half the time she sleeps right through it so I guess she doesn’t mind.

    Reply
  2. liz Post author

    That’s Ferber’s method. The first night you go 5, 10, 15 but stop at 15. The next night 10, 15, 20, etc. It seems less barbaric to ease them into it like that. And he says you can use shorter intervals if you’re uncomfortable with this, as long as you’re consistent.

    Reply
  3. Andrew

    Good luck with that! Our little baby likes to be held, as most babies do. He tends to cry in the crib and so we’re going to have to be careful to learn from your experience…

    Reply
  4. Anne

    I wonder if you forgot to ferberize Mary because I had your book for a bajillion months and was ferberizing Blaine? Great, it’s all my fault! I whole-heartedly endorse Ferber’s book. My peeps at Mothering Magazine would call me the devil but I don’t care. I think it works, and I don’t think it’s one bit harsh to let your baby cry a bit. Teaching your baby to comfort herself and sleep on her own is seriously giving her a gift. That’s how I look at it, anyway.

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  5. Andrea

    I had the most problem with Livvy. We slept together and she would kick, so by month 3 I just wanted her to sleep alone. I started in the day time, while Dave was at work. She cried for half an hour and I had to call my mom to make sure I wasn’t damaging her. She went to sleep in 45 minutes and she has been the best sleeper ever since. (other than her recent insomnia)

    Reply
  6. lovelydainty

    I have always believed in letting my kids comfort themselves, and it’s reassuring to know I’m not alone! All my kids are different though. Samuel cry for precisely 7 minutes every night and then he would sleep the whole night through. William always went right to sleep, but it took a little longer for him to sleep through the night. Ben is only a few months old, but he’s starting to get the hang of it. I douldn’t cuddle him to sleep every night because the other kids wouldn’t be able to leave him alone!

    Reply
  7. danielle

    Well I am glad to have this little tip now…I feel more prepared.

    Also, thanks again a million billion for letting us throw Kate’s baby shower at your house and for all your (and Matt’s) help! WE REALLY APPRECIATE IT.

    Reply
  8. Katy

    Ok, then there is me who just can’t handle hearing a baby cry. I have tried with each of my children, but I just can’t do it. They somehow manage to go to sleep on there own and their own bed, but we don’t try until they are about Mary’s age. It has been a pretty easy transition at that age, although Mia was a little more difficult. Maybe it has something to do with being the fourth kid.

    Reply

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