Ferberize THIS

I have a 7 month old that won’t sleep.
Scratch that.
I have a child that will not go to sleep without her pacifier, who wants to play in her crib instead of nap in it, and sleeps – only if I’m holding her or laying next to her in my bed. If I hold her to go to sleep, then put her in her crib, she wakes up every few hours (or on the bad nights every hour) and wants her pacifier or to hold my hand while she goes back to sleep. She refuses to let her dad calm her back to a slumber.

None of my other kids did this. They both slept beautifully. Before I had Gummy I had the strict opinion that babies and kids did not belong in their parents beds. Or rather – my kids did not belong in my bed. I knew, though, that because the new baby would be sharing our bedroom that there would be some sort of sleep issues. I should start a damn psychic hotline.
Lately, to just be able to sleep a decent stretch without having to get out of the bed and soothe Gummy back to sleep, I’ve brought her into bed with me. This usually means that Mike and I are sleeping uncomfortably, while she has the space she needs or poor dad is sleeping in the chair in the bedroom and letting the girls spread out. None of us are getting the restful sleep we need.

I have read up on the Ferber Method of sleep training lately, knowing that it was most likely my only choice to get her to learn how to sleep on her own in her own bed (even if I try soothing her without picking her up, she still wakes up throughout the night).
I also knew that I didn’t have the balls to actually let her cry it out. So, I put it off. Or I totally half-assed it. There is no half-assing Ferber. You’re either all in or you’re waking up multiple times a night, sleeping while standing up with your hand inside a crib so a baby can cuddle it.
I agree that it will probably traumatize me more than her. I tried again yesterday with her naps and with going to bed. She started to get the hang of going to sleep, but the most she cried was for 30 min (this was with me checking on her several times per the Ferber “rules”). This can be torture. She went to sleep last night in her crib. Exhaustion finally took over and she was sitting up, slumped over, with the crib slat in her hands, sleeping. This totally broke my heart.
I can probably deal with that for a few days, but the real problem is this: we share a room with the baby and she can sit up and stand in the crib. In the middle of the night when she wakes, what am I supposed to do? Let her stare at me crying, wondering why I’m not coming to her? I can’t do it. I just can’t.

I read an article that said that to really use the Ferber Method of sleep training correctly and successfully, you need to have reached that breaking point. The point that you will do anything to get your child to sleep – and in turn – get some sleep for yourself. Maybe I haven’t actually reached that point. Maybe I’m not so against her being in the bed. Maybe I’m not strong enough. Maybe Ferber can kiss my round ass.
I don’t know. But, what I do know is that Gummy really likes being next to Mommy. I need to take steps to break the separation anxiety if I can. Hopefully it will work itself into her sleep pattern. Other than that, after searching for what seemed like forever online, these are the solutions that I found:

1. Put up a room divider to block her view of the bed, if I’m going to try the Ferber Method again.
2. Move her to a pack n play in the living room when it’s time for Mike and I to sleep. That way it’s easier to comfort then leave in the middle of the night.
3. Every time she wakes up in the middle of the night, comfort her, then get our asses out of the bed and leave the room until she settles herself. This ensures that we will be getting no sleep. I don’t really find this an option.
4. Ride it out, because a) she will magically start sleeping completely through the night when she’s ready b) milestones like teething and learning to sit, stand, crawl, etc. disrupt sleep habits (She is doing all of these – and by the way – has not cut a tooth yet. When are the damn teeth coming?!)
5. Continue to put her in bed with us on an as needed basis. I don’t mind doing this during the day, but at night I’d really like to cuddle with my husband. I also don’t want to give Gummy mixed signals.

Any thoughts or advice on this? Pointers? Even moms of two older kids come across something they’ve never had to deal with before…


19 thoughts on “Ferberize THIS

  1. Oh sweet baby Jesus! We are going through the EXACT same thing. Exactly. And I sort of want to kill myself. I can’t (yet?) do the crying it out thing either. AND we also share a room with baby at the moment. I could have written this post myself. And I was getting there. I wish I had some advice for you. But please keep me posted if anything works for you. (Yawn…)

  2. We are in a similar boat with our 9 month old. I will not do cry it out. I just don’t agree with it personally. We also share a room with the babe. Check out The Baby Sleep Site. It is where I research during my many waking hours at night. And good luck!

  3. We were having a few problems a couple months back when C was hitting all those milestones like Gummy, and I ended up reading The No-Cry Sleep Solution for some pointers. It is an excellent alternative to Ferberizing. Even though it’s fairly regimented like the Ferber method, it is much kinder and gentler.

  4. We went through similar and slowly but surely she’s getting better. I highly recommend checking out The No Cry Sleep Solution as an alternative. It has helped Baby Love improve her sleep, though it’s still far from perfect. Just a CIO alternative you can look into if you want! That plus making sure we get plenty of naps is finally making a dent in baby’s inability to sleep for more than a few hours. Good luck!

    • Thank you for the tip! I’m definitely checking out the No Cry Sleep Solution.
      She’s not a napper either. She likes to take frequent short naps, so I’m working on trying to get her to sleep more during the day as well. This child just doesn’t like to sleep! I can’t wait until she’s a toddler and up at 5am every morning. LOL

  5. I second The No Cry Sleep Solution. That plus plenty of naps is finally, slowly making a dent in Baby Love’s inability to sleep for more than a few hours. zzzzz….

  6. Yup, a second vote for Elizabeth Pantley’s No Cry Sleep Solution (said the woman with an 11.5 month old that sleeps in her bed and naps in her lap) but it wrked with my older daughter. The good news is that you KNOW that the kiddo will sleep. I remind myself of this nightly (the big kid is in her bed, it took four minutes to tuck her in, the big kid is in her bed and it took four minutes to tuck her in, it is my mantra.)

    Can you put the pack and play next to your bed and dangle your arm in it? I am a big fan of side-carring a crib if you have room. Good luck. We don’t sleep in our house, either, and aside from the bi-weekly “I’m just so FUCKING tiRED!!” outbreaks I stomach it pretty well, I can’t do crying babies. Instead, I cry. 🙂

    • Oh man…the tears this week. Mine, that is. I’ve considered the pack n play, so I think I’m going to try to do that for a few nights this weekend while I read No Cry Sleep Solution and see how that works. We just took a trip to Utah right before Christmas and she actually slept better there in the pack n play than she does here…but I don’t know if that was due to the altitude change or exhaustion from the trip itself.

  7. Ha! This was so me! I started the bad habit of bringing her into bed pretty early because she had colic and it was the only way she’d sleep (and then I could sleep.) Worked out well until it was time to get her in her crib finally. She just wasn’t having it. We did try CIO sort of…sometimes it worked…for a while…but more often, you ‘d think she was done and she’d renew her efforts all over again, so she basically cried the whole two hours she was supposed to be napping. What finally seemed to do the trick was A) setting up the bedtime routine-diaper, teeth brushing, story, bed and B) hubby sat next to the crib for about three nights in a row, until she fell asleep. AFter that, she seemed to feel more at ease.

    • That’s why I’m so wary of trying the CIO…I’ve seen a lot of people say that it really only works for a little while. I need something permanent!
      I’ve tried sitting next to the crib, but she wouldn’t have it. She’s not ok with just seeing me…she wants to TOUCH me too. When she sleeps next to me, she likes to have her hand on my face (or up my nose). I tried to trick her last night by putting the shirt I was wearing over a bolster in her crib and it worked for a while…she woke a few times, whined, then went back to sleep, but finally I think she realized it wasn’t me when she went to touch my face and “Mommy” didn’t have a head. She cried like crazy. I feel bad for laughing about it this morning. LOL. I think I frightened her a little.

  8. I commented on Broken Condoms’ reblog, but did not realize what that meant until I found your original. I’m still kind of new at this, so do forgive, but I wanted to make sure the comment I left got to you as well. 🙂

    Our Doodle did great sleeping in his own room. Based on having to share a room, I’m not sure you could duplicate that. I do know that during a few different moves while we didn’t have the option of separate rooms, it was considerably harder. We even just used a large tapestry hanging from the ceiling for one of those loves and that helped. Maybe that divider might help, I’m convinced that if he woke up and saw us he was more upset than waking up and not seeing us. Or waking up, us fixing whatever the issue was, then leaving him again in his groggy sleepy state. We also made it very dull and boring when we’d help him in the middle of the night, I think it helped him learn that it wasn’t any fun to get up, better to just sleep and get more rest. Good luck, it’s so hard when no one is getting the sleep they need. :/

  9. My mom tried to let my older brother cry it out, and he cried ALL NIGHT LONG. She finally went in at around 4am and he was hanging over the crib railing, making a weird “HHHHHNNNN” sound because he has lost his voice. So you see, it could be worse! I guess. Jesus.

  10. Pingback: Adventures In Co-sleeping « Southern Fried Chicken in Vegas

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