I am re-visiting the issue of sleep issues and the Ferber Method today simply because so many of you readers are Googling it and The Daily Grind still gets tons of visitors searching for answers. Also, I never really closed the loop on this topic, even though I titled my last post The Conclusion. For anyone just tuning in, Baby S. was a great sleeper and suddenly started waking every oh, hour? as she was losing her paci. Not good.
To avoid getting into the same pattern we are still in with our 2-year-old, we decided to actually arm this child with the tools necessary for learning to fall asleep on her own. So at 5 months old, just as she was about ready to sleep through the night, we took the paci and used the Ferber Method to teach her to sleep.
And it worked.
We had a few rough nights, but ultimately, it worked like a charm. We started this on a Sunday night. By the following Saturday night, we had a baby who was waking only once to eat during the night, and going back to sleep quickly. Within one month however, we had a 6 month old who was sleeping from 6:30pm until about 6am.
I admit, I dismissed this whole idea with Baby #1. It was cruel, I thought. I was adamantly against it as you can see for yourself. But I must say, after really reading the Ferber book and understanding how to do it and how to tailor it to meet your and your child's needs, it does work. It wasn't for our 1+ year old, but it sure was for my 5-6 month old who I deem the "world's best sleeper."
Here's a quick synopsis of 'night 'night time in our house -
5:30pm - Dinner
6pm - Baths
6:30 - Baby S. has her milk and goes into her crib, happily cooing, hugging her peanut doll and watching the fishies in her crib aquarium. She'll stir sometime between 5:30 and 7am. Meanwhile, 2 year old gets in PJ's, plays for a while.
7:15ish - 2yo watches some TV (it actually brings her down).
8pm - Lights out while I lay with her. It'll take anywhere from 25 to 45 minutes for her to actually fall asleep. She can actually have fluttering eyelids for 20+ minutes. It's CRAZY.
9ish - Transfer her to her own crib where she may or may not stay till morning.
See my point?
Is it a matter of nature or nurture? Does it have to be one or the other? I think it's a little bit of both combined with a little patience, a little luck, and a whole lot of love.
Many people have asked me for pointers on how to nurture a sleep-inclined child to be a star, so here are steps I took to help along the way: