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Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Ferber Method

Since Ben had colic, our doctor recomended motion to help soothe him. We started to put him in the swing just before bed and between feedings in the night to help with the colic. So for a few months now Ben has been sleeping in the swing. This was fine, but we are running through batteries like toilet paper so I finally decided to try and ease him back into his crib. I tried during nap time and he seemed to take to it just fine. I then realized I was putting him to sleep before he even reached the crib. So I looked up ways to get your child to like their crib and fall asleep without your help and I came across two methods. The first one is the Ferber or "cry it out" method and the second was where you are chained to the crib until they fall asleep. I didn't like the sound of being locked to his bedside till he fell asleep, so I was going to try the first method. The first night I told Daniel what I was doing and he gave me moral support through the whole thing. The crying started and escalated. There were periods where he would stop. I think he was confused why I wasn't coming to his aid. It was so hard not to jump up and soothe him. Daniel had to keep telling me not to get up and not to say anything, that it wold make it worse. So after a loooong ten minutes, he miraculously stopped. I thought he would cry much longer than that. So the next night came around and I was prepared for it to be longer than the first try. The crying lasted about three minutes, maybe close to five. Wow! I must have a smart baby. Then for nap time today I started him in the swing and just before he dozed off I placed him in his crib and no crying! It was wonderful! I didn't even have to use a binky. He smiled at me and then just dozed off! I hope he continues on this wonderful habit of putting himself to sleep! What other methods have worked or didn't work for you?


Lynette said...

Hailey had colic too (fun, huh?). She would start crying around 4 or 5 and wouldn't stop till she fell asleep around 10. It was awful. I started putting her in her crib when she started crying (as long as I knew she wasn't hungry or in need of a diaper change) and then I'd try taking her out and if she stopped crying i would bring her back out to be with the family.

Anyway, she grew out of it and like you read on my blog, is sleeping much better now! She's addicted to her pacifier though. It will be intereting when she turns 1 and I take it away!

Michelle Church said...

Oh Brittany!! You are so blessed. I am so glad he's cooperating with you!! Nathan and I had a horrific first 4 months!! But then he was a great little guy. He had so many issues with screaming and crying. They thought he had reflux and put him on medicine but then he had a crazy, bad reaction, so we stopped that and just dealt with whatever was going on inside of him.

He was addicted to either bouncing or the swing and would NOT fall asleep without it. It seemed that he was going to explode. We too, tried the "cry it out" method when he was about 3 1/2 months old, but it DID not work for us and tried again a month later. It took days, but he finally was able to fall asleep, but not without screaming for 45 minutes. I would still go in there every few minutes to tell him I loved him and pat his back and then leave. It just started him screaming even LOUDER, but I just couldn't take him being along for that long and screaming.

He still cries some when we put him down for naps and bedtime, but he sleeps 12 hours through the night and will do about an hour nap.

The crying it out thing took months more to work for naps. It would take forever to get him to go down and eventually he would, but only sleep about 20 minutes maybe twice a day. He was not a long napper.

Ben sounds so cute. I love how he smiled before he dosed off to sleep. We have some other ideas for the next baby, but each baby is so different, so we'll see how it goes.

Johnston Journal said...

LOL! I'm sure you read my blog about the ferber method... The first day was HORRIFIC! It was one of the worst days of my life. Hearing him cry for so long was more than I could stand. But now he doesn't even cry at night. Naps are not his thing, in his bed or not - he isn't a napper. So that's a fight. But nights are great. He sleeps 12-13 hours a night and usually we don't hear a peep out of him. It's good you do this now, before he's a little older. The older they are, the worse off you are. Ethan was great when he was younger and then when we went on vacation, he got used to sleeping with us. BAD BAD idea. They NEED their crib and need to sleep along.
Good for Ben! I'm glad it's better for you!

Life as a Greenstreet said...

Well, I'm a big fat wimp and could never stand to hear my babies cry....I was chained to their beds when they were very young and was up 4,5, 6 times a night with Emma until she was almost 14 months old. EEK! When i'd finally had enough we used the Ferber method and it finally worked (about a week of much sadness). BUT, I was tired and pregnant and needed her to sleep. For Andrew we used it much sooner (6 months) now they both go to bed unassisted and it's the best choice we made. Even if it was sad to hear them cry initally.

Rachel Kerr said...

Hey, So I am working right now with a family who has a 1 wk old newborn girl and an older 2 year old daughter. I started in August and the older girl would take two naps a day, each for one hour and BOTH ONLY in her parents bed, with one of them. WEIRD...I was not going to sleep in their bed. I did the cry it out thing...two days. She sleeps in her crib, once for 2-3 hrs everyday now. The first day she cried 20 minutes, the next 5. Then it was over. Sometimes she wakes up midway and cries but as soon as I walk in she lays down and pulls her blankets over her and goes back to sleep. The biggest problem with this method is STRENGTH! its hard to hear your baby cry or know they are uspet, if you can stick it out (and you will be glad you did later) than good for you! Keep on it!

Erin Whitmer said...

Sounds like you did great! I'm doing pretty much the same thing. If she cries for more than 10-15 minutes I usually go get her. I've read two books Baby Wise (which Alison swears by with her twins) and The Happiest Baby on the Block. I've tried some of both. Charlotte is sleeping okay at night and doing better at naps but we're still working on it.