Ferber Method - setbacks?

RheannaRheanna Posts: 2,614Registered Users
We're in the middle of this now (day 5) and I'm looking for some support that I'm not scarring my child. I was totally opposed to it for a long time but I was becoming a pretty crappy Mommy during the waking hours over the last few weeks due to NO SLEEP. Ava was ending up sleeping with me every night at some point even though she had been STTN in her crib for weeks. One night, that just changed for no apparent reason, and she was fighting going to sleep, screaming and pushing against me for hours sometimes even though she was clearly exhausted. She was waking up some nights 20 or more times. Seriously. A good night was 5 wakings or so. She wasn't waking to eat... she hasn't ate at night since she was 7 weeks old. She was just waking. Sometimes she wouldn't go back to sleep for 3-4 hours at night... would just stay awake and cry no matter what I did. Her naps were 15-20 minutes after 2-3 hours of screaming in my arms. If I laid her down, she woke up. I was afraid to let her cry it out when she was younger, before she started doing better, because she had health issues and I never knew if she was hurting. Her reflux is totally under control now that she's on a combination of medications, thickened feed, and Elecare formula and no milk or soy products. She's teething, of course, but when aren't they? She didn't seem to be in pain during the day or even at night, just miserable, so I read the book and really got the thing about sleep associations and waking up in a different place than where you fell asleep... and we gave it a shot.

The first night was 35 minutes of crying. I started checking on her every 3 minutes instead of 5, and then 5, and then 7 was the max for that night. The next night was 25 minutes, checked on every 4, 6, 8. The third night she fell asleep in SIX minutes with no crying. But last night was 20 minutes again, and harder crying. Naps were harder today, whereas she had been either falling asleep with a bit of fussing after 5 or so minutes, or laying awake for 20 or so minutes but just jabbering to herself. She is sleeping a long time now for her naps as she should be, but I'm concerned about her taking longer to go back to sleep after doing better.

For those that used this method, is this setback normal?? I'm being consistent and just keeping it up but it's discouraging. I HATE to hear her cry. But truthfully, even on her worse nights, she's doing way, way less crying than she was before. And I'm a better mom and she's a happier baby with getting some rest.

But it's hard to not have the Mommy guilt. I was so opposed to it and it's hard to drop that feeling that I'm damaging her emotionally, but I also know she was chronically exhausted before. And so was I. I had little patience and would actually yell at her when she was screaming before bed. She cried more, I cried more, we were both exhausted, and no one was getting the sleep they needed. I wanted to be a Sears Mommy, not a Ferber Mommy... and I'm fine with cosleeping every night or no cry sleep solutions but when cosleeping meant no sleep and no cry sleep solutions meant lots of crying and no sleep, it was time for something else. I just want someone to tell me I did the right thing, I think, lol.

We do have the consistent bedtime routine too... warm bath with low lights, sippy of formula (she's not on the bottle now), drink of water, teeth brushed, another drink of water, Good Night Moon or Guess How Much I Love You, snuggles, kisses, and I lay her down. Her day is routine too, not strict schedules, but a routine, so she knows what to expect. I just hope this is a bump in the road and that it's normal to have some setbacks. I know this is early in the "sleep training" but it's strange to me how it was better and now worse again.
DPTFm5.png

Comments

  • geekygeeky Posts: 4,995Registered Users
    I think setbacks are pretty normal. If there is teething or something that could make her cry a bit longer. It is totally OK for you to get the sleep you need and to help her get the sleep she needs. You will not scar her.

    I also wanted to be a Sears mom and ended up doing variations on Ferber with both kids because I needed sleep. With my oldest it was a horrible two weeks (2 hours of crying the first night) but then he did great and has been a great sleeper since. It never took with my youngest, every setback and we had to start all over again with hours of crying (don't want to scare you, I hear this is pretty rare) and eventually I just gave up and at 15 months she started STTN on her own. But the point is, neither child is scarred or emotionally damaged, they are happy kids, attached to me and it's fine.
    So it is totally OK to do what you need to do. You will know you are not damaging her when she wakes up happy and rested in the morning. You need to sleep in order to be a good mom. She is lucky to have you.
    To Trenell, MizKerri and geeky:
    I pray none of you ever has to live in a communist state.

    Geeky is my hero. She's the true badass. The badass who doesn't even need to be a badass. There aren't enough O's in cool to describe her.
  • DarkAngelDarkAngel Posts: 2,671Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    I'm sorry you are still having such a hard time. I don't have any advice but wanted to offer support and share my details. I couldn't manage sleep training. I don't know why I couldn't but I couldn't this time. It turns out that it didn't matter what I did because Sebastian started sleeping through the night on his own around 9 or 10 months. He had -never- done it before and then just started. I can only assume that he finally reached his maturity point where it worked for him. I hope Ava reaches hers soon.

    Edit: Even now, he has some nights where going down is harder. I think part of it is an increased awareness of the fact that he is missing out on life.

    It sounds like you are doing a great job!
    image.php?type=2&o=5&c=1&date=2009-10-07&babyname=Sebastian

    "Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind." -- Theodor Seuss Geisel
  • inheritedcurlsinheritedcurls Posts: 2,954Registered Users Curl Connoisseur
    I have heard at 9 months they will test you again...if they have been sleeping through the night really well. Maybe she is just testing your will power.

    Hang in there...just remember "this too will pass". Think of all the things you've already been through and have accomplished. I know it's hard at the time your going through them. My son didn't sleep through the night until he was 18 months...that was just once...we battled him until he was 2. If there are nights your just so exhausted...just stick her in bed with you. I know my DH and I would tag team the night...he would take first 1/2 and I would take the second 1/2....vice versa.

    :) We're all thinking of you.
  • WileE-DeadWileE-Dead Banned Posts: 24,963Banned Users Curl Neophyte
    Hang in there, girl...it will get better!
    Are you getting any support/help?
    0004.gif

    Ever since the sports thread wars I have sensed a special connection between [edit] & Wile. Like the connection oil has to water. I almost can't speak of it. Wait....my eyes are misting. ~asq
    Let’s just stay together and tell the world to kiss our ass. ~P


  • RedCatWavesRedCatWaves Posts: 31,259Registered Users Curl Connoisseur
    Rheanna wrote: »
    I wanted to be a Sears Mommy, not a Ferber Mommy... and I'm fine with cosleeping every night or no cry sleep solutions but when cosleeping meant no sleep and no cry sleep solutions meant lots of crying and no sleep, it was time for something else. I just want someone to tell me I did the right thing, I think, lol.



    You're doing the right thing. Keep doing it. As long as all her other needs are being met, it's fine to let her cry a little, especially since she seems to be going through a phase. It will stop. Don't give in to the manipulation unless you want to spend the next couple of years with no sleep.

    You're doing great.

    I can't believe she's 9 months old already...wow...
  • RheannaRheanna Posts: 2,614Registered Users
    Thanks everyone! I feel better after reading the responses. Logically I know I'm not scarring her or anything, and if anything I'm a better Mom and she's happier, blah blah blah, but it's hard to let go of that nagging thought since I was against it.

    WileE, Yes, I have some support and help. I moved back to my hometown about 7 weeks or so ago and I'm living in a slightly separate living space from my parents and going to school full time and working part-time and actually am better off financially than I was working full time because my expenses are so much less. My Mom is watching Ava when I work and go to school, for free, so no complaints there. Everything is MUCH better now.

    RCW - I know! Trust me, neither can I! She's actually only about a week away from being TEN months old. She's 19 pounds and about 29 inches and wearing 12 months clothes most of the time now, cruising a bit, crawling like crazy, eating lots and lots of foods, and actually saying quite a few words already. It amazes me. I cannot believe how much my baby has grown!!! I need to post a couple recent pics...
    DPTFm5.png
  • WileE-DeadWileE-Dead Banned Posts: 24,963Banned Users Curl Neophyte
    Great to hear.
    If you don't mind me asking...
    yeah, where is Ava's father in all this...
    
    I'm glad y'all are good!
    Can't wait to see some new pics!
    0004.gif

    Ever since the sports thread wars I have sensed a special connection between [edit] & Wile. Like the connection oil has to water. I almost can't speak of it. Wait....my eyes are misting. ~asq
    Let’s just stay together and tell the world to kiss our ass. ~P


  • RheannaRheanna Posts: 2,614Registered Users
    IMG_1432.jpg
    Ava & I

    prettybaby.jpg

    IMG_1519.jpg
    Yeah, her nose is a bit orange... had to slack off the orange foods since this pic, haha!

    IMG_1504.jpg
    Looking like a big girl here...

    IMG_1474.jpg
    putting the teething rail to use!

    IMG_1419.jpg
    BIG smile lol

    CAUGHT!
    IMG_1520.jpg
    DPTFm5.png
  • RedCatWavesRedCatWaves Posts: 31,259Registered Users Curl Connoisseur
    Rheanna wrote: »
    I moved back to my hometown about 7 weeks or so ago and I'm living in a slightly separate living space from my parents and going to school full time and working part-time and actually am better off financially than I was working full time because my expenses are so much less. My Mom is watching Ava when I work and go to school, for free, so no complaints there. Everything is MUCH better now.



    Oh, I'm so relieved to hear you got out of that terrible situation. Going to school is good. Education is the key to life.

    She's adorable. She looks like a happy girl.
  • Jess the MessJess the Mess Posts: 5,844Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    Rheanna wrote: »
    I wanted to be a Sears Mommy, not a Ferber Mommy... and I'm fine with cosleeping every night or no cry sleep solutions but when cosleeping meant no sleep and no cry sleep solutions meant lots of crying and no sleep, it was time for something else. I just want someone to tell me I did the right thing, I think, lol.



    You're doing the right thing. Keep doing it. As long as all her other needs are being met, it's fine to let her cry a little, especially since she seems to be going through a phase. It will stop. Don't give in to the manipulation unless you want to spend the next couple of years with no sleep.

    You're doing great.

    I can't believe she's 9 months old already...wow...
    I agree! I have friends who went sleepless for years and years. Even one whose 5yo still wakes up every.single.night. I like my sleep and my sanity too much. You're doing fine R. Keep it up!

    Ava is too cute! She looks so happy. And I love the pigtails.

    I, too, am happy you've gotten out of the situation you were in. I wish you so much happiness. You deserve it.
    High Priestess JessMess, follower of the Goddess of the Coiling Way and Confiscator of Concoctions in the Order of the Curly Crusaders

  • CGNYCCGNYC Posts: 4,938Registered Users Curl Connoisseur
    There's a lot of room for sleep training without CIO. We tried that briefly, out of sheer desperation, and we just couldn't hang. She would throw up, it was horrible. I do think some kids will whine and fuss and wear themselves out, she just works herself up and vomits. At nearly five, she's still not a kid to "have a good cry" and settle down, she just works up and up. I think Geeky had a great article on this at some point.

    We used a lot of the info from Sleepless in America. It is mostly about older kids, but a lot of the info was very very useful to us. It was so helpful that we never had to figure out what to do about night time waking because it just stopped happening - and this is a child who would wake every 40 (and sometimes 20) minutes as baby and was still waking two or three times a night (for an hour!) as a nearly three year old. It suuuuuuuucked.

    In about a week, we saw a total turn around, she wasn't fighting bedtime, at night she'd wake up once and go back to sleep. HUGE difference and we're all much happier.

    I am sure CIO works fine for a lot of people and I don't necessarily thinks it scars your kid forever but it is awfully unpleasant and I'm just not convinced it's the magic bullet everyone says it is.

    Going without sleep sucks and it's horrible. I hope you find something that works for you soon.
  • abstractcurlsabstractcurls Posts: 380Registered Users
    I did this too because my son would never sleep. I did every 3 minutes the first night, 5 the next, 7, then 9 and by that time he wasn't crying or fussing. It worked and the first day wasn't great and I thought it was mean but the nurse at our office told me I was going to make myself insane and needed to try it. It was my first kid and I didn't know any better so I answered every time he made a peep. I think you and Ava are going to be better off.
  • curly_keltiecurly_keltie Posts: 791Registered Users
    I am glad to read that things are looking up for you. The Ferber method of sleep training didn't really work for DS and I - and I realized that thanks to a member on here who posted an article that said some babies cry to relieve stress while others get stressed from crying. I relized my DS gets stressed from crying, and leaving him to CIO wasn't doing us any favours. I did what worked for me, and luckily I am in Canada and was on a year long mat leave. DS eventually slept through the night on his own. I firmly believe you should do what works for you - and what works for you might not work for me...and that is okay. It seems like the Ferber method suits your daughter, and she was just having a little trouble adjusting.

    Congrats on your move and going to school!
    Long, blonde, 3a/mostly b hair.

    78Da.jpg78Dam6.png
  • CGNYCCGNYC Posts: 4,938Registered Users Curl Connoisseur
    Don't give in to the manipulation unless you want to spend the next couple of years with no sleep.

    I have to say it. I think it is ridiculous to assume a nine month old is trying to be manipulitive.
  • RedCatWavesRedCatWaves Posts: 31,259Registered Users Curl Connoisseur
    CGNYC wrote: »
    Don't give in to the manipulation unless you want to spend the next couple of years with no sleep.

    I have to say it. I think it is ridiculous to assume a nine month old is trying to be manipulitive.



    The word manipulation isn't always negative. It simply means altering something to suit you. Babies manipulate their environment from the moment they are born. That doesn't mean they are doing it consciously or maliciously. They cry to get attention, to get fed. That's manipulation. If they didn't have the ability to manipulate, humans wouldn't have suvived as long as we have. There are many kids who would like to nurse-and-nap round-the-clock for years and years. You can be manipulated to accomodate that preference if you like. I prefer not to.
  • CGNYCCGNYC Posts: 4,938Registered Users Curl Connoisseur
    They cry when they're hungry and they cry when they're miserable. The result may be that they get fed or picked up or changed, but they baby doesn't think, "gee, I'm hungry, I'll cry and someone will feed me." The baby get hungry and cries. It's not the same thing.

    I'm not trying to nit pick, but if your nine month old cries it is not a manipulation attempt, the child is genuinely unhappy/miserable/scared/hungry/tired/angry/whatever. "I will scream and cry and someone will do what I want" is pretty complex planning for a nine month old.

    That is not to say that a nine month old won't just have to cry sometimes because they do. If, for example, you got them out of the car seat every time they cried, you'd certainly never get anywhere and sometimes they have to wait while you're busy and they may become quite pissed off in the process. But a nine month old is not crying because for effect, it's genuine emotion or discomfort.

    Not that any of that has a lot of bearing on this conversation, but I think it's just misguided to think of your baby as manipulative.

    Rih, I hope you're getting some sleep! To me, that was one of the hardest parts of being a new mom - never having a dependable stretch of sleep. Maybe this set back was her last ditch effort and she'sw ready to let you have a break!

    Sleep is a REAL need, not just an optional luxury and sometimes you have to go through a rough patch so you can get some rest. I did not manage to stick with CIO (wish I had found Sleepless In America about two years earlier!!!), but I didn't have to work and I had a huge amount of support (and a puker).

    Good luck!!!

Leave a Comment

BoldItalicStrikethroughOrdered listUnordered list
Emoji
Image
Align leftAlign centerAlign rightToggle HTML viewToggle full pageToggle lights
Drop image/file