Monday, January 9, 2012

The Guide to Sleep Training (I Lost Mine)

Discipline and will power do not exist in this dojo.

Remember the funny joke I told you all about sleep training and how, no bullshit, we were going to make it happen?

Guess what?

You'll never guess.

Being sick, traveling, holidays and more traveling are apparently not the sort of items Dr. Ferber had in mind when he wrote his book on sleep schedules. I clearly mistook "structured plan" for "change everything, cause as much upheaval as possible and the more things are different, the better." My bad.

Friday night wrapped The D-Zo World Tour 2011 (with a little seepage into 2012). A tour where The Bean mostly slept in a bed with me because lugging the Pack-n-Play all over God's creation was not my idea of savvy traveling. Again, my bad.

You're never going to guess who wants nothing to do with a Pack-n-Play now - let alone (gasp) a crib. We've essentially regressed past BIRTH since The Bean actually slept in her Pack-n-Play when she was a newborn up until two months ago. If we keep on this trajectory, The Bean will be spending her nights in my womb. I'd probably let her if I could figure out how to get her in. 

I stupidly decided to try the Ferber method the other night. Helpful hint: going from co-sleeping to sleeping alone in a crib over the course of a night is not a recipe for sleep training success. I was shocked too.

Within 20 minutes (yes we checked in at the 3-minute interval, the 5-minute interval, the 7-minute interval, etc.), The Bean had flipped herself onto her stomach, was clawing at the bars of the crib and turning a violent shade of magenta from the intensity of her yelling. We stopped sleep training immediately and realized a more subtle technique may be needed. Like letting her sleep in our bed until she gets married.

It's safe to say, we're back at square 1.

We are officially on a traveling hiatus so I can take on any "method" and am willing to be a hard-ass on anyone messing with the schedule (including my husband). One of my New Year's Resolutions is: Know When to Ask for Help. 

OK interwebs, I'm asking. What's worked for you? 

Child-led sleep training?
Co-sleeping until they leave for college?

Let me hear it.


Holly said...

You are so funny. Our kid still sleeps with us...he's a year old. My husband hates it but I think it is quite snuggly indeed. The cry it out method just seems mean..I just can't stomach it. We're going to try the Dr. Sears gentle method in a couple of months once I stop breastfeeding. good luck!

Anonymous said...

Remember that post about you hating Monday's? Where The Bean went from "magenta" to flipping channels on the TV with that shit eating, 'I'm so smart' grin on her cute little button face? Well... she's a month older now. And a month smarter too. Actually, she's a Dezso, so she's probably 3 months smarter. Anyhow, the whole 'checking in' every few minutes is over rated. Forget comforting, it should be called teasing. Just when baby is coming to terms with the situation, in you walk to remind them that nothing has changed and they still can't sleep with you... I'd wail harder too!

My advice - give her a solid 10 minutes of crying. If she's strong willed (read: unbreakable) like Cam, wait 15. I can promise that these 10-15 minutes will be like Chinese water torture for you, but my pediatrician swears it's not bad for them. If she's still crying at the end, go in her room and sit with her. DO NOT take her out of her crib or feed her. Rub her belly and make that 'shhhhh' sound until you're gasping for breath and there's drool down your chin.

You're on the front lines of battle now. Outlast her Momma, you can do it! Eventually, she'll get the hint. If you so much as let on that you're going to pick her up, or there's even a chance that you'll take her into bed - she'll pull out all the stops... and you will lose.

First night is always the worst. Get a good monitor and gossip magazine. By night 3, you'll be blogging about what a great sleeper you have.

Stay strong. And godspeed.

Masshole Mommy said...

I tried the Ferber method and suicide. Neither worked.

The Anecdotal Baby said...

I have a post coming up this week similar to this... all I can say is there is NO one correct way. My daughter began sleeping through the night at 2 and 1/2 mos. then at 6 mos. – for the entire month – she woke up several times a night. I sleep trained and she goes down without a fuss, but now at 9 mos. she wakes at least once every night. And you can forget about crying it out, she'd go a whole hour if I let her... I've even waited 30 min. to go in and she just whales louder. I'm still nursing and I tried to hold out in the wee hours of the morning, but honestly a 10 min. feed puts her back to sleep and I get rest. I'm convinced there is no right way and every child is so different. Her 6 mo. so many new things were happening for her; after that month she went right back to sleeping through the night. I'm hoping this month is the same since she's getting ready to walk. Good luck!

Mrs. D-Zo said...

Great ideas so far, keep 'em coming. I may survive after all!

Kathleen Summers said...

My first time commenting... I think you are HILARIOUS and look forward to your posts.

I have 4 kids, the youngest is 8 weeks! What's worked for me and all the kiddos so far is Babywise. Aa far as sleep training it's similar to Ferber and Baby Whisperer.

I'm a happy mama today, because last night Bennett (my 8 week old) went 7 hours between feedings, then 4 hours after that! Can I get a halleluja!! :)

Shelley said...

My girl is the same way. She only sleeps when she is being held!!

Nicole J @ Pampers and Pumps said...

There are plenty of nights that I left B sleep with me. The crying gets the to the point of I don't where you sleep as long as you sleep. I guess I lucked out B sleeps wherever I put him. But I did learn sleeping on his back is a huge no-no. He wakes up right away and freaks the eff out.

Missy said...

I used Jody Mindell. How old are we talking?

Though my pediatrician strongly differs, I don't like to sleep train until they're older than 8-9 months.

Hope this helps.

Melissa said...

We are currently working on getting my four month old daughter out of our bed/her swing for sleeping and into her crib. It's been hell, but we're getting there! I'm certainly no expert, but here's the best advice I can offer:

DO try to wait out the crying for 10-15 minutes without going into her room.

DON'T pop in and out of there every 5 minutes. I tried it (based on sleep "experts") and it simply served to royally piss off my daughter in ways I couldn't believe possible. Totally prolonged the agony of the situation for everyone.

I send in my husband for the first attempt at settling down; if I go in first, she insists on eating and claws at me until I nurse her...which is what she has come to expect. Have your husband go in first for a diaper check etc. and then you can follow him if he can't settle down after 10 mins.

Good luck!!

Laura said...

Your post is hilarious! But I know it is sheer agony to listen to them cry for even a minute but I do agree with what the others said let your little one go for at least 10 minutes and then go in to check and soothe her.
Have you tried one of the swaddle sleep sacks? They are amazing and really help my little one calm down.

Good luck!! You can do it!