As most of you know we went to the much anticipated sleep clinic appointment last week. They basically told me what I expected.
They said she has problems "self soothing". Meaning she uses us as a crutch to get to sleep. This is nothing I didn't know. I knew this was the problem. After all, the first three months of her life before her surgery she was sick. When she was sick she needed cuddling and nurturing. Her grandparents were here, I was a SAHM, so she got the cuddling and the nurturing she needed to get herself through the experience. However, now that she is healthy she has decided she needs the cuddling and nurturing to get to sleep.
I have read many books including Baby Wise, The Baby Whisperer, and experts such as Jodi Mendell, Richard Ferber, T. Berry Brazleton, and William Sears. I have spent more time reading than anything else. I tried The Baby Whisperer method which suggests picking her up when she gets upset, but putting her back down immediately when she calms down. That absolutely did not work. I wasn't crazy about the Ferber method and didn't want to "Ferberize" Rachel. The Ferber method suggests letting her cry and leaving the room. The method says to go in for about 10 seconds after she has cried for 5 minutes, then immediately walking out and go in again for 10 seconds 10 minutes later, then walk out and go in 15 minutes later, and at 15 minute increments until she quits screaming and falls asleep on her own.
I have probably read way too much. Some experts say the Ferber Method is too traumatic. Other experts say this is the way to go. The people at the sleep clinic say it is the way to go.
They are the experts. Part of me thinks it is cruel, but part of me wonders if I am going to be one of those soft parents that protects their kid when they need to let them figure things out on their own. I mean, if I can't handle this and she is only 6 months old, when she is upset because she can't finish her math homework am I going to buckle and do it for her?
I do know one thing...her sleeping with us is NOT working, her waking up every 2 to 3 hours is NOT working either. It is effecting my dimeanor, and it isn't much good for the marriage.
If we do this, and we're leaning that way, we'll start it Thursday because Bryan is off on Friday and Saturday. Bryan and I will take turns going in. I am told the first two nights are living hell, then it gets better. I am told within a week we should be able to put her in her crib, kiss her goodnight, and she'll fall asleep on her own.
Of course, after this experience I'll probably be the one that needs medication.