Monday, February 13, 2006


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.


MilkMaid said...

Good luck Carol..this is going to be hard. But do it now, don't wait. It gets harder and harder to make them sleep in their own room. We made that mistake with Little Kid...

Rachel will be ok.

Adrienne said...

We had to do this with Marissa. You'll regret it if you don't. It will NOT be easy and you will cry but it will work and Rachel will not be traumatized for the rest of her life.

I made all the same mistakes with our first child so with the second one I was firmer.

It's all a learning experience for moms, dads and babies.

happyandblue2 said...

If she just needs something to cuddle before she will sleep get her a puppy. They are cuddly, tee,hee..

happyandblue2 said...

Oh and Happy Valentines Day..

gina said...

yep my first one did this too. it was a good week of hell, but we made it through and life got a heck of a lot better!!

i hope you do okay with this. you will probably cry your eyes out ,but really, she will be okay. good luck , mama :) you can do it.

Mrs Lifecruiser said...

Good luck :-)

I'm sure it will work even though it's a tough time to go thru at first.

I haven't heard of anyone it hasn't work for, if they really tried.

It's tough for a week, but if you don't it will be tough for a lot longer time, so what to loose?

ohgirl said...

Good luck momma! My prayers and thoughts are with you. I think it is the hardest thing in the world to walk away from a crying child. Hang in will get through this.

Moo Moo said...

We did the same thing.. but a whilw back... she will get used to it.. I promise.. the first few day are hard.. and having a cd you play every evening before she sleeps will help her understand that it's time to sleep... It helps our daughter completely... Good luck!

audrey` said...


I like your blog title very much.
I love to smile, laugh and giggle alot.

Jesus loves you very much.

deni said...

You have gotten a lot of great advice here.

You are in my thoughts, before you know it she will be sleeping on her own. Just don't give up.


John said...

Holy smokes Carol - I hope this gets under control soon. Poor baby and parents. I'm glad my kiddies are older now... This too shall pass right?

Jim said...

Lots of wishes here. I'm adding mine just now.
Here is for a lot of sleep for Carol.
Maybe things are better? We haven't heard from you since Monday. Was Icabod Crane one of your relatives?

Weary Hag said...

Carol - some time has passed since you wrote this so hopefully by now, things are better. Just hang in there. Do whatever you have to do and whatever YOU feel more comfy doing. One of the funniest (and perhaps wisest) things my pediatrician said to me during a visit was "The best thing you can do for you little one is QUIT READING PARENTING BOOKS - if you spend the time cuddling your little one instead of reading, you'd be surprised how many problems will just go away!" I KNOW this is not the case with Rachel's sleep troubles, I do understand this ... but I'm sure if you do what's in your OWN heart, even if it's the advice you've read, everything will be just fine.

Life has a way of working itself out where little ones are concerned. None of them end up walking down the aisle in diapers or clinging to your apron string.

Peace to you, Carol!

Anonymous said...

Not speaking from experience, but through the experiences of many friends who have gone through the same IS very hard to let them cry, but it's definitely the way to go. It'll only take a few nights of crying, then she'll stop. She'll soon find out that she CAN go to sleep if she's on her own in her room.

It's torture for parents to hear their kids cry, I'm sure, but they're usually only "come visit me" and "I like to cuddle" cries. You would know the difference from one of those cries than a serious cry.

A guy at work has an 18-month old and he's STILL not sleeping through the night because they go in to his room every time he whimpers. People keep telling them to leave him, but they can't seem to do it. They're both like walking zombies because they're not getting any sleep either. They spend half the night in his room. One of my friends was having the same problem with her baby. When he was 6 months old, he cried every time she took him near his crib. So she finally decided she would let her little guy cry and leave him in his crib. She did it for two nights and he's been sleeping through the night ever since...and he's almost two now.

I don't remember anything from when I was young, so I'm sure this won't be anything Rachel will remember when she gets older. It'll be hard the first few nights, but it'll be so much better for all of you if it works.