View Full Version : Any Ferber fans ?
03-14-2004, 12:33 AM
Am desperate, thinking about trying the Ferber way to teach Sydney to fall asleep on her own, I dont know how i'll do it though but I have to do something soon, she's been sleeping terrible at nigh lately for some reason so that means I am too since most of the night she is on top of me sucking away, last night around 6 am I put her in the swing & slept on the couch I was desperate I feel so bad for her I see her rubbing her eyes with them shut in the middle of the night while she is comfort sucking, she didn't used to do this so much until t his week, it's been BAD !
Anyway if anyone used the Ferber method did u like it, any tips or suggestions please.
03-14-2004, 12:59 AM
I'm no expert on Ferber, but I thought even he recommends not using his methods until a baby is at least least 6 months old? So I think Sydney would be too young for that.
I don't have any great advice on sleep training as I have never used it. I have always just tried to follow my sons cues and find something that worked at each new stage. We held my son until he fell asleep for naps and bedtime until he was 15 months old. (His grandmother still holds him for naps at her house, but only because she likes to!) Only in the last 2 months can I put him down and he will fall asleep. Until he was 8 months old I had to hold him while sleeping too for all his naps (usually he slept on top of me while I napped on the recliner part of the couch!) He would not sleep at nap time unless being held. Many times also he would wake up at 4 or 5 am and I could not put him back down, I would end up sleeping on the recliner with him on top of me. The bouncy seat worked for naps when he was younger (maybe 3-6 months old) but he eventually got to big for it. But now he sleeps great, he's like a clock. He goes to bed at 7 pm and gets up at 6 am. Naps from 12-2 or 12-3 usually. But it took a long time for us to get into that type of routine schedule. And as I said he only started falling asleep on his own a couple of months ago.
So, I guess I am just trying to say I have been there and I just did what I had to do to get my son to sleep, however it worked out, and to get sleep myself. Remember to sleep when the baby sleeps, whenever or whereever that is!
mom to Jacob 9/27/02
03-14-2004, 02:23 AM
I can't say either way on Ferber. But I'd like to highly recommend, if you have not done so already, reading Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child by Weissbluth. I can't say I have read it cover to cover, but a great number of parents on this board rave about it, for it's ability to give you an overall understand of BABY SLEEP - the hows, the whys, the whens, etc. Before you try any particualr method, I would encourage you to be fully armed with knowledge about baby sleep. A how-to, step-by-step procedure for sleep training is not enough in my opinion. Please consider giving it a read - even if it doesn't help, it certainly can't hurt.
03-14-2004, 04:00 AM
I used Ferber to help get my son to sleep. It was very effective for my son. I tried other methods like no-cry and that really didn't work; my son cried no matter what. From my experience, they do need to cry to get to sleep. Ferber is NOT cry-it-out. You are checking on your baby and reassuring her that she's not left alone. We checked every 5 minutes. And although the book recommends you increase the time each time you check, we only did this occasionally. The method is flexible - you don't have to start by waiting 5 minutes, you can start with 1 or 2 or you feel more comfortable. Sometimes it's not easy because they can cry for a while (an hour on and off because I check, but that for me only happened a few times). In the long run, it's really best for him to learn to sleep.
We didn't try it until my son was 7-8 months old. He started having sleep problems at 4 months and by month 7 I *had* to do something; I work full-time and was getting 3 hours of sporatic sleep. However, it's not recommended to use Ferber for children under 6 months.
But just the crying part isn't enough. You do have to make sure they have a regular bedtime and bedtime routine. Their day should have a routine. It all helps them set their internal clock so when bedtime comes their body is ready for sleep.
I suggest you get the Ferber book and read it. Another book that is good is Sleeping Through the Night by Joni Mindell. Healthy Sleep Habits Happy Child is so-so in my opinion. All of these books are really modified methods of the Ferber method, but there is good info about understanding sleep and establishing a good routine and good sleep habits.
The other important thing to remember is that you know your baby best. They give you a schedule on how often to check the baby, not to pick baby up, etc. But really, you read your baby's signs when you should pick her up and when she should be left alone. Take the ideas and modify it to fit you and your baby.
03-14-2004, 10:52 AM
She is too little for sleep training. She will not understand why you're not responding to her. Many babies start sleeping really poorly at this age, and it passes. You can check out the No Cry Sleep Solution for ways to help get her back to sleep without sleep training at this very young age.
Mom to Abigail Rose
03-14-2004, 12:00 PM
Please don't take this the wrong way but I'm getting very concerned about you and Sydney and I'm also questioniong whether you've tried some of the advice given in the past week. I've been following your story for the past few months and I'm so sorry you're having such a hard time, but the one thing you really need to work on now is getting you and DD into a predictable routine. Babies need routine in their lives and as you very well know, if it's disrupted, it's a vicious cycle of frustration for both you and the baby.
For now, throw out the how-to manuals until Sydney is old enough for sleep training (6 months). Read them for knowledge but do not use them on her yet. Your baby is not a problem to be solved. You need to hunker down and focus just on her cues and needs to get both of you out of this.
Take two weeks and ignore everyone until you can get your routine sorted out. You are the mother and it's well within your right to put your foot down for Sydney's sake. Please do it for the sake of your sanity as well. For starters, going out for hours at a time at night should stop. If people want to visit, they should come to your house but they can't expect to be able to play with Sydney while they're there and she's napping. DH should be your ally and should help you weather the family storm. Let him handle the family obligations for a while. Use your pediatrician as a scapegoat. Anything to get this all sorted out. If Sydney sleeps best in the swing, let her. Drive her around the block if you need to. What does your normal day look like? I'm sure if we had more details, a lot of the BTDT moms can give you more specific advice to help you and Sydney through this.
Hang in there. It's going to be fine.
Nathan's Mom 12/19/03
03-14-2004, 12:17 PM
She is definitely too young for sleep training. IMO, you're going to have a hard time helping her sleep better until you stop keeping her out till 11pm twice a week - this continually throws off her schedule, so even if she does start sleeping better, you'll throw her off schedule again with a late night out.
Honestly, IMO, you need to give her some consistency and routine. She may be struggling because she doesn't know what to expect from you. She needs a consistent bedtime routine (the same steps AT THE SAME TIME) every night, and a consistent naptime routine (including times). Of course, you still need to watch her and respond to her cues because sometimes she'll need to go to sleep earlier than usual, but once you give her a few weeks of some predictability, she will start sleeping better.
And I did not like Ferber. Going back in to "console" Colin only made the crying escalate further.
I also think that you should reread the advice you've gotten over the last several months. A lot of people have spent a lot of time trying to help you gain confidence as a mother, but I also question whether you follow any of it...
03-14-2004, 02:53 PM
I did not realize how young your baby is. I agree you should wait until your baby is old enough. But if you set a daily routine (waking, napping, bedtime) for your baby now, you may not have to worry about any sleep issues in the future. I think the routine is extremely important.
Comments on Ferber: Ferber was effective for me because no matter what I did, DS would cry because he couldn't sleep. No amount of "No-Cry" would keep him from crying. He was going to cry anyway. He knew it was time to sleep and couldn't. When we came in to console, we patted him, put our hand by his face and he would stop crying and try to sleep. But the real problem was sleep association - I can not stand by his crib with my hand there all night. So after a few minutes I would take the hand away, he would wake, and I would let him try to settle back to sleep. If not, we would console (and it is consoling him) him again in 5 minutes. Every child is different; which is why it's important to understand the concept and adjust it for your child. Just taking a method word for word out of a book isn't always going to work.
03-14-2004, 04:02 PM
Traci, as others have said, in general Sydney is considerd too young for any sleep training. But I do encourage you to read any and all sleep books, because the first thing those books will emphasize is that babies need and thrive on routine. If your child is not first on a routine, then NO sleep training method is going to work!
You may be amazed to find what a consistent routine does for you and Sydney. Many a cranky, fussy baby has become much calmer once a routine is established.
I know that the thought of these routines may sound VERY limiting, but in fact almost the opposite is true. Once you develop a routine, you will probably find it easier and comforting to know when are good times and easy times to take her out and about. And you will not be a servant to the routine forever. But in the first several months, the routine will be your life saver.
And think about this. If you don't start putting your foot down with your ILs now, what is it going to be like once you move on to the REALLY hard battles like starting solids, discipline, and potty training? You need to establish your authority now.
03-14-2004, 07:34 PM
Hon, if you were to take a poll of how many babies soothed themselves to sleep at 4 months, the percentage would be very very small (including those who were sleep trained). It is NORMAL at 4 months for her to need help going to sleep and to wake in the middle of the night. Four months is such a young age to start any sleep training. It sounds like she may have some other issues going on since you say this week has been especially bad, perhaps even a growth spurt. I hope things get better for you.
03-15-2004, 02:46 PM
I told my husband i'm not taking Sydney anwhere this week, we'll have to start a routine, we dont have one, only problem I am in bed with her when she goes to sleep, if I try to put her to sleep early I dont know how i'll do it unless she'll stay in bed alone which I highly doubt ! I just get afraid because I read if the baby isn't out of your bed by 4 months it will be very hard.
I am home practically everyday, it is to hard for me to take Sydney anywhere, she is getting better in the car, only place I have been going is to a parents & children support group which I need to do for myself, I am hardly ever dressed because I'm home always, Sydney is not an easy baby at all !!!!!!!! I always thought I would be such a good mother even everyone used to tell me I would, I dont feel like I am one at all!!!!!
I'm sure u people think i'm the worst mother ,sorry I post so much, I do try to listen to the advice here,
03-15-2004, 03:18 PM
I don't think ANYONE here thinks that you are a bad mother. You obviously love your child and are looking for ways to help her and yourself get through what can be VERY difficult months.
I am sure too that everyone here knows how unbelievably overwhelming life with a newborn can be. It seems your whole life has turned upside down and all you want is a happy child who sleeps when she should and lets you sleep too. We've all spent days (weeks even) in our pajamas!
I think the hardest part of being a SAHM is realizing that it's not what you thought it would be. It's HARD and stressful and EXHAUSTING ... and sometimes taking a shower can be all you accomplish in a day.
Take it one day at a time, it does get easier. It's wonderful if you can say to yourself, this week we are going to do "x" (for me it was making sure my son had a regular naptime).
Don't worry about the baby in your bed. It's a warm, safe comforting place for her to be and the day will come when she won't want to be there. If you don't mind (never mind what a book or the ped or your friend or your mother says ...) then it's okay for her to be there.
Everything now seems overwhelming (even getting dressed!) and that's okay. Give it some time and you will get the hang of it. I for one never thought I'd ever be able to get out of the house before 11 am and today my son and I walked out the door at 9! It felt like a tremendous accomplishment to me!
You WILL get through this ... just take it one day at a time!
Nobody thinks you are a bad mommy. It is hard. The hardest thing I've ever done yet! I didn't brush my teeth yesterday until 10 pm.
DS is probably a lot like your DD. He wouldn't sleep anywhere but next to me and would only fall asleep nursing. But, at four months I wanted to try transistioning to the crib. It has worked! Some nights better than others and during the day it can be pretty rough with only a few naps for a few minutes. I really have tried to incorporate the ideas of the No Cry Sleep Solution. Yes, it often means going and getting DS out of the crib minutes after I put him in it (thinking he was asleep) and sometimes I am up in his room nursing/rocking from 5 until 7 each night. But, we are getting better! We are getting so much better. Sometimes I can put him down while he is slightly awake, or I only have to rock/nurse once.
Here are some helpful hints,
1) Read the No Cry Sleep Solution
2) Start a routine...1 week isn't sufficient. We've been working on ours for the past four weeks!
4) Get a "white noise" machine...we now have a humidifier
5) make sure DD is asleep before putting her in the crib. Somewhere I read that it's around 20 minutes after falling asleep or if their arm is floppy when you lift it.
Mom to Brandon and 2 cats
03-15-2004, 05:27 PM
I second the other posts that at 4 months, hardly any baby is sleeping through the night. At 8 months, I would say that it's only for the past 1.5 months that I've been able to get him to nap in his crib. And that's only after I've nursed and rocked him to sleep. He's asleep when I put him down.
Same for sleeping at night. He nurses, I rock for awhile, and then when I'm really sure he's asleep, I put him in the crib. Even now, at 8 months, most nights I'm up at 3am for another feeding, and he finishes sleeping in our bed.
It gets easier as time goes by. I know that's hard to hear when you're terribly sleep deprived. For the first 5 months, I held DS while he napped. We couldn't go anywhere during the day.
Hang in there. A couple of months from now, it will be lots better. :)
03-15-2004, 06:07 PM
Traci, you are a wonderful mother, and you posting questions is proof of it - you want to know more so you can make the best decisions. We all have times where we don't think we deserve the best mother award, but Sydney knows that you are!!! It's especially hard when you have a high needs baby, so please give yourself a big pat on the back and take some time for yourself.
03-15-2004, 08:30 PM
This is so true! We all have good days and bad. And I think its important to recognize what Lisa says, that Sydney is likely a high needs, spirited baby. And most of the books that are written out there are NOT written with the HN baby in mind. Stuff that works for easy going, mild tempered babies may not work for you. And sleep training tends to be one of those things. And please do NOT compare your spirited baby to the easier babies of friends as relatives, you will only drive yourself nuts!
03-15-2004, 08:46 PM
I'm going to secon and third things said here. I also have a high need spirited baby. Not only won't she nap in her crib, she virtually won't nap anywhere. The only consistent success I've had is to get ehr to fall asleep in her carseat in the car. However, that means I have to hang out in the car with the engine running while she sleeps because as soon as I pick up the carseat she wakes up. However, if I don't do this ritual she is one very cranky baby in the afternoon. Also, the only way I can keep her quiet during the fussy times is to walk around the house with her. If I put her down she cries. I'm thinking it means she'll be an independent minded woman when she grows up!
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