Thank You Dr. Ferber

We used the Ferber method on our twins when they were youngsters and we’ve have peaceful nights of sleep ever since. In fact we’ve had many friends marvel when we tell them how easily we get the boys to bed and that they (and we) have been sleeping through the night since they were 4 months old.

With our third boy, whose just about to turn 9 months, I’m less involved in the feeding since he breastfeeds and won’t take bottles. Over the last month our little man who had been naturally sleeping through for along time suddenly discovered that some time between midnight and 4am he was going to cry loud and hard until he got a breast.

The other night my wife announced that there would be no more boob for him late at night. He’s huge, and both of us agree it’s not about the food – we’ve checked all the other possible reasons. All the mothers and child psychologists in the audience will be glad to know I actually did pay attention to the books and forums – since I was the one who figured out that our 9 month-old was actually using my wife’s boob as his transition (to sleepy time) object. Our twins self-selected their stuffed animals that they made heavy use of as transition objects when they were younger. The little guy hadn’t bonded to any particular object except the breast. He was falling asleep on it (a nighttime no-no), so it really shouldn’t have been a surprise to us that when he started waking up at night he would look for the one thing he knew would lull him back to sleep. Unfortunately for the Wizbang wife, that meant her…

The first night of the Ferberization is the hardest. I’m convinced that most people fail there and give up for good. It’s much easier to rationalize a reason to cave in than it it to listen to your baby cry. Don’t be fooled – they’re manipulators even at 6 months old. Once you’ve eliminated all to other possible causes it’s time to get down the the ferberizing. You really must read the book because it’s not about ignoring the crying of your child.

Day One – Beginning at 1:30 A.M. the baby cried steadily for 1 hour then fell asleep.
Day Two – Baby woke up at 12:30 A.M. the baby cried for something less than 10 minutes. We never got past the 5 minute visit.
Day Three – That’s today. I’m predicting little or no nighttime crying.

When I see people at the grocery store at 10PM with little babies or toddlers I often wonder who runs their house – them or their child. I don’t know about them, but at our house the parents do, by design…

Update: The other hero of our household Tracy Hogg (The Baby Whisperer) has her final book coming out next week. Shockingly, and sadly, she died earlier this month of a very rare cancer – malignant melanoma of the esophagus. Her original Baby Whisperer book was a godsend in our household. Her last book (The Baby Whisperer Solves All Your Problems) is supposed to be filled with answers to the questions she got all the time and much more.

If you’d like to see a more personal side of Mrs. Hogg read these letters to the members of her BW community.

Update 2: Here’s the current results:

Day One – Beginning at 1:30 A.M. the baby cried steadily for 1 hour then fell asleep.
Day Two – Baby woke up at 12:30 A.M. the baby cried for something less than 10 minutes. We never got past the 5 minute visit.
Day Three – No waking or nighttime crying.
Day Four – No waking or nighttime crying.

It looks like nighttime peace and quiet is here to stay.

Found On Phi Phi Island, Thailand
Year end Remainders

37 Comments

  1. Kathleen December 30, 2004
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