Friday, January 9, 2015

Exp-hair-iment: Day 33 and Ferber

You know you live in the country when you see large dark shapes in your yard at 1am and have the following discussion with your spouse:

W: There's something in the yard.
H: Probably deer.
W: No its too big!
H: A cow?
W: It looks more like a horse.

Turned out the neighbors semi-wild donkeys were out again and found our winter rye appealing.

Go away, that's for my future goats!!!
Day 33: I think it's about time to wash my hair tonight. But pulled back in a ponytail it isn't bad. It never looks that bad in the pictures I post, but I can see it is getting oily. Pretty amazing though that I've got from washing it every. single. day. to being able to say "Meh, I guess I should wash it tonight" after four or five days!
I dunno why I post the pictures anymore, but there ya be.
Victoria is on a roll! She is pulling up on everything. Yesterday at one of her naps I wasn't hearing much of anything then suddenly heard the "oh no I'm STUCK" type of crying. After running back to her room with visions of an arm or leg through the slats of the crib I was instead greeted with her standing next to the changing table portion of her crib holding on for dear life. She was stuck indeed!

Mmmmm, blanket!
She's growing up so fast. Though I looked back at pictures of Shelby at the same age - and they're really doing very similar things. But it always feels so much faster with Victoria.

We are doing Ferber faster. Much faster. A long time ago I promised to write about why I thought Shelby was suddenly taking real naps. For most of the first year beyond the very newborn portion of her life, Shelby did not. Would not. Could not. Not in a box, not with a fox, green-eggs-and-ham take a nap. Until after we "Ferberized" her.

What is "Ferberizing?" It is a "method" of sleep training based on the advice of Dr. Richard Ferber in Solve Your Child's Sleep Problems. I'm not going to write out the method. It is controversial, I am not  a Doctor of anything ... MD, PhD or otherwise, and I really think anyone who wants to know more about it should read the book. And this article where Dr. Ferber himself answers a few of the concerns about his "method." I'll go as far as to say it does involve some crying (though much to my surprise more with Shelby than with Victoria ... though Tori is louder) and is referred to as "progressive waiting."

Tori when I went to get her up at 8am after our first night
As a somewhat attachment parenting, crunchy type ... I put it off with Shelby as long as possible. I even brought her to our bed sometimes so mommy could sleep in a bit. Then I was pregnant with Victoria and Shelby had some kind of gastroenteritis for about a week. The three-and-a-half of us shared a bed, and not a one of us got any sleep. It was time to do something.

And it worked. Shelby quickly learned to put herself to sleep. I bet she MAYBE spent 45 minutes crying over the course of several days all added up. And she started taking an afternoon nap - which she does to this day.

So for our family, we feel a few nights of crying with intermittent reassurances that all is still right in your world in order to develop your own good sleep habits is far healthier than a dragged out struggle where we as parents try to coerce our independent girls into falling asleep the ways we try to show them. Not that we don't have a routine ... We most definitely have a bedtime routine. Shelby wouldn't let us miss a step ... including adding "when the sun comes up" to my "see you in the morning" if I forget to say it.

So after Tori stopped sleeping through the night and increasingly loathed being put into her crib in anything but the deepest sleep despite her unsettled slumber against her momma's weary and sagging shoulder ... We decided it was time. We held out on Shelby till 15 months.

It's never easy to hear your baby cry but being able to check and see that it was the angry crying out against change rather than pain or terror helped. She didn't even last more than 10 minutes per waking. She woke at all her favorite times ... 11:30, 1:15, 4:15 ... With some stirring around 6 ... but I fully expect even these to vanish. And I'll take a short albeit loud power struggle for 6-7 minutes over three restless hours together which neither mom nor babe seems to particularly enjoy.

In fact, I enjoy our deliberate cuddling much more than the late night codependent clinging where I wonder if either of us will learn to be well rested.

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