God bless you, Dr. Ferber

It worked!  Well, I guess I should say it’s working.  After speed reading some key chapters in Dr. Ferber’s book last week, we started implementing the modified version of crying it out this weekend.  After just a couple days, I slept for 8.5 hours, pretty much uninterrupted, for the first time last night in I don’t even know how long.  It was more peaceful than sleep ever was during pregnancy.  There was no back pain to deal with, no Snoogle to fight with, no trips to the bathroom, and best of all, NO FEEDING THE BABY!!

I know all you sleep deprived mothers are dying to know all the details, so here you go:

Friday night – Night 1
Kendall went down at his normal bedtime, 7:30, after his usual routine of bath, lotion, jammies, rock and nurse. (Yes, I’m still nursing  him to sleep or drowsy.  I will elaborate more on this later)

He woke for the first time at 11:30.  I had Scott go in and check on him right away.  He then left and we let Kendall cry for about 5 minutes.  His cries actually had started to taper off around 3 minutes, but then they picked backup so I had Scott go back in just to pat his back and reassure him.  The whole time I lay there in bed listening on the monitor, and this second visit pissed Kendall off royally.  It really escalated his cries and then I felt bad for even having Scott go in there a second time.  Scott said he was laying there, throwing his arms up in the air, demanding to be picked up.  I thought for sure we were in for a battle.  I was preparing myself for the heartbreak.  Then, to my surprise and utter delight, a few minutes after Scott left the room for the second time Kendall quickly calmed down and went right to sleep.  No drama, no vomitting, no choking on his own spit.  It was amazing.

He woke again briefly at 12:30, but only half assed the cries this time around and I knew he was too tired to fight it.  Sure enough, he put himself back to sleep in just a few minutes and we never had to check on him.

At 1:30 I decided to go ahead and feed him when he woke up, then he slept until 5:30 when I fed him again.

Night one was a relative success with us getting down to only 2 night feedings, which was a wonderful change for the 4 nightfeedings we had been dealing with for the last month.

Saturday night – Night 2
Kendall went down a little later than usual.  It was closer to 8:30, I think.  Again, we followed the routine of bath, lotion, jammies, rock and nurse.

After a few hours of quiet and no wakings, I decided to go ahead and top him off at 12 before going to bed with what they call a “dreamfeed”.  My theory was I was pretty sure he was going to wake up in an hour or so anyway and I’d rather deal with this now than wake up from a comfy sleep in an hour.  It was a good thing I did, because as I rocked him I kept thinking to myself, “Gah… your room smells FOUL!  WTF?  Is there a dirty diaper hiding somewhere in here?  Geez… I just cleaned your room really well.  Hmmm… wait a sec… that smell seems to be coming from…. ahhh, shit.  You have a dirty diaper.”  Yeah, I came to this realization right at the end of his feeding.  So I had to change his diaper and wake him up.  I thought we were doomed, but was totally surprised and relieved again when I laid him down awake in his crib and he put himself back to sleep in a matter of minutes.

He woke again at 5:15 and I had Scott go in to check on him.  He only had to check on him once this time and then Kendall was back to sleep within a couple minutes of Scott leaving his room.  Total awake time being less than 10 minutes, and the crying was really tame too.  More of a whine and fake cry than anything.

Next thing I know it’s 8:15 and am I being woken by the noise of a crying baby? No!  Instead, Scott is waking me and tells me that Kendall is playing with my sister (who came in for a visit) in the other room.  Was he starving?  No!  He was happy and playing.  Of course, I did insist that he nurse right away before my breasts exploded, and he did get down to business and seriously put away some boobie, but that was fine by me!

Sunday night – Night 3
If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it… so I stuck with the same bedtime routine (although we were back at 7:30 instead of 8:30) and dreamfed him at 11:30.

He woke again at 5:30 as Scott was getting ready for work.  I think it was the noise that bothered him since his room backs up to our bathroom.  I vaguely remember Scott going in to check on him once, and I’m pretty sure he conked out shortly after that.  I’m happy to report that the details are all fuzzy because I was in and out of sleep.  Scott knew the drill and took care of everything.

At 8:15 I got up, refreshed, rejuvenated, ready to take over the world!  I found Kendall happily playing with his feet in his crib.  I promptly attached him to the boob that felt the closest to popping and then dreamed of all the many things I can get done today.

Now, maybe I’m totally jinxing myself (wouldn’t be the first time), but this whole process was far easier than I expected.  I would say that Kendall actually got more sleep and cried less than when I was allowing him to wake up and eat at will throughout the night.  We have all been happier, better rested, he’s resisting naps less, and I’m pretty sure that if I end up paying for his therapy in the future, this will not be the reason.

We are still nursing to sleep at night because it works for us and I like it (I KNOW!  I like it… I really am now one of those moms who will be sad when her baby stops breastfeeding).  I know we will eventually have to phase that out, but I’m waiting until we have all the nighttime feedings eliminated first and that will be the last thing we work on.

I guess we will stick with the 11:30 dreamfeed for now, at least untiil after the new year.  Then I will try to drop that, as well.  But, as it stands now, I am one happy momma.  He may not be the poster child for Ferberizing yet.  He is still nursing to sleep and eating at least once a night, but if I’m getting my 8 hours of sleep, I’m a happy camper.

I really hope that gave some of you a  little bit of hope!  Maybe for Christmas YOU’LL get a silent night, too 🙂

Kendall is almost 7 and a half months old.

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  1. I’m glad it worked so fast! My DD (now 2) nursed to sleep until she was about 9 months old. She STTN early on so I never cared that she nursed to sleep b/c I was getting sleep. All of a sudden around 8-9 months she suddenly stopped nursing to sleep – she’d fall asleep, but as soon as I put her down or unlatched her (if she fell asleep still latched on) she’d be up and crying. It started to take 1-2 hours to get her down each time, for 2 naps and at bedtime. I felt like all I did was try to get her to sleep!! I read tons of books, including Ferber, and did the same thing. She still nursed before bed, but I switched the order of her routine so that she nursed before reading books, etc. It took 3-4 days and then we had success too. And, much like Kendall the first day, my DD got madder if we went in the room. I wanted to do Ferber’s modified CIO, but we ended up having to do full-on CIO without going to comfort b/c any comforting we were doing at various intervals just pissed her off. Anyway, just wanted to say that I’m glad it worked! Sleep is a wonderful thing for everyone!!

  2. I am so glad it’s working for you! My daughter (same age as Kenall) has been waking at night to be cuddled, she doesn’t take nighttime feedings anymore, and refusing to go back to sleep alone. We did the same thing and her cry time went from 10 to 7 to 3 to 0 minutes in a matter of five days. It was hard, but well worth it, like in your situation. Enjoy your sleep!

  3. Terri (mrs.tlcs) on

    Yay! I’m so glad Ferber is working for you! It worked great for us… I know we’re bound to hit some speedbumps (as DD gets teeth, gets sick, etc.), but it’s so nice to know that DD and your DS are capable of getting a full night’s sleep 🙂 Congrats 🙂

  4. Since it’s been almost a month since you posted this, I’m curious as to how it’s been working in the ‘long run’!
    I just got Ferber’s book, still not sure if this is the route for us (won’t try it for two more months or so if we do go with it…).

  5. Congrats!! I hope that Kendall is still sleeping well for you. My baby is sleeping really well now – thanks to the cry out method and exercising him every evening. Now that he is walking and fully mobile, he exhausts himself everyday in the evenings by walking up and down our sidewalk and playing in our neighborhood park. Good job!!

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