Saturday, April 4, 2009

Crying it out - night 1 & 2

On Wednesday night it took Joris until almost 10:00pm to fall asleep. With us in the room. Which was the point that we looked at each other's exhausted faces and said "enough". We've been meaning to switch to a more rigid approach, but we are both such pushovers that we've been postponing it. I'm just a total sucker for the "Mama hold!" requests, especially combined with the recently developed tack-on of "Dohtah happy now" when giving him a big, squeezy hug.

But, we need some time at night not to deal with our fabulous, yet sleep-scorning offspring, instead of rolling into bed exasperated and exhausted once he finally manages to make it to snoresville.

So, Ferberizing it is. We tried it well over a year ago and had some success with it, until teething or illness or god knows what threw a wrench into the whole effort. Ferberizing basically is a controlled method of letting a child cry it out. You are supposed to go back to comfort them at increasingly longer intervals - basically until the kid realizes it's way too much effort to keep calling out. I alternate between thinking of it as a reasonable, common sense approach and a surefire way to crush a little spirit.

But, at this point, I think it's our best option, because even though there has been some improvement over the last several months, we have not been able to make it out of his room yet and really, it is about time for that to happen.

Here's the report:

Thursday (night #1)
Jacob left Joris' room around 7:45. Joris wailed. He was very upset. Jacob went in at somewhat regular intervals. Each time, Joris would calm down immediately, going from screaming at the top of his lungs to having a pleasant conversation in seconds (which I think is a bit of an indicator that he was turning up the volume for effect only) but was twice as mad when Jacob would leave again. Eventually, we started an episode of the Daily Show and decided that we'd only go in at the end of show, if he was still awake. He quieted down during the second segment and actually went to sleep. I think it was close to 10:00pm by that time.

Friday (night #2)
Jacob left the room right around 8:00pm after reading lots of books and singing some songs. We decided not to go back in unless he was super frantic, but he never really got there. There were a couple of short "DADDY, DADDY, BLOW NOSE, BLOW NOSE!!!" episodes, but he would switch gears and start asking in his sweet little boy voice "Daddy?...daddy?" so it definitely seemed like he was just changing tactics. He was asleep by 9:00pm and woke up in super happy spirits. Of course I've been gushing about how proud I am of him of going to sleep ALL BY HIMSELF, LIKE A BIG BOY!!!

Hoping for continued improvement (and not permanently scarring the lad).

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