All the Sun For You

A mom, two boys, a husband, and a whole lot of adventure!

I am the Problem


I am re-reading the chapter on creating new sleep associations and reviewing my notes from each night.  The first night, he put himself to sleep entirely – he got down from the crib rails, curled up on his lovey, and whimpered himself to sleep.  Only after he’d been asleep for a few minutes did I go back in to cover him with his blanket.  I did not pat his back or do any shhh-ing.

The second night, I had to take him off the rails and lay him down.  I did that each time I went in.  I would then pat his back.  If I remember correctly, he started to calm down as I patted his back and then took a few minutes after I left to really fall asleep.  But I was creating a new sleep association with the back patting.  Last night, I admit that I did pat his back until he was asleep – even if it did only take a minute (I was just trying to calm him and he was asleep before I knew it).  I patted his back off and on while I was checking on him, and I’m not supposed to be doing that.

I did it again today for his nap.  WHAT IS MY PROBLEM?  I know that I’m not supposed to do it, but I do it anyway.

There won’t be a proper nap later today because we have Matthew’s 9 month doctor visit right when he’d be falling asleep, so I’m sure he’ll fall asleep in the  car on the way home.  But tonight?  Tonight I will put him in his room and NOT pat his back as he falls asleep.  I will not pat his back during his awake periods tonight.  I will simply go in, remove him from the crib rails, lay him down, give him a quick pat on the back to help him settle into the mattress (I can’t just walk away!), and then say, “night night,” and exit.  I will not stay in his room for more than ONE minute each time (Ferber says 1-2 minutes but I clearly can’t be trusted with 2 minutes).  And I will NOT do what I did this morning and let him sleep with me once he gets up at 6:00 (he was just so tired and I couldn’t let him struggle like that to stay awake).

What I’m trying to decide is if I should go back and start with the second night’s schedule (5, 10, 12 minute wait periods) instead of the forth night’s schedule (12, 15, 17) since I’m the one who screwed this up?

Uh oh… I just came across a statement that I shouldn’t be using a sound machine for Matthew.  That little tid-bit is on page 96.  Why wouldn’t they put that earlier in the book, like on page 74 where they tell you exactly how to do this process?  I’ve been wondering about that as I’ve been reading but assumed all was fine because there was no mention of it.  Matthew sleeps with a VERY LOUD sound machine all. night. long.  In fact, we have a couple sleep sheep that we used when he was very young but they stopped after 45 minutes and that was all well and good (Matthew stayed asleep just fine after they shut off) until we had a party one night.  We went in to reset the thing every 40 minutes and decided that he sleeps best with the continuous noise.  So I got one that stays on all night.  I actually love it and rely on it via the baby monitor at night to fall asleep (I used to sleep with ear plugs prior to Matthew’s arrival – I’m a terrible sleeper!).  I think that is one association that I am NOT willing to break for Matthew at this time.  That would be pure torture for him!

Author: Courtney

Hi, there, I’m Courtney. I never planned to stay home with my kids, but I got sucked into motherhood when my first baby came into our lives after years of infertility and multiple rounds of IVF. His brother followed closely behind, something we didn’t plan on after having such a rough road with achieving parenthood the first time around. My boys are IVF cycle twins, conceived on the same day but born two years and one day apart (they were both transferred on the same day in October, but with two years between them). My boys are the best of friends and my husband is a terrific husband, father, and most importantly… friend. He fully supported my desire to stay home (“I just wanted it to be your idea and not mine, I totally want you to stay home and raise our kids!”) and encourages me in everything I do. I am a lover of projects, spreadsheets, fitness, healthy cooking and eating, crafts, selling my stuff on FB (HA!), and the outdoors. If I’m active, I’m pretty darn happy!

8 thoughts on “I am the Problem

  1. I would start all over on the “going in to check on him” intervals. Consider tonight a fresh start in Ferberizing. You’ve learned a lot, and it’s so hard to walk out of the room without comforting them into being calm, but you can do it!!! And so can he. 🙂

    As for the sound machine – maybe turn it down a little bit each night to ease him off of it? We use a sleep sheep, and I like that it turns off so that if he does wake in the middle of the night, I can restart it and (hopefully) get him to realize that it’s still bedtime.

    Good luck tonight!

  2. Oh my, this sounds so, so hard. Kudos to you for keeping at trying to figure out what will work. Here’s to an eventual good night’s sleep for both of you.

  3. That’s the tough work for Mum I was alluding to! From my understanding though (and based on my limited experience) some things are perfectly fine. I sleep with fan on, and HGB sleeps with one too in his room now as he is used to it from when he slept in our room. I don’t remotely see this as a problem. When we travel, we have a white noise track on the ipod and plug it into the ipod dock.

    One of the things that is not described well is what is a positive sleep association (PJs, sleep sack, blanket, noise machine) and what is not (i.e. needing to be rocked to sleep, etc.). The goal is to create associations that do no require your presence, so that if/when he wakes up in the night, you don’t need to be there for him to fall back asleep. I would say the noise machine falls into the former category.

    Also, it’s okay to go in and soothe, pat, etc. just not pick them up, rock, etc. It is reassuring and let’s them know you are around and love them. I think (again, not clearly spelled out) is to limit them to reassurance and not extend it into the ‘helping to sleep’ category. I’m not so good with “Don’t” lists, so if I think something is fine, then it’s fine! Trust your gut. 🙂

    I think I mentioned previously that I stretched out the schedule for afternoon naps and did each day twice to stretch it out because I though the jumps in time after Day 3 were too much. He will pick it up, but it is something is *learning* to do, not something that will kick in, you know? If you want to start again on Day 2, go for it. It’s totally fine to go with his learning pace, and your comfort level too!

    • Thank you for making the point about positive and negative associations. You are right – the sound machine is a positive association and I’m going to not worry about it!

      Thank you also for reminding me that you stretched out the schedule for naps – I had forgotten that. I didn’t even start doing this method for naps until today, and it seemed like 10 minutes was too long to wait the first time – especially if you follow the “after 30 minutes, nap time is over” rule. I was so worried that he’d go 30 minutes and then we’d skip the nap. He didn’t though. Maybe he’s figuring it out. Maybe not.

      I can’t thank you enough for your guidance. It’s really helpful to me – it gives me strength. I’ve wanted to do this since he was 4 months old (and actually did do it a bit when he was that age and it worked – until he got sick). I just didn’t have the courage to do it since there are the anti-CIO folks out there (like my inlaws) who lay it on thick about the damage you’re doing to the child.

      I have told B that we will be doing this at 3-4 months with the next baby, if we’re lucky enough to have another one!

  4. Thank you so much for your incredibly kind comment on my blog. I have zero sleep advice, but praying for restful sleep for both of you from here on out! We do use a sleep sheep too- can’t say if it makes a difference, but now it’s just a habit.

    • 🙂 Thank you! The more sleep prayers, the better. HA! Sleep used to seem like a silly thing to pray for, but that was before I wasn’t getting any!

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