Thursday, March 13, 2008


Not to be confused with Febreezing.

The days of my bitty girl napping on me, and only on me, after nursing herself to sleep had to come to an end. For the sake of my sanity and of this house ever getting remotely clean enough for us to even think about childproofing it, she really had to learn to go to sleep in her crib, on her own.

The problem is, for those without a little urchin of their own, if you put your kid in they're crib after they've fallen asleep somewhere else, they get to the end of a sleep cycle, wake up just enough to check the status quo, and are shocked and dismayed to discover themselves someplace other than where the sandman stole over them in the first place. The analogy that is commonly used here is imagine that you fall asleep on the couch and wake up to find yourself on the kitchen floor. You may not cry, but you'd be pretty shook up. We all (babies and adults) wake up just enough between sleep cycles to notice such a major change. And the baby gets pissed. And tells you.

And my particular baby didn't even get that far. She'd usually wake up just as I was trying to move her. Or after five minutes, I think when she noticed the extra body heat was gone. So anyway, it was time. I was sick of spending six hours a day on the couch with her sleeping on me.

So I read that book by West that Ouiser lent me. I tell you, baby S is a wonder baby who has the adaptation skills to bring a tear to Darwin's eye. It didn't really work for us. But I think it may have toughened me up a smidgen regarding the crying. The Husband came back with Dr. Ferber's book last night, at my request.

I've been saying since before the Liliputian was even born that I wanted to avoid "Ferberizing" my baby for as long as possible. I had been told by people, books, and websites that it involved leaving your child to cry, alone in her crib, for increasing lengths of time between your checks on her. I'd heard of people leaving their kids to cry for hours this way, and that it was so heartbreaking for the parents that it often didn't work. I didn't think I had the heart for it. Turns out I'm a heartless ogre of a mother after all.

Well, it actually turns out that Ferber recommends only letting your child cry for a length of time you can stomach. So if you can only handle 10 minutes max, that's fine. You need not ever let your child cry for 30 minutes, 60 minutes, 90 minutes straight without a check, as I had heard. So, you can start out going in to check on your baby after only 1 minute of crying, if you want. Then you increase to 3 minutes before the second check, then 5, then 7, then 10, and stay at 10 if that's what works for you. Much more humane and compassionate than I was expecting. I was near to a panic attack with all the crying she was doing yesterday. I swear my heart felt like it was going to explode. I was literally sitting on the couch panting. So now I know 15 minutes is too long for me. Or at least it was yesterday. I'm sure I'll get better at this, too.

Today's she's napping spectacularly, for it being only the second day. Though that could have more to do with the fact that she had her vaccines this morning. We finally had an insurance number to go to the pediatrician with. And the other good news? She's between the 25th and 50th percentiles for both height and weight! Yay! We may have kicked that weight gain problem for good, finally! Hers anyway. I make no guarantees about any weight problems of my own.

And I finally got the card reader hooked up, but Blogger's not letting me upload the photos for some reason. I'll try again asap.

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