So I have a really controversial new boyfriend. Brakes is okay with it. He is crushing on my new BF a bit too. His name is Dr. Richard Ferber and I think I love him. A lot.
You see, Dr. Ferber managed to give me what no other man has managed to give me in the last 6 months; several consecutive nights sleep.
Many of you have heard me
lament discuss Eloise’s inconsistent sleeping habits. Yes, I understood that lack of sleep is part and parcel with new babies; we knew that going into this rollercoaster. What we did not predict is what lack of sleep was going to turn me into. Brakes is a type-A personality who fine-tuned his working-through-exhaustion skills while getting his PhD (did you know I married a doctor?). The only time I practiced work-through-exhaustion skills was when I made it to class after a wild night partying freshman year of college. Lets just say, I become insane I don’t manage well with no sleep. So after an official six months of feeling like death and complaining about it incessantly bravely muddling through my exhaustion, Brakes and I had a heart to heart. Brakes took scientific data (I told you he was a doctor) and determined that Eloise sleeps less than an average adult which is about half as much as she should be sleeping. This, combined with a crazy wife, convinced Brakes that drastic measures needed to be taken.
I did some research. It turns out we had been informally following Dr. Sear’s methods for encouraging babies to sleep for several months. It obviously was not working so we had to change our strategy. For weeks my very wise mom had been urging me to let Eloise “cry it out”. Being stubborn and independent, I refused to listen. I did not feel comfortable allowing my child to cry herself to sleep. Shudder. I was admittedly indignant and self-righteous (and just generally an ass) in these conversations with Mom. However, when I happened upon this video at www.babycenter.com, I realized that CIO was something I just might have to succumb to… besides it was invented by a doctor, how bad could it be?
We had a plan. We would put Eloise to bed, awake in her crib and let her cry at 5, 10, then 15 minute intervals. When the interval was up, we would briefly go to her, rub her back, give her a kiss, then skedaddle out of her room.
The first night she made it through the first two intervals. By the 15 minute check point she was sound asleep and sweetly sucking her thumb. I wiped the tears from my face, sipped my hefty glass of wine, and Brakes and I congratulated ourselves on our stoic parenting abilities. Eloise slept all night. The next night we had a repeat performance however she was asleep by the 10 minute mark. For the last week Eloise has been taking 2-3 good naps per day (for the first time IN HER LIFE) and sleeping all night.
In fact, she is so much better at communicating what she wants, as well as putting herself to sleep. For example, I never realized that she wanted a third nap each day. Now she gets fussy and if I carry her back towards her bedroom she stops whining, if I turn and go into another room, she wails. If I do an about face and go back to her room, she is quiet until I place her in her bed where she rolls over, grabs her blankee and sighs contentedly.
It is like having a completely different baby and it leaves me with some actual time on my hands for
blogging and painting my toenails cooking and cleaning. And that, my friends, is the reason I would cheerfully enter into a polyamorous (did you see that True Life?! Umm, yeah. I told you I had time on my hands) with Brakes and Dr. Ferber… or, as I like to call them, my Doctor-Double. Flame all you want but I have a baby that sleeps through the night… and just look how happy she is: **It should be noted that I do not advocate the Ferber method for everyone. Our child happened to respond to this method positively and did not cry/scream for four hours. The parents out there who have dealt with that, hats off to you! Brakes and I would for sure have broken.