There is so much to discuss in this blog because it’s been a crazy few weeks. Long story in short, a couple of weeks ago my adorable 4 1/2 month old who has slept beautifully since day one, started not sleeping. He would go to sleep fine but would wake up just an hour or two after bed and then wake up numerous times in the night. All the questions started: Am I producing enough milk? Is he getting enough to eat? Does he have an ear infection? Is he having a growth spurt? What could it be? After a process of elimination…my husband and I have decided he just liked to hang out with his Mommy at night. Well, when you have 3 kids, all of which demand a lot of attention, being up at night doesn’t lead to a quality next day. After contemplating many ways to solve this problem, and speaking to our pediatrician, we decided to follow The Ferber Method and sleep train Garrett. This is also known as the “cry it out” method, one many are not fond of, however, it worked for us with Parker so we thought we’d give it a try.
With this method you go into the baby’s room, sing/talk softly, rub their belly or in our case, pat their back (this is because our little boy decided his tummy was where he’d be sleeping at 3 1/2 months when he started rolling over) and you do this in timed increments (ex: 2min, 5min, 7min, etc.). Night one was a nightmare as we did the above method for 3 1/2 hours…he cried and cried, heart breaking, but I knew I had to be consistent as he was very stubborn. Because he is so small and likes to sleep on his tummy, I kept going into his room at the 15min mark to encourage him he was okay. He’d calm down for a little bit and start crying again.
Night two was a bit better with only a couple wakings and the longest stretch of crying being 41 minutes. Night three was even better with only waking once in the night lasting 14 minutes! Phew! We made it! It wasn’t easy but it worked! Garrett has continuously slept through the night since with only a few early mornings which I can handle if I’ve had 6+ straight hours of sleep AND coffee. Yes, coffee! This may sound strange but I cannot tell you how happy I was to brew that first cup of coffee during those few groggy mornings. Even though I was tired, I could look forward to a simple kick start before my other two kids woke up! I became very close to my Keurig that week and continue to have a special bond with my morning coffee!
During my very tired days, I still managed to have quality time with my older kids. The puzzles we own have become boring to my 4 year old because he’s now memorized where all the pieces go so we decided to create a puzzle game. It’s a lot like ‘go fish’. We turn all the pieces over except for the four corners. We leave the corners face up. We each draw one puzzle piece without seeing the front and see if we can make it fit. If we can, then we go again. If it doesn’t fit, we turn it back over and put back in the pile. This taught my kids to look for the straight side of a piece in order to build the border of a puzzle first. This turned a quick puzzle into a 15-20 minute game time for us to hang out quietly and give mommy a break from playing superheros and watching the kids jump off of stools onto their bean bags.
The reason I blog about this all of this is because in today’s world, everyone has an opinion, especially in the “mom world” and I heard lots of these opinions all during a difficult, sleep deprived time for me, which made me wonder, am I doing the right thing? Fortunately for me, I have a very supportive husband who encouraged me to do what I felt was right. As a Mom there are MANY times we wonder if we are doing right by our children and all we can do is follow our hearts, be confident in our ability to care for our children and pray to God and ask that He be present in this journey!