"Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy."
Quote by: Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

Thursday, December 02, 2004

Crying It Out

Crying It Out

Well, over the past month Emily's sleep habits have grown progressively worse. She needed to be rocked to sleep each and every time whether it was for a nap or for bedtime. She would occasionally fall asleep in the carseat on the road, but inevitably woke up the second the car stopped. It also began taking longer and longer to put her down (she'd stop herself from falling asleep or wake up as soon as her body hit the crib) AND she was waking up more often during the night. I started having anxiety attacks at bedtime and I walking into walls and hallucinating. Okay, maybe I wasn't hallucinating but I did some research about the Ferber method and bought his book Solving Your Child's Sleep Problems and we started two days ago.

Oh, the agony. In short, Ferber says to break your child of the associations she needs to help her sleep (like rocking and eating) and teach her to fall asleep in her crib on her own. That means putting her down in her crib while she's tired, but awake, and letting her cry. We are allowed to go in and visit in increments of 5, 10 and 15 minutes (these increments get progressively longer each day). Eventually by day 3 or 4 you should see marked improvements.

Last night was the second night and we saw a marked improvement. She slept from 7:15 to 5:15 am! She cried for 40 minutes though when we put her down. We go in there and sing to her and rub her belly quite frequently and she's fallen asleep in her crib (generally with Jim rubbing her belly, but we won't tell Ferber that). We are not rocking her for her naps either, which I think is expiditing the process. Still, it is heart wrenching for us knowing all she's been through. I do think this will help us in the long run, particularly when it's time for Palate surgery in April. If she's a good sleeper by then, it can only help her recovery.

Emily woke up at 5:15 am this morning and fell asleep on me for about 30 minutes starting at around 6:45 (again, don't tell Dr. Ferber!)


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