A few weeks ago, I posted about Sully's emerging sleeping problems. He had been sleeping like a champ, then suddenly, he was up every two to three hours, totally draining me of much needed brain power.
After three weeks of hoping and praying and keeping my fingers crossed that he'd just automatically revert back to a sleeping pro, I decided that things were getting worse, not better.... especially when I was so tired that I felt nervous about holding my son... I needed to do something about it, PRONTO.
I've researched sleep training before, but never really took it seriously. I've never had Sully on a schedule, just an extremely flexible routine, and he just fell into his own pattern. I kinda figured sleep would be the same way. I was so wrong.
I decided to go with the Ferber Method, better known as Cry-It-Out. A lot of people are against this method, but running to my baby every time he cried was only making him more needy. He wasn't learning to put himself back to sleep, and it was on the verge of turning into a very bad habit.
I didn't just shut his door and leave him to cry the rest of the night. I planned it out and geared myself up for it. I slept in the guest bedroom (it's right next to his room), and got ready for some crying.
At this point, he was beginning to wake up at 10 PM every night (bedtime at 7 PM). Sure enough, on the first night, he did. I waited three minutes, went into his room, patted his chest, told him I was right here but it was night-night time and walked out. Much to his extreme anger.
I waited another five minutes and went back into his room and did the same thing. He was a little less angry that time... The next increment was ten minutes, but I only got to six when he stopped crying and fell asleep. So, a grand total of fourteen minutes of crying. Big. Deal.
He woke up again at around 2:30 AM for a bottle, which I hadn't weaned him off yet, and it was back to bed until he woke up for the day at around 5:30.
Not a bad night, considering the nights before when I ran to pick him up and try to comfort him, he'd be crying and trying to go back to sleep for an hour. Needless to say, I decided to keep going with it.
By the third night, Sully was no longer waking up between 10 and 11 PM, and he was even starting to wean off his night bottle. I kept decreasing the amounts - 6 oz, 4 oz, 3 oz, 2 oz, until finally by the sixth night, he didn't have any midnight snack and slept through the night!
Well, he woke up at 2:30 for about two minutes, but I couldn't bring myself to count that seeing as he went right back to sleep.
Now, Sully is in his crib and I'm in my amazingly comfortable bed snoozing soundly at night. It totally works, and while I know it may not be for everyone, I'd definitely recommend giving it a try.
The way I see it, crying a little now probably saved Sully from crying a lot more in the long run. He's no longer frustrated with trying to stay asleep and not only am I well rested, but so is he. We're both happy campers :).