This weekend Kev and I began the dreaded task of getting Tom to sleep in his crib. And I don’t think I can accurately express how much I was dreading this. At his two-month check-up, the doctor told me that I needed to work getting him to sleep in his crib by four-months-old. So for the past two months, I have been making up excuses as to why it would be a bad time to begin.
Then last week, I noticed that he had kind of outgrown his favorite sleep spot — his swing. By “noticed” I mean that Tom was kind of leaning forward, to the side, with his head kind of semi-dangling off the side. And then I would move his head back. And then he would yell at me for disturbing him.
So we decided that this weekend was the weekend we would transition him to his crib using a modified version of the Ferber method.
The Ferber method is basically: Put him in the crib, let him cry for a time, go in and reassure him you have not abandoned him, DO NOT PICK HIM UP, let him cry more, repeat.
We decided that we would go in there the first time after 10 minutes (this is what we modified. I believe Ferber suggests 3 minutes the first time) and then every 15 minutes until he fell asleep. I decided that I would hide downstairs until Kev told me it was time to check on him. Because I am a chicken. A chicken who loves my son and thinks hearing him cry is the worst form of torture.
So Friday night, we did it. I read Tom two stories, sang him a song, placed him in his crib, gave him a kiss, told him I loved him and walked out.
And he cried for 10 minutes.
So I went back in there and patted his belly and sang him another song (which wasn’t nearly as good as my first performance because my voice was shaking because I was beginning to cry) and then I told him I loved him VERY, VERY much and I walked out again and into Kevin’s arms where I cried. I’m not made of stone, people!
Fifteen minutes later, I walked in there again and told him I loved him and walked out.
Fifteen minutes after that, Kevin had the honors.
And right after Kevin’s visit, the crying stopped. A total miracle! Forty minutes total. Now, he didn’t sleep as long as he usually does — he only slept until 10:30 p.m. and usually he sleeps until a little after midnight. But the fact he slept in there at all was amazing to me. And he went back to sleep in his crib after each time he woke up.
Saturday night, he cried for 15 minutes and went to sleep. And he slept in 5-hour increments, so he did much better.
Sunday night, he only cried for 7 minutes. So I was feeling extremely awesome about the whole thing and bragged about him to my mom on the phone. Jinx!!
He woke up after 45 minutes and cried for an hour.
What?! Why did he do that? Did he think it was a nap? I have no idea. After an hour of him crying, I picked him up and fed him because he’d cried so long it was time for another feeding. (Although he usually sleeps through it.) But I felt like he was never going to go back to sleep. Plus, I was kind of dying.
I did call my sister first to make sure I wasn’t setting us back three days by picking him up, but she said that since he’d actually fallen asleep on his own, that was the main thing. My sister is my baby expert, so I hung up on her and picked up my baby. (Yay!)
He didn’t eat much but I did get to hold him, nuzzle him and snuggle with him. And then Kevin did too. And then I put him back to bed and he fell right asleep. And he did fine the rest of the night. (Whew!)
So I’m still feeling confident that things are going well. I’m a bit mystified as to what happened last night and what I can do to change it. Maybe I should’ve tried to keep him awake longer before putting him to bed? I’m not sure. In the meantime, Tom and I will be crying for approximately 10 minutes every night. And then he will fall asleep. And I will try not to brag.