Friday, January 28, 2011
Friday Forum: Co-sleeping and Sleep training
Here's a controversial one. Let me tell you what we've done in the past and then open it up to all of you.
With Blaine: I 'sleep-trained' my firstborn (a la Dr. Ferber) when he was about 5 months old. He only cried a bit (maybe 30 minutes?) for 2 nights and that was it. He became an amazing sleeper. We just put him in bed and he went to sleep by himself and he almost never woke up in the night. Taylor and I figured the Ferber method was the bee's knees, gave ourselves a pat on the back, and wondered why more people didn't use that method. Now, at 4 1/2, he still goes to bed easily, and will lay there awake (sometimes for over an hour!) until he falls asleep without making a peep. He sleeps soundly through the night and often sleeps in.
With Roger: With number two it was different from the start. We tried the Ferber method--tried to let him 'cry it out.' If we'd have let him, he would have screamed all night, every night. Not cried. Not whimpered. Screamed. Like someone was in his crib trying to bite his toes off. We gave up on that method. I've spent a lot of hours lying down next to him, sitting in the threshold of his room, and singing songs in the next room until he was calm. He's gotten better with age. Sharing a room with his big brother helps. He usually goes to bed now without a fuss, but is often up at night, usually with a night terror of sorts. He screams bloody murder and runs around the house, often bolting for the front door, utters nonsensical stuff about the scary cats in his dreams, and refuses to be comforted by anyone but me. It's awesome. And though it appears he is awake during these outbursts, he is very much asleep. Sometimes we have to splash a little water in his face or pat his cheeks hard to wake him up so the nightmare can end. Many nights he ends up in our bed, which I can sometimes sleep through, but most of the time it drives me nuts. I have no problem with co-sleeping philosophically, I just can't do it. I can't sleep.
With number three on the way, I feel totally open minded. I genuinely don't believe anymore that there is a right or wrong way to go about this and am curious about your experiences. This can be a hot topic, so please--feel free to disagree and debate, but be courteous and respectful. We sincerely want these forums to be a chance to glean from each other's experiences.
So, lay it on me. How should I teach this new babe to sleep?