A Weekend of Ferber

We started Ferberizing poor Jasper this weekend. It sucked. Bad.

The first night he cried for about 20 minutes which seemed like 20 years. But he did sleep pretty well IN HIS OWN ROOM in HIS OWN CRIB!!! for the rest of the night. (I nursed him twice though).

Saturday he fussed for about a minute and promptly took his naps with no protest. Saturday night was pretty rough, but naps yesterday were horrible. He barely slept at all. And by the end of the night I was totally depressed. Hearing your baby cry that much just beats the crap out of you emotionally.

Last night he only woke to nurse at 10:30pm and again at 4am, which I count as only once “in the middle of the night” because technically I’m not in bed yet for the 10:30 feeding. This is back to where we were before the dreaded 4 month wakeful hit so I really can appreciate it this time around.

The problem is that when he’s at daycare Monday through Wednesday they can’t really continue with Ferber. They rock the babies to sleep in their portable cribs (they are on wheels so they “rock” them the way you would in say a stroller) and to NOT do so for Jasper would mean that none of the other kids would get any sleep because he’d probably be crying the whole time.

We’ll see how it works out, but I wonder how other people deal with the difference between home and daycare when it comes to sleep training?

If you have any tips let me know!

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Becky says:

Oh, thank you! I should have thought of that with the velvet. Very clever. I do agree with your rule about flash, actually. Everything always gets so washed out if I use it. Alas, I have also been thinking my point and shoot was going to hold me. But my new baby is just too cute for such a blah camera. You’re photos have inspired me and this morning I ordered a new Nikon D60 with a couple of lens. I cannot wait until it arrives! I’m going to be a religious reader of your tips now.

ariana says:

Hi Becky, thanks!

I used a black velvet curtain that I bought at Nation’l Wholesale Liquidators for really cheap (before they went belly up!). As for using flash, see my commandment here:

Becky says:

I LOVE your photos, esp the ones of Jasper (great name!). I’ve been trying to get some good looking ones of my three month old. How did you get the black background? I tried putting my baby on a black sheet but it just looked washed out in the photo b/c of the flash.

Well, we only have daycare two days a week, but I think babies distinguish between home and daycare really early. From what I’ve heard from friends and co-workers, babies understand that a different environment = different behavior.If you’re happy with the care he’s receiving, I think it’s best to just let daycare be and continue what you’re doing at home (it sounds like you’re most concerned about night sleeping/waking/feeding anyway, right?).

I know Ferberizing is miserable, but it also seems like it takes 1 or 2 weeks tops to get results you’re looking for. Good luck!

vtjill says:

Unfortunately I have no advice. We were sleeping pretty great pre-daycare (bed at 7:30pm, up at 2:30am, 5am and then up for the day at 6:30am). Now that she is in daycare (and has been since early January), her sleep schedule is a mess during the day. There is no structure and her naps are all over the place (both duration of nap and timing during the day). It is very frustrating and has totally impacted her night routine. She now sleeps no more than 3 hours at a time (on a good night). I really think it is a structure/schedule issue because on the weekends she will nap for us without too much issue but it requires us paying attention to her signals (that first yawn, eye rub). I hate to say it but I think at the daycare there is too much going on for them to pay close attention like that. They will let her go for up to four hours with no nap and at home she doesn’t last more than two (maybe two and a half) hours before she is down again. So, no advice, just sympathy.

I was so sure we would never have to ferberize her based on her earlier nighttime sleeping pattern but now I know that is most likely where we are headed. We’ll wait until she is six months old (she is five months now). I already dread it!

ariana says:

Oh good, we can muddle through together! In our case, even though my instincts tell me to run in there the second he starts crying I find myself checking him much less than I want to because he gets more hysterical when I leave after a check than he was before :(

Ali says:

We just started “Ferber” too (at 9 months). Well, it is like our family’s adaptation of Ferber. Miles’s nights aren’t terrible, but he still wakes up 1-2 times. We don’t do the graduated stuff, but just always go in after 5-10 minutes and pat him (and I also nurse and pick him up if I really am struggling). I mean, my instincts so strongly tell me to go in and comfort him!

We are having the exact same problem with childcare. Due to close quarters, they won’t let babies cry for too long, so they pretty much all get rocked to sleep. What’s worse is that Miles wakes up when other babies fuss, so he takes about 5 20 minute catnaps a day. (ugh!). Our plan is to stick to a really good routine on the weekends of napping, and are going to try to not be as quiet around his napping to let him know it is okay to sleep while activity is happening.

I may just have to keep looking at the comments to see what others have for advice!

Keep up the good work, and I say trust your instincts. You are not alone… :)

ariana says:

Katie, Congrats on making it through your first day, that is definitely the hardest! I consider myself very lucky that I am close enough to feed Jasper at lunchtime. How nice for you though that you are the boss of your daycare :)

Katie says:

My 2-month old just started daycare today. I only worked a half day, so we’re home already and so far, her first nap came immediately after her bottle. We do not normally do that. I told her teachers that I only have 1 request and that is to not let her fall asleep while or immediately after eating. (I have to limit my requests since I’m their boss and I do NOT want them getting irritated with me or Lilly!) I think they did exactly what I asked today. She was just so tired and cranky when we got home that I gave her a bottle and couldn’t bring myself to keep her up any longer.

So I guess what I am trying to say is that we’re going to stick to our norm as much as possible and chose THE most important detail (which, for us is following the E.A.S.Y. plan). I know there will be days when it all gets tossed in the wind, but I think if we just stick to our plan as best we can and not give up on it, that she’ll just fall into her own rhythm.

I know Jasper is a bit older and has been going to day care for a little while already, but I think it applies. Just keep doing what you are doing and he will learn the difference between home and day care.

Good luck!! This whole day care thing is ROUGH! I’m only 10 steps away from my peanut, yet I felt like I was miles away today.