Sunday, February 10, 2013

Ferber Method Alternative

Ok, so as many of my readers already know I gave up on the Ferber method. Maybe it was too strict, perhaps little R was just too stubborn or it might just be that I couldn't put up with the endless cries anymore. One reason or another (or all of them) it just wasn't for me.

Perhaps you are wondering now how little is doing at being put to sleep now, well I'm pretty proud to say that R has been falling asleep and staying asleep pretty well for well over 4-5 months!

My method is one that is simple and I find very gentle and comfortable for both R and I. It's a simple ritual that I repeat everyday and for every situation I have a set of steps that I take Riley through and usually without fail he can fall asleep without much or any fuss. Now I'm not saying this will work for everyone but if you are driven half nuts (like I was) then I think it's worth a go.

For naps
1. Close the blinds/curtains/doors so that the baby knows its time to nap.
2. Take off a layer of clothing so that he is comfortable sleeping (or put him into his pajamas)
3. Lay him on the bed with you with a light blanket over both you and him. If he is a bigger child and or refuses to stay laying down its ok to let him move about as long as it's on the bed.
4. Talk quietly to tell him that it's time to sleep, sing lullaby songs, stroke his hair, massage him or just caress him until he falls asleep. I find putting R's little hand under my cheek helps to settle him. It may take anything from 2-60 minutes before he falls asleep, don't get discouraged if it doesn't work in the beginning just be patient eventually the serenity and the comforting fact that you are with him helps him to sooth and calm himself into sleep.

1. I always try to have a bath with at every night and I find that the longer the time in the bath tub the better R is at falling asleep.
2. After bath, dry him and dress him in his pajamas. I would offer either breastmilk or formula or a sip of water (what ever you usually offer before bedtime).
3. This part is pretty much the same as nap time, basically both in the blanket and sooth baby with you voice and touch.

I would, after R is asleep put him in his cot (as we sleep on a double bed) and cover the sides of the cot with towels so that the light will not wake him up too early in the morning.

This of course only works when
1. He's taken enough calories during the day to not wake up at night hungry.
2. He has had a good rest during the day too, too tired or over rested babies will be harder to put to sleep and stay asleep.

Of course there are still days where he may refuse to sleep for up to an hour on this method or wake up more than once at night but those days are really a rarity and I just put it to either teething, growth spurt, too much or too little sleep during the day or it just being one of those days.

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