Thursday, July 18, 2013


As I'm typing this, I just spent 20 minutes trying to get Cash down for his morning nap.  We swaddled, we rocked, we shhh-ed, we did everything. I gently set him down in his rocker (we aren't to the crib yet) and fast forward 5 minutes later he is WIDE AWAKE LAUGHING AT THE FAN.  Ok and now he is crying. I have so many questions I don't even know where to begin.

Let's go back.

Around 6 weeks we started Cash on a bedtime routine-- this coupled with the miracle blanket and an elevated sleeper was our ticket to sleep.  He's been sleeping through the night ever since. (I know hate me all you want.)  But along with that comes having to rock him to sleep and perfect the "put down'' aka transferring him from our arms to the rocker (we aren't to the crib yet).  And that was totally fine in the newborn stage but now he needs to be rocked and shh-ed to sleep before bed and every nap.  I always said around 4 months I'm going to start sleep training per the Ferber Method.  Well here we are, 4 months tomorrow and I have the Ferber book on my lap read halfway through.  My fears are: Why are we messing with him sleeping through the night? What if everything we have worked towards just gets reset back to zero?  I feel like we need to sleep train and teach him to fall asleep on his own.  I know it's a very controversial topic but personally I don't want to have an older baby that has to rely on us rocking him to sleep every night.  I want them to learn how to sleep on their own.  Also Cash sleeping through the night usually involves him stirring around the clock where I have to rock his sleeper with my foot to make sure he drifts back to dream land.  So really I'm not getting a full night sleep anyways.

Then all this translates to nap time.  He needs to be rocked, usually under the oven vent, for 20 to 30 minutes, then set gently in his rocker. And half the time he stays that way for about 5 minutes. Then you have to repeat the whole entire thing again.

This brings me to my second fear: the SWADDLE.  Cash cannot and will not sleep unswaddled.  He sticks his fingers in his mouth and refuses to shut his eyes. I have tried  In fact if I get one more Amazon box in the mail, my family might disown me.  If his hands aren't tied down in a swaddle he won't sleep.  This is another habit I'd like to break sooner rather than later. So my question is-- do we stop swaddling and sleep train at the same time? Is that too much too fast? Also he needs to start sleeping in his crib- is doing all 3 at the same time just torture?

Right now I'm living at my parents house until we move in July 31.  I'm thinking of starting the night we move in since his new room will be his permanent environment.  It'd be too much to sleep train him at my parents right then start again in a new house? UGH.

I feel like I could literally type out a million questions.  By doing all this am I asking for disaster? If you are out there PLEASE help me.  Any advice is so appreciated.  I know every baby is different but anything would help at this point.  I've had people tell me don't mess with what you have, but I'm thinking long term....Dr. Ferber does say if what you are doing now is working then you probably shouldn't mess with it but at the same time he stresses that if what you are doing is hindering them from learning how to sleep on their own (aka rocking them to bed) then you need to rethink your approach.  #sofreakingconfusing.  If you really want to email me at or of course the FB message always works.




  1. Soooooo... My thoughts are that all the rocking/shushing/oven vent stuff is great while their still tiny, but after a while, THAT becomes the routine and they end up needing it to fall asleep. Sounds like that's where you're at now. At four months, we did sleep training to get Henry to sleep without rocking him in the pack and play. At 4 months he was still swaddled, and we would kind of jiggle the packnplay (while he was crying the entire time) for 15-30 mins to get him to sleep. Once asleep, he was great and never woke up. BUT, I knew we had to get out of that habit. Sooooo... we just ferbered him, and it worked awesome. a few weeks later, there was also a seamless transition to crib and now he LOVES his crib. We came up with a routine, too, and I believe that is important. Our routine is put the sleep sack on, sit in the glider and read 4-5 little books. Then we turn on white noise, put him in the crib and give him his lovie and stuffed lion. It is the exact same for naps and night time.

    At Cash's age, I don't think there are any tricks. And any trick you introduce may just cause him to become dependent on it. The way I looked at the Ferber method was that before, I was also letting him cry it out, just with a whole bunch of other stuff going on.

    The routine is a double edged sword because while yes, Henry totally gets what the sleep process is and plays along wonderfully, he isn't very flexible about where he will nap (other than the car). And yes, a lot of my day is scheduled around naps, but not in an overly obsessive way. Also, Henry will not fall asleep randomly. I see pictures of babies on facebook asleep on the floor and I don't get it? When Henry is tired, I put him down for a nap. I don't let him just stay up until he literally collapses. BUT, because of that, if we're at church and he's tired, he REFUSES to fall asleep on our shoulders. It's such a fight.

    I notice that a lot of parents are much more flexible about bed times than we are. I see both sides of it, but my thoughts are since Henry does sleep so well at night, I am going to keep everything as consistent as possible so that his night time sleep is extremely reliable. We don't take him out past 7pm. And we wouldn't go somewhere later in the night and just let him stay up or fall asleep on one of us or whatever. From the anecdotes that people tell me, with no judgment involved, it sounds like the kids who have rigid bedtimes seem to sleep/nap better overall... but, that's certainly not a fact.

    His naps are still a moving target. He doesn't nap the same time each day because he either doesn't want to or because the previous nap was longer/shorter than usual. But, we still always get two solid naps. Napping seems to go through phases more than night sleep. Phases meaning we'll have a week of struggling with naps from time to time.

    Henry has always been a great sleeper, but I do think that a lot of the consistency we enforce has made him even better. It seems like parents do it all sorts of ways, so you have to figure out what YOU really want. If you want to count on the fact that he will sleep when you want him to, then you should ferber and try to get on a general sleep schedule. If it's more important for you to have freedom out of the house during the day, then I am not the person to ask.

    And if you have more questions, just hit me up on the 9 million forms of online communication we have going :)

  2. Google "The Sleep Lady" as an alternative to the Ferber stuff. She has a website and a book with good suggestions. Also, neither one of my boys slept through the night until they were around a year old. People only talk about the ones that miraculously sleep through the night at an early age, but that doesn't always happen and, when it comes to babies' sleep habits, there is really no such thing as "normal." :)