Childrearing

Twinning: I Was Too Much Of A Wimp To Ferberize

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So my husband lucked out, but of course after a mere five minutes of hearing my babies wail, I envisioned blood pouring from their little noses and couldn’t stay out of the nursery.

I learned that what I was actually trying to do was technically not Ferberizing, but letting your baby “cry it out” (CIO). Real Ferberizing entails reading the book written by Dr. Ferber, which I heard lays out a pretty great plan, complete with five, 10 and 15 minute interval training and lots of things that I didn’t have the time or patience to think about. I already had a book by Dr. Marc Weissbluth, and one by the Baby Whisperer. After reading snippets from each, I cobbled together my own version of sleep training that was tailored to work for us.

What seemed to be key to success for our nighttime routine was moving it from 7:30 to 6:30. Logic told me that the longer I put off bedtime, the easier the babies would go down, but Weissbluth suggested an earlier bedtime could help. It worked like magic, and my son went to sleep much easier at the earlier bedtime. Weissbluth also wrote that it wouldn’t affect wake up time and he was right on that too. I already had a great nap schedule in place, so everything was looking good, except for my son’s night waking.

Almost every night, my son would wake up and cry. Sometimes I’d rock him back to sleep, but almost always, I’d just take him into bed with me. I know this is wrong, and all the research says I’ve basically set him up for a lifetime of poor sleep habits, and have probably ruined his chances of ever getting into an Ivy League school one day, but I ignored the research.

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I did it anyway because not only was I lazy, but he was the snuggliest little baby in the world. No one in their right mind would’ve wanted to put him back in his crib. He was chubby and cuddly and sweet, and he would fall right to sleep with his arm around my neck. In the morning, I’d be woken up by a little baby hand patting my cheek, and his smiling little face right in mine.

As if I was going to say no to all this adorable love! Sorry research, if my little guy needed a cuddle I was always a willing provider. He eventually stopped waking at night and at seven years old, he still has no problems sleeping through the night. My fingers are crossed for Harvard.

(photo: colleenbaptista)

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