Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Dear Dr. Ferber

Dear Dr. Ferber,

Your advice for teaching my baby how to fall asleep comes highly recommended.  I'm sure you're qualified.  After all, an actual VERB has been created out of your name.

Unfortunately, you make me feel like a jerk.  A jerk for letting my baby fall asleep nuzzled against the warmth of my bosom, then transferring her to the cold, stark loneliness of her crib, only to have her wake up immediately and look at me like I have just killed a kitten.

How can I not pick her up when she looks at me like she has lost all hope and that the world is ending, while screaming hysterically?  

Typing on the MyTouch with one hand while I hold my sleeping baby so she'll take a nap,
Mungee's Ma

Today I tried to get Mungee to take her afternoon nap in her crib.  She was exhibiting the signs of being tired and it was close to naptime.  I made sure she was fed, burped, had a clean diaper, etc., yada and so forth.  I stayed with her for a while soothing her, telling her I loved her and that it was naptime and to go to sleep.  She kept rolling around in her crib and trying to climb out (a skill which I think she is going to accomplish any day now, even though she just discovered how to push down the bumpers yesterday - note to self: lower crib mattress).   I left her in her room for a while so I could take a few minutes to eat lunch ... selfish, I know.  The screaming never subsided so I resorted to getting her out of the crib and bringing her to my room and laying down with her.  Propped her up to nurse her and she was asleep in less than 5 minutes and slept for an hour an a half while I held her.

While I do enjoy this cuddle time with Mungee, I feel like I spend the majority of my day trying to keep her happy and not crying.  I feel guilty about eating, going to the bathroom and doing chores (okay, not that last one really), because it's time I'm not 100% focused on Mungee.  For my sanity however, I need to teach her how to take a nap in her crib.  Any suggestions?


Joann said...

We believed in the cry it out with Gavin. We would check on him every 15 minutes and calm him, but, not pick him up. Worked, and he slept in his crib by the time he was 2 months old and has never slept in our bed.

Good Luck!! She's getting so big!

Anonymous said...

It's natural to feel guilty, but the honest truth is you are actually making it worse by not being consistant (try nap in crib one day and in bed the next, she doesn't know what to expect). Babies like consistancy and even though there will be 3 days of crying until she understands that crib time is nap time, in the end she will have cried less in total than if you go back and forth for the next few months. So just take a deep breath and go for it, not only will she be happy at nap time again, but you'll get your life back. Win Win.

andra said...

I second the comment above. Thats exactly what we did for our son. Check out a book called "The SleepEasy Solution". Its honestly worked every friend I've recomended it to. The first night is hard, but it gets easier faster.

blackhuff said...

Me and hubby had the same problem. What worked for us was to put our child in the crib, switched on the radio and playing classical music in her room. We then left the room and she did scream and cry for 15 minutes or so and then she suddenly stopped. We gave it 5 minutes then and went into her room and she was laying there with her eyes closed and after 10 minutes of so, she was asleep. Good luck

katherine said...

It took us a while to get Miss Abgiail to sleep in her crib for naps. She was a great night sleeper, but would only sleep during the day in her swing. She finally got too big for it so we had to do something. I think we just kept making her stay in there whether she creamed or not and finally one day I rock ed her to sleep, set her in and she woke for a second and went back to sleep in the crib! It was the best day. I think just perserverence is the answer. It is sooooooo hard to let them cry, but sometimes necessary, if not for our own sanity since you can't spend ever waking second with her. This mommy stuff is hard work!

Heligirl said...

This was so hard with our first child. She was very, very insistent on the constant holding and attention. Finally, for my own sanity, I just had to do the kind thing for us all and use the Sleep Easy approach. Going in every 10 minutes to tell her I loved her worked, but it takes a few days of consistency. That's the really big thing, consistency. Children need that and predictability. If she knows that once she's in her crib, she has to take a nap and no matter of noise will change that, she'll eventually do it without a fuss. I totally empathize with your guilt. I felt so terribly guilty and gave my daughter all of my attention all of the time, neglecting my needs. When someone pointed out that I was setting her up to be needy, I started working on setting boundaries (you sleep in your crib) and as she picked it up, I finally started feeling better about myself. Hang in there. You HAVE to make sure you're taking care of yourself or you can't properly care for her. She needs you.

Wishing you the best!!

--Jen (Http://

rob said...

We are new followers from the D-Listed. I also write letters to my kids, yearly though. Such a good way to remember all those fleeting moments.


Mungee's Ma said...

I want to thank you all for your advice and suggestions! Unfortunately Mungee is sick with another ear infection, so there will be lots of cuddling this week until she's better. Then it's onto nap training in full force. Stay tuned for an update ... I'll post one when she's not napping on me!

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