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Old 04-04-2008, 06:40 AM   #16
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Originally posted by Utoo

Kiiind of, but not really. Basically, you're causing them to figure out how to fall asleep on their own without "negative sleep associations." We all have sleep associations---I need my pillow to be molded in a certain way to be comfortable. And we all wake up at least once during the night---but if our sleep associations are just how they were when we went to bed, then we go back...you wake up for half a second, roll to your side or whatever, and go back to sleep. But if the associations are different, then it's harder to go back. For example, if you wake up and your pillow's gone, you look for it. If it's on the floor, you figure you knocked it off and it's all good an you go back to sleep. If, to use Ferber's example in his book, you wake up in the middle of the night and not only do you not have your pillow, but you're on the living room floor---you get pretty wigged out and it's definitely harder to go back!

Basically, for Addie, she's gotten to the point where she needs to be swaddled, rocked, shushed, etc. in order to fall asleep. When she wakes up in the middle of the night and neither my wife nor I are there, she's not being rocked or shushed, and her pacifier's on the mattress instead of her mouth-----it's like she's waking up on the living room floor!

Ferber and methods like it are essentially about getting your baby to not need the sleep associations that require someone else to put her to sleep, and instead to learn how to put herself to sleep----especially for the times that she wakes up in the middle of the night and doesn't really need anything except to make sure that the associations are all still in order. The part that sucks is that the first few nights pretty much do involve her crying until she figures out how to calm herself on her own. But for a lot of babies, it often takes just a few nights, with each night supposedly getting better until they sleep on their own after a few nights............hopefully!
That sounds absolutely exhaustive.

Our first 2 were brilliant babies, sleeping through from 6-8 weeks onward and now at age 2 and 5 they love sleep, think bed time is a treat, sleep in in the mornings, like a story on the lounge before bed and that is it. Blissful nights for everyone. Now with the 3rd, we're fearful our good luck must surely have run out. I have no idea if what methods we fumbled through on the first 2 were what made it so successful, or they are just naturally good sleepers. 2 friends have both recently had babies and the only advice I could give them was to never use night wakings the same way as day wakings, from birth. By that, I mean, as soon as you get them home from the hospital there is a clear difference in daylight and night hours. At night feeds and nappy changes, use a dim light in another room to change them in. Resist talkig to them, resist cuddling, singing, rocking, anything which will stimulate and wake them more. You want your groggy but hungry baby to not really associate night time as a time to wake up properly. That was the time I'd change the bum first, in the near dark if needed! And then feed back to sleep. Daytime was another story, though. That's when the cuddles and rocking and playing with a blanket and so on happened. Essentially, nights were kept to a minimum. I might sound awfully regimented, but it might have been what helped. I wish I knew.

Good luck, Utoo! I don't envy parents with difficult sleepers. Sleeping and eating are 2 things I'd just not be able to handle a child of mine being fussy with. Mine eat like labradors and sleep like the dead. They've got their faults in other areas, but I can handle those!

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Old 04-04-2008, 10:53 AM   #17
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Oh Utoo! Good luck. Like Anglea's kids, my son slept thru the night very early on *ducks to avoid getting things thrown at her by other parents*. But there were a couple nights when we had to let him "cry it out" and it was heartwrenching. UGH! Hang in there. You'll reap the benefits soon. Glorious sleep...

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Old 04-04-2008, 03:18 PM   #18
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Thanks for the support, folks!

Last night, she went down at 8. It took her about 10 minutes to fall asleep, but then she was out until 4AM, at which point my wife fed her. Then she slept again until 8AM & started her day. Not too shabby!
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Old 04-04-2008, 03:44 PM   #19
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Very nice Utoo! I've been following the story from afar. We had our own story with Miss Maddy

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