Thursday, September 20, 2012

Dear Doctor Ferber...


I thank you.  From the bottom of my heart.

You see, with a pretty laid-back little lady, we have had few issues in the sleep department, with the exception of the fact that our darling daughter--since the day she was born--has been swaddled so tight I was concerned her circulation was being cut off.  That little packing peanut would sleep up to 10 hours in that Miracle of a contraption, but the fear continued to bottle up inside me, knowing that one day we would have to teach her to fall asleep on her own.

I counted down the months, then weeks, then days, of when I thought we would have to consider sleep training.  As she attempted rolling over, I clapped and cheered, by secretly hoped that specific piece of her gross motor skills was perhaps not up to par.  The Merlin Magic Suit was purchased in an attempt to buy ourselves more time.  It sat in a drawer, waiting for us to symbolically press the “panic” button by zipping it up around her, enveloping her and in turn developing her into a gigantic marshmallow.

“Crying it out:” I always said I could deal with, yet every day I doubted myself more and more.  The anxiety rose, and I selfishly dreaded the developmental milestones my daughter would hit, making the inevitable a reality, and the sleep training necessary.

So, after an inspiring story shared by another mom, I decided right there and then: tonight was the night.  And therefore, this was the week.  I bought a huge bottle of diet coke, and cleared my week’s schedule.

That night, I gave her a bottle, a bath, and did some relaxing massage as a treat.  We read books, and I silently cried as I read the last few pages of Goodnight Moon, knowing that Bird was not in “the know.”  I felt like a traitor.  Into her crib she went.

If I was a religious woman, I would have immediately broken out the rosary beads.  Instead, this is what happened...

Put in crib: 7:40
Cried from 7:40-7:43 when I went in (stayed for about thirty seconds)
Cried from 7:45-7:50 when I went in (for another thirty seconds)
Cried from 7:51-8 pm
8 pm- FEEL ASLEEP
Cried from 8:43-8:45
Awake (not crying) from 8:45-9 pm
9 pm - 6:15 am - ASLEEP

And then, she never cried again.  She sleeps from 7:30 pm - 6 am, and goes down, on her own, for about four naps a day (ranging from thirty minutes to two hours).

Now, I know this isn’t typical, and I know we will have ups and downs as illness and teething strike, and we venture into traveling.  But for now, my daughter is a happier baby.  She is a more confident baby, knowing she can soothe herself.  And I, a calmer mother, knowing I have a baby who will be rested in the morning and throughout the day.

With everlasting gratitude and admiration,

Mama Bird

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