The Sleep Diaries: Our attempt at the Ferber Method

So you made a decision. You just can’t handle the disjointed sleep. The always having to get up. The never feeling fully rested. And maybe it’s time for the little one to learn how to put themselves to sleep and to keep themselves there. That my friends are where we were. The husband and I had decided that we had enough with the crappy sleeping and decided to look into sleep training E. We went with the Ferber method, which basically does progressive weaning with the "Cry it out method"

The Sleep Diaries-Ferber Method

We had talked about starting sleep training but never came up with a start date. E usually crashed after dinner, and then woke up 2-3 hours later for last bottle and bedtime. She was great at sleeping through the night after that, but the 2 hour period before the last bottle was the struggle. She needed to be in someone’s arms, and that meant no one was doing anything but binge-watch Netflix. So decided we needed a change. We adjusted the time of the last bottle so it was earlier, and she didn’t take that mini nap she was originally taken between dinner and bedtime/last bottle. We also read up and decided to use the Ferber Method.

I wanted to keep a sleep diary, to keep track of progress and see how much she was sleeping at night. In the heat of battle, it is hard to remember how much sleep the baby is getting (and you as well) so nightly accounts help you look back at the night prior and adjust.

Our Sleep Diaries

Day 1: Was rough. She fought and cried for an hour and a half. It was probably the hardest thing to do- just listening to your kid scream bloody-freaking-murder for hours on end. But in the morning she was her happy (but tired little self) and there was no resentment on her part. I would highly suggest taking turns going in there at the appropriate intervals (5,10,15, etc,) and flipping a coin to determine who goes first. We fought over who goes in there when, and you really need to be a united front when dealing with sleep training. I cried, she cried- but we got through it.

Day 2: she went down drowsy but sleepy, but we went there a snag where she needed a diaper change twenty minutes in. And it was a blowout. So while she was held so dad could change the sheets, she passed out. Ugh, well that back to square one on the whole "put down while drowsy but not asleep" concept. She slept from 9ish to about 2:00. Passed out at 3:30. She did fall asleep without her pacifier, primarily cause she chucked it out of her crib and didn't cry again so we couldn't retrieve it. E does have a bit of an arm on her, and she managed to get the pacifier pretty far from the crib.

Day 3: E was really tired despite some good naps at daycare. She was starting to go down at 7, so we went ahead and did a routine. (Book, lotion, diaper change) Unfortunately, she pooped again so we had to start over again. Definitely adjusting our schedule to account for that. But once she went back she cried/fought it for fifteen minutes, and then was out. Victory! And she slept through the night!

I had a conversation with my mom that night that really cemented what we were doing was beneficial in the long run. And I can see why. Elizabeth woke up a little on her own after the sleeping the whole night through and didn't take fifteen or so minutes to wake up. She was talking and stirring on her own, which she didn't really do before. And she still loves us and reaches for us, so it's nice to know she is not currently harboring any resentment to her crappy parents who make her fall asleep by herself.

Day 4: went to bed later, no poop. She cried for less than 15 minutes- went in and gave a pacifier. and went to sleep. Woke up about 45 minutes later. Screamed, waited for the fifteen but she fell asleep before we needed to go in there.

Day 5: I thought we were in her clear. I put down and by the time I got the monitor she was down. But she decided to not make it easy on me, and started crying the minute I sat down on the couch. Screamed about 8 minutes then passed out. She had little moments of fitfulness, but every time she put herself back to sleep. About an hour and a half after going down she was adjusted and out cold.

After day 5 she got much better at getting herself down. She did have one bad night, but she wasn't tired and we had company and I think they were too much noise for her. We did adjust our routine a little bit to give her a few minutes (no more than 4) of cuddle time after the bottle. She just cuddles then will get herself ready to go down. She is now usually out within five minutes of being put down. She will occasionally talk to herself and play with her pacifier but doesn't cry. We have also seen a change in nap time both at home and at daycare. It sucked at first, but I'm so glad we did it.

LifeAfterE-SleepDiaries

Update

E is such a good sleeper now. She can put herself to sleep in a variety of places, and she no longer cries. We have had a few relapses; usually after sickness or other major changes- but she usually just takes a night to get back into and then she is good. I am so glad we decided to sleep train her; even though it was rough, it was totally worth it.

What advice would you give for handling sleep training? Did you sleep train your kid? I would love to hear more about what other moms did! 

E's Winter Woodland 1st Birthday Party

It says a lot that we are charging into summer, and I am now just posting about E's birthday party. That took place in January, you know, during winter. We had a simple little lunch for her birthday party, complete with soups and hot chocolate bar. We had a little kitchen explosion as the guests were arriving and an emergency car issue, so I was too flustered to get a ton of pictures. Thankfully E's personal photographer, aka my awesome sister, was able to catch a few snaps during it. 

I got alot of my decorations and such from Amazon and Oriental Trading Company. I wanted a lot of wood accents, so I got birch plates and napkins, along with birch paper straws. The utensils were all made of recycled wood. Those didn't go over as well as I would have liked. I got simple white soup/ice cream paper containers for the lunch items, and used gold metallic cups for those drinking cold drinks. 

The hot chocolate bar was a hit with a lot of the older kids who came to the party, as they liked experimenting with the different syrups and sauces. We have a Keurig, so I just got some hot chocolate pods for the machine. That way I wasn't constantly having to make a thing of hot chocolate. 

I choose simple decorations. I had some wood left over from when my father-in-law and husband took down a tree, so I used that as simple directions on tables. I got this really cute woodland animal set and placed those around the wood pieces. I used white and cream colored paper poofs over the food in the kitchen and the dining room table to represent snow (cheesy I know) I also grabbed a few picture frames with pictures of E over the year and placed those around. I did the same thing at her baptism party and people really enjoyed looking at the pictures of her. 

My saving grace was Minted. I am a member of their site, and they had sent an email about being able to use their online party invitations for free for a limited time. I snapped that up! I got a discount code for party supplies, and ordered a few tags, stickers, and this awesome banner that matched the theme perfectly. 

I was very tempted to do a yule log cake, but was rapidly running out of time (Mental note for next year- don't got out of town for a few days the week before the party) So one of my co-workers took a few ideas I had and made a tree cake for us. I got a letter E, and glued a metallic birch paper onto it and used that as a little decoration for the cake.  She had fun smashing the cake and trying to eat it. 

All in all, it was a great party and E had a great time (despite not having a nap) Check out my pinterest board for all of the decoration and supplies I used, as well as some other inspirations. I would highly suggest looking at the hot chocolate printables, as they are great!