"I could not believe it! I stuck my head around the door and saw her snuggled up to Bed Ted!"
What is it?
A technique invented by Dr Richard Ferber to solve baby sleep problems and involves checking in and offering comfort at intervals to give an opportunity to self sooth.
How does it work?
As my four year old still sleeps in our bed and the first few months with baby number two were looking like it was going in the same direction, I met with my public health nurse who suggested the 'Progressive Waiting' or Ferber Method to me. I was very open to trying it, but I must admit, I was skeptical.
I was given a sheet with the details of the timed check-ins and was given some extra tips:
The first night, the tears started pretty much straight away. Of course, this was hard, very hard - but I waited the three minutes and went back into the room.
I am a believer that all these techniques are flexible and open to personal tweeks here and there. With me, I chose not to pick her up but I gave lots of rubs, smiles, and reassurance before saying good night and leaving the room again. I repeated the check in again after five minutes and ten minutes. That was it - somewhere within the next interval, she fell alseep. I could not believe it! I stuck my head around the door and saw her snuggled up to Bed Ted!
I thought it would be a tough night ahead, however I just had to do one three minute check in and off she nodded again. The next morning she woke up at 7am. Night two and night three were even better, with the muffled sound of baby snores filling the upstairs air within 10 minutes of the good night kiss.
Three days later, my public health nurse was very happy to hear about my sleeping baby and that my scepticism had been put to sleep too! Eighteen months later, little Sadie is the one getting the most sleep in the house!
To sum up
The Ferber Method has parts I don’t personally like but the routine definitely helped us and the check ins just worked for her. Of course there are plenty of nights that I opt for the good old bear hug method instead - when new teeth are making an appearance, she is sick or she just needs a bit of a snuggle, but she has remained a great sleeper since. This, obviously, is not something that some people would opt for but in my personal experience, I immediately saw a much happier and rested little girl after it full of giggles and smiles every morning.
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