My 20 month old has been a bit of a monkey at night in recent weeks: clingy, separation anxiety, wanting cuddles, calling out for water. This, and what I thought were sleep terrors and she most deifintely sleep talks. It was hard getting up loads in the night and getting to work. My job is hard and it has been exhausting. Now, dont get me wrong, I’m not stranger to sleep training as has been documented on here. I’m a tough cookie and have done some hard core ‘crying out’ sessions. But this is not only hard but hadn’t been working. She is of an age that all letting her cry would do was whip her up into a frenzy and tantrum that she coudln’t calm down from.
I was at a lost. What worked before no longer worked. I called the health visitor for advice and spoke at length about it. Twice. Were her tips hepful? No. Some of my other Mum friends were having similar issues too, so I just excused it as a phase. I was going to give up and succumb to baby girl getting in my bed for a good night sleep but in my heart of hearts I knew this was a slippery slope. She needed to learn to sleep for herself.
It all came to head last Thursday. My daughter had spent her regular Wednesday night at her Dads. He greeted me moddily stating she had woken up 9 times in the night. Say what?? 9 times! He was clearly sleep deprived and moody to boot as a consequence and insisted I sleep trained using this method he had found on the internet. I was fed up with his demands especially as he has always reaped the rewards of my hard work. Glamourous Dad is his my nick name for him. “You do it”, I said. There was a heated exchange, in which he agreed, in the end. He agreed to take her for the week.
Once I had cooled down from ‘Dad of the year’ giving me advice on how to sleep train I rang a dear friend who I had recalled used the Ferber method which he had suggested. She swore by it as her son went thorugh a similar phase which kept everyone, including her older son up at night causing a very tired household. I listened to sage advice and realised it was the way forward. I did it myself on the Saturday night and although it was hard the system makes sense and she got the best night sleep in a while. It was hard to let go when her dad came to collect her the next day. I had control and ownership of all her parenting since birth. But it’s not about control. It what’s good for baby girl and me. I didn’t have the energy, due to work pressures, for another bout of sleep training and the other part of me wanted the ex-husbnd to know what its like. Not just sleep training but getting up to work and doing the nursery run too.
So, Furber needs a Nobel Peace prize. Does he have one? Within 3 nights, including my go at it, she was sleeping through. The method is simple and what I like was you don’t leave your little one to cry for huge amounts of time. Tonight she is back with me. I have appreciated my day with her so much for not having her for a week. And it’s a relief to know she had a good time at her Dad’s but clearly missed me as I had the best cuddles and kisses today. Tonight’s bedtime was the calmest and easiest ever. She was in bed 730pm on the dot. No fuss no crying as I walked out the door. Happy Days.


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