Until 7 months, my son slept all night with one break for feeding. Story! Until one day at 2 o’clock we were awakened by his cry. Further worse. He began to wake up every hour, and soon the whole family stopped sleeping at night! It was time to do something…
We began to look for a reason. Not so long ago, I taught the baby to fall asleep in his arms (he used to fall into sleep while feeding). Nothing else changed, which means that this is what spoiled our fabulous regime! But how?
In search of an answer, I found a review on the book of the American somnologist R. Ferber, “A child’s sleep. The solution to all problems. ” With its help, someone’s baby learned to sleep all night in just a week! The next day I had the book.
Reason for awakening
Ferber argued that waking up between the phases of sleep is absolutely normal – adults at the same time immediately fall back into sleep. But many children, accustomed, for example, to fall asleep on their hands in the evening, require the same conditions at night. This is called “negative sleep associations.” The way out is to teach the child to fall asleep on his own using the method of prolonged waiting.
Drag out method
At the usual time, you should put the child in a crib and conduct a “ritual”: caress or play a quiet game. Then leave the room by turning off the light and closing the door. Despite the vagaries, the first day does not go to the child for 3 minutes. Then come in, calm down and leave again. The second call – after 5 minutes, and the third and subsequent – after 7 minutes. Similarly, if the baby woke up at night. Every day, the intervals should increase: the second day – 5/7/10 minutes; the third – 7/10/12 and so on until 20/25/30.
Doubts tormented in earnest: it is not in vain that psychologists are repeating that one cannot ignore the crying of a child! But in the book, Ferber emphasized the difference between his approach and the grandmother’s method of “letting out a shout”:
|Drag out method||Scream Method|
|Reason for falling asleep||Calming (“Parents visit, everything is fine!”)||Despair (“They left me!”) And the powerlessness of screaming|
|Formed habit to fall asleep||Independently||After a scream|
|Effect on night awakenings||The child himself “sticks together” the phases of sleep, because woke up in the same conditions in which he fell asleep||The child himself “sticks together” the phases of sleep, because woke up in the same conditions in which he fell asleep|
|Psychological trauma||It is unlikely: the child sees that the parents come to the call||Probable: the child feels abandoned|
We decided to try, but with the condition: stop the experiment, if our baby does not fall asleep after the 3rd visit on the first day. In the end, 15 minutes of screaming would hardly have affected his mental health – except perhaps mine.
Day 1. Covered with a “thick layer of kisses”, our baby was left alone at 22:00. For 3 minutes he whimpered in displeasure while standing in the crib. But after my first visit, I sold it in earnest. The next interval (5 minutes) I withstood with tears! But after the next visit to the bedroom, the kid suddenly calmed down and fell asleep. And most importantly, it was the first night in the last three weeks, when he woke up only once, at about 2 a.m.
Ideal strollers simply do not exist (like ideal moms!). We have collected the most popular shortcomings of children’s vehicles: be careful!
Day 2. The first interval lasted already 5 minutes, but crying was heard only in the 4th minute. And after the first “calming call” our baby fell asleep! Unfortunately, he woke up twice that night, and again I carried it in my arms. However, inspired by the result of the first night, we decided to give the method another chance.
Day 3. The kid left in the room for 7 minutes did not cry at all! He waited for my arrival, received a well-deserved portion of kisses and fell asleep as soon as I helped him to take a horizontal position. That night, the whole family slept in bliss for 11 hours with a break for feeding at 6:25.
All the following days, we departed from Ferber’s recommendations and did not increase the intervals. Until now, the baby either falls asleep himself without screaming even before the first visit, or begins to whimper after 8-10 minutes – we go in, calm him down, and he closes his eyes.
As for night awakenings, a relapse occurred on the 8th night: our baby woke up three times, and he had to put it down, shaking it in his arms for 30-40 minutes. But then he had the previous sleep mode: from 22:00 to 8: 30-9: 30 with one awakening to feed around 6 in the morning. For 2 weeks now our family has been sleeping all night again…