Crying it out

All the things I’ve heard and read suggest that by the time babies are four months old, they don’t need to eat at night. Our little one had never been informed. In fact, at seven months he was getting up more frequently than at three months. Partly because he figured out we would pick him up if he insisted. My husband was convinced that he was hungry and needed to eat.

As baby was approaching eight months, I decided it was time. I tried to persuade and finally ordered my husband not to pick him up after we put him down for the night–and then I had to follow my own instructions too. We did a modified Ferber method, I guess you could call it, with fewer reassuring visits. This was because they just seemed to make our little guy angrier. When we were there talking to him, patting him gently but not picking him up, he would cry louder.

It only took about three nights of this sleep training before he figured out that crying only yielded a brief visit at best. And by night five, we only heard a brief whimper now and then before he went back to sleep on his own. Enduring those few nights with a lot of crying means that we all get more uninterrupted sleep now.

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