Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Sleep Training Camille, Ferber style

Some of you might remember that we followed the Ferber method when we sleep trained Clara (for the second time) at 6 months of age. We decided to follow the same method for Camille at 10 weeks of age. There are many things we like about this method over just the full blown CIO extinction method (which is what we did with Clara at 4 months, and was somewhat successful but not totally.) I won't go into a full summary of Ferber's theory (all of that is explained in the above link or you can check out his book that explains it in full detail), but I did want to track Camille's progress over the course of a few days, just like I did with Clara, and I felt like the blog is the easiest place to do that.

This sleep journal so to speak is more for us as parents, so please, I don't blame you for just marking this one as "read" on your blog reader. This is an extremely long and detailed post. Type A momma in full force. Spoiler alert: She did amazing!

Why did we feel now is the time? Two main reasons.

1. We know she can sleep through the night (She sleeps consistently a total of 10ish hours at night, with one feeding, as long as she is sleeping on us/with us. If we ever tried and put her down in the middle of the night, she would wake up immediately. It was time for her to sleep in her bed at bedtime.

2. We know she can take long, solid, restorative naps (as long as someone is holding her for the duration of said nap). If we ever tried to put her down once asleep, she woke up immediately. Insert lots of short, choppy naps, lots of key brain development not happening (b/c she was never getting a solid chunk of day time sleep), and lots of frustration on our end. It was time for her to sleep in her bed for naps (when we are able to be home at least).

So. . . like last time, I started each day at bedtime, and ended at the last nap of the next day. I also made sure to stick to her optimal wake time, which at ten weeks old is about 80-90 minutes from wake to next sleep. Sticking as closely to this as possible helps minimize her becoming overtired (overtired baby = greater chance of fussing/crying at sleep times). I also tried not to go more than 3.5 hours between her feeds, as this helps her get in enough calories during day, so she won't need as many during the night. We decided to start on a Thursday night at bedtime as Fridays are our only days to be at home (no therapy for Clara) and we had no weekend plans so sticking around the house for Camille's naps would be easy (technically Brandon traveled to Waco for a woodworking class, but I would be able to stick around the house easily). Monday was also a free day b/c Clara's therapy schedule is switching up so we had this past Monday off, thus, we would have four solid days at home to do this thing (and yes, the pediatrician approved our plan).

**Disclaimer: I know there are a million different infant rearing methods out there. With different methods  come different (and strong!!) opinions. Our decision to sleep train Clara is important to us, and what works for us, but in no way does that mean I am judging your method should it look vastly different from what I describe below. Everyone makes decisions for what works best for THEIR family. The Mommy Wars has spiraled out of control, and at the end of the day, is just so unnecessary. We are different people, different families, and thus we make different parenting decisions. That said, I am not going to fill this post with a million little disclaimers as I journal our sleep training choice in detail. Can we just let go of all the judgement? I won't judge you. You won't judge me. Deal?**

 . . . . . . 

Day 1: Thursday 3/27/14 - Friday 3/28/14
{5 min (1st wait); 10 min (2nd wait); 15 min (3rd wait); 15 min (subsequent waits)}

9pm - Bedtime. Went in at 5 min mark, 10 min mark, 15 min mark and then she fell asleep! Only 30 minutes of crying. She was out by 9:30pm. ARE YOU KIDDING ME? Brandon and I just kind of look at each other like. . . "Ummmmmm, now what?"

9:55pm - Woke crying. Went in at 5 min mark. Did not have to go back in again!

2:00am - Woke to eat. Went in to feed her, changed diaper, re-swaddled and put her back in bed. Y'all, she did not cry one little bit. I watched her on the monitor just look and look and look around. Eventually she just closed her eyes and went to sleep! I looked at the monitor several times and she was rocking a huge smile in her sleep. I like to think this was Gods way of giving me peace.

6:30am - Woke for the day! Success! (6:30am feed)

7:45am - Put down for first nap. SHE DID NOT CRY. NOT EVEN A WHIMPER.

9:45am - Had to wake her up from this nap to eat. (9:45am feed) She slept two hours, on her own, no one holding her, without waking up/crying!

11am - Put down for second nap. Had to go in at 5 min mark, but after that she quieted down and didn't make a peep. Was asleep by 11:15am.

1:15pm - Had to wake her from this nap to eat (1:30pm feed). Another solid nap! No crying. Fell asleep a little before 3pm.

5:00pm - Had to wake her from this nap to eat (5:00pm feed). Honestly, cannot believe how well she is sleeping ON HER OWN, IN HER OWN BED.

6:30pm - Put down for fourth nap. Had to go in at 5 min mark. Fell asleep soon after I left room.

7:00pm - Woke crying. Went in at the 5 and 10 minute mark. She wasn't calming down, so I went ahead and got her up since this last nap is usually pretty short and just helps her make it to bedtime. (8:00pm feed)

Day 2: Friday 3/28/14 - Saturday 3/29/14
{10 min; 15 min; 20 min; 20 min (subsequent waits)}

8:30pm - Bedtime. She went right to sleep. Not a sound.

2:00am - Woke to eat. Put her down after eating, burping, changing diaper, re-swaddling, etc and she fussed for maybe three minutes then went right to sleep. Never had to go in.

6:30am - Woke for the day. (6:30am feed). Pretty much in shock that the night went so well.

7:40am - Put down for first nap. Zero fussing/crying. Put herself right to sleep.

9:45am - Had to wake her from this nap to eat. (10:00am feed)

11:00am - Put down for second nap. No crying. She woke up after about 30-40 minutes and started crying. I went in at the 10 minute mark and when we were well into the second check (15 minute mark) I just called the nap over and got her up because she was sucking her fists like she was hungry.
(Tried to feed at 12 and again at 12:30pm but she wouldn't eat much, weird . . the next little bit of the day is quite fuzzy.)

1:00pm - Put down for third nap. She fussed, but put herself to sleep before the ten min mark was up. She woke and started crying around 1:45pm. Went in several times (again, this is fuzzy) and eventually got her up around 2:30pm as it was apparent her nap was well over. (3:00pm feed). This is the point in the day where I was getting confused on the timing of things and when exactly her next nap should start. I decide to just wing it and call 4pm nap nap-time. :)

4:00pm - Put down for fourth nap. Went right to sleep. Woke at 4:40 crying. Got her up and just figured she would have an extra nap or two.

6:00pm - Put down for a fifth nap. Went right to sleep.  (Fed at 5:45pm)

8:00pm - Had to wake from this nap to maintain a somewhat consistent bedtime. (8:30pm feed) Thankful she got in at least one more solid nap for the day.

Day 3: Saturday 3/29/14 - Sunday 3/30/14
{15 min; 20 min; 25 min; 25 min (subsequent waits)}

9:15pm - Bedtime. Put herself right to sleep. Not a peep. 

4:15am - Woke to eat. Made it 7 hours without waking! Fed her and she was back in bed by 4:30am. She never starting fussing, just sort of wiggled around for a while and eventually fell asleep by 5am.

8:00am - Woke her up to start our day! There has never been a day where I have had to wake her up in the morning, until this morning. Amazing night of sleep for this girl! About 10 total hours. (8:00am feed)

9:20am - Put down for first nap. Not a peep. 

11:15am - Woke from nap on her own. (11:30 feed)

12:40pm- Put down for second nap. Went right to sleep without a sound. 

3:00pm - Had to wake from this nap. (3:00pm feed)

4:30pm - Put down for third nap. Went right to sleep. Not a sound. 

6:00pm - Woke on her own. (6:00pm feed)

7:15pm - She was acting tired so we attempted to put down for fourth nap. Had to go in several times. After an hour she was still crying so we called the nap over and got her up. (8:30 feed)

Day 4: Sunday 3/30/14 - Monday 3/31/14
{20 min; 25 min; 30 min; 30 min (subsequent waits)}
8:45pm - Bedtime. Was calm and put herself right to sleep.

2:00am - Woke to eat. Fed her and put back in bed around 2:30pm and she looked around for a while but never fussed. Put herself to sleep soon after. 

7:00am - Woke for the day (7:00am feed)

8:15am - Put down for first nap. Not a sound from her room. :)

10:30am - Had to wake from this nap to eat. (10:30am feed)

12:00pm - Put down for second nap. Went don't without a peep.

2:00pm - Had to wake from this nap to eat. (2:00pm feed)

3:30pm - Put down for third nap. Straight to sleep without a sound.

5pm - Had to wake her from this nap to eat/keep consistent bedtime. (5:00pm feed)

8:30pm - Bedtime. Put herself to sleep like a champ. So thankful we had such a successful day!!
. . . . . . 

And with that, I think we are calling this sleep training thing over and done!! If you made it this far and actually read this post in its entirely, then you can probably agree that Camille ROCKED IT. We are amazed at how easy it was this time around. If you've been reading for a while, or know me in real life, you know this was not the case for sweet Clara. Of course we don't expect perfection from here on out and if we have some regression here and there, which is expected, we can revisit if necessary. We joked that God had major compassion on us by basically made this training, not like a training at all. :)

How are we all feeling? Amazing. Camille is much happier during the day (seriously, her demeanor during the day has done a 180) b/c she is actually getting some solid naps & is sleeping more soundly. Mommy does not feel like a complete crazy person & so looks forward to playtime & snuggles when Camille is awake (please don't read this the wrong way), and daddy appreciates having not such a crazy wife & also sleeping more soundly at night himself. Now, I know everyday won't go as well as the above, and starting tomorrow our crazy schedule resumes, thus we won't be able to hang around the house to make sure naps are timed just perfectly. But thats ok. The crazy schedule might just feel a little less crazy now that our time at home is well. . . a little less crazy. Thanks again, Ferber. And thanks Camille for a job well done! We love you more than you know! 


  1. Sounds like she's a sleep CHAMP! Oh, and she's seriously getting more adorable by the day!

  2. woohoo! what a total rockstar! I know that has to feel good!

  3. Hooray!! Way to go, Camille, and way to go, mommy & daddy!! Keep up the good work (and sleep) :)

  4. Yay, way to go for all of you!!! That's awesome!

  5. I really enjoy your blog! I had never heard of the Ferber sleep method before today. I can't wait to get my newborn on some sort of sleep schedule for the night. How early can you start this?

  6. We did this with both of ours and they slept great as babies. We still have to let Brown cry at night sometimes, it's hard not to go in and rock him but if we do it will be a good hour before he is asleep compared to 5 minutes of crying. Parents have to do what they can to survive and I agree everyone is different but the judgement is intense! I feel it more from my parents generation. They think we are so mean to him for letting him cry. Better than their mom being checked into the loony house right?!!


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