In the spirit of achieving milestones with our children, Randy and I decided this past Saturday night that it was high time to "Ferberize" Dorian. No, not Febreeze him (although the way the kid fills up a diaper, one would think that a good dose of Febreeze would freshen him up), but rather the "Ferber Method" of sleep training, better known as "cry it out". Frankly, at 13 months and 22 pounds, it was getting extremely tedious (and heavy) to walk him to sleep every night. "Walking" involved Randy, pacing up and down the living room, for upwards of two hours getting Dorian to go to sleep. In the "old days" when he was a little tiny baby, I could nurse him to sleep and that would be the end of it, but now that he's a big boy, he's still nursing, but not conking out from it. Dante had already weaned himself from the breast by this point, but Dorian is showing no signs of wanting to stop nursing and I'm not going to stop until he's ready (barring of course, that he is 35 years old and walking down the aisle, a la "Little Britain" style). What can I say? Dorian is a boob man.
I know that the C.I.O. method is a "Mommy War" topic, along with circumcision (our boys are snipped), breast vs. formula (I nurse but don't think formula is poison), religious indoctrination (guess which side we're on), spanking (never, no way, no how, nope, nada), and many others that escape me this early in the morning, but it works for us. Dante was C.I.O'd when he was about this age and he is not emotionally damaged or scarred from it. Incidentally, you can read about our adventures with Dante's Ferber process HERE, HERE, and finally HERE. Gosh, he was so little. *sigh*
Anyway, Saturday night, Dante spent the night at Nonna and Nonno's and Randy and I decided that it was time to sleep train Dorian. Having done this once before, you would think that I was prepared for the screaming and crying and guilt (and I'm not talking about the baby), but I wasn't, and it was a rough night for me. Randy had to keep me from running into the room to swoop up Dorian, as any mother's instincts would dictate when hearing her child in distress, but I was strong and brave (and stuffing my face with ice cream......yes we all have our soothers) and I stuck it out.
Night one was horrible to say the least. Dorian literally howled for hours. And I'm not talking regular "baby howl", no, Dorian was pissed! You could hear the anger in his voice wondering why the hell he wasn't being paraded all over the house. Randy went in every 15-20 minutes with a cold cloth, wiped his face, gave him some water, told him he loved him, and would walk out. I was not allowed in there, due to the aforementioned swooping, so I don't know all the details, but considering I was glued to the baby monitor with my ice cream and Kleenex, I have a good idea of the happenings that went down. Finally, at about three am, Dorian threw in the towel and laid himself to sleep. In the morning, he woke up giggling and smiling and clapping his hands to our "good morning" song, showing no signs of trauma, emotional scarring, and/or resentment towards his horrible parents for not letting him rule the household.
I was apprehensive about Night Two and ready for the fight. Dante was home so Randy and I warned him that he was going to hear the baby scream and yell a lot and to not be upset. "Mommy and Daddy", we explained, "are not hurting Dorian. We are just trying to teach him to go to bed by himself like a big boy." The stage was set, Elmo was prepped in the bed, storytime was over, the boys said "night night" to each other, Dante was in bed, and I finished nursing. We were all prepared for "Howlfest 2011, round two".
But it didn't happen. It didn't effing happen! I put Dorian in his crib, stuck Elmo in his arms, turned on the music soother, kissed him goodnight and walked out of the room. He fussed (not cried) for about 10-15 minutes, maybe less, and then it was silent. Randy and I were shocked. We peeked in on him and he was out cold, butt up in the air, snoring away. Seriously, if I hadn't seen it with my own eyes, I would not believe it. Now here's the kicker. This was at 8pm. He woke up at 1am for a feeding and was back to sleep by 1:15, and just now at 5 for another. He was awake this time after nursing as I put him back in the crib, repeating the steps from bedtime last night. After walking out of the room, he hollered for about 5 minutes and then.....silence. I checked in on him, and there he was, fast alseep.
Could it be that he's"getting it"? Is this a fluke? One can only hope. It would certainly be awesome. Let's see what Night Three brings.
TO BE CONTINUED.......