David and I implemented the Ferber Method with George last Friday night. He had been sleeping 5-6 hours and was waking up a few times in the night consistently for the past month. We were waking up exhausted and so was he. We decided to try the Ferber Method after hearing success stories of our friends and we also read that babies his age should be sleeping 9.5 hours at night for their health. It was also brought to our attention (while reading Baby 411) that we had developed some bad habits with regards to his sleep. We were guilty of nursing him to sleep, relying on his mobile/light projector to fall asleep, feeding in our bed anytime he woke in the night, not having any sort of bedtime routine, putting him to bed at 9 or 10 pm, and letting him nap in places other than his crib.
Our new routine: George naps in his crib during the day. We also put up some dark curtains to block the sunlight to make it easier for him to nap in his room.
George eats around 7am, 9am, 12pm, 3pm, 5pm, 7pm. These times are flexible, depending on his hunger cues. He naps after his 9am and 3pm feedings. We don't let him nap after 4pm. At 7pm, we start the bedtime routine: nursing, bathtime, baby massage, storytime, cuddle time, and then (around 8pm) we put him in his crib with his lovey and say, "Night, night, George." (The key to the Ferber Method is to put baby to bed awake.)
The first night of Ferbering, he cried for 3 minutes alone before we comforted him (patting, saying "night-night" and shushing). He cried again for 5 more minutes. We went back in to comfort him. He cried again and we didn't even have to wait 10 minutes before he was asleep. He slept 10 hours straight on the first night! He woke up happy and enthusiastic. Night two, he slept 10.5 hours and cried even less. Nights 3-7, he has averaged about 10 hours at night. What a stark contrast to the 5-6 hours he was sleeping before Ferbering! I have to admit, the Ferber Method was incredibly difficult for me. I was crying listening to him cry. It took everything in me to keep from running in to comfort him when he was wailing.
We're now a week into the Ferber Method and George usually falls asleep after about 3-5 minutes of whining/crying. Tonight, he didn't cry at all. I went in to check on him after not hearing him cry and this is how we found him:
How cute is that little booty sticking up in the air?
(We put him on his back to sleep, but he flipped on his belly.)
The Ferber Method allows for flexibility and we understand that his needs continue to change. The important thing is to be consistent with the routine, giving him some structure. I'll let you know if we continue to have success with Ferbering... so far so good!
We are excited to announce that David is the recipient of the Colgate University Olive B. O'Connor Fellowship in Creative Writing! He had a skype interview last Wednesday and they called him on Friday with the good news letting him know he had been selected as the 2011 fellow!
This means we are moving to Hamilton, New York this summer!
Hamilton in the fall
We will certainly miss our friends in Lubbock. This fellowship will not only give David the opportunity to write and work on his book, but I will be able to stay home with George! We are overwhelmed and so grateful for this opportunity. Praise God from whom all blessings flow!
Since I'm behind on blogging, here's a 4-month update:
GEORGE: Month 4
George flew on an airplane (a couple, actually) to see Mimi and Grandaddy in Chattanooga for spring break!
Trying rice cereal... he wasn't a fan.
Not uncommon to find my boys like this when I come home from work.
Enjoying some quality time with Mimi...
George with his friends, Duke and Avalynn, in Nashville over spring break!
In the last month...
He hasn't been sleeping well.. His sleep patterns have been erratic and he is much more wakeful at night. Sometimes all he needs is to be "shushed" and to have his mobile turned on, but lately I've had to feed him once in the night.
He tried rice cereal once for the first time over spring break. I'm still breastfeeding exclusively mostly because I've been too busy to pump extra to mix with cereal. I plan to be better about that this month as we move towards solid foods to be introduced in month 6.
He is teething and has two teeth that are ready to pop out! This means lots of drooling and fussiness. He's been chewing on his hands and Daddy calls it a "hand sandwich". We're giving him baby Tylenol pretty regularly to bring him some relief.
On March 20, George rolled from his tummy to his back for the first time! Daddy and Mommy were both in the room when it happened. Of course we applauded and cheered!
Three days later, on March 23, George rolled from his back to his tummy for the first time!
George is still in size 3 diapers
On March 11, we went for George's 4-month checkup. We learned that he was 26" long and 16 lbs. and 6 oz. His percentiles made us proud too: 78th for weight, 85th for height, and 73rd for head circumference.
He flew on an airplane for the very first time! He flew from Lubbock-Dallas-New Orleans-Birmingham AND then we drove two hours to see Mimi and Grandaddy in Chattanooga! On the return flights, we were stuck on the tarmac for 3 hours on a full plane without so much as a peep out of George. Everyone was complimenting him on his composure. We were so relieved to have such a cool, calm baby.
He loves to play "peep-eye"
He is OBSESSED with his feet. He always grabs them when we change him and always looks for opportunities to grab them.
He just started sitting up in the bath tub. He splashes and seems to really enjoy it. I used to bathe him on the counter in his baby tub, but he is splashing too much so we've placed the infant tub in the big tub so he can splash all he wants.
He loves anything red or black and white.
He loves to wiggle when we turn on music. We listen to ghdpandora kids station. Mommy and Daddy have even learned some new songs that we sing for him.
He loves to bounce in his frog activity station.
Anytime the television is on, he tries to watch it. We always turn him away because we limit his tv watching to about 30 minutes a week. The only program he's seen is Classical Baby. It's a huge hit in our home!
He is very "grunty".
He is still working on his sitting up skills. He can last up to a few minutes before he starts to topple over. When he is seated in our laps, he doesn't enjoy reclining. He goes out of his way to try to sit up. He can stand very well when he has something stationary to hold onto.
He loves touching faces when being held... noses, lips, and chins especially.
He found his tongue this month and enjoys sticking it out.
He is such a rolly-poly. When we put him on his play mats or in his crib, he never stays where we place him. He rolls, spins, scoots, and pikes his legs in the funniest ways!
and since then...
GEORGE: Month 5
Trying broccoli, peas, and pears.
Not a fan.
Trying the "Georgie" Jump-Up for the first time.
He loves it!
Posing for the camera...
Official 5-month photo taken on 4-6-11
George tried some baby food this week for the first time. I couldn't help myself when I saw the organic baby food "broccoli, pears, and peas" on sale at Target with the label reading 4+ months. He really didn't like it, but can you blame him? We just tried it once. You're supposed to ease into solids by starting with cereals, working up to pureed food. He was able to swallow it well and has shown an interest in food when David and I eat in front of him. We will revert to cereal so George's little digestive tract is adequately prepared for pureed foods, but I wanted him to try it!
We borrowed a "Georgie" Jump-Up from some friends and it is such a hit! He loves to bounce in it and spin around.
His laughter is starting to sound more like a traditional rippling laugh and he loves to babble.
We're not going to the doctor this month, so we'll have to wait until May to get his updated weight and height.
George is going to be dedicated at church on Sunday!