This Month's Topic: Focus on Finance

Ferber This… Take Two

On Friday, Austin turned 5 months old. To say he has been a bad sleeper for the first five months of his life would be a huge understatement. In fact, he’s been a terrible sleeper.

He would sleep for 40 minutes at a time and wake up and cry. We’d go in and comfort him, rock him back to sleep and put him down, only to have him wake up again 15 to 30 minutes later. After about a week of this routine, it’s safe to say that Austin broke us. I woke up last Tuesday after another night of no sleep and called my sisters crying. I was at my wit’s end. I had bags under my eyes, Austin had bags under his eyes and we both spent most of the day crying. Something needed to change because our routine obviously wasn’t working for anyone.

As I sobbed to my sisters, they both said the same thing, “You know what I would do, Jill. Let him cry it out.”

Up until then, I had felt very strongly about not letting Austin cry it out; he wasn’t even 5 months old! I didn’t think I was strong enough and maybe I wouldn’t have been, but, as I said, he broke us. So, last Tuesday, Kyle and I prepared to let him cry it out. I put him down around 8:30 and ran down to the basement to sit with Kyle and listen to him cry. It was horrible. We stared at each other for the first five minutes of crying before I ran upstairs to comfort him. I grabbed him and kissed him about a thousand times before lowering him back down into the crib. We then increased our wait time to 10 minutes before Kyle went in to comfort him.

Not really appropriate for this blog, but I thought this smile was pretty awesome!

That first night, he cried for 30 minutes while Kyle and I sat in the basement. I cried and tried to watch “New Girl” to get my mind off of my poor son (eventually I did because “New Girl” is hilarious). Every thought imaginable crossed my mind, including, “He thinks we abandoned him,” “He thinks we don’t love him,” “He’s going to wake up in the morning and hate us.” But that night, he slept for about 10 hours and only woke up once. My sisters had promised me that when I went in to get him in the morning, he would smile and be perfectly fine. Needless to say, I got up early the next morning and couldn’t wait for Austin to wake up so I could go in and rescue him. I ran in and scooped him up and, lo and behold, he smiled. He was OK. He had survived the ordeal. I wasn’t a horrible parent. Austin would still love me and would eventually be a better sleeper because of it.

Now, after a week of letting him “cry it out,”  Austin cries for maybe a minute or two before falling asleep in the crib. He is napping on a schedule and is sleeping nine or 10 hours a night. What a difference a week makes! Kyle and I feel like new people. I feel like maybe I can finally stop blogging about my son’s sleeping issues! (I said maybe; we’re only a week in for Pete’s sakAustin smilinge!)

While I understand that letting your baby cry may not be the best solution and, believe me, if there was an easier way, I would jump all over it, but for us, this was our only option. I truly believe that Austin is happier, I am happier and Kyle can actually function at work. All bonuses.

So, while I suggest the “cry it out” method for anyone going through what we went through, I fully understand that it is extremely hard and who knows if we would have done it if Austin would have had only six bad nights in a row instead of seven. All I know is that my son’s smile is just as big as it was a week ago.

And who knows? It may even be bigger.

About Jill

Click Here


  1. Hi Jill – I have enjoyed reading your posts. With a 5 week old, first time mom, your life sounds too familiar. I also have a Kyle for a husband! Our daughter, Marin, has not been a good sleeper.Yes, she’s only a month, but I guarantee there are babies who are actually sleeping! I had to laugh when you mentioned in a post your sleep deprived trip to babies r us for pacifiers – I did this same thing in desperation. I also hated swaddling her, felt like I was torturing her every time! So, we don’t do it, but I toss and turn the idea every night she doesn’t sleep – would she be sleeping if I was swaddling her? She’s been in her crib, in the pack n play in our room, in a rock n play, in a suggle nest ( in our bed), just last night we put her in the swing and this is where she’s slept the best. Even though “they” say this is a SIDS risk ( what isn’t these days?) it worked and I’m doing in again tonight! I’m starting her on Zantac today and already cut out dairy. Anyway, you arent alone. As I’m typing this, she just pooped UP her diaper :)
    Everyone tells me it gets better, we’ll see!!

    • Wow Kenzie, it sounds like we are very similar! At 5 weeks I will tell you that we swaddled Austin and although he fought it, it was the only way he would sleep on his back. I was so sad when he started getting out of the swaddle and rolling over, because I knew the few hours of sleep we were getting would be long gone. But at 3 months, Austin started rolling over to his belly and now he only sleeps on his belly and some nights he still sleeps a little in his swing. I think SIDS is terrifying and I promise you that I still worry about Austin on his belly. But that’s how he wants to sleep! And it will be helpful for you to know that my sister’s daughter Anna slept in her swing for the first 5 months of her life! Do whatever you need to do to give yourself and Marin a little sleep!

Speak Your Mind