Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Diary of an Angry Pink Baby #5: Ferberizing 2012

If James were a better sleeper, he might not be so angry. But James is not a good sleeper, so we decided two months ago to implement The Ferber Method. For the uninitiated, The Ferber Method is where you let your baby cry until he (1) goes to sleep, (2) you pick him up, or (3) he throws up all over himself and the crib. Click on the above link to see (2), which is what happens when you're unwilling to wait for (3).

It's really hard to start The Ferber Method because it's painful to listen to your baby cry. Then, after you grow accustomed to the crying, it's really hard to continue The Ferber Method because it's painful not to sleep from 2 am to 3:20 am. The longest James has ever cried is eighty minutes. At the end of those eighty minutes, he either passed out from exhaustion (not strictly the same as sleeping) or we picked him up while screaming WHY DON'T YOU SLEEP? WHY DO YOU HATE SLEEPING? WHY DO YOU HATE YOUR PARENTS SLEEPING?

James's typical response to these questions is a combination of laughing and peeing, sometimes followed by crying.

James at 32 weeks + 1 day 2011

Yet The Ferber Method has been successful for us. Not the success that comes from a baby who sleeps through the night but the success that comes from a baby who goes to bed at 6:30 pm, wakes up to inhale a bottle, and then commences his day wide-awake at 3:30 am. James's schedule would be entirely appropriate if he were a longshoreman in Greenland.

But nine hours is nine hours. His pre-Ferber record was twenty-two minutes. His new nickname is The Ferbert because his sleep schedule has coincided with an increased tendency to maul women's chests, among other questionable acts. In Oedipal fashion, The Ferbert winds up sleeping with his mother in bed every morning before waking up to tear all of the hair out of his father's scalp. Such is the bargain we've made. If he's still acting this way when he can talk, we'll probably have to tell him to ask women first.

James at 34 weeks + 4 days 2011

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