Crying It Out: Hail to Ferber!
When I first had my baby
I was an Attachment Parenting enthusiast. I breastfed
, I slept with my baby, I wore her day and night. I drank the Dr. Sears' Kool Aid. I never let my baby so much as whimper without rushing to her side.
I used to (very loudly and in public) curse the name of anyone who let their baby cry it out. How cruel! I swore I would never ever resort to Ferber's evil methods. I believed people who Ferberized didn't love their children as much as those of us who sat up night after night shushing and swaying until we passed out on our feet.
Meanwhile, 11 months went by and my daughter was still waking up seven times a night. I was a zombie. I was bitchy and moody. I looked so bad some guy in Baby Sign Language Class loudly proclaimed, "I can believe she hasn't slept in a year—look at the bags under her eyes!"
But even all of that would not make me read Ferber. It wasn't until my husband threatened to move out that I finally agreed to let my baby cry
It was horrific.
The first night she cried for 40 minutes as I stood in the kitchen cursing my husband. I can't remember all of the insults I hurled, but I seem to recall whisper-screaming "scum of the earth" and "piece of crap father."
Then suddenly, magically, mid-mommy tirade, she stopped crying and fell asleep! And that night, she slept all night! She slept and I slept. And the next night, she slept! And I slept!
Thanks to Ferber, I am a new woman. I have energy. The bags under my eyes have faded to a dull ashen glow. I am even pleasant to my husband on occasion. I have so much energy that I actually checked out a Pilates video ... a video that is currently sitting on the coffee table accruing late fees, but still, I checked it out!
So I'll say it now: To everyone I called a "heartless refrigerator mother," I'm sorry. I didn't really report you to Child Protective Services. You were right, I was wrong. It is
better to let your baby cry it out for 40 minutes one night than to be up night after night asking, "Why won't you sleep