Sunday, February 11, 2007

Abby's Ferberization

While implausibly adorable to those who know best, Abby's not without features that make her, at times, onerous. Take sleep for instance. Recently Abby hasn't been embracing it with quite the fervency we'd like, waking up sometimes a dozen times or more a night and letting loose a primal, unforgiving howl. I don't know if there's ever been a sound that's made me feel more hollow and wretched. Before this she had been sleeping for the past 6 months reasonably well, from 7:00 pm 'til 4:30 or 5:00 am. Not perfect, but acceptable. About a month ago that all changed. Her molars started to come in (bone pressing up against and attempting to part gums isn't, as you might expect, comforting) and she's excitingly close to taking some cautious first steps on her own. We had no idea, but according to our pediatrician, when toddlers are on the cusp of such a momentous gross motor skill advances as walking they'll sometimes experience near ungovernable urges to stand. At 2 am in the morning. At 3 am. 4 am.

Of course, none of us can take a peak into that little noggin and discern just what's really going on. Night terrors? Separation anxiety? Mischievous sprites? We talked to our pediatrician and one of her peers in addition to weathered folks who've travelled this groggy nighttime road before and concluded it was time to deploy the heralded and controversial Ferber method on her. There are dozens of sleep training books out there and even more theories and expert opinions with ostensibly no distinguishable consensus champion rising from the heap. As a parent, it's easy to fall down the rabbit hole of choices. After some hand wringing, testy parental debate (guess who was the ass?) and the good opinions of others we decided Ferber was good as any. We're deep into the third night and I'm taking the night watch. One rough patch from 9:30 to 10:45 but otherwise not bad. Here's hoping.

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