Grandparents don’t like to listen to their grandbabies cry. Ever. I can understand this. I don’t particularly like to listen to my daughter cry either, and it’s very hard to practice “tough love.” It is especially hard when the first month of your newborn’s life is spent in the NICU. All you want is to bring that baby home, hold her, and never let her go.
My husband and I never really discussed a “sleeping method” before we had the baby. My stepson was like the perfect sleeper, or my husband couldn’t remember anything that he did–not sure which. So, I thought we would do what the people did that I was a nanny for before I had KB–Ferberize her. Are you familiar with “Ferberizing”? It’s basically a step back from cry it out. Your baby cries a bit when you lay her down to sleep, then you go in after 5 minutes and kiss her or sing or something to let her know you haven’t completely abandoned her. Then you leave and wait 10 minutes, and so on. Finally, the baby will fall asleep; and eventually, in theory, you won’t have to do this every night.
It sounds great. I know it works. But here’s the kicker. . .
The book never mentions how to handle “Ferberizing” or any form of “cry-it-out” when you are living with the grandparents.
Yes, from the day my daughter came home from the NICU, until she was almost 10 months old, we lived with my parents. (The same parents who were the subject of the Grandparent Syndrome.) My husband had been transferred to St. Louis, which was awesome; but we hadn’t sold our house in Mahomet, IL, which was not so awesome. So, when my daughter was about four months old & we still lived with my parents, I decided to try “Ferberizing.” Anyone want to guess how long we (meaning my mom and I) lasted?
I can offer a bunch of excuses and reasons: KB had acid reflux and had to be held upright 20 minutes after she ate, in which she usually fell asleep. My husband wanted to see her and hold her when he came home from work–and she usually fell asleep. And so on. . .
But the biggest thing was that my mom said, “I can’t stand to hear her cry. You can’t do this here.” Plain and simple. If I was living under her roof and she was doing me a HUGE favor, which she was, then I couldn’t Ferberize.
But here’s the truth…
I didn’t really want to do it anyway. I liked to hold my daughter. I liked to snuggle with her before she slept. I liked bedtime to be one of peace and love, instead of screaming and tears. I know, I know you cry-it-out supporters will tell me that it only lasts for a while, and then bedtime is wonderful. But I think bedtime is wonderful now. And even at 2 1/2, we still like to snuggle to sleep. But I know she can go on her own–she did it twice last week. So. . .
This time, being a part of the Sandwich Generation, with a mom who used Dr. Spock for everything and can’t remember anything I did because I was “perfect,” paid off. I love bedtime, and KB–well, what child really does?
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