Get-to-know-Jennie Week, Day 4

Here’s another tidbit you should know about me: I sleep fast and I sleep hard. I’m out the second my head hits the pillow, and I stay out all night long. It’s really hard for me to explain how sacred sleep is to me. I used to be a night owl, but since I get up at 5:30 every day, that’s not such a good idea. Mister is not lucky enough to sleep soundly (and sleeping pills do not work very well on him, poor guy), but I have trained my children to be good sleepers. We Ferberized every single one at five months of age* (by “we” I mean “I”).  And now they go to bed without so much as a request for water.  They stay in their beds and sleep like the dead.  We also have a strict “no kids in our bed before the sun comes up” rule.  I thought all families were like this, but I’ve realized that most parents have to deal with kids bugging them all night long.  Sleep is the #1 priority Chez W. I can handle anything my kids dish out as long as I’ve gotten a good night’s sleep..

Akin to this is the paranoia that my house will burn down/there will be an earthquake in the middle of the night.  The worst part of this in my mind is me standing on the street shivering in my unders.  So I make sure I wear pajamas to bed every night.  And since I will be appearing in public (theoretically) they need to be nice-looking pajamas; none of this sleeping in a T-shirt and sweats. I have a decent collection of cute P.J.s.  But I’m also very particular because I only like  pajamas that are stretchy knit.  No woven cotton, no flannel.  This is a tall order to fill, but for the sake of my neighbors, I press on.  I wouldn’t want them to see me standing out in the cul-de-sac in the middle of the night wearing just any old thing.

*”Ferberize” is based on the book Solve Your Child’s Sleep Problems by Richard Ferber.  Some people who haven’t read the book claim it’s a cry-it-out method. Not so!  It does require some crying because children are being taught to sooth themselves and get themselves back to sleep without requiring a bottle, a boob, whatever.  That can be a bit of an adjustment, so there are tears.  But there is also reassurance from the parent every few minutes.  For every person who pooh-pooh’s Ferberization because it’s too mean, I just have to say, look at my children sleeping soundly.  And look at me so well-rested every night.  That’s all the proof you need that Ferberization works!

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13 thoughts on “Get-to-know-Jennie Week, Day 4

  1. Amen to Ferberizing. My theory is, if you think it's cruel to teach your children how to go to sleep, SHUT UP about how they "won't".

    (can you tell I recently overheard one of these conversations? A 6 month old who wakes up HOURLY at night…kill me)

    You should probably mention that you have had a colicky baby as well, and he still learned to sleep!

  2. Ben is the same way and it drives me crazy! And thanks for being the awesome sister-in-law that you are and introducing me to the wonder of the Ferber. We only had to use it once but I'm so glad for it now!

  3. Parental sleep is SACRED! AMEN!

    Lucky Jennie and brother Ben both inherited that insta-sleep trait from their daddy. (Luck-Outs!) Daddy Jim was a-snore in 4 seconds flat, timed!

    Last time I baby-sat Jennie's kids for 5 days, however, Jasper UN-Ferberized himself for every nap and night-time, screamed his head off, and drove me MAD! I guess it was because I stupidly responded. GROAN!

  4. This post spoke right to my heart. Sleep is my #1 too and my kids know if they want a happy mommy the next day – they won't bug me in the night. And Amen to Ferber. I use that method and swear by it! Bed time is painless for both of mine and they sleep 13+ hours a night!

  5. This is one area where we are souls sisters. I need my sleep and the kids need their sleep. All of my kids get put down wide awake and put themselves to sleep. No kids in our bed, because it drives me crazy. All three are great sleepers. We did the baby whisper but it seems very similar.

  6. I have the fire phobia also. I leave my brassiere on a chair where I can grab it in a hurry. Also, we always have a fire escape ladder…

  7. My husband used to travel a lot and when my older children were small I would make them sleep with me (we all fit if we slept vertical) just in case the house caught on fire. ~crazy~
    Since I get up 5 to 7 times a night now, I figure I am a walking fire alarm (my kidlets sleep, I'm just paranoid, gotta make sure they are breathing and have their covers on!)
    found you on MMB, You have a cute blog!

  8. Lucky you to be able to sleep—-I suffer from insomnia—and have tried EVERYTHING! I did that same thing to my kids—well, the last one, anyway—after I messed up my 4th child by rocking her all the time… Well—I thought that she was my last!! 🙂

  9. I wish I was a good sleeper. Speaking of the fire worry, I sometimes wake up worrying that I smell smoke. Or that I hear a noise. Or that I forgot to pay a bill. You get the idea. Thankfully, my son (knock on wood) is a good sleeper.

  10. Oh how I love sleep. But whenever we travel or have visitors my kids get a little off schedule. That is not so fun but luckily they usually get back on track.

    I like that your kids know not to disturb you until the sun comes up, I think that I will have to make that a rule around here too.

  11. Ah, a sister after my own heart. Sleep is the bomb.

    If you can believe it, I've never read Ferber's book. But The BAby Whisperer's method sounds pretty similar–soothing every so often (increasingly longer waits) while still never picking the child up or allowing them out of their bed. And my kids sleep great too! (Well, except that Daphne wakes up at 6am and gets in Kelly's bed with him. But he ALLOWS it, so his funeral. Luckily, I'm downstairs fast asleep so what do I care?)

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