I understand that Dr. Ferber is a sleep specialist and that his method of teaching children how to put themselves to sleep is scientifically proven and effective. However, I don't believe that Dr. Ferber is a father, because his method can be just plain heartbreakingly difficult.
Staley has been so good about going to bed at night without a fuss. (Hope I'm not jinxing us by typing that sentence.) However, she has been giving me a hard time about some of her naps. On Wednesday, she cried for almost 50 minutes when I put her down for her morning nap. I held out, going in to reassure her only every 10-15 minutes as the Ferber protocol allows, and she FINALLY fell asleep. This morning, she again created quite the dramatic scene about nap time. I know she was tired. I know she needed a nap. However, explaining that to Staley didn't really change her no-nap stance.
I tried to be good. I tried to follow the protocol. I really tried to be strong. I went in at my allowed 5 minutes and then at my allowed 10 minutes. Each time I'd go into Staley's room, she would stop crying, roll onto her back, and look up at me with her red-rimmed eyes and give me a huge, gummy smile. She would smile at me as I told her I loved her and that it was nap time. As I would walk away, my heart would break as she would start crying again. So, when I went in at my allowed 15 minutes, I couldn't take it anymore. I did the unspeakable. (Don't read this, Dr. Ferber.) I picked up my sweet baby girl. I cuddled her and held her and then danced her to sleep. (It didn't take long.)
I want to be a good parent. I want to teach Staley to be independent and capable of calming herself, even when things aren't going her way. I want her to understand that I'll stick to my guns and follow through with what I say. I need her to know that nap time is nap time, whether she likes it or not, because I know it will make the rest of her day better. But she also needs to know that sometimes I'll break the rules, just because I love her too much not to. Well, Staley can chalk one up in her win column for today. She did not have to put herself to sleep for nap time. But she has been taking such a nice, long morning nap and I know that will make her a super-happy girl when she wakes up, so I guess we both win.