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Getting A Baby To Sleep (With A Korean Spouse)
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sublunari



Joined: 11 Jun 2009

PostPosted: Mon Nov 19, 2012 5:55 pm    Post subject: Getting A Baby To Sleep (With A Korean Spouse) Reply with quote

Hi guys, sorry for this long post. To sum up very quickly, I want to ferberize our seventeen month-old toddler, while my wife wants to use traditional Korean methods (sleeping with the baby, pampering him to sleep, carrying him around, doing whatever he wants) which, in my own experience, do not work.

For the first six months of the boy's life, we did things her way, and got absolutely no sleep as a result. She was putting him to bed at eleven, dancing around with him on her back, giving him milk whenever he asked for it, and then waking up two or three times a night to do the same thing all over again. Ferberizing him (letting him cry while also checking on him at periodic intervals) took about a week but was a success: he went to be usually in less than ten minutes and didn't wake up until the morning. We did things this way for about a year, though sometimes my wife would object and try to pick him up or pamper him if he took too long to go to bed, and for the past few months she's taken over the process of putting him to bed, and basically regressed to the way things were during the first six months of his life. As a result it now takes at least an hour to put the boy to sleep, he cries the whole time she's with him (carrying him around or lying down with him in bed), he wakes up in the middle of the night, and if I suggest that we should go back to the Ferber Method, she gets incredibly angry, threatens divorce, screams, cries, threatens to call the police, leaves the apartment (sometimes with the baby), and generally drives myself, herself, and the baby, completely insane.

It's apparently typical here for mothers to sleep with their children until they're in elementary school, but as an American I find that ridiculous and unnecessary.

I'm at such a loss of what to do that I'm posting my story here and asking for your advice.
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edwardcatflap



Joined: 22 Mar 2009

PostPosted: Mon Nov 19, 2012 6:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

More fuel for the 'all Korean women are completely irrational and hysterical' brigade.

Did you ever have disagreements about things before you got married that ended up with your wife threatening to call the police/get divorced etc...? If so, it's kind of your fault and you're probably stuck with it. If not there's a chance she could be suffering from a form of Post Natal depression and might need to see someone.
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sublunari



Joined: 11 Jun 2009

PostPosted: Mon Nov 19, 2012 6:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I find her to be pretty reasonable about everything else. She saw one psychiatrist here in Korea but the guy sounded like crap to me; he made her watch a video of him delivering some sort of lecture. She refuses to try to find a better shrink to talk to.
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Stan Rogers



Joined: 20 Aug 2010

PostPosted: Mon Nov 19, 2012 8:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

PM sent
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madoka



Joined: 27 Mar 2008

PostPosted: Mon Nov 19, 2012 9:15 pm    Post subject: Re: Getting A Baby To Sleep (With A Korean Spouse) Reply with quote

I wouldn't be so hard on the wife. Many professionals do not like the Ferber method.

Here's one:

http://www.ahaparenting.com/ages-stages/newborns/case-against-ferber-sleep

"I'll admit up front that I'm biased against Ferberizing, or Ferbering, as it is sometimes called. As a psychologist, I follow the research, which has convinced me that babies do better if they are held when they cry.

I understand how desperate a parent can be to get a child to sleep, and I have many good friends who have used the Ferber method with their babies. But I've found that there are kinder, gentler ways to teach babies to put themselves to sleep. And with all due respect, Richard Ferber is trained in physical health, not mental health. He readily admits that he is not trained in infant psychology.

Most interesting, Ferber now says in interviews that he regrets some of the advice he's given. He's been quoted as saying that he feels badly that child health professionals are encouraging parents to leave very young babies to cry, and that it's ok to co-sleep." . . .
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fosterman



Joined: 16 Nov 2011

PostPosted: Mon Nov 19, 2012 9:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ask your wife to go stay at her mothers for the weekend, you stay with your son. you put him to bed with a story or sleep with him in bed, take care of him just you and him, then sunday or monday your wife comes back.
you stick to the new routine you just made.
the boy will adapt VERY quickly.
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Captain Corea



Joined: 28 Feb 2005
Location: Seoul

PostPosted: Mon Nov 19, 2012 9:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I find that 'the Korean style' of raising babies seems really labor intensive. I enjoyed taking care of mine whenever possible, but was always struck by the question "isn't it too difficult??"
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madoka



Joined: 27 Mar 2008

PostPosted: Mon Nov 19, 2012 9:43 pm    Post subject: Re: Getting A Baby To Sleep (With A Korean Spouse) Reply with quote

sublunari wrote:
if I suggest that we should go back to the Ferber Method, she gets incredibly angry, threatens divorce, screams, cries, threatens to call the police, leaves the apartment (sometimes with the baby), and generally drives myself, herself, and the baby, completely insane.


A pair of researchers at Harvard found that you could be doing permanent damage to your kid by ignoring his cries. So yeah, if she believed that, then she would feel justified in reacting that way. Realistically I think many parents would just think it's simply cruel to leave a crying baby unattended, so that may be how she is viewing you.

http://www.news.harvard.edu/gazette/1998/04.09/ChildrenNeedTou.html

America's "let them cry" attitude toward children may lead to more fears and tears among adults, according to two Harvard Medical School researchers.

Instead of letting infants cry, American parents should keep their babies close, console them when they cry, and bring them to bed with them, where they'll feel safe, according to Michael L. Commons and Patrice M. Miller, researchers at the Medical School's Department of Psychiatry.

The pair examined childrearing practices here and in other cultures and say the widespread American practice of putting babies in separate beds -- even separate rooms -- and not responding quickly to their cries may lead to incidents of post-traumatic stress and panic disorders when these children reach adulthood.

The early stress resulting from separation causes changes in infant brains that makes future adults more susceptible to stress in their lives, say Commons and Miller.

"Parents should recognize that having their babies cry unnecessarily harms the baby permanently," Commons said. "It changes the nervous system so they're overly sensitive to future trauma."
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Captain Corea



Joined: 28 Feb 2005
Location: Seoul

PostPosted: Mon Nov 19, 2012 9:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So... all of this "keeping the baby close" has LOWERED stress levels in Korean adults??

Good to know. Wink
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Fox



Joined: 04 Mar 2009

PostPosted: Mon Nov 19, 2012 11:35 pm    Post subject: Re: Getting A Baby To Sleep (With A Korean Spouse) Reply with quote

sublunari wrote:
Hi guys, sorry for this long post. To sum up very quickly, I want to ferberize our seventeen month-old toddler, while my wife wants to use traditional Korean methods (sleeping with the baby, pampering him to sleep, carrying him around, doing whatever he wants) which, in my own experience, do not work.

For the first six months of the boy's life, we did things her way, and got absolutely no sleep as a result. She was putting him to bed at eleven, dancing around with him on her back, giving him milk whenever he asked for it, and then waking up two or three times a night to do the same thing all over again. Ferberizing him (letting him cry while also checking on him at periodic intervals) took about a week but was a success: he went to be usually in less than ten minutes and didn't wake up until the morning. We did things this way for about a year, though sometimes my wife would object and try to pick him up or pamper him if he took too long to go to bed, and for the past few months she's taken over the process of putting him to bed, and basically regressed to the way things were during the first six months of his life. As a result it now takes at least an hour to put the boy to sleep, he cries the whole time she's with him (carrying him around or lying down with him in bed), he wakes up in the middle of the night, and if I suggest that we should go back to the Ferber Method, she gets incredibly angry, threatens divorce, screams, cries, threatens to call the police, leaves the apartment (sometimes with the baby), and generally drives myself, herself, and the baby, completely insane.

It's apparently typical here for mothers to sleep with their children until they're in elementary school, but as an American I find that ridiculous and unnecessary.

I'm at such a loss of what to do that I'm posting my story here and asking for your advice.


Let your wife do what she wants. The "let them cry" method revolves around parental comfort, not child well-being. Your wife is trying to do better than that. Why not support her?

We have twin infants. One sleeps with my wife, and one sleeps with my mother in law. It works, and it seems to be good for them. Sometimes they don't sleep well, and those nights are rough, but they're getting less and less common. Sometimes traditional wisdom on the matter is right and the latest "scientific" fad is wrong.
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alongway



Joined: 02 Jan 2012

PostPosted: Tue Nov 20, 2012 12:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Let your wife do what she wants. The "let them cry" method revolves around parental comfort, not child well-being. Your wife is trying to do better than that. Why not support her?

You've apparently never listened to a baby cry. There is no comfort for the parents while that goes on.
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laynamarya



Joined: 01 Jan 2010
Location: Gwangjin-gu

PostPosted: Tue Nov 20, 2012 1:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is not a Korean women thing, this is an attachment-style parenting thing. Most of my friends are North American and European women. Almost all of us are using the same methods as your wife to put our babies to sleep: co-sleeping, feeding on demand, carrying them until they fall asleep.

I'm not going to post any new links, but I've read plenty of research that shows the Ferber method and/or crying it out causes babies to feel abandoned, raises their cortisol levels, and makes them much more clingy and dependent when they reach kindergarten age.

Now, after kids turn one year old, I do think it is possible to spoil them by giving them whatever foods, toys, or material items that they want. However, I do not think you can spoil a kid with a long bedtime ritual. That is my opinion, but I've done my reading too.

On the other hand, you also need to protect your marriage, so you and your wife are going to have to work this out so that you have a solution you can all live with. I just wanted to point out that this style of putting a baby/toddler to bed is not just a Korean women thing, and so-called attachment parenting (I hate that term, but that's what it's called) is becoming more and more widespread across North America too, to the point where the Ferber method is becoming the exception, not the norm.
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Fox



Joined: 04 Mar 2009

PostPosted: Tue Nov 20, 2012 1:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

alongway wrote:
Quote:
Let your wife do what she wants. The "let them cry" method revolves around parental comfort, not child well-being. Your wife is trying to do better than that. Why not support her?

You've apparently never listened to a baby cry. There is no comfort for the parents while that goes on.


I mentioned my twins in the very same post from which you quoted.
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Dodge7



Joined: 21 Oct 2011

PostPosted: Tue Nov 20, 2012 3:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm American and I can't do the Ferber method. It would tear me apart to listen to her cry all alone. I'd feel like I was abandoning her.
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PatrickGHBusan



Joined: 24 Jun 2008
Location: Busan (1997-2008) Canada 2008 -

PostPosted: Tue Nov 20, 2012 5:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good question OP. We faced this issue twice (for our son and then for our daughter).

We discussed it and ultimately came to a compromise on the sleeping issue. We put our kids on a sleep schedule (set bed time) after they reached 6-8 months, before that we did the the "Korean" way. It worked out pretty well.

The crying thing can be hard but there are methods to deal with it. We had the kids in their own rooms so when we put them to bed (after they were 6-8months old, they cried initially. We used a gradual method: let the baby cry for 5 minutes, go comfort him or her, put him or her back in his bed. Then let him or her cry for 6 minutes (if it happens). We were lucky as for each of our children the crying fits lasted for 2-3 nights and then they got used to the routine.

The key for us was sticking to a bedtime cycle or routine as bedtime got closer: after dinner or after they drank their milk playing with them for 30 minutes in a quiet manner, give them their bath, dress them for bed, storytime and sleep. This routine was good as our baby got used to it and knew it was bed time....

Our daughter gave us a bit more touble with sleeping as she would wake up during the night. She is pre-school age now and routinely she wakes up at 5am, gets out of her room and comes to join us in our bed until we get up at around 6 or 6:30.
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