The problem with using a sleep training method like Ferber is that you need to be incredibly consistent to achieve results. Results as in a baby that goes to sleep easily on his own, sleeps through the night and doesn't wake up too early. And the problem with being incredibly consistent is...life.
Any disruption causing you to stray from letting your baby cry through wake ups (getting sick, teething, traveling) can result in the total deterioration of any successes you've experienced. At least in our situation. I think Nate is a challenging sleeper to begin with and very sensitive to changes. I've mentioned the kid won't even sleep in the car when he's tired, right? Sigh. I'm sure other kids are different. I blame it partly on nature and partly on nurture. It sure doesn't help that I let him fall asleep nursing for the first half of his life.
Just when Nate is going to sleep well on his own and sleeping for most of the night, he starts waking up earlier and earlier. Five in the morning at first, then four, then three, etc. When we can't take it anymore and resolve to "Ferberize" again, Nate starts walking. And suddenly his sleep is totally screwed up nighttime and daytime. The nap time I had been really enjoying is suddenly gone or thirty minutes at most. I think the upset combined with teething really threw him for a loop sleep wise for a good week. And that was enough time to completely drop all of the good sleep habits and go back to the old ones - needing mommy or daddy's help to go to sleep, walking up hourly. AHHHH!
So we decide to "Re-Ferberize" and just as we are starting to make progress again (after suffering through tears, toddler stalling tactics and using vomiting as a manipulation tool) - BAM! Our house, and specifically Natey gets hit with a bad cold. I feel like stomping my feet and crying and yelling, "IT'S NOT FAIR!" I just don't know how many times I can put this kid through the torture of sleep training. And after this cold clears up that is exactly what we'll have to do. Because nothing else works. Wah! Also, I am so tired of being tired.