You may have already heard the most controversial Ferber’s Solve Your Child’s Sleep Problems, right? Why it is controversial, I will explain it later. But first, let’s see what the Ferber’s method is. I will break some misconception about the method as well.
Room sharing is okay, but bed sharing with the infant is too dangerous for the infant. It increases the chance of SIDS by up to 50%. That’s a fact and AAP (American Association Of Pediatrics) prohibit bed sharing with the infant. Instead, you should let your baby sleep in the bassinet.
Since we can’t share the bed with the infant, here comes the problem of child’s sleep in alone. It’s a challenge for both the parent and the infant to separate in a separate room. Unless you are too lucky, your infant won’t sleep alone without crying a lot. Here the Ferber’s method becomes relevant.
Ferber Method Explained!
Ferber has suggested that you need to teach your infant to self-soothe and fall asleep. The method to work, your baby should be physically and emotionally ready and that happens between the ages of 3 to 5 months.
This is a progressive method of 1 week. You need to develop a bedtime routine for the method to work. Fix a time when your baby should sleep. Prior to that time, do some bedtime routine activities like telling a story and singing a lullaby.
When you notice your baby looks sleepy, put her in her crib in the separate room, put out all the lights and you should leave the room. Your baby will most probably start crying immediately. Here is what you should do. Don’t rush to the baby to soothe. Let your baby cry for at least 1 minute and then go to soothe her.
Don’t put her out of the crib and feed as well. You can pat her on the back and do some ‘shhh’ sound in a very low volume. Then again leave the room no matter whether your baby is in sleep or not. If she starts crying again, wait for at least 2 minutes now. Then go to soothe her. Repeat the process until your baby is in deep sleep. Gradually increase the waiting time.
Why this method works?
Your baby will soon learn that crying does not help much. All she gets to see you for a while. This will make her learning self-soothing and sleeping by herself. I explained the entire Ferber method in lame man terms. But the books so deep and you should consider buying it.
Remember, as per Ferber’s belief, an extended period of crying alone won’t do any harm to the baby. So, you need to be mentally prepared as well.
The Misconception of Ferber’s method
When the book was published in 1985, several critics pointed out some points. Also, some parents misunderstood the methods as well. One very common misconception about the method is that you can never ever break the set sleep schedule.
Well, this is not simply true. A set sleep schedule is always recommended but in special cases, it is not rigid. You can change the schedule when you are traveling with your baby, or your baby is sick.
However, if due to the above reasons if the sleep schedule disrupted and your baby starts waking up at night, you need to start the whole process from the beginning.
Another misconception is that you should let your baby cry in the crib until he falls asleep. Very wrong! You should stick the progressive waiting technique only. Gradually limit the time with your baby but following the progressive waiting, you should regularly comfort the baby. This will give the baby a sense of reassurance.
Some parents misunderstood the method that Ferber recommended let the baby crying in the crib until he throws up. It’s wrong as well. If your baby cries for a long time, it’s pretty rare that he may throw up. However, Ferber insisted on keeping the sleep training on even if the baby vomits sometimes.
What’s In the Revised Book?
The technique mentioned in the first publication of the book was a little bit rigid and was not flexible. The latest version of the book was published in 2006 and it is much more flexible now. Ferber in his new edition now recommends that even let the baby sleep in the same room as well on special occasions.
Criticism of the Method
Many parenting experts and parents don’t like the idea to keep the baby crying for a long time alone. They believe it may create a sense of insecurity in the mind of the baby. Some parents also believe that even if you let your baby cries for a very short period of time, it may damage the brain development of the baby as well.
He also has given importance to follow the family culture as well to follow his guide.
I tried to explain the Ferber’s Solve Your Child’s Sleep Problems the easiest way possible. As I said above, the method is far more flexible now than the previous method. You can make a little adjustment to the method as well. Let’s say instead of 1-week sleeping schedule, you can make 2 weeks schedule as well.
Lastly, the method works and it has been a blessing for so many parents for long many years. Try it yourself for your baby from today!