A Parental Guide to Ferber Method

Aww, babies, aren’t they cute?

Little ones are indeed the cutest thing that there is about this whole earth. Granted that having a baby is truly a blessing, but the sleep-deprivation they bring along with them is not something that is easy to put up with! 

Are you desperately looking forward to having some sleep? Then you are in the right place! This read is going to be informing you about a method called as “Ferber Method”. Ferber method happens to be one of the best methods and is highly endorsed by doctors and health experts. Through this method, you will be able to teach your babies to self-soothe and fall asleep without needing you to tend for them! 

Ferber method happens to be one of the best sleep-training that Richard Ferber, who was the director of the Center for Pediatric Sleep Disorders at Children’s Hospital, Boston, and a pediatrician. Ferber came up with a book in 1985 Which went on to be a best-seller! The Book was named “Solve your Child’s Sleep Problems”. This book was updated later in 2006 by the author himself. 

According to the author and his book, in this method, the parents are supposed to let the babies cry for a specified amount of time before they should get in and comfort them. This strategy is labeled as the Ferber method, and in other definitions, is also known as “Graduated Extinction”. 

The Ferber method was designed to help the babies to learn self-comforting and falling asleep on their own or to help them fall back to sleep if they wake up in the middle of a night. 

Now, you may think that the Ferber Method is similar to a Technique Called Extinction-Sleep Training, or in other words, “The Cry-it-out Method”. However, that is not the case here, and they both happen to be two different things. According to the experts, Extinction-Sleep Training was introduced to ensure that your child is not spoiled. The Ferber method happens to be different than this method because it requires the parents to keep a check on their children after a specific amount of time.

How Does The Ferber Method Work?

Now that we’ve told you what the Ferber Method actually is, here is how you can introduce Ferber Method for your baby. Make sure that you follow a set bedtime routine. Once the baby is drowsy and ready to sleep, put them in the crib and leave the room. You have to wait to when they start crying. 

According to the book, the babies are supposed to let the baby cry for three minutes before you go and comfort the baby when you try the Ferber method the first night. 

When it comes to comfort your baby, you could pat the babies on their back or you could talk to them in a soothing voice. However, make sure that you do not pick them up, feed them, or turn on the light. The baby is going to be completely fine within a minute or two. 

Once the baby is calm, you should leave the room again, but this time around, you must increase the time period. According to Ferber, let the baby cry for at least five minutes before you go in to comfort your baby. Ferber labels this process as “progressive waiting”. If everything is going fine, then extend the waiting time to 10 minutes until you are sure that they have slept without your presence in the room. 

The second day when you try this method out, you should allow your baby to cry for at least five minutes. Extend the period then to 10 minutes, and gradually increase the period to 12, and then to 15. Remember, our goal is to make babies sleep independently. We are hoping that after waiting for some time, you will be able to make your babies sleep all by themselves after practicing this method for some time.

When to Start Using This Method

According to a health expert, before you can try out this method, you must ensure that your baby is at least 4 to 6 months old. Parents can easily carry out this method up until the age of two, but the level of difficulty is also going to be elevated as your child gets older. 

We observed in these practices that babies are going to be crying the hardest on the second or the third night of trying out this sleeping method. Experts refer this to as an extinction burst and this happens to be the point where the majority of the parents back out from this practice. Remember, only once that you are through with the extinction burst phase, you will be able to see improvement and find out the effectiveness of this method.


We get it: Even seeing a baby cry for a few seconds is very hard, let alone letting them cry for 10 minutes. But, being the parents of the kids, we must only do what’s best for them, and the ability to help them sleep independently is something that is going to be healthy for parents as well as the baby. 

With that being said, here is a complete guide on the Ferber Method.

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