All you need to know about the Ferber Method

All you need to know about the Ferber Method

The Ferber Method – Are you sleep deprived? Does your 10 months old baby stick to you all night feeding himself? 

It is ok for you to feel that it is time to let the baby sleep at its own space. This is a healthy way for your baby to have a good night’s sleep. 

Have others told you about the Ferber method? Do you think that this is the right method for your baby? 

Read on to find out an exclusive guide on the Ferber Method. 

The Ferber Method



Richard Ferber, a pediatrician and the director of the Center for Pediatric Sleep Disorders at Children’s Hospital Boston, developed a sleep training method. He also wrote a book on this sleep training program in 1985. 

This method involves the technique to let the baby self-sooth himself to sleep throughout the night Many parents have found this method to be very successful. It takes around 7 days to fully imply this method on babies successfully. 

It is important to know that the Ferber method is different from the cry-it-out method. The Ferber method involves the parent to check on the baby every few minutes while the cry-it-out method does not. 

However, there are some conditions and techniques to make the most out of the Ferber method. 

The Right Time

There is no exact age of when to apply the Ferber Method. Experts recommend that the baby should be above the age of 6 months because before this age, the baby needs to be fed during the night. At the age of six months, the baby has started to eat solid food, so it is alright for the baby to snooze throughout the night. 

However, experts say that this method works best when you try it before the age of one. By the age one, the baby develops various habits. 

What is the Ferber Method?

All babies need help in getting them to fall asleep. They just can’t do it themselves. Sometimes they can get very cranky because they are tired and want to sleep but can’t sleep. They fall asleep with a specific routine, like rocking, bottle feeding, or breast feeding. Some days are smooth in making them sleep and others are not as smooth. 

If your baby is sleeping with you on the bed, then there will be a time when you will want the baby to sleep on the cot. It is better if you make the transition to shift the baby to a cot from the bed before the age one. 

The effects of not sleep training the baby can be tiring. The baby will keep getting up during the night to have comfort feedings. In order to train the baby to self-soothe to sleep, the Ferber Method has been proven to be very successful. 

The Ferber method is the concept of training the baby to sleep on its own. 

7 days guideline of Ferber Method

Ferber method works by checking the list of bedtime routine. The baby should be fed, changed, breast fed or bottle fed, and all ready to have a good night’s sleep. Some parents even add the bedtime story reading session or have a one on one play with giggles and little games. The parent should stick you a proper bedtime routine. 

With that said, the drowsy sleepy baby should be put in the crib. At this point, the parent should dim the lights and leave the room. Turn on white noise or soft music, if your baby is used to it. It is a common result for the baby to cry when you leave the room. When you hear the baby’s cry, do not go in immediately, finish off the waiting interval and then go soothe the baby. It is important to not pick up the baby to sooth. Instead, gently pat the baby for comfort. 

The parent can check on the baby at intervals. Here is a guide for the 7 days:

  1. Day 1: wait 3 minute, 5 minutes, 10 minutes, then 10 minutes
  2. Day 2: wait 5 minutes, 10 minutes, 12 minutes, then 12 minutes
  3. For Day 3: wait 10 minutes, 12 minutes, 15 minutes, then 15 minutes 
  4. Day 4: wait 12 minutes, 15 minutes, 17 minutes, then 17 minutes
  5. Day 5: wait 15 minutes, 17 minutes, 20 minutes, then 20 minutes
  6. For Day 6: wait 17 minutes, 20 minutes, 25 minutes then 25 minutes
  7. Day 7: wait 20 minutes, 25 minutes. 30 minutes then 30 minutes.

The timings to check should increase gradually. The parent should let the baby know that it is sleeping time when the lights are off. 

It is ok if you cannot follow exactly the same time interval checking. It might take you some time gradually increase the intervals between each checking. 

The Ferber Method Tips

There have been some unsuccessful attempts in using the Ferber Method. Experts have looked at these cases closely and have observed and have pointed out some of the mistakes. 

Ferber method is successful only when you work exactly according to the steps. Sometimes parents aren’t following the steps. For example, they let the baby cry without checking out the real reason of crying. It is important to fix all the possibilities of crying when Ferberizing the baby. 

Other times, the parents are not consistent in the 7 days of following the Ferber plan. They follow the plan for a day or two and then go back to usual rocking or comfort feeding because they are tired themselves. . The Ferber Method was not 

Some tips to make the Ferber method successful:

The Ferber Method
  • Be strict with yourself to follow the method exactly for 7 days whether its bedtime, nap, or in the middle of the night. 
  • Use a timer to keep track of the waiting intervals. 
  • Extend the bedtime of the baby. Suppose your baby sleeps at 7 pm, but during the Ferber Method, make the bedtime to 7:45. This way the baby will be sleepy and will give in to soothe himself to sleep. However, it is important to remember not to over-extend the bedtime because this will lead to a phase of crankiness. 
  • Mentally prepare yourself that you will have to lose some sleep. It is wise to select the days when you can afford sleepless nights. 
  • Read Dr. Ferber’s “Solve Your Child’s Sleep Problem” book to get the full insight before starting trying out the method.

Is Ferber Method Safe?

Generally, the Ferber Method is safe. However, the parents should be aware of the fact that it is not okay to let the baby cry for a long time when the baby needs to be changed, fed, or not feeling well. Nothing else should be bothering the baby except the fact that he needs to learn to sleep by himself.  

It is important to keep in mind that letting a 4 months old cry it out is different than 12 months old. A 4 months old baby needs to be breastfed or bottle fed during the night whereas 12 months old can sleep throughout the night with any feedings. 


There are many methods to make your baby sleep independently throughout the night. One method has been very successful among families, which is the Ferber Method originated from Richard Ferber. This method involves consistency for the parents to follow the method exactly for 7 days in a row. In conclusion, there is hope for parents to be able to sleep well throughout the night like old times!

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