Ferberizing Your Fussy Baby To Sleep

Ferberization is a method developed by Dr. Richard Ferber of Boston to help babies fall asleep on their own after comforting and soothing themselves. Ferberization is about ingraining a consistent sleeping pattern into the baby using a progressive approach. A parent should firstly complete their customary bedtime routine of dimming the lights, singing a lullaby, reading out a book or whatever that has been decided by you. Then the baby should be put to bed while still awake. This, according to Dr. Ferber, is important for teaching the baby how to sleep on her own. Now, leave the nursery even if she’s still awake. A good resource for finding out about many different experiences with baby sleeping habits can be a baby forum

If she cries, don’t check on her until after a specified amount of time has passed. Once you do return to her room, soothe her with your voice but don’t pick her up, rock her, or feed her. Gradually increase the length of time that passes between checks. After about one week, your infant will learn that crying earns nothing more than a brief check from you, and isn’t worth the effort. She’ll learn to fall asleep on her own, without your help.

Ferber says that there are a number of things that may interfere with your child’s sleep. Before you “Ferberize,” you should make sure that feeding habits, pain, stress, or medications are not causing or contributing to your baby’s sleep problems.

Ferber recommends using his method if your baby is 6 months or older. Like most sleep experts, he says that by the time most normal, full-term infants are 3 months old, they no longer need a nighttime feeding. And at 6 months, none do.

Ferber’s method can be modified if you feel it’s too rigid. Stretch out Ferber’s seven-day program over 14 days so that you increase the wait between checks every other night rather than every night.