What is the Ferber Method?
The Ferber method is sometimes better known as the cry it out method. This nickname sounds harsh, but there is a little bit more to it than just letting your baby cry. I stumbled upon this method after having significant trouble with my six month old. My husband and I despite our doctors advice, had been sleeping in the same bed with our little one every night since she was born. This was a great joy, but we started to notice her becoming very attached to us, and she would start crying for hours on end whenever we left her side. This became a real problem, just trying to get simple chores done around the house. We also tried to put her in the crib at night in the nursery room, but she would just cry, and cry, and cry until we got her. I knew we had to do something, so I decided to check into this Ferber method a little more. I was reluctant to try this method at first, but at this point I was willing to try anything. Now that I have used it I am very glad I did, I would suggest trying it if you are having the same problems that I did.
How Does it Work? (4 months old and up)
The Ferber Method really isn’t that complicated to do. The hardest part is just having to sit there for a little bit and listen to your baby cry. The first thing babies learn when they enter this world, is that if they cry, someone will be there to hold and soothe them. This is a great instinct at first, but eventually you will want them to cry only when they really need it. The Ferber Method addresses this problem directly, by slowly training your baby every night until eventually they don’t need it anymore.
With our baby we would wait until bed time, and then give her some milk and put her to sleep in our bed. We would then very carefully transfer her to the nursery, and put her into the crib. If she started to wake up and cry, we would quickly leave the room and shut the door. The first night we let her cry for 3 minutes intervals (it seemed like hours!). After waiting 3 minutes we would come back into the room ,and rub her back and let her know everything was going to be ok. We probably did this same routine 5 or 6 times the first night. It was difficult to do at first, but I knew it was building independence. The second night we stretched it to 5 minute intervals, and the third night 10 minute intervals. Each night it took less, and less trips to put her to sleep in the crib.
It took us about a full week to get our daughter to fall asleep comfortably in her own crib. It was extremely hard to not sleep with her at night. Especially after spending the last 6 months snuggling up with my baby. Now my husband and I can get back to cuddling at night. The Ferber Method isn’t for everyone, but if you are having the same problems that I did, I would highly recommend trying it. It worked wonders for us!