After venturing to all ends of the earth… from the top of Mt. Kilimanjaro to the snaking mouth of the Amazon; from the worn steps of the Great Wall to the barren sands of the Outback… I have concluded that all parents really want to know one thing, and one thing only… *drumroll*
How do I get my baby to sleep through the night?
Well, Grasshopper, you have come to the right place. I plan to share what I’ve learned from Dr. Richard Ferber’s book, Solve Your Child’s Sleep Problems. You may have heard of Ferber, the notorious Cry-It-Out creator who no longer wishes to be known as the CIO guy. He’s kinda like Prince (TAFKAP), but the TAFKACIOG version (the artist formerly known as cry it out guy).
His sleep training is very well known in the parenting world (but often incorrectly applied and therefore misunderstood). However, after having survived this myself, I highly recommend it. If you break into a cold sweat at the thought of having to put your noob down for bed, then you you’ll want to get this book. If you’d rather give birth thrice over sans epidural, instead of having to rock your old lump of coal to bed/nap/and the like for the umpteenth time, then his book is for you.
Does your noob really have a sleep problem?
Little ones (5 months +) who are not able to soothe themselves and fall asleep or fall back to sleep on their own probably have a sleep problem. If you are rocking, nursing, standing upside down with one leg at 35 degrees, or holding your breath until baby is asleep, then this may be for you. And if you find yourself going in to soothe your noob several times a night (so many times you’re actually embarrassed to tell anyone the real number), then I’m afraid to say, you might have some dirty little sleep habits brewing.
When can I start to Ferberize he-who-shall-not-sleep-through-the-night?
TAFKACIOG states that at 3-4 months, most full-term infants should be “settling” in, and you may consider preparing for his Progressive-Waiting Approach (known on the streets as Cry It Out). By 5-6 months, you should probably be taking definite steps to address your baby’s sleep problem.
Keep in mind that sleeping through the night depends on when your baby goes to bed and how old she is. For example, by 5-6 months, babies can go at least 10 hours without a middle of the night feed, if the baby is at a healthy weight (or without special needs).
The Big Warning, Disclosure, and Pep Talk
First, take a couple shots of the hardest liquor you can find – the kind that’ll put some hair on your chest. Spam your neighbors with lengthy letters of apology (include bribe money). Purchase NRA-approved ear muffs for yourself and possibly your neighbors. Then crumple up into fetal position holding onto that bottle of liquor and cry like your baby.
You’re going to hate yourself. You’re going to think you’re an awful, cruel, heartless parent. You’re going to cry Uncle, want to give up after the first 30 minutes, and make up excuses as to why this was a terrible decision. As a Sleep Training Survivor (and there really should be some fancy medal parents can wear after going through this), I know that it’s the hardest thing to hear your adorable, helpless flesh and blood crying … in their crib… all alone. It blows. But… and there’s a big BUT. The rewards are so worth it.
Right after we finished sleep training Noob Baby, we could put her down in the crib and walk away with just a sweet little kiss goodnight. She would babble and talk to herself for a few minutes before drifting off to sleep on her own. We didn’t have to tiptoe around her room like burglars. I was able to get … now wait for it… at least 10 hours of uninterrupted sleep each night.
Inevitably, someone is going to tell you that you’re a terrible parent for doing this. To them I say, have you read the book and tried it as Ferber recommends … not how you think it should be done? You might hear someone say they left their noob in the room all night to cry without checking on them. Well, that is NOT how the training works. Instead of listening to the misinformed, I suggest you find someone who is going to be supportive and knowledgeable. Make your hubby or wifey be the rock when you feel you’re about to throw the whole thing out the window after day one. Luckily, Noob Daddy was there to encourage and comfort me. I left him with the Ferber book and allowed him to take the reigns when I thought the war had been lost. Trust me, I’m so ridiculously Type A. Allowing anyone to take over was very very difficult.
Just when I thought I had caused some permanent damage to my precious little sleep monster, I’d find her giggling and beaming at me the next morning.
She seemed, dare I say it, happy! There were definitely no hard feelings. After just a few days of sleep training, everyone in the Noob household was already displaying signs of true, restful sleep.
Preparing for the Progressive-Waiting Approach (commonly known as Cry it Out)
- For the first few days, pick a starting bedtime that is no earlier than the usual time your child falls asleep. It’s ok for bedtime to be a little later than his usual bedtime. Moving this start time later will help him fall asleep more quickly, but don’t move back his wake up time.
- Put your child into the crib or bed awake, in the place you want him to be sleeping. No rocking, swinging, etc. He should fall asleep under the same circumstances that he will wake normally during the night.
- When he cries or calls for you at bedtime or upon waking up at night, check him briefly at increasing intervals (see chart below for guidelines, but you can adjust the minutes to your own comfort level). Do not spend more than one or two minutes with him when you check in. Your job is to reassure him, not to help him stop crying or fall asleep. You may replace a fallen blanket or toy, but only once.
Number of Minutes to Wait Before Responding To Your Child
Day 1 – 3 min (1st wait); 5 min (2nd wait); 10 min (3rd wait); 10 min (subsequent waits)
Day 2 – 5 min; 10 min; 12 min; 12 min (subsequent waits)
Day 3 – 10 min; 12 min; 15 min; 15 min (subsequent waits)
Day 4 – 12 min; 15 min; 17 min; 17 min (subsequent waits)
Day 5 – 15 min; 17 min; 20 min; 20 min (subsequent waits)
Day 6 – 17 min; 20 min; 25 min; 25 min (subsequent waits)
Day 7 – 20 min; 25 min; 30 min; 30 min (subsequent waits)
- When you reach the maximum number of minutes to wait for a night, continue to leave the room for the same interval – no longer – until your child falls asleep while you are out of the room.
- I grant you permission at this point to curl into fetal position and curse like a dirty sailor.
- Dr. Ferber says that by the 3rd or 4th day, your child “will most likely be sleeping very well. If further work is necessary, continue following the chart down to day 7.” If there is still improvement after that, continue by adding a minute to each interval on successive days. *If things are not improving or are getting worse, you may have to rethink your approach.* He discusses alternatives in another section.
- If your child wakes during the night, restart the schedule from the first waiting time and work up to the maximum.
- Continue this routine after each waking until a time in the morning (usually 5 or 6 am) after which it is unlikely your child will fall back asleep. Do not let him go right back to sleep in another room. If he’s still asleep at his usual waking time in the morning, wake him up.
- Naptime: Use the same waiting schedule for naps, but if your child hasn’t fallen asleep after half an hour, or if he is awake again and calling or crying vigorously, end the nap. He may fall asleep on his own in another room, which is fine initially, as long as he does it by himself without the associations you are trying to break. However, don’t let the amount of napping time increase to make up for the sleep he lost at night. Also, don’t let naps run so late (past 4 pm) that they will interfere with falling asleep at night.
- Keep a record: Follow your schedule carefully, and chart your child’s sleep patterns in detail. This is a great way for you to visually see the progress when you feel like everything is shit. Seriously.
This was just an excerpt from Dr. Richard Ferber’s book, Solve Your Child’s Sleep Problems. If you have an older child who sleeps in a bed, or if your baby sleeps with you, refer to the book for more detailed solutions. I hope this brief, but-not-so-brief, guide helps you as you start sleep training your noob.
If you found this post helpful, share the love and purchase your own copy of the book with my affiliate link: Solve Your Child’s Sleep Problems
I’ve tried this back when my baby girl was 7 months and worked after 3 days. It was so much easier back then. Now I am trying it again at 9 months. It is definitely harder. She stands and paces around in her crib. Quick question, this is the 3rd day into her sleep training, she cries nonstop at the first 10 mins…then on and off. Do I still go in even if she’s not crying? She wouldn’t go to sleep. Seems like she’s up waiting for me to go in.
I used the same method as you Courtney and IT WORKS! Firstly I was sceptic becasue I thought I have the worst sleeper in the history of babies but turned out it is possible!
Hi. I have twins boy girl 13 months. I’ve done some sleep training and they both go down after a bottle fully awake and put themselves to sleep. HOWEVER 🙁 my son wakes 1-3x a night starving. I’ve started watering down his milk and giving him less so he can hopefully make up for calories throughout the day! He eats so well but is so so active I think he’s created a habit of eating and wanting a bottle. He screams until he gets it especially iff he sees it before diaper change
Any suggestions other than watering down and hoping for less frequent wake ups?
P.S. I have the added benefit of him waking her if he screams too long. It’s happened a few time when I was trying this method overnight. Thanks in advance!💙
I’m not expecting my 12 wk old to sleep thru the night yet but can you do this with just naps at her age?
And our issue is the paci falls out she’s up!
Is there a recommended schedule? My LO seems to not be settling down at all after the intervals. Maybe we should cut out the cat nap?
Hi, I have a question my 9 month old def. needs some sleep training…with this method are you supposed to put them down awake, leave them alone for as long as it takes them to fall asleep then start the intervals for subsequent wakes? My daughter gets sick if she cries too long like ten min of crying she’d likely throw up…so I’m not sure how I’d approach the initial “put down awake”?
My son was 13 months when we started and he would be the same way. What helped me is I started a routine with him. When I got home from work we have dinner he plays for a little then he gets a bath he plays a little more gets his night bottle, last change and in his room for story time after a few books he goes into his crib I sing him a few songs say goodnight and he is now out in less then 5 mins. The first night it took 40 mins for him to go down I knew he was tired but they have to learn to put themselves to sleep. Once he started to show signs he went in his crib we check on him after 3 mins then 5 mins then every 10 mins until he fell asleep and each day it gets easier! My son was a ergo baby sleeper I would be bouncing him for up to and hour and I said no more I need my sanity! Good luck! We are here to help!
I was so happy to see this is still somewhat active. Tonight started this method. I wish I could get liquored up right now but thanks to breastfeeding no go there!
Just wondering, my little girl just went down after just about 40 minutes, if she wakes up do I go back to the 3-5-10 minute intervals or so I just start at 10?
Any help would be appreciated!
My personal advice. If she fell asleep and woke up after a few hours I would start again at 3 mins. Remember these are just guidelines and you know your baby more than anyone. If you can do 5 mins go for it. I am about a week into this process and my son cries when I initially leave the room and is sleeping within typically 5 mins and for 11-12 hrs!!. Last night was the first time he woke up at 430am since he peed through. I gave him a bottle changed him and we started the intervals at 10 mins and only had to go in once and he was sleeping! Be strong it is extremely hard but you will have freedom in the end!!
Ok parents I need some help! My son is 13 months old and is such a mommy’s boy that he only lets me put him to sleep which I do using the ergo carrier and use it every time he wakes up. I physically and mentally can’t do it anymore so My husband and I are going to try the CIO method starting tomorrow. My question(s) is I usually start putting him to bed at 8 pm when he starts to show signs that he is tired- do you just put them in the crib then and walk out? Also what happens is if I put him in the crib while he is not fully sleeping he gets up stands in his crib and refuses to lay down and screams to the high heavens! You stay out of the room for the first 3 mins? I’m nervous this will last for hours! Also what happens if he continues to cry and you are checking on him but every time I go in it makes him more upset to the point where he starts gagging? He’s done that to me several times on a car ride where we couldn’t pull over and he was just overtired. I’m mentally freaking out! I already feel like the worst parent ever! By the way this article is great made me crack up with the your going to need a drink that puts hair on your chest! I’m already thinking what I can drink! Haha freaking out mom over here any tips can help!! Thanks
First few nights expect him to cry for a while, 45min – 1h30 of not more… but this will stop eventually. Took my 6 month boy 4 days to get used to it but I have read about kids doing it for 2-3 weeks.
I created a bed routine with him as he would get anxious when I was putting him to bed. I feed him an hour before bedtime and change his nappy so he doesn’t wee in the middle of the night. I usually sing a 3-5 minute song as we walk to bed, but then I put him directly to bed, still awake and walk out. We go back when he is fully asleep and put the blanket back on him as he usually toss around. He sometimes complains but not for long anymore… it used to take us 45m to 2h of nursing him every night before we tried the ferber.
Hope this helps
Another question what do you do if your baby isnt with you during the day and naps are random? Do you concentrate on night sleeping first and then work on naps? I don’t want the naps to mess up our hard work for night sleeping. Suggestions?
Cora Trimble says
My son is 16 months now and for the last few months we’ve established a great bed time routine so now he loves going to bed. 7:00 bath then we sit in our bedroom and he spends time with daddy. 8:00 I have an alarm that goes off on my phone and we sing “bed time” with it and he dances and sings too then says goodnight to daddy. Then he goes potty I brush his teeth I lay him in the crib read a story and say goodnight and walk out. He doesn’t cry anymore. Try doing something like this and I’m sure he’ll cry the first few times you walk out. I only ever let him cry for 5 mins max and I would go back in maybe sing a little song calm him down say goodnight again then walk out. The first time might take about an hour and if you keep it up and not give up by the 3rd or 4th day he’ll be fine. Good luck!!
Hello my 9 month old has been doing great, and I’m just wondering when obviously in the future she wil wake up, after the training is done, if and when she wakes up, how long do you let her CIO before I go in? Do I go with the longest time? Or how do I determine it? Thank you.
After my daughter was sleeping well with Ferber, if she woke up at night I used the 10-minute interval, but I had no real reason other than that it felt about right. The longest interval my daughter needed during sleep training was 15 minutes, so I guess I was dialing it back a little. The advantage after sleep training is that waking up during the night is the exception rather than the rule, so it’s easier to determine if there’s really something wrong (sickness, teething pain) or if it’s just a natural (but temporary) regression.
Noob Mommy says
Michelle- You hit the nail on the head… after sleep training, waking up at night is the exception not the norm! Yes!! I think that’s a really important thing to consider because it truly does help a parent understand their child better and recognize if something when something is out of the ordinary.
Hi – I have a question about naps. If they don’t nap or wake up within half hour do you try to force some sort of nap? Or do you just let them be tired and try again at the next nap?
I think it depends on the age of your baby. They eventually require less nap time… but mine is nearly 7 months now and yeah, if he wakes up after only 30 minutes nap that’s it… I don’t force it. He will probably get tired sooner… I don’t have a fixed schedule for naps. But when comes 7:30-8:00 PM it’s bed time.
With our 6mth old
Q: to put my child in his cot while still awake… does that means we shouldn’t be giving him a bottle at that time? As he will usually fall asleep during a feed. And I feel like he has already associated bottle+sleep routine.
Q: you mention to not to pick him up during the intervals… what if his nappy is wet?
We decided to give him his last feed an hour before sleep time… that way he doesn’t wake up from a wet nappy during the night…
We started the Ferber technique.. and 10 days later he figured out how to put himself to sleep in about 5 minutes or less. Which is magical. He would still wake up a few times a night but recently he has started to fall back to sleep pretty much instantly. Still requires a feed in the middle of the night, but thats better than the 3 feed he used to need before we started. We are now starting to cut down on the feed and he is taking it ok… we are also letting him cry a bit longer at 6:00 AM and he is starting to sleep longer… sometimes 11-12 hours straight. It has completely changed our baby (and us), he is more tolerant, cries less, and sleeps better (us too). This is unbelievable.
Ps there is a sample of the Ferber book online for those of you who would like to read a bit. Here is the link:
Be consistent and don’t give up.. the rewards are great.
I have a question that I am hoping SOMEONE will understand, since none of my friends seem to have this problem. Anyone with a similar experience would be great!
My baby girl is 4 months. Since she was born she never just fell asleep in anyone’s arms or on the couch or on her boppy because once she becomes tired, she get’s VERY upset. The only thing that helps to soothe her once she is this upset is bouncing on an exercise ball heavily – the rocker/gilder just will not do the job. Now that she is able to stay up just a little longer (1:15 ish) I have to watch her signs closely for when she gets tired so that we can get her swaddled and into bed before she is inconsolable. However, like I said, now that she is staying up longer, it is super inconsistent – she may get super tired at 55 minutes, whereas other times it is 1:30. Are you following this so far?
Now with that said, we’ve been trying to do less and less bouncing and put her straight into her crib when it’s time for nap time. So this weekend we thought the next step would be to CIO, since even after the bouncing to calm her down from being tired, she would then cry once in her crib and need extra bouncing. It is now day 3 of CIO. She was doing really well until today when she got tired all too quickly and went into hysterics needing to be soothed prior to going down. Since we are trying not to bounce her, we put her right in the crib and the crying basically didn’t stop for 30 minutes – went in several times to soothe her without picking her up, etc.
So my question is, how can I continue with CIO, when her problem of being inconsolable is starting before we even put her down. It is also difficult because she has acid reflux and I know it is painful to do so much crying.
Anyway, i hope there is no judgement here, and that someone may have a similar experience. Thanks!
Hi. My boy is 6 months old now and we have been working out at reducing sleep associations since he was 3. He required heavy bouncing too at first but my wife just couldn’t do it because of her back… so I was on the sleep chores most nights. We also started unswaddling at 4 months using a transition sleeping bag which was a bit hard for him to get used to.. we usually would lay him on his side and hold his arm against his body and pat him to sleep with some singing. 2-3weeks after we gave him a pj and followed the same steps. Then we stopped holding his arm and gave him a teddy bear to hold onto instead, he loved it, we kept patting him, but less and less. Nowadays I simply pat him 5 to 6 times and he can fall asleep ok, most nights. If he hasn’t had a good 3 to 4 hours of rest during the day he may be a bit more upset when comes night times, that depends. Also we started feeding him solids at 4 months, and I think it helped him to fall asleep better and to drink less during the night. But mind you he is still waking up from dreams once or twice a night and can’t go without his 2am snack. Which is a pain… but im hoping this Ferber thingy can help this. He still won’t go to sleep without a tear most nights… it could also be teething idk. Persist. Good luck.
I think she is too young to use CIO.
We were exactly the same as you – we used to have to bounce on the fit ball for up to two hours to get our little lady to sleep and then she’d get a couple of hours and be up again and we’d start over! I did some research online and found “Save Our Sleep” by Tizzie Hall and we were able to restore our sanity! Our girl is three months old and now sleeps 7pm to 7am with one stir around 3am when she resettles herself after 10-20 minutes of grizzling (not crying). We don’t do any night feeds and she wakes happy and alert in the morning. I’d strongly recommend the Save Our Sleep web site where you can download pdf chapters of the book (I have the book as well and there’s really not much you can’t get out of the downloadable chapters). Sleep training is definitely worth it – baby is much happier now she is getting proper, unbroken sleep. Good luck!
I’m curious as to how this worked out for you, as my almost 5 month old works herself into hysterics as well. She literally screams bloody murderwhen she’s over tired.
We did this to get our baby to sleep in her crib and it worked great and she really only cried a tiny bit, mostly just did that simpering babies do while trying to sleep. She just did it for a much longer time then when she was in our room with us. My problem now is she is waking up a lot at night now she was doing well but seems to have regressed. So my question iWhile doing this method should ever you offer to feed baby when they wake up during the night? My baby is 9 months if that makes a difference.
Danielle Howard says
My daughter is 10 months and still nursing. During the day at school or with grandma’s she basically only takes enough milk to take the edge off of her appetite because she prefers to eat with me. Because if this, we seem to be making those feeding during the night. I’m hoping trying the CIO method will switch her schedule around and encourage her to take those calories during the day but I’m afraid to just clean cut those midnight feedings. Has anyone else been in this situation and if so, how did they handle it? And, how did baby respond?
Thank you for this. I have read the book as well but I am still a little unsure as to how to handle night wakings. If the rounds of CIO continue for over an hour at 3 am and you are heading towards the light sleep phase of 5 am, do you just use a prop to put them back to sleep at that point? Or just let them continue to cry? I experienced this last night, crying from 3:30-4:40 until I finally put the pacifier on. Any thoughts? Did I mess this up? Thank you!
My wife and I used the Ferber method on our daughter when she was 10 months old. We didn’t think she could do it, but on the first night she cried for 45 minutes. On the second night she cried for 15 minutes. On the third night she fell asleep in about 5 minutes, no crying, and 2 years later she’s an amazing sleeper (well, other than the fact that she wakes up at 6am, but I can live with that).
Fast forward to today and we have an 11 1/2 month old son. We figured we would do the Ferber method again only this time earlier. We tried at 5 months and it went terribly. We tried again two weeks ago and it was 1.5 hours of crying on night 1, 15 minutes on night 2, and about a minute on night 3. Sounds great right? Not really. He’s still feeding in the middle of the night and now, two weeks post-Ferber, he’s up every 2 hours and crying for 2 hours + while we try to Ferber him in the middle of the night. We’re losing a bit of hope and I’m sure the problem is either:
1) We haven’t been consistent, or
2) Ferber method just won’t work for him
We’re starting to consider using the Weissbluth method – just say adios at bedtime and close the door. Please no comments on how terrible we are – we’ve read the academic literature for both methods and they’re both quite sound. There’s also a more recent study done out of UBC that shows that there are no long term effects with either method. Not to sound mean, but personal feelings about the method are really only relevant to yourself.
So, I’m hoping for a bit of help with a few questions:
1) Sometimes when he wakes up in the middle of the night he isn’t totally freaking out. He’s sometimes just sitting up and moaning/light crying. Ferber says leave them alone if they’re sort of calming down. But he can do this for 2+ hours and it definitely keeps us awake! Do we intervene? Lay him back down and he totally freaks out? I’ve found that sometimes the freakout crying wears him out and he’ll fall asleep faster but are we just reinforcing the problem?
2) Has anyone switched to a different CIO method after one not working for them and finding success with the second? Would love to hear personal experiences.
My wife is going back to work full-time in 3 months so we’re running short on time. Helpful comments are very much appreciated.
I did Ferber method with my son and it worked well, but I also didnt do it until 6 months. It is actually not recommended for babies under 6 months. Do you think there may be a chance your baby is actually waking out of hunger? I was unsure about that, which is why I waited until 6 months (also because that is the recommendation) and started solid foods in addition to nursing so I could be sure he wasn’t hungry. Baby may just not be ready. All babies are different. Maybe try again in a month or so?? Good luck!
Nicole Simertz says
Before I buy the book, has anyone used this method when they share a room with their baby? My son is almost 7 months old, and is slowly starting to use his crib. We live in a one bedroom apartment currently so he sleeps right next to me. He cannot be in the living room, so I’m not sure how to do this method. …
Thank you for laying out the steps to sleep train so simply! I basically read and re-read your blog the entire time my baby is crying…which is what brings me to comment finally. She’s still crying. I read Ferber’s book a few years ago when I sleep trained my oldest daughter, who was pretty much a textbook case and was sleeping beautifully within a few nights.
But this newbie baby…she’s a whole different ball game. She’s making me want to run to the liquor cabinet as you suggest, and curl up in a fetal position. In fact, I just lifted the pillows off my head because she finally stopped crying and went to sleep and now I feel like I can relax a bit. She’s 6 1/2 months old now, and we’ve been working on sleep training for about five weeks now. Week 1 went something like this: Night 1, she screamed for about 45 minutes, fell asleep and slept for 11 hours straight. For. The. First. Time. Ever. Before Night 1, she would sleep a couple hours, end up in bed with me, and sleep restlessly all night long. But not that night! It was amazing and I was a new woman that next day. Night 2, she screamed for a full hour, but again, slept 11 straight hours. The rest of that week and Week 2, she cried anywhere from 10-45 minutes, and consistently slept through the night. Then we had to suddenly take a quick weekend trip and stay in a hotel room, and I didn’t let her CIO. Well, ever since we got back (Weeks 3-5) it has been a nightmare. She regularly cries for around an hour each night before falling asleep. I feel like that means this isn’t working, but I’m wondering if I’m screwing everything up around sleep training – we struggle in keeping a routine bedtime at a specific time, and I can’t seem to figure out if she’s overtired or if she’s not tired enough to sleep. I’m worried that it’s too hot in her room. I’m worried that she’s just started solids and maybe her belly hurts. And, every few nights or so, because I just can’t take the screaming anymore, I break down and nurse her to sleep. What’s crazy, and yet perfectly reasonable, is that the nights I nurse her to sleep? She wakes up frequently to nurse. The nights she takes an hour to CIO? Sleeps like a rock for anywhere from 10-12 hours without waking to nurse even once.
So…long story short, CIO is working…right? I just need to straighten up and be consistent (bedtime should be a specific time) and also completely cut out nursing her to sleep…right? I’m still nursing her for naps some of the time, too.
I’m just looking for encouragement. It’s so much harder with this one and part of me fears it’s never going to work. But as I write this out and reread it before posting…I’m guessing my #1 issue is me. Not her. I need to be consistent.
This is the BEST resource for the Ferber method on the Web. BY FAR!
I would still recommend the book for certain intricacies or questions you may have…but this is a great summary of the book and how to do it.
We successfully used this method and let me tell you that it made my wife and I realize: WE WERE HOLDING OUR SON BACK. We were not allowing him to teach himself how to go back to bed! By going in and rocking him at every cry or whimper, he was not able to self-soothe himself to bed. This is a excellent way to allow a child to teach themselves how to sleep and go back to sleep.
And anyone who thinks their child may be “scarred” to harm the emotions of the child are ridiculous and just plain wrong.
I was wondering what is the best bedtime for a 6 month old when starting this. My baby’s bedtime is always between 7-7:30pm. In all the online reading I’ve been doing they say this is a good bedtime. To much later can make the baby over tired. Is this true? He can’t stay awake longer than 2- 2 1/2 hours at a time without napping so if I did a later bedtime then he would be taking 4 naps a day. Seems a lot to me. Right now he takes 3 naps a day. Do you think 7 is too early a bedtime?
Our son goes out at 6:30 – 7:00ish… later than that and he grows horns… I think every baby is different… some are night owls, some goes at sunset.
Emily Bessey says
Hi! Thanks for your fabulous post! We are on day 3 and tonight our 7 month old only took 10 min to fall asleep! We have been transitioning her out of a swaddle and this process has been very helpful. I have a few questions for you: When my baby wakes up crying, do I immediately go to her and then start the intervals, or when she wakes up do I wait 10 min (or whatever the day calls for)? Also- in your opinion, how long do babies need to eat in the middle of the night? I guess I’m wondering when babies no longer need middle of the night feeds but just wake up for them because they are use to eating then… And finally- I am curious your thoughts on pacifiers. When do you recommend ditching them? Thank you for your time!
TIFFANY Latshaw says
Thank you for this blog. I do have a question. It says to replace a toy or blanket but only once. What about a paci? We tried CIO last night and after I replace dhis paci, he was fine. However, I think that this is defeating the purpose…isn’t offering the paci over and over teaching him that the paci will soothe him rather than himself?
Courtney Buch says
I used this method with my son when he was 10 months old and it worked like a charm and he was in a great night routine within 4 days. I am about to start it with my 6 month old daughter and it’s a bit different this time around. With my son, he was old enough to find his pacifier and stick it back in his mouth if he woke up, my daughter can’t quite do that yet so when she wakes up at night, she won’t fall back to sleep without it. My question is, when I start this method tomorrow.. should I put her to bed without it and take it cold turkey, including naps? I don’t want it to be too much because we also JUST put her in his own room for the first time last night (with the exception of napping in her room for 2 months). HELP!
As a FTM I didn’t think I had the stomach to ever let my child CIO and I also questioned the wisdom of something which seemed unnatural to me. But if you think about it, if you had lots of children like some people, then it would be natural, because sometimes you just wouldn’t have a choice. I read all the different methods, looked at different arguments. At 4 months I was desperate for sleep, and I knew my little guy was even more tired than I was… and CIO WORKED. CIO was hard because of bad sleep habits that I had allowed in my baby. and Regardless if CIO is for you or not, I don’t understand the judgement from some people.. if it works for others (which it is proven to work), great. Why judge people because they choose this not that? Every baby is different, parents are different. Choosing one method over another doesn’t make you right or wrong. Labeling people cruel because you they care enough to try (meaning your view is the only one that is right) is wrong.
I forgot to mention one thing I learned from 2 moms who had no problems with their babies sleeping- they had put their babies in their own cribs/rooms at a very early stage – like the first month. One mom never once took her baby to her own bed with her. If I were to go back and do everything again, this is what I would do to prevent all the sleep crutches my baby developed because I thought they were ‘normal’.
Researchers at the University of North Texas monitored the cortisol levels of crying babies and their mothers over five nights when the infants were undergoing sleep training in order to learn to “self-settle.”
The researchers found high levels of cortisol, a stress hormone, in both the mothers and the babies during the times the babies were crying. After several days, the babies learned to go to sleep without crying. Researchers found that during these quiet nights, the mothers no longer had high cortisol levels but the babies’ cortisol levels remained high. They had merely learned to remain quiet while distressed.
This is the first time the mother and baby had been out of sync emotionally since conception.
Their neural pathways are just starting to form and this is what they will learn 🙁
If you’re having to comfort yourself with liquor and curling in the foetal position crying yourself, that’s because your mummy instincts know that this is a TERRIBLE thing to do to your baby. You say you survived it yourself with no harm but obviously not if it taught you it’s okay to ignore your baby’s needs. A baby mammal needs it’s mama at night.
You know what else is a terrible thing to do to your baby? Sleep so little for months on end that you, your partner and your baby are all sleep deprived and miserable to the point that the neighbors are about to call the police because of all the screaming and crying coming from your house (from all parties). Sometimes the lesser of two evils is letting your baby cry for awhile for a few nights so that the entire household can return to sanity and the baby can have the loving, nurturing environment he or she deserves.
YES. My five month old has always fought sleep but it started getting really bad when she decided she wanted to be up for hours in the middle of the night just to hang out. No crying, not hungry, and nothing put her to sleep (including bringing her to our bed). At first I made excuses for her like it was a Wonder Week or something but after a couple weeks, I accepted the fact that she knew we would just stay up and feed, rock, and sing to her until she got tired again (normally after 2-3 hours of being up) and that’s just so much more fun than going to sleep! She cried it out before bedtime last night (Ferber method) and slept 10.5 hours. She woke up once to eat and then went back to sleep immediately with no patting, rocking, bouncing, or any of the other acrobatics I had adopted to convince her to sleep. It was HEAVENLY. For both of us. I didn’t “ignore her needs,” she got a diaper change, food, and comfort as I held her for half an hour while she ate. She then put herself to sleep because she knew we wouldn’t be playing any games that night. I like to think I know better than a five month old what’s best for her.
Oh also this came out today:
I have a 6 month old boy who was just released from the hospital last month to repair his large VSD
ever since the surgery, his eating sucks and he never sleeps.
He refuses to eat from a bottle, he refuses solids, he only wants to breastfeed when he’s hungry (which is not oftrn)
He’s so hyper all day & all night and the only way to remotely put him to “sleep” is to breastfeed.
I’m so tired and cranky.
Thanks for posting this blog and being such a brave mommy for doing it! Today it’s all about attachment parenting, room sharing, bed sharing, feeding on demand, etc. And They guilt you into feeling like you’re a bad mom worthy of being called on by CPS if you don’t follow the attachment parenting protocol. Even my local hospital where I’m due to delivery Baby #2 in May is telling me I have to take care of my baby’s every need and every whim RIGHT after giving birth because nurses aren’t even allowed to help you.
I used a combination of Ferber’s method and BabyWise with my daughter, who is now age 3 1/2. Let me just share some observations I made. First of all, CIO SAVED OUR LIVES. No kidding. I knew the whole sleep deprivation thing was going to have to go bye-bye when my daughter was 3 weeks old and we nearly had an accident in a very busy intersection driving home. So I asked some local folks for advice and learned about CIO. Seemed like a cruel idea at first, but at that point, I was so sleep deprived I’d do anything I could.
My daughter was a full 8-lb. baby at birth, and there were no concerns about her eating habits — she was a good eater (at the time… hahahahaha…. but not now that she’s 3). So she would get full meals during the day, one more bottle at night, and then that was enough. We actually didn’t use CIO immediately; I simply fed her and put her down at 11, and then she’d sleep until 6 AM the next day. This was at age 3 weeks. Blew my mind. My baby actually could do this simply because I fed her more during the day? So I had a “Wake us up when you need us” policy with her after that. And rarely would she actually wake up during the night.
One thing that helped… we moved her into her own room at 3 weeks. I turn beet red telling this to people but it HELPED tremendously! Even if she didn’t sleep well, which was rare, I was still able to get sleep that was uninterrupted… no waking up for her every little sniffle or squirm in bed. And though we had a baby monitor, it wasn’t necessary. Our daughter had a call that could wake the dead. LOL
We probably started a very mild form of the Ferber method a bit earlier than recommended ONLY because our daughter was starting to protest at bedtime by about 2 or 2 1/2 months of age, and only because we had already seen her sleeping for 10-12 hours a night at a time by that point. Of course it was hard, like you shared! We used earplugs and set a timer every night. Pop in, check the diaper, night-night. I discovered a few things later on. First of all, most babies go through a phase around that time where they fuss a bit more at night before bedtime. The “Blue Period” I think it may be called. Or maybe she was overtired. Who knows. But the other thing that I didn’t realize until later on was that while she was crying a lot in the early days (before 6 months), she started to turn her cries into babbles, and then the babbles into words, and the words into communication, singing and talking to herself at night. Our daughter always has to talk to herself before falling asleep, even now. It’s just her personality (very extroverted) and a way she has learned to soothe herself. If I had freaked out and given up on CIO, nobody would have ever slept. That child would have gladly socialized with us all night and turned out a total grump every day. But thanks to a good night’s sleep, she will wake up sunny and cheerful. We escaped the toddler years with very very few tantrums thanks to her early language skills and good sleep habits. I think CIO actually helped her to refine both!
So flash forward to today, where everyone is already telling me that I’m going to have to “tough it out” when my newborn gets here. Yes, the first few weeks will be rough, but why let it go longer than necessary? If our second child shows signs of readiness early on like our daughter did, we’ll do CIO/Ferber/BabyWise methods with him, too. And everyone will be all the happier because of it.
Thanks for sharing all of this info. All I can say is that CIO is *NOT* cruel and it *DOES WORK.* At least for some kids. So it’s worth the try. 🙂
Can you use this method to teach baby to self settle but still feed once in the night? Or is that confusing for baby?
I’ll tell you what we do. We used Ferber to get our 8-month-old to self-settle, but then he’d always wake up at 5am hungry. And since this was a light time in his sleep cycle, he’d rarely get back to sleep.
So we put him to bed alone each night and he falls asleep just fine, and I set my alarm for 4:30am and get him before he wakes up, and he gets a feeding and goes right back to sleep. We’ve been doing this for months.
Not exactly the Ferber recommendation, but it works great for us.
We have not starated also training yet but will in about 2 weeks. We bed share right now. A few weeks ago when my 10 month old refused to go back to sleep for over an hour I placed her in her crib which is next to my bed. She played for a about 30 minutes then started to whimper a little. When I didn’t respond she started VIOLENTLY banging her forehead on the side of the crib. I tried to ignore it but she would not stop after about a minute I took her out. The next day she had a bruise on her head. So my first question is what can I do about that if she does it again when we sleep train? My second question is can we sleep train her with her crib in our room? I thought about sleeping in another room until she starts sleeping through the night then coming back but will that mess it all up?
I don’t have personal experience with this type of thing, and maybe you’ve already solved the issue by now, but there are several different types of sleep training, including some that involve picking up your baby when she’s upset, soothing her, then putting her back down once she’s calm, and repeating this until she falls asleep in her crib (Pick up/Put down method), so in the interest of your daughter’s safety, something like that might be a better fit for her. There is also a method that involves comforting in the crib (the Fading Sleep Training method), which would allow you to have your hands on your daughter to both soothe her and ensure she doesn’t hurt herself. Every baby is different and what works for one won’t necessarily work for all, so I’d encourage you to explore your options.
Hey, wow . This was the best site ever!!!my third child 15 months, and we had gotten soft . . . . Every time he would wake . . We would jump straight up and give him a bottle . . .only thing to settle him . . . .Some nites . . 3 bottles . . .We considered buying a cow . . Ha ha. . .
I decided we needed to do something.. . .controlled cry it out method . . .worked. . . I thought it would take a few days . Week even. . . But . . The first nite he woke . . It was hard not running straight in but I didn’t 15mins later he was asleep and never woke till morning . . .We are on day 4 and since day 1 he has not woken once. . . . It’s early days .but the method works . . .should have done it long ago . . But you have to be ready and I wasn’t.it takes some getting used to not having to get up in the nite. . . But il sort that out. . Ha ha.for anyone that may read this . . .just do it, stick with it . . . And focus on the end goal
My 3 1/2 month old was waking multiple times at night (I only fed at one waking) so I started this last night and it took 30 mins to get to sleep. Not bad. He feeds at 7 and then goes to bed. He woke at 1:30 so I fed him. But then he woke at 3:45 and 5:30…I know he’s not hungry so I had him cry it out with the intervals. My question is…do I do a later bedtime with one more feeding so that every time he wakes during the night, I know to just let him cry and not be fed? I feel like he should be going 8-10 hours.
3 1/2 months seems a little young to use this method. I actually think the book recommends about five months, but I could be wrong about that. Some babies do sleep long stretches at this age; some do not. Instead of sleep training right now, I recommend getting your baby on an EASY schedule. Basically, it means that you feed the baby as soon as he wakes up, not when it’s time to sleep. This goes for nighttime and nap time. It works because it sends this message: “When you’re hungry, you eat. When you’re tired, you sleep.” It seems weird, but our babies aren’t born knowing this. Feeding before sleep sends this message, “When you’re tired, you eat.” That makes it hard to get tired babies back to sleep, even if they don’t necessarily need to feed in the middle of the night. This method worked wonders with my second child, it’s appropriate for any age, and it could get you through the next couple of months until your little guy is ready for sleep training. As with any method, tweak it as needed to make it work for you and your family.
I read the three big baby sleep training books….then in complete and utter confusion as to what I should do stumbled upon your post.
Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. I used the color coded table (imperative when you’re so tired and puffy eyed you can’t function) as my bible.
It worked in a few days. Yes. During that time I laid on the floor outside of my daughter’s room clutching a very generous pour of my favorite wine and crying into my dog’s fur. I’m positive if my dog knew how to use a phone she would have called an authority figure, but she doesn’t, and now my daughter is going on 3 months of being a “perfect” little sleeper and “easy” baby (according to my mother…who asks me repeatedly how I could let my baby cry…she didn’t quite make the connection and I don’t have the energy to explain it to her:). I’ve shared your post with others as well and they have had the same results.
I swear on all things holy, if I ever strike it rich, I’ll compensate you accordingly.
Noob Mommy says
This was hilarious! Thank you for sharing, Heather! I’m so glad you found this life-changing (because, seriously, finally getting some sleep is life changing!). Don’t forget about me when you strike it rich!
I have a question!
I’m on day 6 of sleep training. My little one wasn’t what I would call a terrible sleeper, but he always fell asleep while breastfeeding, placed in his crib around 8:30pm, would sleep around 3 hours and wake for his pacifier, and we started a game of getting up 4 times a night to put the pacifier back in, then he would wake to feed around 4 am and sleep till 7. associates sleep time with nursing, and also a pacifier.
So, he has sleep associated of breastfeeding and pacifier.
We quit the pacifier cold turkey. That was easy, and he now sleeps from 7:30pm till 5:45/6am with no wake ups. It’s wonderful.
However, he still nurses to sleep. He feeds, and falls asleep then I try to rouse him, lay him in his crib, put him in his sleep sack, sing his bedtime song and he might cry for 5-10mins then is out.
That isn’t a problem for me, what my problem is nap times.
He was a wonderful napper before sleep training, would have an hour in the morning and around 2 hours in the afternoon. Now I’m lucky to get an hour total a day.
He still wants to nurse to sleep, but once I take him off and rouse him following same nighttime routine he won’t go to sleep. He will cry and cry and cry for 30 minutes till I get him out.
What do you suggest I do??? I’m going crazy.
I need some clarification for this method. I have a 7 month old who is terrible at sleeping. He wakes up multiple times a night to either be held of eat. If he eats he eats 1-3 oz but once you pick him up, he almost immediately tries to fall asleep (can you tell we rock him to sleep normally). So my question is this….when he wakes up in the middle of the night, do I pick him up to comfort him and put him down once he is calm (even though he will cry almost instantly)? Do I just go in the room so he knows I’m there? Do I feed him? Help!
I used this method when my daughter was 7 months old. I didn’t pick her up. I patted her on the back and sang softly for about two minutes then left the room. I returned according to the intervals listed on this site. It worked well. I’d just add that if the baby is sick or teething, you’ll want to put Ferber on hold and pick up, feed, or do whatever to provide comfort. You can always begin again when baby is feeling better.
I think you just go in and reassure him, following the time schedule for wherever you are. That is, if you are ready to give up the night feedings.
Just finished this with my second baby, who is 5 months old – love this method as it really works. Cannot recommend buying the book strongly enough. To answer your question, when you start this, it sounds like you need to do 2 things:
1) at bedtime, don’t rock him to sleep. Get him calm but not asleep, then lay him in the crib. Sounds like he will not like this too much and so you will start with the checks at bedtime.
2) when you go in to check, either don’t pick him up or only hold him for a brief time – long enough to say, “I love you, I know you can do this, and I’ll be back to check on you if you need me to.” That’s it. He will probably really object to this. If actually picking him up at seems to make things worse, I wouldn’t pick him up; just rub his back or tell me say if you reassuring words and leave.
I think you are in really good shape and that you actually have the exact problem that this method is designed to solve-a sleep Association; that is your son needs to be rocked to go to sleep. This method works really well to train babies to not rely on someone else to help them sleep. My guess is that once you stop the rocking a bedtime, the middle of the night wake ups will decrease rapidly, as long as you teach him that he does not need to be rocked to sleep. Best of luck-it is no fun hearing your child cry but this method really works as long as you don’t cave-in and create an intermittent reinforcement schedule. The book is fabulous and worth buying!
Regarding the checks…….do you count down from when they start crying or when you leave the room?
Noob Mommy says
Kristin- When they start crying 🙂
I’m starting this with my 4 month old – I’m really confused though about night feedings! He actually falls asleep pretty easily on is own when we first put him down (about 7 minutes last night) then he wakes around 10:30-11:30 and the last two nights we let him cry and he fell asleep . Then around 2-2:30 he will wake up again, this is the time he WILL NOT go back to sleep – or perhaps I’m not waiting long enough. Last night it was a full hour of crying before I gave up and fed him (shorter than normal, mind you, but I still fed him). Did I ruin it? Should I have just let him continue crying until he fell asleep? I’m just not clear on whether this is an all night thing or just to get him to sleep? If I feed him at one waking am I confusing him when I just let him cry at his other wakings? Do I need to just do it all in one foul swoop? Thanks for any clarification!
Nina Rau says
At 4 months your little one is probably still needing one to two night feeds especially if your breastfeeding feeding. Letting them go with out needed nutrition and comfort over night can be counter productive and, if breastfeeding, mess with your supply.
If your little one is feeding very often (more then 2+ times)after 5 months throughout the night, chapter 6 of the book helps immensely. He helps you distinguish between a sleep association or learned hungar/habit. It would take you 20 minutes to read. If it is a hungar habit is more complicated then the regular method, but worth the 10$ download price or library checkout.
Noob Mommy says
Yogimomma – Agreed! After 3 months, I’d say that feeding every 2-3 hours throughout the night is more habitual than necessity! Thanks for your suggestion!
Day 1 for me! My son is a healthy chunky monkey at 5 months old, I fed him and put his pajamas on than laid him in his crib, kissed his forehead and said goodnight. I than went into my room and listened to the monitor, he was fussing by not crying so I checked in on him after 5 mins, did the same thing kissed his head and said goodnight, back to my room, he didn’t cry at all just talked to himself for the next 20 mins than fell right to sleep 🙂 day 1=success! I am curious to see how he sleeps thru the night since he is usually up at least 4 times a night!
When should you be giving your baby the night fees beforw bath time. My baby girl is 6 months and has her bottle after bath time and falls asleep with it.
I have started using some of the tips like EASY schedule and they did work for me. My daughter works wonders with everything in the first week only and afterwards it just fails. shes almost 5 months and has a very disturbed sleep every night, you cant believe the number of times i am awaken and feeding her!! i am definitely going to try this tonight. Hope it works. Will give a feedback on this soon
There is an entire chapter in the book if she is a nighttime feeder (mine would be up every 1-2 hours at 6 months ). It pointed out a lot of ways for me to help her break the habit. It’s more complicated then the basic method. I reccomend the quick read if this is where you are. Chapter 6 🙂
1. Sleep training my 5 month old after the first week he slept good! But now he is back at it with waking up every 1-2 hours do I start over and sleep training again?
2. My baby sleeps with pacifier when it falls out he wake up crying should I not go in and give it to him ?
Your advice will be greatly appreciated
Sandy, a pacifier is a sleep aid, if it falls from your baby’s mouth, you will have to put it back! Pacifiers are a bad idea if you want to sleep train! Now full disclosure here, my 3 year old sucks her thumb as a consequence of sleep training, but she has granted us with full nights of sleep since she was 4 month old!
I started this with my 9 month old son. I am currently on day 4 and it has worked wonders he slept through the night on the first day I was so happy.. I use to have to rock him to sleep and then he would be up every 2 hours. We are still working on the naps. I put him down and he usually cries for 2 mins and then falls asleep but he only sleeps about 30 mins.. Is there any suggestions on how to get him to sleep a little longer?? He just always seems so sleepy during the day like the 30 min naps don’t t help.
Brittany Domanick says
I have a just turned 10 week old. He cries for hours once he’s in the crib. If I rock him to sleep or anything he wakes up right away. Once he falls asleep he will stay asleep unless it’s a leap week for 7 hours usually. How else can I get him to sleep if it’s too early to let him cry? Help! I go back to work next week.
I haven’t read the book, but I believe Dr. Ferber recommends not to do this to a baby until they are ready. Usually not until they are at least 4 months old. 10 weeks maybe too early.
Why is rocking him waking him? Is it when you transfer him to the crib he wakes. Try pressing your body onto his and breathe on him heavily (safely) once he’s in the crib keep doing this and slowly over like 3 min gently move away. It takes time but it will be possible to not wake baby. Please don’t cry it out this young or ever. It’s terrible.
Just curious how many hours a six month old should nap?
Noob Mommy says
Lisa – I’d say between 1-2.5 hours! Though, there is the commonly dreaded 45 minute nap. Those are very typical and very frustrating.
How many hours total?
My guy started taking some good naps. Id say one that was 1.5 and a second one only 30 minutes, and maybe out maybe not a third one.
Now today all I got was one 30 minute one, one 42 minute one, and another 30 minute one. Yes they are frustrating. I feel like it’s not enough.
Should I wake up my 6 and a half month old after 12 hours? He went to bed at 7:15 and its now 7 am. He woke up around one am and I did the second day Ferber method which till about a total of ten minutes. Then I nursed him for about 26 minutes between 4-4:26, approximately. I heard a little cry around 5:40 but he put himself back to sleep. Note it’s going on 7:10 am. An I supposed to wake him after 11 hours to set his clock out just leave him be??
I did this with my 4 month old who was at the height of sleep regression. She needed (and hated) to be kept still, pinned to my body, in a swaddle, before going to sleep for a fussy while, getting up every 45 minutes every time. By day 3 her swaddle was gone, and her nap returned to a standard 3 hours, twice a day. She slept for longer stretches, eventually not needing to eat from 7-2am, then again at 5 before waking up for the day at 7. We cut out the 2 am feed at 5 months, then on the night she turned 6 months she slept through the night! No swaddle, no rockingnkr singing, just soother and sleep since using this method. At 13 months we cut the soother, only leaving it with her after she fell asleep, until we forgot 2 weeks later. We’ve never looked back, and at 16 months now, she is the best sleeper I know!
We have just started at 4 months and my little one sounds similar with feeding at 2 and 5. How did you cut the 2am feed out? Not thinking of it yet as I know he still needs the calories!! Thank you!
I’m not the previous poster, but I think you “cut-out” feedings by just moving them back 10 minutes each night until they’re gone altogether.
Did you use a pacifier when you started the training at 4 months? My daughter is now 4 and a half months and the pacifier really calms her down and puts her to sleep. However she wakes after 30-40 minutes, at the end of her sleep cycle and does not know how to put herself back to sleep when the pacifier falls out.
Also how did you transition her out of her swaddle?
I just started using the Ferber Method with my 9 month old. We’re on day 3. Before starting the Ferber method, I had no trouble putting him down to sleep but he just wouldn’t stay asleep. He normally fell asleep in my arms while bottle feeding, but now I’m trying to give him the bottle earlier and putting him down when he’s groggy but not fully asleep. I’m not sure if I should go back to giving him the bottle to go to sleep and use the Ferber method only when he wakes up. He usually wakes an hour or so after being put down.
I just got back from my son’s 6 month checkup. I had the exact same situation and asked her about it. She said to make sure to put him down when he is still awake and alert. The problem is that they rely on having the same routine to fall asleep. So when we let him fall asleep in our arms, he would need the same circumstances in order to fall back to sleep when he wakes in the middle of the night.
So if you put him to bed when he is awake, letting him get used to putting himself to sleep, he will be able to put himself back asleep in the middle of the night if he wakes up. Hope that makes sense, and good luck.
Noob Mommy says
Casey- I’m glad to hear your report back from the pediatrician. Many times there are people who jump on this thread and say how sleep training is some sort of cruel punishment for our little ones when in reality, doctors agree that they should learn to self-soothe and fall asleep without sleep crutches. The hard part is getting to that point of course 🙂
Sharnae castle says
Started this but when i go in he seems to get more upset should I continue to go in or should i stay out completely im so stressed but my boy is getting way to big to fall asleep on me ?
Noob Mommy says
Sharnae- That’s a personal choice on what you’re comfortable with. If you feel he’s even more upset after your check-ins, then you can watch him from a baby monitor to make sure he’s safe. But, I’d still go in after a given time to reassure him that you are there and that you love him. Soothing talk, another tuck-in, comfort and then you can leave. He could get really worked up, or he may cry and then realize you’re around and he’ll get bored. Good luck!
Thank you SO MUCH for this post!
Please help me figure this out! If the baby stops crying between waits, and then starts again after the wait time is up, should I go in when she starts crying, or wait? If I should wait, should I reset the interval wait time back to the beginning (1st wait time) or count up to the wait time that we left off at? Thank you for your help.
We used our discretion as far as how long they were quiet. If they stared crying within after a minute or two we kept to the schedule we were on. If it was longer than that, we started from the first interval of that night. This worked for us, good luck!
We’re on day 6 of CIO for nap time and bedtime. Our LO still cries every time she’s put down to sleep. Some cries are longer than others and we definitely check up on her during the appropriately timed intervals. She’s slept a few nights up until 6am then feeds and wakes up around 8:15am or is permanently up between 6-7am. For naps she still fights and sometimes if shes up she cries for an additional 30-40 minutes. My worry is that she’ll always fight sleep via crying. Has anyone else experienced the constant battle. I’m aware of the extinction burst but am not sure if that’s what’s going on or if my child will just always fight bedtime.
My 6 month old was waking up 4-5 times a night just for “comfort feeding”. I’d feed her for about 5 minutes and she’d be back asleep. It was exhausting to me and I was becoming really irritable as a mother. We started the Ferber method a week ago (we are on night 7 tonight). Last night, she only woke up once at 12:30. I fed her and she slept the remainder of the night. She woke up this morning before her scheduled wake up time, and she just laid in her crib contently and eventually fell asleep on her own. She would have NEVER done that before. I still feed my daughter right before bed (even though it suggests not to), and she becomes really groggy, but I make sure she’s not completely knocked out before putting her into her crib. It’s worked for us and I’m fine with her waking up once a night, especially compared to where we were a week ago. I suggest if you have a partner, that they help you out to make this easier for you. My husband and I take shifts. He has 8-12:30 and I have 12:30-5. (When I wake up for work). This allows us to get a good stretch of sleep rather than alternating turns each time she wakes.
My lo is 6 months and I am in night #2 of this method and it has been working. The first night he woke up 4 extra times and cried for 20-40 mins each ( I am keeping one night feeding for now at 2:00 I’ve Been slowly getting rid of them) but tonight he cried for about 30 mins before bed and fell asleep at 8:30 and didn’t wake up until 2. My bf woke him up when he got up at 5:30 he lightly cried for a few mins then back to sleep and is still asleep now I hope it’s this smooth for the rest of the week!!
My baby will be 4 months in 7 days and is a terrible night sleeper and napper. Is this too young to try this method of sleep training? I’m freaking exhausted waking up all night long (more times than I would like to admit). Me and baby and daddy are not getting a good night’s rest. Toddler is the only one that gets good rest.
So I’m on night 3 with my 19 month old. He’s still crying and fussing after and hour and a half tonight. When I go in to console him, he immediately lays down and closes his eyes. Then I turn around to leave and he’s back up screaming again. I feel like giving up! I’m not sure what to do. He’s obviously still using me to fall asleep. Even if it’s the 2 minutes I pop in there. Does this happen to anyone else? Any suggestions? Thank you!!!
After going. Through this process and a few nights of uninterrupted sleep, my child is now waking again during the night. Anyone know if we should continue the time intervals on the day we last left off on or if we should start over from day 1?
Michelle S says
Same thing happened to us. I think we picked a happy medium, not all the way back to day one but maybe 8 or 10 minutes. I think that the important thing is to keep to the same general pattern. Also make sure nothing else is going on, teething for example.
Chad Howard says
My baby just turned 3 months and is now sleeping 8-9 hours uninterrupted naturally and wakes up at 5am hungry wanting to feed. It seems natural and I am happy with 9 hours for a 3 month old. My wife wants the baby to go 12 hours at this stage and wants to ferberize her for that extra 3 to 4 hours. Anyone have a 3 month old sleeping 12 hours through the night????
My daughter was sleeping 12 hours at 3 months but then regressed at about 6 months. I’m not sure if it was a sleep regression, a move overseas, constant moving between houses or learning new tricks but we are about to try CIO. I feel awful! Good luck. Personally I wouldn’t be trying CIO with a baby so young if they are already sleeping 8-9 hours but up to you!
Michelle S says
I wouldn’t do it. 8-9 hours at 3 months is awesome. In my opinion, Ferberizing can be stressful and probably isn’t worth it for just a minor schedule adjustment. 3 months is a little young for Ferber too. And some kids just have early schedules by nature and may never sleep 12 hours. We Ferberized our daughter at 7 months, and she has been a good sleeper since, but she’s never slept 12 hours (she’s 4 now).
Try looking into some other solutions first. Does the baby sleep in a room that faces east? Sunrise may be enough to wake her. Get some dark shades or reposition her crib to avoid the morning light. Some say that, counter intuitively, an earlier bedtime can result in a later wake time. Or maybe an earlier last nap of the day? A late-night snack 10-11 pm-ish? Or just wait a month or so. When your baby starts taking solid food things might change.
Adjusting to a new baby can be hard, and nobody wants to wake up at 5 am every day. It might be par for the course for now, but be encouraged. It won’t last forever.
Noob Mommy says
Hi there! It is amazing that your 3 month old is sleeping such long stretches and I would seriously count your blessings! You are right that expecting to sleep a longer stretch is too much to expect at this stage. In fact, sleep training this young is not advised.
Just wait- 3 months is a great time, then 4 months kick in. No sleep book recommends sleep training at 3 months. A few suggest thinking about it after 4 months, but nothing harsh until 5 months. OH, and in month 4, the SLEEP REGRESSION happens, and there is no way around it, just through it. So tell her to hold off, be thrilled about the current amount of sleep, and just wait.
Thalia Barcly says
My son is 14 months old and wakes up 3 to 4 times a night to breast-feed for about four minutes. He also will not go to sleep without nursing. Is he too old to start the Ferber method?
It’s never too late, from my experience. Ferber helped our two oldest daughters become great sleepers when they were infants and we are now working in our 6 month old. I highly recommend it! My brother used Ferber method when his son was about a year or so and it helped them as well. It was the only way we were all able to get a good night of sleep! We occasionally had to retrain after illnesses or travel, even when they were older. Good luck
Hi! My daughter was the same as your son., I nursed her four 24 months. I got her to sleep through the night WITHOUT ANY CRY IT OUT METHODS!!!!! I love that this article is funny and cute and well written but I cannot subscribe to any method that allows your child to cry. Fuss is one thing, cry is another. I just feel that a child’s emotional needs are more important than my need for sleep. Nevertheless I can give you some tips to help him SSTN without crying. My email Anya dot Fidler at yahoo.
I saw your post on http://noobmommy.com/2008/11/to-ferberize-or-not-to-ferberize.html
You mentioned you nursed your LO for 24 months and got him to sleep without any sleep training.
I have a three year old who ended up sleeping with us at 14 months, right after I stopped nursing….
And we have 4.5 months old twins who are going through the worse sleep regression. I give them only pumped milk at night as well.
I read all these sleep training books and while I believe that CIO can help, I just know I won’t be able to do it, I just can’t, feels too wrong to me.
We have a very strict routine, white noise, swaddling, shooshing, super dark room, all correct stuff. They don’t take pacifiers though and they hate being rocked, hate sleeping in the stroller. They just resist everything they are crying wanting to sleep not knowing how to fall asleep and not letting us help them. Occasionally they would pass out on a bottle.
Any suggestions? 🙂
Hi everyone! We have just tried the Ferber method last night. Our daughter will be 5 months tomorrow! And she did great. Took about 45 mins but she fell asleep and slept 10.5 hours!!! Only problem is our naps. She has never been a good napper. Refused to nap in her crib. Always needed to be nursed and rocked. Once you stopped rocking she would wake up.
Now for her naps today. Only took 20 mins for her to fall asleep. But she only stayed asleep for 40 mins and next nap 25 mins.
She wakes up from the screaming. And I know they say once they wake up nap is over. Don’t try and make them go back to sleep. But she’s really tired. I don’t feel 20-40 min naps are long enough.
I agree! 30 min naps just don’t cut it. I gave ferber a try this weekend bc she would always wake from nap at 30 min and to move her to crib. I let her cry when she wakes at 30 it literally has only lasted a min or 2 before she goes back to sleep and when she wakes a second time she starts talking and playing instead of crying so I know shes rested. After 2 days she isn’t waking at 30 min and naps for at least an hour. I know it says once baby wakes from nap, the nap is over but I think its ok to tweak the plan a little to fit your family needs, being consistent is most important.
Just wanted to say how much this helped me!!! When my son was 10 months old, he started waking up 2-3 times a night and I used the method here. It took 4 nights and he was able to sleep on his own. Just sent this to a friend whose daughter is having sleep issues 🙂 Thanks for this post!
I would like to try this with my 7 month old. We are doing baby-led weaning and is not eating much yet. I want to make sure he is still getting enough breastmilk at night. Is this compatible with night nursing? If so, how do I determine if he is actually hungry??? We started bedsharing after he came down with a cold and now he won’t sleep by himself and constantly needs to nurse to get back to sleep. Also, he can be gassy so what if he needs to be picked up and burped?
I give myself a time limit for nursing also. I nurse at 7 before bath and bedtime routine then wait at least 4 hours so the first time she wakes after 11 I nurse. Then same thing 4 hours after that feeding. She gets 2 feeding s a night like this , one around midnight and one at 4-5, then she’s up for the day at 7 or 8. Just started Friday but it seems to be working. First night she woke up 10 times or more (and went back to sleep after just a few min of crying), last night only woke 3 times including 2 feedings.
How Can I pull this off with Twins? Train each one of them separately or let them cry it out together?!!!
I don’t recall if Dr. Ferber addressed this in his book, but my guess would be together. If they’re going to be sleeping together for the long-haul, they may as well learn together. The process may take a bit longer, but I bet it’ll still work. But that’s just my guess.
I have twins and I’m training them with the Ferber method separately. they are almost 6 months old. their personalities and temperaments are different, and their cries at night were waking each other up. My husband keeps one in a different bedroom from me and the other twin, or I use the monitor for the one who’s not in my room with me. and I use sound machines for both, to drown out the crying noise across the hall. it took me leaving them to cry together one night before I separated them at bedtime. as soon as I soothed one back to sleep, the other would start up, and back and forth they went until I had to just go lay on the couch in the living room and plug my ears. it’s harder to accomplish with twins, but you can do it. if they wake each other up, separate them in any way you can – roll a portable crib into the hall, etc. and use sound machines. you can put them back in the same room after they are both sleeping through the night. the Ferber method worked for my first baby, and I know it will work for my twins. good luck!
I wanting to start sleep training my 8 month old son. I am exclusively breastfeeding. He goes to daycare during the day with pumped breast milk. We would really love to get some sleep which is why we are going to start sleep training. My son gets up around 4-5 times a night to nurse. I am sure most of it is associated with the fact that he doesn’t nurse until I get off work. My main concern is what if he is actually hungry when he wakes up during night? This is what concerns me the most. What is your advice?
I believe Dr. Ferber says that 8-month olds should be able to go the whole night without a feeding, but are simply “programmed” to feel hungry at times when they are used to meals. If you begin to space-out the meals during the night, eventually he should be able to make it through the whole night without needing a feeding.
Victoria Ashley says
Hey! Thanks for the great article. I have read the book while I was pregnant and your quick summary was just what I was looking for. I’m on Day 3 of sleep training my 6.5 month old daughter. I have a question in regards to the time they wake up. My daughter is usually a 2-3 hour up every night, snack throughout the day kind of girl. She’s breastfeeding with getting solids twice a day now.
First night went OK with taking about 25 minutes to fall asleep on her own, slept for 3.5 hours, took about 10 minutes of crying to get her back to sleep, was up an hour later, took 40 minutes of crying to get her back to sleep, then slept 4.5 hours and was up at 7:00AM. Last night, she did great and went to sleep at 8:30PM after only crying for about 10 minutes and then slept 7.5 hours straight. Of course at 4:00 this morning she was WIDE awake and had no intentions on getting back up. I’ve read that if they get up around 5 or 6 that they’ll likely go back to sleep, but what to do if they get up at 4:00AM? (Of course with Daylight Savings last night, 4:00 = 5:00). We tried for over an hour and a half of on and off crying to get her back to sleep before we threw in the towel and realized that she was just AWAKE! What do I do if that happens again? 4:00 is TOO early, but she’s only ever slept a 7.5 hour stretch a handful of times in the last 6 months and probably just felt nice and refreshed after that much sleep!
Mine is also waking up at 4:00 because of daylight saving!… I let him cry for last night.. he cried for 50 minutes and fell back asleep.
Maybe this question has already been answered but how long do you let them cry? 2 hrs has been the longest for our 4mo and it was excruciating.
4 month olds are not able to self soothe – talk to your pediatrician – 6 months + is when is best. Maybe you can wait a month or so
I need help!!!my son is 9 months old and slept through the night from about 3 months on. However about 2 weeks ago he got a cold and was doing a lot of sleeping in my arms. Now I can’t get him to sleep in his crib at all. I am on night 2 of CIO but he stands in his crib and can’t lay himself back down(has not figured out how to get back down). I go in and lay him down according to the intervals but it starts all over I have him calming down I go in he starts all over again. How do I get him to either lay himself down or to not stand up in the first place?
HELLP - two babies under 2, not sleeping says
Hello! my daughter is currently 19 months and use to be an amazing sleeper! We used the Ferber method when she was 9 months old. Now all of a sudden she is horrible to get down to bed, screams so loud and gets so worked up! We can’t figure out what the problem is! Any suggestions.
My son, is 5 months old and we are starting the Ferber method tonight any suggestions on doing the Ferber method with another baby in the house? What do you do in the middle of the night so they do not wake the other baby? Also, would you feed baby nighttime bottle in living room with lights on, or in their room? Soooo many questions…I just feel like maybe I didn’t do it right the first time with my daughter.
I just wanted to say thank you so much for this post. Last week we followed your instructions pretty much to the tee to sleep train our four and a half month old. Our little sweetie is only waking once per night to feed (my choice @ four months) and generally able to self soothe within the 30 minutes otherwise. DD is happier and so is her Mama! To anyone out there considering taking this on or in the early days – keep going and be consistent. And remember – you’re amazing!
We started with our 4.5 month old two weeks ago. The first two nights were rough, but he slept through the night from 8:30pm-6:30am from the 3rd through the 8th night. Since then he’s been waking up between 1-5am sometime and taking at least an hour to go back to sleep. It’s hard to tell which interval to start with/which “day” we’re on, given that he slept through the night for 6 straight nights. We are letting him cry for about 20 minutes at this point before going in to reassure him, but this takes 1-2 hours before he goes back to sleep. The last two nights I’ve gone in finally and just given him a paci, which works. He’s a big baby and the pediatrician says not to feed him at night (prior to the 4 month sleep regression he slept through the night for a month straight, so we know he doesn’t need night feedings).
Going to bed works great. He’s sleepy and usually only cries for 10 minutes or less. It’s just when he wakes at night that is so hard, and the progressive waiting does’t seem to be improving things. Thoughts on what could be going on or how to help him get himself back to sleep in the middle of the night? Thanks!
We just completed night 7 of the training wi the our 4 month old. He has gotten much better about napping and falls asleep without much fussing at all. The past 2 nights he’s slept 8 hours straight which we are thrilled with!
The problem is that he sleeps 730p to 330a or 8p to 4a and then fusses until we get him up at about 530a. He fell asleep in between for 45 minutes once but that was it. Otherwise it’s 5 minutes here and there. We do change him after the 1st wait time thinking that he is wet and that’s when he usually settles down a bit otherwise he’s up. Any suggestions? We are debating on whether or not to keep plugging along, try a pacifier or give him a small amount of bottle (like 2 to 3 ounces ) to tide him over. We’re waiting to start cereal until his pedi appointment next week.
Any suggestions are greatly appreciated!
We have a ten month old who goes to bed at 630 every night. We would give her bottle and sit and rock with her. We started to notice patterns of awakening for bottle, but would only eat 1-2 oz.It would be every three hours.she has been teething but majority have come thru. My question is should we cut out feedings from 7-7 completely so we can follow Ferber cio to get her on a longer sleep pattern. It’s really hard on us to hear her cry but believe the feedings are disrupting the method. What are your thoughts? Thank you, Greg
Hello I was very excited to find this blog! It is just what I needed! I am looking for some sleep training advice for my 7mo. He wakes up every hour to two hours if his paci falls out. I go in replace the paci and then he is right back out. I used Ferber’s book for my daughter but since we moved I cannot find it to use for my son. I am unsure if I should just cut the paci out cold turkey? I rock him to sleep in the chair and then put him in the crib once he is asleep. He will sleep there until about 12:30 and then its every couple hours that I am back in his room. If I take the paci and try to have him fall asleep on his own what am I doing when I go in there to soothe him on those set increments? I know I shouldn’t pick him up but I feel helpless just watching him cry and me just telling him its going to be okay and then leaving. I hope this makes sense. Any and ALL advice is welcome!
Hi, I have a 5 month old son who is pretty good at sleeping at night but has always been terrible at napping. 30 minutes is the usual the occasional 40 minutes and very, very seldom he may sleep 1 hr.
We were rocking him to sleep but with him getting close to the 20lb mark its gotten very tiring and becoming a bad habit. He is usually good at finally falling asleep under the hr at night by himself.
We just started trying to let him cio for naps and he literally laid there for an hr and a half and slept for 30 min both times… 2nd time he barely would eat his bottle and was so grumpy. not sure what to do. Feeling like this is neglecting him. Hoping that this doesn’t screw up his night time sleep. Help.
So the issue with the short 30/40 minute naps is actually pretty simple if you read through Ferber’s book a few times (yah, took me a while to figure this out). If this is your issue. Your baby is sleeping too much at night. I see some posts where the baby goes down at 6 and is up at 6. That’s 12 hours. If you look at Ferber’s list of daily hours of sleep requirements for babies over three months, they require a maximum of 14 hours total, more commonly 13. That leaves only 1 to 2 total hours or required daytime sleep in the case of a 6 to 6 sleeping baby. They will automatically do shorter naps because they can only stay awake so long during the day. This helps them spread out the remaining sleep they need. Solution: cut down night sleep. Go to bed a little later, and do the ridiculously difficult thing of waking them up early. You will see very quickly that they will start taking longer naps on their own. It’s quite amazing. I am using the Ferber method with my three, almost four month old to a tee and this feature of naps has become quite apparent. The only thing I cannot figure out is how to get her on a consistent nap schedule as she doesn’t seem to be taking her “longer” naps at the same time of day no matter what I do. Suggestions are needed! Thanks!
Noob Mom- I followed your CIO approach with my 4 mo old and it seems to be working great at night! She’s going 6-6 with a feed at 12 and 4, she’s a pretty small baby so I’m really happy with the 6 hr stretch. My question for you is if you noticed that naps temporarily suffered when you started the ferber. She will eventually go down in 15 min *usually I don’t even need to go in and check her because she’s not crying hard, just fussing. She will only sleep for 45 min at a time, so I constantly am feeding, doing nap routine, and back to sleep in 1.5 hours. She doesn’t seem to be getting the day rest she needs because she is still cranky even after the good night’s sleep. I’m assuming she has some sleep debt to repair after weeks of not sleeping well… any advice appreciated!
-first time mom just trying to figure it out:)
Hi! I just have a question about napping. Sorry if you have already answered it. My little one currently is a good sleeper at night but not during the day. He will only go for 30 minutes. What do I do if he wakes up? We are doing this method to get him to sleep and he normally is sleeping before I have to check on him for the third time. I’m just not sure what to do when he wakes after 30 minutes. Start the process over or just be done with the nap. Any help would be awesome! Thanks.
I also have the same situation as you Erin. Did you receive a reply to this.
Looks like we are all in the same boat. Since this was posted a month back, did you guys figure out how to extend naps? Is it just a matter of time?
This site has seriously been a life saver. My 14 w/o has been sleeping through the night since 5 1/2 weeks. It only took two nights of the progressive waiting approach before he got the hang of it. (I believe he maxed out at 20 minutes) He consistently sleeps from 8 pm – 7 am every night. It’s so much easier to get through those two nights in the very beginning than wait and try to do it later or go months without adequate sleep. Adults need sleep so they can function and be good parents and babies need sleep so their brains can wire! I was also really strict with his schedule and adamant about not letting him fall asleep with anything that rocked, swung or vibrated. I didn’t even put him in a swing until he was 6 weeks old. Overall, things are going smoothly!
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Hi! I have a question….
We are on night 2 of the Ferber method for my 1yr old. Cried one hour day 1 and was down from 11pm-7:30am. First night of sleep in a long time! Night two only cried 20 minutes but was awake at 4am (one of the usual wake times for him). What do I do when he wakes up at 4 or 5 am which I think is too early? Continue with the cry it out schedule? Or let him stay awake and feed?
Ps. I ferberized my now 2.5yr old after finding your site when she was 6 months old. She is an amazing sleeper and bedtime is always fun and such a pleasant process. Best of all she’s not scared of the dark! Just wish I would have started my 1yr old sooner! Thanks for your helpful advice! Helped so much with my first and now second child!
I have a sleep monster! says
Hi, I have a soon to be 4 month old boy, he will be 4 months in 2 days. He is an awful awful sleeper and napper. On a positive note, he self-established a nice early bedtime of about 7:15 which he has stuck to for a few weeks now. He had been getting up to nurse frequently throughout the night and quite often during the day, so I ended up switching over to formula (with the exception of the first morning feeding when I still nurse), since it was getting difficult to also care for my 2 1/2 yo while constantly feeding the baby. Since the formula transition, he started only needing 2 nighttime feedings, and after reading alot of Ferber’s book last week, I started pushing the second nighttime feeding back back a half hour each night and this week have only been feeding him once (3.5-5 oz) around 2-3 am. He is swaddled, has a paci and is in the crib elevated since he has/had some mild reflux, with a hot water bottle next to him. We generally try to put him down not completely asleep and he will fall asleep on his own with the paci in within just a few minutes, although if he spits it out we have to go and replace it immediately or he starts screaming. I’ve also seen him stir on the monitor and settle himself while the paci is out. Although he wakes up only once to eat, he probably wakes up at least 7-8 times when he needs the paci to be replaced throughout the rest of the night. He goes right back to sleep, but it’s often something like this:
7:15 falls asleep
10:15 paci replacement
10:45 paci replacement
12:15 paci replacement
1:15 paci replacement
2:00 paci replacement
2:45-3:15 feed/falls back asleep pretty quickly most nights
3:45 paci replacement
4:40 paci replacement
somewhere around here, I bring him in bed bc I can’t take getting up anymore to go into his room for paci replacement, I know this is bad but I’m just so worn down by this point.
5:40 paci replacement
6:15-6:45 wakes somewhere in here eats and is up until first nap at around 8/8:30
I would try feeding him earlier but usually I go in and give him paci around 2, go to make the bottle and he falls right back to sleep, when he wakes at 2:45 again, and I put paci in, he does not fall right back to sleep immediately,so this is how I’ve kind of determined when I think he should be eating. He also generally takes like 4 45 minute naps during the day, Lately he’ll take a longer one during the afternoon, but again, it’s multiple paci replacements and/or I have to hold him for awhile to get him to stay asleep, as I type this he is swaddled with paci next to me on the couch after a 35 min nap in crib and now going on 2 hours once I went in and picked him up to hold him. It is a nightmare and I am absolutely exhausted. I’ve been fortunate to have a long maternity leave, but will be going back to work 5 weeks from today. My husband helps before midnight and on the weekends, but I’m losing my mind and my patience and something’s gotta give at this point. I want to start the ferber method after his 4 month well visit next week once I know he is healthy and gaining weight appropriately. I have read a lot of the book and am hoping to finish it in the next week, but here are my questions:
1. should he be unswaddled?
2. should I remove paci cold turkey like ferber recommends?
3. Should I continue the one middle of the night feeding for now?
4. or should I start with one of these and then slowly remove the other sleep aids and feeding?
I would really appreciate any feedback from anyone who thinks they can help!!! Thank you so much
Noob Mommy says
I know things must feel really hopeless right now (and by looking at how much interrupted sleep you are getting, I can understand why!), but the good news is you have set yourself up for quick improvements! Since you have already started reading Ferber, then you are ahead of the game! With your swaddling in place, and really just one night time feeding, it sounds like the major problem here is the paci as your accidental sleep crutch. My suggestion would be to keep swaddling as long as you can. If he is rolling over and becoming more mobile to the point where he can unswaddle himself and get the blanket around his face, then you would probably want to stop. But swaddling is such a comforting and helpful aid in sleep that you should keep it as long as possible! The glaring problem here is the pacifier. With how much you are going in and replacing the binky, it is evident that it has to go! I would go with what Ferber recommends, and just do it cold turkey. For older kids, who use the pacifier as a comfort-soothing item, phasing it out is much trickier. Luckily, your son is still young enough that it shouldn’t take too long for him to get over it. Since he is still 4 months, I would think the one feeding is still useful. He’s on the cusp and it’s also a judgment call for you. If you think he’s feeding out of habit and not out of hunger, then you can try cutting the feeding out. However, since he isn’t on solids yet, he probably still needs that nutrition. Or, you can also see if he’ll feed longer in the day to take in extra calories to carry him through the night? Good luck!
How did the sleep training work out for you? My baby boy is exactly like yours was. We started sleep training today and I would love to know how your son made out with it.
So my question is about feeding and naps. My 5 month old baby has always been a pretty good sleeper/baby. Goes to bed around 8 as sleeps till 8 with two feeds during the night. Sleeps in her pack and play in our bedroom. The sleep training has been going good really only have to go into room once. And have witnessed her seld soothe a few times on monitor. No sleep association’s…no noise machines no rocking just a paci. Which she usually spits out anyway and doesn’t need replacing. Sometimes I wonder if baby is or isnt hungry when she wakes up. Its usually about 6-7 hours after she nurses last. Which I think is normal but have read where they should be able to go longer…but feel like thats if she were eating solids or formula. She is exclusively breast feeding. Just not sure if I am ruining the training by feeding her. She eats and Ireturn her to her pack play right away and she falls asleep in there as opposed to my bed. So does that sound normal? As for naps she usually does 2 to 3 a day. The morning nap is usually 45 minutes to an hour and a half. I know it should go longer than 45 minutes but she wakes up sometimes and plays or talks to herself. Never wakes up crying from a nap…ever. So is she just a cat napper? Sometimes her afternoon nap is 2 hours.
Needing some advice. My baby is 7 months old and nurses. Up untill now I have always rocked her to sleep while she nursed and we co-spelt. But she is restless now and we both don’t get good sleep so I’m trying this method out. I guess my questions is how long do I let her cry? Last not was our first night and put her down at 8 and she woke up 11:30 and cried till 2. I ended up picking her up and rocking her back to sleep and she slept till 6 this morning. She starts what seems like a panick cry and when I go into for the intervals it seems to make it worse not better. Should I still go in? Any mommas advice!!! This is my first and we all need some more sleep in this house! Ha!!! Hopeing tonight will better!
Hi Kelly! Ferber’s plan is to let your child cry until they finally fall asleep on her own. It could be hours, but should get shorter and shorter each night. I do not recommend, nor does Dr Ferber, of interrupting the training to pick up and rock your child to sleep. The point of sleep training is to teach your child to fall asleep on their own, so if you abandon the routine and rock them to sleep, all of the crying so far that night was for nothing.
I have read Dr Ferber’s book, and my little 8-month old is currently on day 2 of his sleep training. He is crying this very moment! So I know where you’re coming from.
Is anyone out there to help? We started the ferber method last night. My daughter is 1 year old. She wakes up numerous times per night and always has. He rnaps are awful. 30 minutes twice a day. She started 1 hour naps in the morning a couple of months ago but not every day. She wakes up soon after going to sleep at night sometimes and cries. She nursed to sleep intil 8 months old. At 5 months i started the no cry sleep solution and by 8 months she was capable of faling asleep on her own without nursing on a mattress on the floor with me next to her. Id then transfer her to her cot until the next wake up. Then back on th mattress. I would end up co sleeping with her at night. She would still wake up and i generally let her nurse at around 1am and then several more times when she would wake. She is on formula during the day and has lots of solids so she vant be hungry at night. A few weeks ago shte started resisting naps, completely on some days. Of course those days she was extremely exhausted. We made the decision that we had to try something different… Gentle just isnt working… So we started Ferber last night…
6.50 bedtime. Changed her into a long sleeve onesie and grow bag. Talked to her, told her I love her and its ‘sleep time’. 6.57 put her in the cot. Walked out 3 min. Went back for 1.30. Left for 5. Went back for 1.30. Left for 10 went back for 1.15. Left and after around 5-6 minutes she stopped crying and started to self-settle in the cot. I didnt go back in because I thought it would disturb her. 7.45 and she is asleep. Around 20 minutes of her just moving around the cot.
She woke at 11. Brad went in after 3 min. Stayed for about a minute. Left her and after a minute she stopped vrying and started self settling. We didnt go in again. She fell asleep in around 10.
Woke up around 2 but self settled.
Woke up at 3.30. Cried. I went in for 1 min. Left. After 3 min, brad went in and gave her adol. Left after 1 min. She tried to self settle but was up after about 10 min. I went in. She cried for a few seconds tried to self settle but coildnt. After 10 minutes i went in and nursed her and put her in the cot and left the room. She then fell asleep within 2 minutes.
6 am up for the day. Not crying
I found vomit on the floor where close to where she was standing in the crib last night. 🙁
Is all this normal?
Looking for some advise…please don’t judge me…this is for my 6 week old and I know that’s very young to be asking for sleep advise. This is about his daytime naps. Since he was born we have let him fall asleep wherever he is and he usually sleeps wherever we are for his naps…on a pile of pillows on the couch (I secured him and don’t leave the room while he is asleep), on us sometimes, or even in the swing. For the past week he has not been able to stay asleep for a nap and therefore isn’t actually napping during the day. For example, yesterday he showed signs of being very tired before each nap time (falling asleep while we hold him) and we put him down in a comfy spot near us and he wakes up. He does not take a pacifier, he only likes my pinky finger (I know…that’s not a good thing to have started) so I’ll pop my finger in and out when he cries to try and soothe him, only to have him wake and cry about 5 times in an hour. So he’s not really sleeping. By the time that cycle is done, it’s time to feed, then he’s awake for a bit and then shows signs of being exhausted again…and we do it all again. This makes him very fussy at night when he needs to go down. Today I tried putting him in his crib for a nap. I have tried this before but he cried so hard I couldn’t take it. Today he cried and I checked on him and comforted him after 3, then 5 minutes and he fell asleep after the 5 minute check! I couldn’t believe it. I’m sitting out here in the living room with anxiety, waiting to hear a cry…so I decided to comment here and see if anyone has any advise. Thanks in advance from a first time mom 🙂
Noob Mommy says
Katie- Congrats on being a new mommy! As to your challenges: Do you swaddle your little one? Have you tried the 5-S Techniques? Swaddle, Shush, White Noise, Swing, Suck (Binky)? These are great strategies for newbies who have a hard time sleeping. Also, do you have a little routine going per EASY schedule? Check out my EASY routine if you haven’t already. The first two months is a lot of eating and sleeping and usually follows the EASY pattern. All this being at most 2 hours or so. Going beyond that your little one could be too tired, too hungry. There are a lot of factors here and it’s hard to say what exactly could be causing the sleep challenges without some more details 🙂
Hi! Thank you for your reply! I do swaddle him and have used the 5-S’s method and had success with it. We do have a routine similar to the EASY routine on your page…its just that when he is obviously ready for a nap he really fights it. He went down for a 2 hr nap in his crib (a first) yesterday after only 7 min of crying (I checked on him twice and he fell asleep during my second check). The other two naps he took the same amount of time to go down but only slept for 30-40 minutes. So by the time we get to the nighttime routine he is so tired he has a hard time staying awake to feed. This morning’s nap in the crib was very short as well, and I gave in and brought him into bed with me because I was trying to get some sleep as well…however I spent most of the time keeping him from startling and getting him back to sleep. Right now he is attempting a nap on the couch next to me. I used a pacifier to help calm him and he is so far resting fine…the pacifier has fallen out of his mouth, but he is ok. I tucked a blanket around his arms to help keep him from startling. Is the reason he doesn’t like to fall asleep in his crib because he feels alone?
Noob Mommy says
Katie- It sounds like you have the soothing techniques down (5 Ss), with swaddling, sucking, and swinging being the most effective in the early stages IMO. Swing/Rocking is one of those iffy ones because you don’t necessarily want to get in a habit of that if you don’t want to deal with that later on. I’d say that at 6 weeks, he’s just so tiny still that he’s going to be getting into his sleep rhythm and having inconsistent sleep for a little while still. I know it’s frustrating, but it’s the early days! Keep being consistent, feeding when he’s hungry and expect to be on a 2-3 HR EASY schedule. Good luck!
Thank you! I do have to remember how young he is…and things change every day. This week, I think I have learned that I need to relax a bit and that my baby isn’t going to fit every book or plan and I need to go with the flow a bit more. I can take the parts of scheduling that we are having success with and celebrate that and be patient for the rest. Thank you for your replies!
Baby girl at 5.5 months would only sleep 7-8 hours in a day (naps and nighttime sleep combined)! She was colicky from the first day.
She woke up every 45 minutes at night! Being a single mom (widow) and also a first time mom I was about to lose my mind. I finally decided to try Ferberizing with the help of noob mommy. It’s been only 3 days but results are tremendous!
Note: I first went cold turkey on the pacifier before starting CIO.
Day 1: 18 mins of crying and then fell asleep
woke up a couple times at night but stopped before it was time to check in and went back to sleep
total sleep time 7 hours straight!! A world record for my baby girl!
Day 2: 55 mins! of crying and then fell asleep
Woke up once and cried 2 mins and went back to sleep.
Total sleep time 9 hours straight! Another record!
Day 3: Today is day 3 and I just put her in the crib.
She cried for 9 minutes and just as I was about to go check on her on the 10 minute mark, she stopped and fell asleep!
I am absolutely amazed. This method has saved my sanity following 5.5 months of sleepless nights. My tired and cranky baby was so happy today (after 2 days of ferberizing) and she even napped for a total of 3.5 hours for the first time.
I am hoping another long and peaceful night of sleep for her tonight.
Thank you noob mommy!
Noob Mommy says
Nora! Thank you so much for your Ferber update. I am so happy to hear your success story. I can’t imagine the challenges you have as a single mom, but thank you for doing the best you can. I know sleep training is a difficult task to undertake, especially without a partner there to back you up. But, I’m happy to hear it has earned you some much needed sleep and good mommy health. Enjoy your rest, and stay consistent! Know that sleep challenges continue to come and go, but if you recognize when to adjust (illness, teething, growth spurts) and when to just continue with what you’re doing… you’ll be great! Best! NM
Feeling defeated says
I’m exhausted and think I’m totally screwing this up!! We are on night five and she is still crying 30-45 minutes to go to sleep and wakes up at least 3 times a night. Last night she woke every 45 minutes. Her crying seems to only be getting louder and more determined every night! Where do I go from here, what do I do???
Same here says
*sigh* We are having the same issue with our 4.5 month old. The first few nights went really well (less than 20 min) so we thought we were on our way to a happy sleeping baby. But then on night 4 it was worse, night 5 was worse, and by 1 week he was screaming like a mad man the instant we put him down, and would go for 30 minutes or more.
Based on the advice in Ferber’s book, we stopped the program and have gone back to rocking him/soothing him to sleep for now. We’ll probably start Ferber again in a few weeks. Just like you, we are wondering if we did something wrong, since we haven’t heard of anyone else having this experience.
What ended up happening for you? Did you try it again? Did it go any better?
What are your thoughts on a baby who previously slept through the night, got sick and needed to eat in the night, and now won’t sleep through the night again. He is waking to eat and taking 7 oz. The quantity he is eating threw me otherwise I would say we developed a bad habit during his illness. Thanks for the feedback!
Noob Mommy says
Andrea- How old is your LO? It could be a growth spurt with a big increase in eating like you mentioned.
Stacey McManus says
I really want to try this but my boy has a dummy/pacifier and when he starts to fight sleep he knocks it out. So I obviously spend a lot of time putting it back in his mouth. How would I manage this?
I really need him (and me) to sleep so any advice would be very appreciated.
my son is pacifier obsessed and needs it to get to deep sleep. he will wake up for it few times in the beginning 2-3 times but thats about it. I did Ferber on June 7 by June 9 he went from waking every 40-60 min on the clock to waking just 1-2 times and sleeping 8-11 hours straight (not including any time he actually woke up. I restart the clock when he wakes up lol) so it def worked for me even with the pacifier. Though if you mind waking up those few times then I wld probably say take the pacifier away completely. Now when he wakes up for the first few times and cries i go in right away to give his pacifier. he normally take it and rolls back to bed. when he is in deeper sleep he doesnt need it. Not sure if that is the case with your baby.
Thank you thank you thank you! I’m so happy to find an easy step by step approach to this method. We are finally deciding to sleep train our 10.5 month old little girl, and seeing all the success and support on this site has definitely helped us determine this is right for us.
Overtired Mommy says
I began sleep training last night following the outline above. Prior to this my 6 month old was waking up every 2 hours drinking 1 oz or so, smiling at me and falling back asleep. I knew something had to be done and he wasn’t truly hungry. After putting him down at 7 he woke 3 hours later and I began the 3,5, 10 rule. He cried 2 hrs then fell asleep. Woke 2 hours later and again applied 3,5,10 . He cried 40 min then fell asleep. He woke an 1 1/2 later and since it was 4am and he hadn’t eaten in over 9 hrs (the longest ever in his life) I fed him. He then fell asleep for an additional 3 hours. My question is, did I negate everything I did by feeding him at 4? Thank You!
J. A says
We are ready to sleep train our son. He likes to sleep, but isn’t sleeping through the night. Sometimes he wakes up 2 times, or sometimes 5.
Here is my question: In two weeks, him and I will be traveling to my hometown and visiting for a month. Is it worth it to try the CIO beforehand, or wait until we get back? My worry is that he’ll be sleep trained in his crib, we’ll travel, and it’ll all go out the window.
Anyone have experience with this?
Well I am just starting this with my 6 month old. His sleep is pretty bad. We moved him to the crib at 4 months and the longest uninterrupted sleep he did in there was 2-3 on a goo day. normally he is awake every 30-60 min. Day 1 of ferber went better than I hoped he woke up after 1 hr which is what he usually does and he cried for 5 then 10 min and I went in both times. after the second time he was out within 2 mins of crying. slept a whopping 12.5 hours NEVER happened before ever! now on night 2. not so great so far. He woke up after 50 min then after an hour. he gets so hysterical when he cries it kills me!! I hope he can sleep a solid 6-8 at least now 🙁 will update
Can I still give my child a middle of the night feeding when doing the ferber technique
We started doing the Ferber Method yesterday. My 10 month old beautiful girl has done really well…so far…and it makes me nervous we’re doing it wrong or it’s a fluke and I should expect some screaming soon. She has gone down without crying for more than 15 minutes for 3 naps (including one today) and cried for about 3 minutes last night, and actually slept threw the night which was crazy!
With that said we do feed her then rock her for about 10-20 minutes until she gets very drowsy then put her down and she cries a bit then falls asleep. Is that wrong? Are we supposed to just feed her then set her down even if she’s not completely settled yet? Because she is NOT a snuggler and our pre-sleeping time snuggles are so enjoyable, we just can’t handle the 30-60 minutes it takes us to get her to fall asleep and the not sleeping threw the night, ever! Not to mention the 30-60 minutes of rocking her back to sleep at 3 am.
We just used the cry it out method with our 4 month old and so far it’s worked very well. First night he went in at ~7pm and woke up at 2:10am- instead of feeding him like we normally would, we let him cry, going in and soothing him as outlined above and he fell back asleep 20 mins later until 5:30. I fed him at 5:30 and he fell back asleep from 6-7:30. Next night he woke up at 4am (better than 2!). We let him cry and he fell back asleep 10 minutes later until 7am. So we now know he can go from ~7-7 without a bottle (he’s 19lbs btw so he should be able to go).
PROBLEM: he loves to sleep on his tummy and doesn’t sleep well on his back. After the 4th night, he was doing very well but he now started rolling over and doesn’t go back to sleep on his back. He rolls over and starts to cry and when I go in and flip him back to his tummy, he falls right back asleep. The issue is, for the past 3 nights, I’m going in and flipping him back to his tummy at like 2, 3, 4, and 5am! So while yes, hes going from 7-7 without a bottle, he’s still not “sleeping” through the night.
Should I not be flipping him back on his tummy? If I don’f flip him he cries and doesn’t fall back to sleep…is that when I should let him cry it out?? HELP! Thanks! 🙂
Jennifer Wood says
I have an almost 15 month old who has decided that he no longer sleeps through the night, although he’s never been good about it to begin with. My question: Is he too old for this method of sleep training? How does teething factor into this method? He has 12 teeth already, but a few more to go. He seems to be dropping his morning nap, but I can’t get him to nap in the afternoon either most days without an hour long struggle. He is fine until the moment I leave the room and then he screams at the top of his lungs until I come back in and he quiets down instantly.
Please help from a very sleep deprived momma!
Hi there! My daughter is just shy of 3 months old. We have put her down awake since she is a very calm girl and likes falling asleep that way more than being rocked but we haven’t tried the CIO method (aside from random 5 minute crying sprees). In the past few nights she has slept 6-8 hours straight at night but she wants to eat every 2 hours during the day (so she is awake for 1 hour and then sleeps for 1 hour). She also drinks 6 oz per bottle and has 7-8 bottles each day. I was nervous that she was overfed but our doctor said she is fine (and on the small side). Anyway, everything I have read says not to feed in 2 hour intervals and I’m not sure if the past few nights are just flukes. Should I go with this or press her into a longer interval during the day? (Also, she pukes minimally, randomly an ounce or so but mostly little spit ups) Thank you for your advice!!
So sleepy says
Hi – momma’a boy – I just read your comment after commenting myself. Looks like we are in close to he same boat age-wise. Lol I just wante to answer your question about the sippie at night. If it has anything other than water in it, it’s bad for their teeth. If it’s water, the only problem is the child forming a dependency to it. The CIO method is for them to learn to soothe themselves without help from bottles/sippie/paci/cuddles/etc.
And I REALLY hope our children aren’t too old to sleep train. I want some sleep! Lol
So sleepy says
My son is 14 MONTHS old, so we are pretty overdue for some sleep training. He still wakes up three times a night, and won’t go back to sleep without a bottle of milk. I’ve tried giving a bottle of water or paci instead, but he just throws them. I want to try CIO method (even though his crying breaks my heart) but my fiancé is skeptical. The one thing I need clarification on is how long do we continue the checking on him after putting him down. I tried this a few weeks ago and he cried for 90 minutes straight. Even with me checking on him every 10 min. I gave in and gave him the bottle because I couldn’t deal. My question is, do I continue with the intervaled checks a long as it takes, even if that amount of time is, say, 2.5 – 3 hours or more? Also, like a few people have said, he gets more upset when I check on him as well becaus he thinks I’m coming to get him out. 🙁
Needs some sleep says
My son cried for 3 hours the first night I did it. I kept going in every 10 mins. It was very hard and it did break my heart but I kept it up and it took about a week but he finally started to sleep through the night. What made me keep it up every night was see how happy he was the next day. He was like a whole new baby because he finally got some sleep
Mom for life says
Night 2…. So far 45 mins of crying and it seems as tho my little one gets even more peeved when I go in and check on her at the scheduled intervals …. Help? At 8.5 months now she has never been a troubled sleeper – naps and bed time have always been pretty good – more then good actually – the occasional ( and I mean occasional) rocking was sometimes necessary however now it seems like that is the only way she is going to fall asleep! So we are trying CIO…. This is very difficult. She had been waking up 1 to 2 times a night – do we let her cry it out at night as well??? I just need some more assurance that I’m not a bad parent and this is going to work!
Reading these posts have inspired me to start sleep training my daughter. I used the Ferber method with my first daughter, now 6, and was very successful. She’s still a great sleeper to this day. My youngest is 4 1/2 months old and is totally dependent on my husband and I to go to sleep. She needs to be rocked with her paci in order to go to sleep and she wakes up every 1-3 hours al night. Every time she wakes up I have to nurse her in order for her to go back to sleep. I want to start training her tonight, but I have a few questions.
1) currently she will only fall asleep if she’s swaddled. Should I continue to swaddle her or get rid if swaddle and paci all at once when I start training her?
2) when she wakes up in the middle of the night, do I just let her cry and check on her like I would when I first out her to sleep?
3) how do I know if I should feed her or if I should let her cry?
Thanks in advance!
I am trying to do Ferber for the first time tonight and I HATE IT. I’m in tears. This is the cruelest, most horrible thing I have ever done to my poor baby. I never want to do it again.
Hello! I know you receive many comments/questions about chronic 45 minute naps. My baby boy sleeps through the night–7pmish bedtime, dream feed around 10pm, wakes about 6:30am. BUT, we have had 45 minutes naps since about 7 weeks old. It has been so tough! I am to the point where I would like to do nap training but am not entirely sure how. He falls asleep on his own but always wakes at 45 min, sometimes happy and ‘playing’ in his crib, sometimes franticly crying. I have left him for awhile crying but it has been emotionally exhausting for me because it doesn’t get us anywhere. Any suggestions on nap sleep training or a post you have done on this that you could point me to? Thank you!
PS — oops, forgot to include that he is currently 4 months old.
So we have one little problem, we have one night feeding we can’t seem to drop and it’s not even a consistent time could be 5 hours after she goes down it could be 8 hours. She slept 11 hours straight for about 4 months (she 91/2 months) she puts herself to sleep at nap time and at night time she has her bottle pushes away when she is down we put her in the crib and she sucks her thumb and falls off to sleep on her own without a peep. She naps for 3 -3/1/2 every day and we are consistent of when we put her Down the same time every day. I just don’t know how to get her to stop
Waking that one time and go back to sleep without the bottle
mobile games says
Nice answer back in return of this difficulty with real arguments and
explaining all about that.
NJ Momma says
Love the website, thanks so much! It has been a great reference for us as we started Ferber 1 week ago. We’ve made a ton of progress falling asleep at night. Still working on naps…
– My 4 month old still wakes twice a night for feedings (~12am, ~4am). The issue is that she falls asleep while nursing. She appears (and it feels like) she is still sucking/swallowing even after she falls asleep in my arms. I feel like this is a big no-no b/c it promotes the nursing/sleep association, but I feel horrible waking her up before I place her in the crib – especially at 4 am when all I want to do is go back to sleep myself!
– My husband and I are split on the pacifier issue. I will sometimes pop in the pacifier (after I nurse her) to help comfort her as she falls asleep. Hubby thinks this is just another habit we’ll need to change later. I’m also somewhat concerned that i will be waking every couple hours to replace it when it falls out. But it does seem to help her get to sleep… What are your thoughts on this one?
scratch map says
had already agreed that we’d be using the Ferber method (CIO) when her age was appropriate. This site provided all the information we needed about the Ferber Method. So when it was her time to sleep
Day 1 last night it went well, however when we went in at the timed intervals to sooth she got more upset. Any suggestions? Thanks Erin.
momma's boy says
I feel really silly asking this as I’m reading through all these comments of parents using this system at 3+ months…HA! My son 17 month and has always went right to sleep with a bottle and a rocking chair at night and has always taken consistant naps. My issue is about 3 months ago he got really sick and we were up several nights in a row and then he just got really used to snuggling with his momma. 🙂 Since the sickness, I continue to rock him to sleep as he has his sippy then put him in his crib (except the last two nights after reading this, I gave him some milk and then took hiim to bed awake and let me cry). Our issue is he wakes up every night now between midnight and 2 am and wants his sippy and to snuggle with his momma. I’ve been giving him his sippy and letting him go right back to sleep with me either on the couch or in our bed. My question is 1) is it all that bad that I let him have his sippy in the middle of the night? 2) Is it too late to start using this system at his age?
Thank you for your advice in advance!
Thanks sooooooo much for posting this. Was really nervous about the ferber method and didn’t have time to read the whole book. I even showed the article to my husband and he immediately got on board.
We are on day 4 of training. She woke up briefly once last night but otherwise slept til 7am with no need for an overnight feed. I cannot tell you the last time i had 7 hours of uninterrupted sleep. Also started using the method for naps today with promising results. Thank you again!
What if they don’t give up? What if you go on for 2 + hrs…
Do you have a FQA page?
Needs some sleep says
The first night my son cried for 3 hours. The next night I only had to go in 3 times and I am on night 7 and only have to go in once. I know it sucks but stick to it . They will get the hint
Needs some sleep says
I was wondering what is the feeling on pacifiers. It does not bother me that my son uses one but I wonder if it affects his falling back asleep when he wakes up. I do feel that he likes it to soothe himself but at the same time he has fallen asleep without it. I have a camera so I can see that he will sleep with it all night or he will spit it out right away and keep sleeping. Do y’all think it does affect asleep or doesn’t matter?
Hi needs some sleep! Just wanted to let you know that I sleep trained my baby who still sleeps in our room. At bedtime, I would leave the room as described by noob mommy. During night wakings, I stayed in my bed but was silent and avoided looking at her until the scheduled time. It worked out just fine, although the crying was slightly more difficult to deal with. Good luck!
Needs some sleep says
Thanks that does help. I am here another month and don’t want to spend it on the couch.
Noob Mommy says
Ellie- Thanks for your follow up on this! Exactly right! Sleeping on the couch can work as well for a bit if it eases the crying, but of course that’s not the long term goal 😉
Needs some sleep says
My son is 7 months old and has only given me 3 full nights of sleep in his short life. I have decided that after many different attempts at trying to get him to sleep through the night I need to try the Ferber method. I do have a question. My husband is in the Navy and we will be moving to Washington soon. I am currently in Louisiana staying with family while my husband is in training. So this means that I am sleeping in the same room as my son. I know this is the cause of some of the sleep problems. I figure I will have to camp out on the couch for a little while while trying to get him to sleep. I was wondering how much will it affect him me sleeping in the same room? Should I just wait until he is sleeping through the night before I go back in the room?
7 months old who never slept through the night says
I know this post is old but I thought I would respond. I have a 7 month old boy who has never slept through the night and takes 40 min naps . He is my 4th kid. He has lots of food allergy issues like our 3rd kid and so we didn’t try sleep training him until recently when we figured out all his food allergies. All previous 3 kids were sleep trained using the Ferber Method. Our 4th has been a lot tougher for whatever reason but from experience, we ditched the pacifier early b/c while it makes it easier in the beginning it ends up being harder for us later, he has a lovey (a doll) to comfort him now that he can roll over and move around fairly well. Persevere. Every kid is different but if you can get him/her to sleep, it will be worth it though it is the saddest thing ever to watch your kid cry and not comfort him/her. I’ve gotten seriously angry at Ferber MANY TIMES b/c I felt so helpless watching my kid cry. But when each of the previous kids finally got it, I was so THANKFUL. And I wouldn’t stay in the same room if you can help it b/c it will make it a lot harder for you to hear him scream. After he is asleep, that would be fine I think as long as he doesn’t hear you. Also sickness, vacation, and traveling can really throw kids off and you usually have to do the Ferber Method again. Yes, I know it sounds terrible but once the kid feels a glimmer of hope that they can sleep next to you or you will rock them to sleep, you have to remind them that this is an exception and they need to put themselves to sleep. It usually doesn’t take as long to re-Ferberize them but it is just as painful for the parent. Follow your gut mom/dad instinct. You can do it!
Needs some sleep says
I have a 7 month old who has only given me 3 nights of sleep in his short 7 month life. My husband is in the Navy and we will be moving to Washington state soon. I am currently staying with my family in Louisiana while my husband does some training. So my baby and I are sleeping in the same room which does not help the non sleeping situation. I decided to start the Ferber with him but I was wondering what I should do about sleeping in the same room as him. I figured I might have to spend a few night on the couch.
Wife and I are in second week of sleep-training our 8month old boy (our first). He is responding so well and so quickly to the training. THE MOST IMPORTANT PIECE OF INFO: understand the difference between peak protest cry and mantra cry, never disturb during mantra.
We found a resource online that described the differences in crying and gave rough estimates of how long each phase should last. It was crucial in helping our resolve while listening to the little guy wail for 30 minutes. In a nutshell, it goes like this:
Protest cries/ letting out steam (5-15 min)
Peak cry (5-10 min, could last 20 min first few times)
Mantra cry (pauses between cries, can last 10-30 min)
Fall asleep cry (quieter mantra with longer pauses)
NEVER attend to your baby during mantra cry because it will start the whole cycle over again and they are not in need of attention. A distressed cry will sound like the peak cries but more intense or hysterical, it won’t have the pauses. Check if you hear the distress cries. You’ll learn the difference quickly if you don’t already know them.
Falling asleep by themselves is a SKILL that babies need to learn. You need to teach them and this is a highly effective method.
Noob Mommy says
Andrew- I have never heard of the peak and protest cry but that sounds exactly on target! I also appreciate that you broke down the intervals and characteristics of each type. Great comment! Thank you!
We are happy and successful graduates of the Ferber method! This post is great — even though I have the book, it was very helpful to read about someone’s experience with sleep training as we were going through it.
We actually sleep trained our baby at 5 months doing a no-cry // gentle sleep shuffle method. It took a few weeks, but worked and seemed appropriate for her age. We tried 1 night of Ferber and it was too difficult for us. When teething, illness and travel wrecked her sleep around 9 months, we decided to go the Ferber route. She slept through the very first night and stopped crying at bedtime at night 4. (Our baby is now 11 months.)
To those wondering if you have to sleep train at naps and bedtime: we didn’t. Despite our best efforts, she never napped longer than 45 minutes, and it would take her at least 45 minutes to get to sleep. So we just stopped and went back to rocking her at naptime. It wasn’t worth it for us. She also has her pacifier at naptime but not at bedtime. One seems to have no effect on the other.
And I would really recommend waiting until your baby is a little bit older to do Ferber. According to the book (and my pediatrician), before 6 months, babies really don’t have set sleep patterns or rhythms, and you may have to sleep train over and over again. Also, our 9 month old understood the concept of people existing different rooms, and that we were still around, just not in her room. Although she cried the first 4 nights, it was always just yelling or calling out. She never escalated to a sad or scared cry — unlike at 5.5 months.
This is a great post! I’m wondering what to do when it seems to have stopped working? I read Ferber’s book & followed his method and after just a few days, it seemed my 4 month old was totally trained! We stayed consistent though we had to do a couple naps in the car. Now it seems we are back at square one just a week later 🙁 It feels cruel to start all over… I don’t want her to CIO forever!
Hi, I’ve been reading the blog and really had some insights with the comments posted by others. I have a few questions and wanted to see if anyone had some advice. My son is now a week shy of 6 months and is a healthy happy boy but horrible sleeper. He can now fall asleep on his own at bedtime without a pacifier and without a feeding. The only problem is that after about 4 hours of sleep, he will continuously wake up multiple times from 12-6, at various times. i attempted the ferber method twice but after two hours of crying from 1-3 in the morning I couldn’t do it anymore just from sheer exhaustion. I went in every 10 minutes but he never stopped crying. Should I restart again, any advice or thoughts?
Soooooooo Tired! says
My son is 2 yrs has slept 14 hrs a night and 2-3 hrs naps since 7 weeks old.
Until now, two months ago everything changed all at once for no apparent reason.
He refuses to go to bed and wakes in the night up to 6 times. He wakes and instantly screams, I believe he has got himself into a habit of waking as I pandered to him to begin with but now I know there is absolutely nothing wrong with him and am determined to end this battle.
As for naps it can take me up to 2 hrs to get him to go down, which by that time is pointless. So I have given up on naps.
Its horrible as I have a son of 4 who is at school and he is having his sleep disturbed too, Hubby works at heights so needs to be alert and I’m an absolute mess and keep bursting into tears at the slightest thing.
Basically I ordered this book yday and wondered if it is just for babies or toddlers too?
I have been camping outside his bedroom door until he falls asleep (upto 2 hours) but I think that adds to him being unable to sooth himself back to sleep in the night as he wakes and sees I’m not there. The thing is he is in a bed and has been since he was 1 so he gets out and has learnt how to climb over his baby gate, so its not going to be easy.
I have wanted to do the CIO method since this started but have been afraid that he will wake his brother. it is half term with school so thought this week would be the best time to do it.
Any pointers would be greatly received.
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I have an 8 month old son. He has always been a GREAT sleeper at night. Since birth he would sleep 6-7 hours or more at a a stretch. Since 4 months old he sleeps 9-12 hours a night. He has napped well during the day, 3 naps usually 1-2 hours at a time. It sounds like I’m just bragging. I find myself in a predicament. For the past month or so, I’ve noticed nap time and bed time is becoming more and more difficult. At 6 months I could put him in his crib awake— totally awake– say good night, and he would roll over and go to sleep. Nap time was a breeze too. Id “bounce him” while holding him and bouncing up and down on a large exercise ball for a minute or two, and then put him down for his nap and he’d be out cold for 1-2 hours. NOW…. I’m bouncing him for 10, 15, 20 minutes before each nap until he is almost asleep, transfer him to his crib and he screams (now for 30 minutes). Bed time I bounce him for no more than 2 minutes before putting him in his crib, but he cries for 10 or more minutes, and has been doing this like I said for the past month. His routine is always the same, I do everything the same way before every nap and before bed. I NEVER go in when he starts crying unless he’s so hysterical he can’t catch his breath. Otherwise I let him cry until he falls asleep. I’m concerned this is becoming more difficult instead of easier. I want to know what I’m doing wrong and how to improve it. Should I not bounce him… ever? What should be my routine before a nap? Right now if its about time for a nap and I see him yawn or rub his eyes, I wrap him up in his favorite blanket and bounce. I do not concentrate on how long it’s been since his last meal, as he naps at 9, 12, and 4, and bedtime is 8pm to 7am — he’s usually had a meal within an appropriate time of sleep.
Point: What should my time to sleep routine be? I bounce him to get him drowsy, should I stop doing that and just put him down because its time for bed? Should I cut the 4 pm nap out? — when I do, he’s ready for bed by 6 or 7, and I don’t want to put him down that early and have him wake up at 5 or 6am. Thank you for any and all help. I’m pretty “tough” when it comes to sleep training, I feel bad for him but I can stick to my guns because I know its best for every one if he gets his sleep.
God bless all the Moms and Dads out there. Our job as a parent is the most wonderful, amazing, rewarding and important job in the world. I hope parents can stop judging each other for their parenting skills/methods and start learning from one another. I didn’t see a manual pop out of me with my son, and every child is different. Its not like training a dog. Good luck to all of the struggling parents out there, I hope you find solutions to any of your parenting struggles.
I just wanted to say thank you for this post! I came across it when searching for advice on how to handle our 18-week old’s sudden insistence that we replace his pacifier 9-10x a night. We had managed to eliminate his night feeding by 17 weeks, but he was still waking up over and over for Mr. Paci. After only 3 nights of following the above method (more on the aggressive side – we went with 5, 10, and 15 minute checks right off the bat), which included taking away the paci just for bedtime, we were able to put him down at 8:15p and not return to the nursery until 6:45a when it was time to rouse his for day care. Night number one took 11 checks, night two took 2, and night three – ZERO! He still fusses and babbles some through the night, but he only cried for a total of 6 minutes through all of night three. Grantid it’s early and things could still blow up, but just having 8 hours of sleep for one night was enough to prompt me to come back to this site and thank you on behalf of myself and my husband.
Our 18 month old never had problems falling asleep at naptime until now. At bedtime he has his bottle, falls asleep in our arms right after we place him in his crib. Not ideal, I know, but it works. At naptime the same thing was happening but now he only sometimes falls asleep and if we try to put him in his crib he sits up and cries. If we try this method for naptime, what do we do if he sits up and cries? It doesn’t seem like he would lie down again…
Ok. Obviously this is WAY after the fact re: the original post, but gonna throw this out there in case anyone has any thoughts/advice.
I’m currently in the trenches with baby #3 (5 months old). We got in a bad soother habit, and I had finally had it with the multiple night wakings and the progressively worsening naps. So last week we went cold turkey for bedtime and naps, and we’re currently on day 8. The first night was awful (1 hour of crying, 45 minutes of sleeping, 1 hour of crying … gah!) but we have basically seen improvement since. She now goes to sleep at bedtime without crying at all, and naps are typically only a minute or two max. Here’s the challenge that has cropped up this week: I have two kids in preschool two mornings a week. So Tuesday and Thursday, I threw everyone in the car for 8:30 drop off, and wee babe promptly fell asleep both times (I used to be able to somewhat control whether she fell asleep in the car by giving – or not giving her – the soother). On both days, she proceeded to take a 2 hour nap. No problem there. The problem has been with her two other daily naps on those days (and those days only). On the Tuesday, she cried for 30 minutes going down for the next nap, and then didn’t sleep AT ALL for the third. Then on Thursday, she didn’t sleep AT ALL for either nap, just cried and cried until I got her up after an hour each time. WTF? Needless to say, I’m now dreading school days.
Wondering if anyone has any experience with something similar … it seems related to the car naps somehow, but I can’t stop her from falling asleep. Help!?
I do think sleep training can work, but I believe that you have to do it gently. There are a lot of mothers that hear “sleep training” and instantly think of CIO. I read this article recently (this one: http://www.alternative-mama.com/8-reasons-to-avoid-sleep-training-your-baby/) and it really got me thinking. Yes you can ‘train’ your baby, but it does not need to be CIO, do it gently.
Hi there. Thank you so much for this amazing blog!
I have a 7.5m old and we are planning to start training this weekend. Right now he naps pretty well, however he tends to start dozing off in our arms, but mostly we put him down awake in his crib and he drifts off. His nighttime routine is horrific. He used to drift off around 7:30pm right after his bottle, with a pacifier. Now, he whines, the pacifier falls out, we will go back in, replace it, comfort him, and usually within 5 minutes he’s asleep. BUT – he wakes up every hour. Whining. We go to him pretty quickly, because he sleeps in our room (we have a toddler and are still in a 2 bedroom), and at moments of weakness, we just need him to go back to sleep quickly so 1. we can sleep and 2. so he doesn’t wake up our toddler who is right next door.
We know this is a problem, which is why we are starting sleep training. He does like his pacifier. Is it ok to give it to him initially, and if it falls out, oh well? Also, we are just curious as to what causes him to wake up so often. We were always concerned it was gas pain ( a lot of times he wakes up, cries, passes gas, then calms), so we would go to him, or teething, or whatever. But its every night. I read somewhere is different levels of sleep cycles? I think we will feel better leaving him to cry if we understood what was waking him every hour to begin with.
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carolyn Williams says
I have used this blog post successfully twice now! Thanks for the simple directions. I hate reading books because they always seem to over analyze so I appreciate your short, clear instructions. I just wrote a piece about how it went and how I feel now on my blog.
hesitant mom says
We are now at day 10 of CIO method with our 18 month old daughter. We tried the method when she was 11 months but it didnt work so we started again now that we have moved her to her own room (just bought a house. Preciously lived in an appartment where she slept in our room in her crib). We chose to do sleeptraining to let her fall asleep on her own without her sleep habits.
The first few days we were still checking on her at the mentioned intervals but we noticed it didnt work as she would cry more if we kept on coming. The crying has become waaaay less since the first night. However she just stands in her crib waiting for us to come back in. She can wait for 4 and sometimes 5 hours until we feel sorry for her and stay with her in her room until she falls asleep. i know we shouldnt but I figured thy 5 hours is really long and she does need her rest (and so do we with a baby of 3 mos to take care of as well).
My question is, is 5 hours of being awake after putting her down at bedime too long? Does this mean it is not working? She just cant fall asleep without us.
We are now past 5 hours and will try not to go in her room anymore and see tomorrow morning (or if she wakes at night) how it will go. any advise would be so much appreciated! And very tempting to buy a bottle of vodka and earplugs! Its so difficult to not give up.
Holy Crap it's Working! says
Hello breaks my heart, we went about an hour the first night, then our little guy finally fell asleep standing up. It seemed like a key thing was being able to get him calmed down during the soothing. One of us would go in and rub his back and “shush” him for about two minutes. When we left the room, he would cry, but less and less each time until he fell asleep. We rigidly stuck to the time table per day in the book / this article. We are just starting day 4 (it is 8am here). We’ll see how it goes….
breaks my heart says
I’m starting this tonight I know you are not suppose to pick the baby up but honestly how long do u let them cry before enough is enough? My son is going on 50 mins
Holly and past my wits end,
My little guy is 14 mths and if he cries for a while during a nap, I just get him back up and I try to keep him engaged. I might also give him a little snack and some water, but never feed him his meal early… Those are set times. I only change them if he naps through them. After a while of playing if he is still tired, I try again for a nap. Most times it works, but in the event it doesn’t, I’ve got a whiny guy on my hands. Since teething is like never ending with him, I usually check his gums and his temp to see if he needs Tylenol. He is the exception to the rule when it comes to sleep…usually 12+ hrs sleep at night(we have to put him down 5:30-6:00) and he was taking two naps during day totaling about 3-4 hrs until just recently. (We sleep trained at five mths due to 7-8 trip to his room per night to replace passie). A few days he has whined/cried during second nap, so we get him up and he is fine. Other days…it’s whining for a while. Hope you find something that works for you!
I have a question regarding CIO and nap times. My little guy (12 months) has been doing ok the first few nights of CIO but has really struggled during naptimes. I remember reading to end the nap after like 30 minutes if he’s still crying or hasn’t settled down. He hasn’t settled down and he has cried longer and I guess I am just confused how to implement this without throwing off his schedule for the rest of the day including his afternoon nap. He typically naps around 10 for like 45 min-1 hour and then around 2:30 or 3 for his afternoon nap. Thoughts?
Thanks again for writing this blog post and for sharing! I have been against CIO and the couple times I tried it with my daughter it resulted in vomit each time. But this will help in the long run and I appreciate your willingness to help other sleep deprived parents!
Past my wits end says
This sounds just like us. Our son is one year and the nighttime has worked but the naps are not working at all, and one I feel it is messing up the calm bedtime routine as when I start the routine he starts crying. Plus my wife and I are nervous about him not having napped the past two days. We are on day 8 and he has cried for 45 minutes straight the last two days during both nap times. Then at night he falls asleep during his last bottle or while reading so he has not fallen asleep in his crib. I am at 35 minutes now and he is still just standing crying incessantly. Did your situation get better in the last two days?
Past my wits end,
I am so sorry you’re in the same boat too! Naps are not good. Boo! We are on day 7 and I realized today that our little one is also teething again. So I am not sure if that’s affecting his nap or not. But for the last 2-3 days, he has done the same thing—crying for 45 minutes to 1 hour during naps times. I would then get him and try settling him down. I guess I’ve been desperate so I have rocked him for at least one of his naps as I need him to nap and he needs to nap and I didn’t think it was fair for my other child. At night, we read a story, sing a lullaby, and he takes a bottle. If he starts falling asleep I try to stir him back awake until I can get him in his crib.
Day 1: 55 minutes
Day 2: 45 minutes
Day 3: lets not even go there
Day 4: 20 minutes
Day 5: 30 minutes
Day 6: 5 minutes
Day 7: 3 minutes
So I guess I can’t really comment too much on the whole NO NAP and how it’s affecting the nighttime settling in. I am worried about him not getting naps too if I was to NOT give in. Good luck and we should definitely keep each other updated, especially if one of us figures this out
I absolutely love your honesty and approach throughout your website! As a new mommy to a 5 month old baby boy, I search for tips on the internet all the time. I’m probably breaking the rules a bit, but I decided to start “ferberizing” during naptime. I just started the cio method today with his first nap and after 27 min of crying he finally fell asleep. We’ll see how long he actually stays down for. Tonight will be night one of cio and I’m very worried about that!!
Thanks again for your wonderful advice!
It seems like forever ago when I started the CIO/ progressive wait method with my lo! He had always been a great sleeper, but needed to be swaddled due to jerky movements waking him up. He was sleeping all night, 10 plus hours, by about 5 mths. Then came the nights when he would try to break free from swaddling…nightmare! He couldn’t sleep unswaddled, but he couldn’t sleep swaddled either. I was going to swaddle him back tightly 7 to 10 times per night… Each time climbing stairs to his room! After 3 straight nights of no sleep, I began my research and found this site. I was a little skeptical, but desperate to try anything! I kept my timer, my iPad to document each day and nights progress, and a box of tissues beside my bed when I took the plunge. The timer was a great idea since two minutes of screaming felt like two hrs and the iPad diary of wake times, length of crying/screaming, how many times I had to go in, etc was great to look at progress. It took almost two weeks, but we did it! Today he is almost 14 mths old and still sleeps 10 to 14 hrs every night. He also takes great naps during the day. I feel fortunate that he was always a good sleeper, but even more fortunate that he learned how to put himself back to sleep! Thank you!
My son just turned 2 this month and he used to be a great sleeper but lately he wakes during the night and screams if you leave the room.If we let him cry it out he continuously gets out of his bed and comes into our room. How can we get the Ferber method to work for us since he gets out of bed?
Noob Mommy says
Dawn – Ferber at the age of mobility is much more difficult. I would say you have to adapt the method and perhaps try a progressive approach of slowly leaving the room. It isn’t really “cry it out” when they can just get up and come to you. You may try a baby gate to block the door, and then approach the sleep training with the idea that you will have to gradually physically separate from him a little each couple of nights. First off, your little one may be able to understand explanation and some reasoning. Try and start off with a very consistent, predictable bedtime routine so he know what’s coming (but you don’t have to drag it out). Then, explain how Mommy/Daddy will stay for a while but have to read a book outside the door. Reinforce that the rules are to stay in bed at bedtime. There might be protests and screaming, and he may fall asleep in the middle of the room. Then slowly go into the hallway or a little further out. Lots of positive reinforcement! If it’s the middle of the night, you may have to comfort and soothe, recognize his fears, but then explain how you’ll wait right outside his door. Honestly, I haven’t tried at this age so I can’t say for sure that this will work, but it’s worth a shot! Good luck to you!
Cooper's Mom says
Dear noob mommy-
First, let me say I have found every word and morsel that you have written to be both clever and helpful.
We started the “Ferberizing” of our almost 5 month old little man three nights ago. It was really rough the first night with him crying almost 3 hrs (a very willful little guy). I was a serious mess the first night and wanted to curse the concept and just pack it in. My husband and I made a pack to stick it out for a week and just “do it”. I’d like to say that we are already seeing improvement and feel encouraged.
Night 1- 3 hours (with three wake ups, lengthy crying)
Night 2- 45 min (with two wake ups, 15 min each)
Night 3- 16 min
Naps remain tough but we got two 45 min naps after 10 or 15 min of crying.
I do have a question. At what point in the morning would you feed him? If I put him down at 7pm, do you think it’s reasonable to feed him at 530/6am? (I’m breast feeding)
Thanks so much for your advise!
Noob Mommy says
Cooper’s Mom – I’m glad to hear that the Ferber method is working for you! Naps are hard for sure, and Ferber acknowledges that in his book. I would say that 5:30-6 am is a good stretch of sleep especially at that young age. Unfortunately, kids wake up early! I’m just waiting for those teenage years 😛
I am soooo glad you posted!!
Tonight is my first night with Ferber and my little girl is also almost 5 months old – we’re at exactly 2 hours of crying right now and I’m looking everywhere for something that says it’s ok to stop after this long…going to stick it out though, your post gave me hope so thank you thank you thank you! Hopefully the little gives in soon! At this point her eyes aren’t even open but she is LOSING HER *#^% still.
Thank you for this page!! It helped me to laugh when all I was doing was sobbing between visits. This is killing me, but your page helped! Thank you!
I just started the Ferber method yesterday with my son and am doing it for nighttime and nap time. So far I have put him down three times (once last night and twice today for naps) and so far so good. He’s been able to fall asleep on his own in a minimal time period! I have a couple of questions though: 1) his first nap today was for 45 min and he woke up calm and happy but his second nap he woke up screaming. I thought that maybe he was hungry so I picked him up and started nursing him to only have him fall asleep on me for another hour. Obviously he hadn’t finished sleeping so how do I get him to go another sleep cycle? 2) when doing the checks do I start counting minutes from the beginning every time he gets quiet? Because his crying is on and off until he falls asleep so I’m not sure if I just should never check if he doesn’t even cry for a full three minutes before getting quiet.
Soraya Mazloomi says
It is well-documented that sustained, uncomforted infant crying causes increased heart rate and blood pressure, reduced oxygen levels, elevated cerebral blood pressure, depleted energy reserves and oxygen, and cardiac stress. Cortisol, adrenalin and other stress hormones skyrocket, which disrupts the immune system and digestion. It’s a reasonable guess that if this is repeated over time, these babies would build a slightly different brain, more prone to “fight, flight or freeze.” I would not wish this method on any of your children… babies cry for comfort, not for manipulation or because they just feel like it… all the poor moms to subscribe to this notion that their intuition is not good enough makes me so sad. You know your baby best… if you cant stand to listen to them cry then pick them up… you are wired to respond to their cries. Its natural and normal. Listen to your babies cues and you will both be better for it.
Noob Mommy says
Soraya – It is widely agreed that those symptoms are caused with sustained infant crying. However, there are also many studies now that also show that controlled, progressive sleep training (that is Ferber implemented correctly) is not the same as this type of sustained crying where an infant is left alone for long periods of time without parental assurance. Also, there is also wide breadth of research that show the detrimental effects of children who do not get the necessary uninterrupted sleep for their brains to develop (which is often the case for babies and children with long running sleep problems). Hopefully, you’ve read both sides of the research and can understand why parents who require the help of sleep training find that proper implementation is for the betterment of everyone in the family.
How long can she cry? Going on 1 1/2 hours on our first night. I want to pick her up, at what point do I give in? 2 hours? 3? 4?
How long can she cry? She has been crying for 1 1/2 hours just as furiously as the start, this is our first night. I want to go in and pick her up so badly. How long can this go on?
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hi , i started this friday and the results are AMAZING!!!
my 6 month old daughter was waking hourly, from the first night she woke only once, then 3rd night and ever since
she has slept through without waking! also it was soooo much easier than expected, ie i didnt leave her to cry for hours
anyways my question is she is still cat napping during the day, ie waking after 45 mins, she is def still tired but wont resettled like
the nights, what can i do?
Hi there! We have been doing this for a week and it worked after night one! The problem is he still wakes up at 3 am and cries. I know he can’t be hungry so hubs goes in after 5 and touches his tummy and turns on his fishies. He is asleep after 3 mins. My question is , am I doing this wrong and when will this stop? My husband sometimes works nights and I will have to go in soon and I am worried he will smell me and it not work at all. Help! Thanks!
I’m doing the Ferber method on my sun who’s almost 6 months old. The first time it worked BRILLIANTLY, but I went to visit my mum and I guess the change in atmosphere messed him up. He cried and I tried to start the method again and my mum wouldn’t let me and made me breastfeed him till he fell asleep (you wouldn’t believe I’m almost 29).
I think this is the 3rd time we are restarting the Ferber method and he is incredibly resistant and SCREAMING! Tonight he started crying after his bath, like screaming as if he knew it was coming.
How does Ferber’s method fare with disruptions and having to keep starting again?
Hi NooB Mommy,
I hope you are still checking in from time to time to answer questions. I’m so happy I found your blog, this is very informative.
My son is now 4 months old so I’m preparing him for the CIO by Ferber, I plan to start at 5-6 mos if his current situation does not improve.
My son currently sleeps through the night without any problems. He stopped waking up for nightfeedings on his own one day and now sleeps at least 8-10 hours uninterrupted. We try to give him a regular routine that starts at 6pm every night I.e. bath, read, nurse then bed. The problem is he never wants to sleep. He would be sleepy while nursing and as soon as we put him down in his crib his eyes pop wide open and the whole process starts all over again. We rock, sing, shushhh, and even let him cry for no more than 5 mins, the whole process usually takes about 1.5-2 hrs every night before he falls asleep. On a good night, he would stay asleep until 5:30am, on a bad night, he would wake up every hour until midnight eg. 9pm, again at 1030pm, again at 11pm then finally down. It is mentally and physically exhausting. We want him to fall asleep on his own and most importantly stay asleep? I’ve caught him awake at around 3am by looking at the baby monitor and seems to me he’s perfectly capable of soothing himself back to sleep, but somehow he doesn’t do it when we put him down for naps and bedtime.
Furthermore, naps are almost non existent. He fights and fights until his eyes are watery and red and still refuses to sleep despite our best efforts. If he does end up falling asleep, it lasts no more than 45 mins. Hence the reason why we put him down at 6pm every night because by the time 4-5pm rolls around he is exhausted and overtired. Its like a vicious cycle: overtired from not napping, trouble falling asleep at night from being overtired. We want to break this cycle and hope the Ferber method will help him learn to self soothe for naps and for bedtime. I guess my question is where do I start? Target the naps first or bedtime? Are we doing it wrong?
Sorry if this is all over the place, I hope it’s not too confusing. I really hope you can answer if you’re reading this. Thanks in advance!
This saved our lives. It only took one night. Naps were harder but doable! Thanks so much. We did it at 7months, and she is now almost 14 months with only a few regression nights due to teething or sickness.
Hello – I am currently sitting here as my daughter screams in the other room and apologize if this question is answered in the comments section already…just feeling a bit overwhelmed. My 3.5 month old simply will not calm down. When we go in for the 1 to 2 minute check ins she just will not stop screaming. We inevitably reach the 2 minute mark and have to leave her behind crying/screaming. We have left the room now for the 3 minute and 5 minute intervals, but we just can’t calm her without picking her up. When we do eventually pick her up (we have been attempting this for the last two weeks), her cheeks are streaked with tears. Is this normal? Or are they supposed to calm down in that 1 to 2 minute reassuring session? If they just cry, than I will prepare, as you wrote, to get into my fetal position…oy…this is going to be a rough one. THANK YOU for writing this out by the way.
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Hello, love love love the advice! Found you via pinterest after frantically searching for sleep training methods. My 10 month old baby girl was a NICU baby for 2 weeks for unexplained seizures, the first few days they terrified us with possibilities of meningitis, infections, diseases, etc but thank goodness it was a one time seizure but it had caused her to stop breathing and turn blue the day after birth. She was on seizure mess as a precaution until a few months ago but is weaned off now with no seizures- yay! Anyways, because I’m either over protective and over paranoid, I’ve always rocked her to sleep every night and nap, and when she was asleep I would put her in her crib and then she would wake up and wouldn’t go back to sleep unless she was in bed with us. She isnt breast fed so that’s not an issue at this point. I tried putting her in bed when she was tired around bedtime and she cried/screamed hysterically with a deep red splotchy face and snot just running everywhere! I couldn’t take it I felt just awful after 15 minutes and checking on her made it worse and seemed to make her more upset! I realize it’s my fault that she is dependent on me or anyone really to hold her until she falls asleep with Norah Jones playing on my phone… She is usually in bed no later than 8:30 and does quite well sleeping through the night if she is held or with co-sleeping. How in the heck do I undo what I have done? Is the Ferber method right for her? Thank you in advance!
And I love the snuggles, don’t get me wrong! But I never get anything done, that goes for naps too! Do I need to nap train and night sleep train at the same time with the same methods? Thanks for your help!
Thank you very much for a more realistic and overall helpful summarization of the cry it out method. We have done a lot of reading a lot of trying anything. Our little girl would not go to sleep. And this worked. We had tried before letting her cry, but she cried for 4 hrs one night. It was awful. I like that you have been realistic and know its hard to let them cry. Because of this artical my child is sleeping on her own after 18 months of trying. Thank you !
I have a six month old healthy boy. Goes to sleep on his own is a delight but he thinks he needs to eat at 3 a.m. I am totally on board for the ferber method my question is he takes a binky can I replug him or only the first time? Like you said with the blanket?
It’s Not OK to start at 3 month. As i understand after 6-7 month can be done that, because the baby at 3 month doesn’t understand what is happening.
Please help! My little one is 3 months old. We have started to sleep train her using the Ferber method. Is 3 months too young to sleep train her? I know it is recommended for 5 months and older; however, our dear daughter only falls asleep while sucking on my nipple and being rocked to sleep. It takes hours of doing this in the evening, and leads to my frustration and crankiness. We feel she is old enough to begin sleep training on, as she sucks on her hands to self soothe a lot when we put her down in the crib. Please let me know if starting at 3 months is okay!
Hi! I was reading all the posts so I wouldn’t have to ask questions but there are just so many! So, I ordered the book today. I was so anti-Ferber but I simply can’t keep doing the zombie shuffle to his bedroom 3 times a night. My baby is 6 months, Breastfed with cereal twice a day for the past 2 months. He currently is still swaddled, just purchased a zippadeezip to help with the unswaddle transition but it hasn’t gotten here yet. We have a great nighttime routine- we start at about 715- bath, nurse, book, swaddle, sing and put down. Most of the time he is drowsy and goes down (I turn on his fishie thing that plays music for 20 minutes)- he might fuss for a second but falls asleep. He used to wake up at 3 AM and 6AM- always fed him. Last couple of nights he has been getting up at 11/3/6…then last night…11/12/2/3/5/6 (seriously!!) I fed him if it had been 4 hours, otherwise I picked him up, rocked him, and put him back- he fell asleep for another hour and then we would do it again. That is why I decided today to buy the book. Also, nap times suck- but I am fine seeing if they improve with his nighttime routine getting better…
Sorry for the long post but my questions are…
1. Should I just unswaddle cold-turkey? As well as stop feeding? I am scared of this, I am worried he will NEVER settle down if I do this.
2. Should I transition to the zippadeezip first and see if that helps him stay asleep since he goes to bed pretty good on his own? Then if there is still problems, try Ferber?
3. Can you even Ferber a swaddled baby? Wouldn’t you have to do it all over again once you decide to stop swaddling?
Hi, I just want to thank you first for providing so much useful information, I have implemented the baby whisperer EASY schedule you have posted when my son turned one month old, he is following the schedule with the exception of duration of his naps. He does not take 1.5 hour naps unless I hold him to sleep or if we are traveling in the car, so I am trying to use Ferber method to correct this problem. We are implementing the Ferber at night time, so far the first night it took us 65 minutes. I just need some clarification as to how to use the Ferber method during naps. What do you mean when you say that “but if your child hasn’t fallen asleep after half an hour, or if he is awake again and calling or crying vigorously, end the nap”. My son can just lie in bed for about 30-45 minutes looking around the room and be amused by the curtains or the pictures on the wall, but he will not fall asleep and stay sleep, he would wake up within 3 minutes of falling sleep. I have to hold him to extend his naps, at the end of the what suppose to be his nap time he starts crying because he is overtired and ends up falling asleep during the next feeding time.
Please help!!! Thank you in advance for your helpful inputs.
We are starting sleep training this coming weekend. When you went in to reassure, what exactly did you do? Just talk to her, touch her, shush/pat from BW? I know I’m not suppose to pick them up.
First off, I need to thank you for writing such a comprehensive and humorous blog post about such a terrifying and important topic. My husband and I took every word of yours to heart, made a spread sheet to track progress and successfully sleep trained our little girl back in August when she was 11 months old. And like everyone says, I wish we had done it sooner. I no longer nurse her to sleep at night and she sleeps 9+ hours a night consistently.
Now, at 13.5 months, I have come back to you for guidance on sleep training for day time naps because I still nurse her to sleep for naps. Despite complete success with a night time bed routine that has worked for 2.5 months, she just stands there screaming for the entire attempted nap, which I only start once she is obviously very sleepy. After we call it off, she asks to nurse and promptly falls asleep at the boob on the couch. When I try to put her back to bed the process repeats. Do I continue until she just finally passes out from exhaustion from crying? Do I withhold nursing her?
I also want to add that I am very impressed that you still reply back to comments on this post. You’re amazing!
We started using the Ferber method 4 nights ago for our 4-month old daughter. She is a decent sleeper and we’ve had lots of nights where she’s slept the whole way through. Our issue is getting her to sleep on her own. We have a toddler and they both start to lose their minds at the same time each evening and it’s often me alone getting them both to bed so I’m eager for my baby to self soothe so I can deal with the meltdowns of my son! The method worked great for the first 2 days, but now she has a cold and I have a feeling there’s a tooth coming through. Last night was horrible and she woke screaming 3 times. I’ve read a zillion places that it’s cruel to start and not be consistent with it and stop, but I’m wondering if under these circumstances, I’m better to find ways to interpret the method for her. She was always sleeping with a pacifier, so I feel extra cruel having taken that away too. I wondered if you’ve heard of anyone who has made a few adjustments to the method that have had success or if I’d be better to abort the mission all together and look at it again in a month or so? Ultimately, I think I’m desperately searching for someone to give me permission to pick my daughter up when she cries! Ha! This. Is. So. Hard!
Noob Mommy says
Sara – As with any new routine and especially sleep training, definitely make adjustments based on what you think your LO needs at that given moment. So, if your LO is teething and having a cold, definitely go to plan B and push back the training. Also, sleep training isn’t intended to be started until after 6 months per Ferber. The best time would be 5 1/2-71/2 months per the book Bedtiming. IMO, I’d put everything on hold and revisit in another month or two. At that point, when there is consistency and no big changes (colds, teething, growth spurt) on the horizon, proceed with the sleep training and remain consistent during that week or two of training (adjusting if she gets sick of course). Also, with the pacifier, it is much easier to just train it all at once. If you do decide to wait another few months for your little one to be more mature (and have a bigger caloric intake to sleep through the night), you can start easing off the paci a little now to make that a smoother transition. Perhaps only at naps or only at bedtime, etc. Good luck to you!
OMG! Thank you for this post. We tried this method for the first time tonight (We’ve tried it for naps with limited success). It was horrible and I hated every flippin minute, but your post gave me hope. Thanks for approaching something so hard with a bit of humor,
why would you do this to your child its horrible !!!!
This is a great website – love the info and the design 😀 We started CIO using the progressive method (Ferber) but I think we messed it up and now we are in much more trouble than before. A little background: Our son is 8 months old, no teeth yet just a few episodes of mild drooling and gnawing (the tooth is taking its own sweet time!). He was sleeping really well until last month when he started waking up every two hours (at 9:30, 11:30 pm, 1:30 am then slept at 4:00 am). He is crawling real well and when we put him down he goes in the crawl stance and cries (Screams, yells, babbles and back to screams). So first night we put him down at the time he usually sleeps and he cried for 80 mins and was asleep at 9:27 and up at 7 am!!! we were thrilled. Total sleep time: approx 8.5 hours. He did whimper/make sounds at his usual waket times every two hours but did not wake up completely. The next day naps were really bad – he fought tooth and nail. Since we are doing nights first we did not do CIO for naps.
night 2: Since he did not nap well, we put him down to sleep a little early – he cried for 52 mins and was out till about 6:45 am. Total sleep: 9 hours! naps were bad so we went a little earlier and put him down at 7:20 pm. Cried for 51 mins and then was up at 4 to eat, but did not sleep on his own so had to take him to our bed (Weissbluth suggests its ok to do this for younger babies).
Night 3 same as night 2
night 4: Next day we went earlier since the book (Healthy sleep habits…by WEissbluth suggests that) so we put him down at 7:00 and that was a disaster, he cried for 52 mins, and was up at 4:00 then played till about 6:00 am and slept till 9:00 and naps are non existent. He has been up since then (it is 2:49 pm now) I have tried everything including CIO for 45 mins but he does not want to sleep. Sorry about the looong vent, but here is my quesiton:
Should I put him down at 7:50 like we used to earlier? that means he will be up longer with hardly any naps today.
Do we do also try CIO for naps? I am a little worried that he will totally hate me since I have been co sleeping for naps and alternatively singing/rocking him.
Please help!! I know he has been sleeping all night but I haven’t (guilt and fear) but this might be working and I just want to get it right. Thank you so much!!
New Mom says
Hi NoobMommy. Thank you ever so much for the brilliant and most importantly so helpful articles! I might be repeating what others were saying, but your clarification would be so helpful as I am at a loss. My little one is 7 months old and started sleeping through the night at 5 months with no awakenings. He would fall asleep around 8-8.30pm and wake up 6.30 am on the dot. However since catching a cold and then teething he started waking up several times a night. After the cold was gone and his first teeth were out, he continued to wake up around 4am. At that point he would either go back to sleep after I replace his paci or whilst being in my arms or would stay awake for an hour or more and then fall asleep still being in my arms or whilst in bed with me. When he wakes, I sometimes give him water or herbal tee to drink and he would not refuse, and would not complain either if I didn’t. I stopped feeding him once he started sleeong though the night. I must add that I never sleep trained my son and always either rocked him to sleep or recently when he started sleeping through the night, I would just stay in bed with him until he falls asleep. We have also been travelling in the last 3 months visiting two lots of grandparents who live in 2 different countries (and co-sleeping as we didnt have a cot) and only recently came back home. My LO has also started sitting up and lifting himself up as well over a week ago, which excites him no end. So I figured maybe it has become a habit rather than anything else that he wakes up at night and thought it was also high time to sleep train my baby since he has never been good at self-soothing. I started yesterday with Ferber method and whilst he fell asleep initially after finishing a bottle, he woke up at 1am and was crying until 3.30am. He’d sit up or stand up in his cot and cry, not being able to put himslef back down. I did stay strong,. so to say, last night and he finally fell asleep at 3.30am when I put him down adn tucked him in after a 10 min wait. But I have new concerns today. I read the article about sleep regression and now thinking maybe he is going through this phase and I should not do sleep training? Tonight when he was having his good night bottle, he was eating and crying his eyes out in his cot and only calmed down when he saw I was not leaving his room. I feel like a really bad parent and so confused as I cannot figure out whether my son has indeed bad sleep habits and requires sleep training or it is just sleep regression? I am sorry if I seem like babbling and not making any sense, but I am not sure I am thinking straight after last night. Help please???!!! Thank you very much in advance! x
I’m doing the first night of the Ferber Method. My little one just went to sleep before the third check in. I am so elated. She has probably fallen asleep on her own all of 3 times before and each of those were while lying next to me (not counting the car.) I am so sleep deprived, I haven’t slept for a 4 hour stretch since the first days of her 6 month life. She was sleeping too long at first and losing weight. My question is how, do I know when she’s just upset and when she really needs to eat. She’s fully breast fed and she can’t go a whole night. I’m sure she can go a few hours but usually she’s up every hour or two to nurse. Has anybody had that situation?
Noob Mommy says
KindaCrunchyMama- At 6 months, your little one should be starting solids soon and her tummy is able to hold much more than before. Most parenting experts and pediatricians will agree that your little one is in fact able to sleep at least a 5 hour chunk (if not more) without having to nurse. This will depend a lot on whether or not a good routine and sleeping habits have been established. If your little one uses you as a sleep crutch, then she will probably be in the habit of waking every hour or two to nurse out of habit and not from hunger. I hope the Ferber Method will help you break any “accidental parenting” habits and get you all some much needed sleep! Remember, the idea of sleep training is to train your little one to fall asleep in the expected sleep conditions and to learn to self-soothe. So, it won’t help if you sleep train her but go in frequently to nurse her. At 6 months, your little one should be on a 4-hr EASY routine or something similar to that (eating every 4 hours or so with some solids). Good luck!
Thanks NoobMommy. We started solids two weeks ago and she hasn’t been very interested in them. Her Doctor said to keep trying. Last night I fed her after four hours. Tonight I’ll try for six. Now that you mention it, I know she can go 6 hours because she will do that when we’re out sometimes. She doesn’t like to eat around people because she’d rather watch what’s going on; so often it will be several hours without a feeding.
So after reading your site I decided to start sleep training our 5 month old. He’s a pretty good sleeper but we had gotten into a bad habit of rocking him to sleep and then he’d wake up lots during the night but would resettle fairly easily once I shoved the paci back in. Lately though the paci runs we’re driving me mad and he’d learnt this great trick of pulling it out of his mouth the second I’d put it in so I was shoving it in and clamping his hands down until he fell back asleep… Ridiculous! So we started almost a week ago, cold turkey no paci and putting him down awake and it’s been hard but actually not as hard as I thought. Once you decide to do it and mentally prepare yourself it’s ok. I’m a bit embarrassed what the neighbors think but what the hell. So now 6 days later he is going down fairly easily for all his naps and at night, the crying is getting shorter and shorter and the sleeping better. However I’m wondering how to handle the early mornings. We try to start the day at 7am and before, when we were using the paci we would stick it back in and awake or asleep leave him in bed until 7. Now though it’s a bit harder because ferber seems to say you can’t CIO past 5 or 6am but I’m not prepared to just get up with him at that time. Is he just finding it a bit harder to resettle himself when he’s less tired?? This morning he woke at 6am and started properly crying at about 6.15, then on and off until we went in to him at 7am. Is that ok to leave him CIO like that between 6 and 7? Also he often stops crying for anywhere from 1 to 5 mins and then starts again. Do I restart the clock when that happens or consider it still part of the same interval? Thanks for the great advice on your site!
I have a 4.5 month old, we never had sleeping problem at night since he was born, and I can say he was sleeping 10 hours without waking since he was 2.5 month. The problem is that he is a cat napper and sleeps only for 45 min for each nap also, I should hold him and walk around to make him sleep. Last week I started CIO for a week. The crying part still continues unless I put a paci. But now it is almost 2 nights he wakes up 5 to 6 times and I have to replace the paci over and over. Las night I took the paci away and let him cry and I am going to continue this. My question is that is that ok if I hold him to comfort and then put him dawn or not because today while he was crying for almost 10 min.(for morning nap without paci.) I held him and when he stopped crying I put him dawn. He was totally awake but he did not cry after that and slept by himself.
I have a 4.5 month old, we never had sleeping problem at night since he was born, and I can say he was sleeping 10 hours without waking since he was 2.5 month. The problem is that he is a cat napper and sleeps only for 45 min for each nap also, I should hold him and walk around to make him sleep. Last week I started CIO for a week. The crying part still continues unless I put a paci. But now it is almost 2 nights he wakes up 5 to 6 times and I have to replace the paci over and over. Las night I took the paci away and let him cry and I am going to continue this. My question is that is that ok if I hold him to comfort and then put him dawn or not because today while he was crying for almost 10 min.(for morning nap without paci.) I held him and when he stopped crying I put him dawn. He was totally awake but he did not cry after that and slept by himself.
Thank you so much for your article. It really makes me feel like I should try this method. I have a baby girl named Nailah who just turned six months (btw I swore to myself that if she wasn’t self soothing, falling asleep or staying asleep by six months I was going to let her CIO) well, we’re here, and she doesn’t yet. I still have one question even after reading through the comments … Should I stop giving her a pacifier ? And I’m embarrassed to say this bit I also still swaddle her …. Lol, don’t judge me but its the only way she’ll calm down enough to fall asleep. I am basically terrified of just putting her in her crib without a binky, swaddle or rocking …. I mean she goes full out …. Arched back, raspy voice from screaming, balling her head off …… Rolling around …. Must I go on …… She has no health issues besides the fact that she is a bit constipated from her formula. I give her juice and water and it helps a ton. Any advice would be great 🙂
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My wife and I are in dire need of help. Our 2 year old boy is having major trouble sleeping through the night and it has worn both of out to extreme extents. Until about a week ago he would fall asleep in our bed with me. He would lie there with his bottle and watch TV with me. Once he was done his bottle he would usually roll over and go to sleep. I would let him lay there for 10 or so minutes to make sure he was asleep and then I would move him into his crib. About a week ago, after months of waking up 3-4 times a night (I am always the one who gets up because I am a very light sleeper), we decided to start putting him to sleep in his crib and without a bottle. He has taken well to it, I usually sit in his room, sing him a song or 2 and then just sit there until he is asleep and I can sneak out of the room. Usually it works like a charm, sometimes he wakes as I’m leaving and freaks out and we start the process over. He is now able to climb out of his crib and has recently started showing up in our room without even crying. THIS IS NOT GOOD! We decided to convert his crib into a toddler bed since we felt it was safer, and put a baby gate at his door so he can’t roam the house when he wakes. Now when he wakes he comes to the door and screams bloody murder. I’ve tried making him wait, I’ve tried telling him to go back to bed, but he just screams and screams until I go get him, and then the original bedtime process starts over. I’ve briefly tried the Ferber method and he freaks out as soon as I get up to leave and comes to the door and throws a tantrum. Sometimes his tantrums are so strong he vomits on himself. I don’t know what to do anymore and I can barely function during the day. I find that I am getting mad at him in the middle of the night and not being fair to him. PLEASE HELP!
Hi all I’m back again.
We are now on night 10 and things are going way better. After I posted my message on night my little bean finally fell asleep after 1 hour and 15 mins which was 8.45pm but he then slept without waking until 6.45am! Ten straight hours!!!! Woohoo I was giddy the following day after so much sleep.
Night 9 and bean fell asleep after 35 mins. He woke at 4.20am and fussed (no real crying just grumbling) for five mins before he fell back to sleep without any intervention from us. This is a major achievement as he has never been able to self soothe. Hopefully tonight will be just as good. His naps aren’t great but I really feel that they’ll improve as his nights improve and I’ll tackle them next. I’m so glad I didn’t throw in the towel.
Now we are going to have to work on our two year old we who will only go to sleep with one of us in her room beside her cot. Any suggestions or have I left it too late?
Day one of Feber for my 7.5 month old son. He has no problem self soothing for naps or when he wakes at night, but when bed time rolls around he turns into a crying monster. My husband and I spend endless hours trying to get him to sleep, it usually takes 1-2 hours, sometimes rocking, sometimes letting him cry. I put him to bed at 8:00pm and he was happy, but after about 10 minutes he started crying his little heart out. I started the 3, 5, 10 minute routine and at 9:20 he finally fell asleep on his own. It does work! And I will make sure we keep going with it.. Thanks everyone for all of their comments, it made it so much easier to know that we can do this. Oh and great tip about the vodka . . . I know there will be many drinks in my future.
My baby boy has 6 month and gets asleep most of the time at my breast. He doesn’t use / want a pacifier.
We stay in a house. Sometimes during the day he gets asleep when he is rocked in his stroller in the yard.
If i put on his bed to get asleep on his own his is crying.
How should i learn him to get asleep on his own in his bed?
Hi there, I am at my wits end. I am on day 8 of the training and DS really doesn’t seem to be improving. He has now been crying for over an hour with me checking him after 20 mins and again after 25 mins. I am watching him on the monitor and he just won’t give it. The quickest time for him to fall asleep all week was after 40 mins of hard crying.
His will wake 3-4 times a night but thankfully not for too long. I feel like in am going insane. The poor pet is hoarse from all the crying. Please help!!! BTW I have a two year old girl who gets upset by all the crying.
Any advice would be majorly appreciated x
Noob Mommy says
Brokenhearted- How has the sleep training been going? Have you continued or stopped? I don’t think you mentioned the age of your little one.
Hi! Thanks for the great blog! So many really useful advises!
We started the sleep training of our almost 9-months old daughter three days ago. It looks like the nights are slowly improving (we got from 5-8 waking per night to only one!). However my concern is that she falls asleep in the sitting position. We come to her room after 10min she stopped crying and put her down. Is this normal?
And the naps… Oh my! We are giving up. She is just hysterical standing in her bed for 1 hour! There is a puddle under her crib and she is all sweaty, red, exhausted and wet! I think I just can’t stand it any more… Any advises for naps?
Is it a good idea to “fix” the nights first and than, target the naps? As it is too much for us to handle that amount of crying at night and day time…
I hate crying... says
Hello, my little guy is 5.5 months old up until 3 days ago, I was walking and pacing with him to get him to sleep for naps and bedtime. I’ve trying the Ferber method and bedtime isn’t so bad, but naps are killing me. He cries so much, like he knows that if he stops he’ll fall asleep. Please tell me naps get better. I am hating hearing my little guy cry, this is the only time during the day that he cries. Am I doing something wrong or does it get better eventually?? I am doing this on my own as my husband is deployed overseas. Thanks for all the great advice so far!
Hi. We are on day 7 and things have been going GREAT. We had really suffered with a prior attempt so this has been dreamy. This website has been really helpful, too. My question is what do we do after night 7? Baby girl still wakes on occasion during the night, usually puts herself back to sleep but not always (last night we had 1.5 hours of progressive waiting). So do we just keep adding a minute for ever? And, if we go several nights without crying, and then have issues again, do we go back to the beginning?
Really appreciate your tips.
So I did Ferber when my son was about 6 months and it worked wonders. He slept 12 hours through the night until he was 16 months. About 2 weeks ago he started not wanting to go to sleep on his own. We resorted to rocking/patting or whatever we could to get him to go to sleep. I tried Ferber again but he just stands in his crib and cries for hours on end. He even falls asleep standing up sometimes. He now is not only not wanting to go to sleep but also waking in the middle of the night. I’m at my wits end, please help!
Umm Nuh says
I’m just wondering whether her vocal chord will be affected from all the constant crying? I’m so scared that it will harm her because she screams so loud until her voice becomes coarse.. I’m on may day 2 today. 🙁
Noob Daddy says
After 5 months of no sleep, I finally convinced my wife we needed to give this a try. Luckily our daughter’s bedroom is far removed from the kitchen. So I told my wife to concentrate on making dinner while I did the waiting and checking (BTW Lorax Video monitor is awesome for this and allowed me to see my daughter the whole time). It broke my heart doing it initially, but I was ecstatic when she fell asleep after the first 30 minutes of checks and soothings.
She woke back up after about an hour and we went through the process again. Initially we were terrified of letting her sleep on her stomach because the doc told us it increases the risk of SIDS, but she kept flipping over to it. It was kind of cool to discover that although she couldn’t be soothed while she was on her back (by me rubbing/patting her chest/stomach), she immediately soothed down and would go to sleep if I traced light circles over her back while she was on her stomach. She woke a total of 2 times tonight. The last time I only had to go in once. I’m much more excited about trying this method on Night 2 now.
The bigger problem is my wife, as she admitted she misses holding our daughter as she sleeps. It was funny to see her jump at the opportunity to feed our daughter when I finally relented even though I knew our daughter didn’t really need it. Best part about this is that I finally feel like I’m contributing to something besides just changing diapers and handing the baby off for a feeding.
Noob Mommy says
Noob Daddy- Thank you for commenting and leaving your daddy’ perspective! It’s great to hear a success story from a male’s point of view. And I think you touched on an important factor in the sleep battles we have as parents. Truthfully, many parents do not want to say goodbye to the snuggle time even if that means sacrificing restful sleep for everyone in the house. So, we as parents who want to help our little one’s get the best developmental sleep, should try and create good, peaceful, snuggly, quality bedtime routines for all that bonding time. And of course, there’s nothing wrong with sneaking in later and sharing that alone time when they’re getting their zzzzzz’s.
Hello there, thank you for the insight. We are on day 4 and it’s beyond heart-wrenching. I can’t handle it, (my husband is stronger then me surely!) even with the help of a glass of vino it still seems unbearable. Of course, we are sticking with our commitment in hopes that this method proves to be successful for our little 12 month old…however, my question is: what is the best amount of time to stay in the nursery after the amount of time (for instance, after the “20 min” has passed) at first I was staying 2 min. for reassurance, then decreased to 1 min, and now only 15 seconds…is that too little?? HELP!!!! I feel like we are doing something wrong, as our son is not improving…still crying horribly that our hearts are beyond broken….
McBaby Love says
Hi- I read your blog Friday night last week when I was preparing for night #1 of ferberizing my 6.5 mo old baby girl. Thank goodness for it because I don’t think I would have made it through without reading your comment of the reward of 10 hours of consecutive sleep. That is my dream!!!
So I am on day 6 and everything has improved except the night Wakings. My babe still wakes up at least two times in the night – usually after about 4-5 hours of sleep. She screams horribly for a terribly long time. I have given in and fed her and a few times broke down and gave her a nook to get her calmed down and back to sleep. I’m upset with myself because I know I need to stick to the Ferber method at night too and just deal with it, but it seems sooooo much harder to do at night- especially when I have two toddlers sleeping in the room next door and my. Husband who has to get up and work the next morning across the hall.
Any tips on how to accomplish theferver method for night Wakings or weaning from the feedings? O should I just go cold turkey and do Ferber right away and stop the bottle in the middle of the night since I know she doesn’t need it??
Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated! Thanks so much- I just want to be done with this- it has stressed me out so much dong this, although I know it is in her best interest.
lil' ray of sunshine says
I have a 9 month old that still does not sleep at night. hubby doesn’t want to try the CIO method although at this point I feel desperate. Typically goes to bed around 9pm and wakes 2-3 times at night. Sometimes he wants to be held, sometimes he wants to eat. As soon as I feed him he will go back to sleep. It is difficult as he stands in his crib and screams… help me! I don’t have money to pay for a sleep consultation from all these expensive sights but I need some sleep training help. How do we do the no cry training? How long does it take? Please help!
Thanks in advance !
G's Momma says
I found your site while looking for variations of CIO. My son is 5mo and was waking 4-6 times a night to nurse. Last night (night 3) he slept from 830 – 330, ate, and then slept til 620! I used your blog as my main reference and also shared it with my new mommy group. Thanks for your insight!
Hi! Ive just discovered this blog on line and can I just say Thank God I did for my own sanity!! I thought it must just be me who was having difficulty getting my 8mth old to sleep on a night. He was going from 10.30 – 6am from around 5mths, all on his own, no sleep training needed. However since he started teething in earnest and then was a bit poorly he has got totally out of his routine and now is up several times a night after his 10.30pm feed. I know ive done abit of accidental parenting as ive been bringing him into my bed when he wakes in the small hours just so I can get some sleep – im back at work full time. The thing is as soon as I lay him besides me he’s off to the land of nod before his head hits the pillow!! Going to try the CIO method starting today as ive got a week off work – just hope my monster cracks it in a week?!! Just so I know, can I sssh him pat him at all when I go in at intervals and replace his dummy (paci) or is this a no no. He only has his dummy on a night time as he associates it with bed and nap times but do I now need to break this habit as well? Hope to hear from you soon am off to the shops to buy the biggest bottle of vodka and industrial ear muffs for tonights battle 🙂
We have a 4 month and a half son. He is healthy and happy (laughs all day). We stay in a house and almost every time during the day he is sleeping in stroller (when he wants to sleep i walk with hes stroller for 10-15 minutes and he is asleep).
The problem is during night when i can’t asleep him in his bed (only after 1 hour of cry). Until now he accepted a pacifier only on his night bedtime but now he also refuse that thing. If we exit his room he cries. Now that he doesn’t accepts that pacifier we can’t asleep him in his room/bed. We have to put him in the stroller and rock him with that . What we are doing wrong?
Please give us an advise how can we can asleep him , especially in the night… Any answer is a help so i thank you in advance.
Noob Mommy says
Vick – Congrats to you on your little happy noob! At 4 months, it’s still a little premature to start sleep training, but what you are telling me sounds like your little guy has developed a sleep crutch. He is probably dependent on the rocking motion of the stroller now (a sleep association) to get to sleep. I would definitely start thinking of new ways to get him used to sleeping in his “ideal” location (crib, bedroom, etc.). You could try having him sleep in a bouncy seat or swing that is set up in his room, then gradually start turning of the swing, then eventually moving him to his crib, etc. You get the idea. Or, you can try just rocking him and slowly setting him in his crib. Either way, it’ll be a difficult transition if he’s gotten used to only sleeping in his stroller. Does he enjoy other soothing techniques like swaddling? If he likes to be swaddled, that may help him feel more snug when he gets set in the crib. At about 6 months, you can really start thinking about sleep training if things aren’t improving, but again, since you are already identifying a sleep challenge, it’s a good idea to start mixing things up so he’s not dependent on just one way to sleep for your own sanity. FYI, there is a very typical 4 month growth spurt and challenge that I’ve experienced as well as many other parents. Realize that things will get better within the next few weeks and he may need some extra support as he gets through this milestone. Good luck!
Thank you for your kind answer.
For us the situation is getting worse. Our baby boy now is 5 and a half month. his teeth are growing but this doesn’t seem to change the asleep method. During the day he sleeps in his stroller . For his night he asleep at his mother breath (very hard). She puts in his bed after he sleeps. But now he awakes 3-4 time / night .
We are with the nerves on the ground.
Any advise is welcomed. What we should to asleep him in his bed ? We can try the Farber method ?
We’re in our first night of sleep training for our 8 month old son. Overall, it’s going well. However, by the middle of the night, our son’s diaper is VERY full. Before sleep training, we would feed and change him when he woke up around midnight. Now that we’re not getting him up during the night, I can only imagine how uncomfortable he is in that diaper. Are we supposed to just leave him in the soaked diaper until morning?? He woke up at 1:30am (normal) and 4am (not normal) this first night. I’m also wondering about diaper rash, if we leave him sitting in his pee for 10 hours.
Noob Mommy says
Cali- How is the sleep training going? Would love to hear if you’re having success. As far as the diaper goes, if he can fall asleep again after a middle of the night change, that could be an option. However, we’ve always gone the route of having a nice absorbent diaper and LOTS and LOTS of Boudreaux’s Butt Paste. She usually does just fine this way. But, it’s all up to you and your judgement. I’m not sure how wet he gets and if he has sensitive skin, etc. If he genuinely seems uncomfortable, you may have to change him. Good luck!
I have a soon to be 15 month old boy. We have been co-sleeping since we brought him home from the hospital. We tried to put him to sleep in the crib, but he eventually wakes up and cries. With co-sleeping, he slept through the night a good amount of times after 12 months. However, recently he has turned into a monster at bedtime. So we decided to use the Ferber method. We just started it and it’s kind of difficult to Ferber while co-sleeping, because he can just crawl off our bed. Meanwhile, I just let him cry next to me until he falls asleep. I don’t know if that is the right approach or even a Ferber method.
He would not take his paci and keep crying when I put him down to sleep. At the end, we end up rocking him to sleep. Then he would starting crying/screaming around 1/2am and will not take a paci or a bottle to sleep. Then again, we end up rocking him to sleep.
He recently dropped one nap, so now he take his nap from one hour to two hours a day. He eats and drinks his milk. The bedtime is a nightmare for us. Please advise.
Looking into starting sleep training with my 6 month old, i realise using a pacifier isn’t recommended, my son has a soother with a stuffed animal on it that I leave in the crib(actually I have bought 2 for his crib!), I don’t put it in his mouth when I put him down, he feels around for it, it really helps put him to sleep, usually sucking on any parts of the animal and once in awhile the soother. Should I take this out of the crib to try CIO methods?
I am on day 3 of my sleep training.
On day 1 he slept at 6.30 pm but on the boob, Got up at 9,let him cry for an hour, after that got up at 12/2/5 when i finally went in to feed him. After that he slept till 7 and then till 9 am.
On day 2 he slept at 8 pm,got up at 12 cried for 45 mins and then slept, I did intermittent checks, got upa t 2.30/3.30 and 5 when i went in,After that he had very fragmented sleep and slept till 9 am.
Today is Day 3, I left him in the crib at 7.30 but was howling and sweating, so went and picked him up, went to bed at 8pm got up at 8.20.
Also judt took one day nap from 2-3 pm.
My problem is I did not put him to bed drowsy as he was hysterical, I soothed him.
Should i discontinue and try after some time or carry it on since I am on Day 3.
I have not been able to control his daytime naps and also not successful in putting him drowsy to bed.
Please tell me what should i do?
My son is 18 months old and very attached to me. I tried the ferber method. First night he was asleep in 15 minutes. Woke up twice but went back to sleep within give minutes each time. Second day his nap it took him 10 minutes and he’s was out. Second day at night he was asleep in 10 minutes and didnt wake up. He is very hard headed. Just wanted to give some encouragement to some moms out there that you can’t give in once you start. They do get over it. And he has been in a way better mood since. Hang in there moms. 🙂
Marievee Silvennoinen says
I started the training today, it was very hard but my son fell asleep. I just have one question is the time crucial when I put my son to sleep? I put him in the crib at 08:00pm, so I need to be consistent with that? He fell asleep after 50 mins. it was the longest 50minutes of my life…… 🙁
Concerned parents says
My child is 5 months old. Baby has been doing this method for about 8 or 9 days now. It has been going pretty good till the last couple of nights. Baby has been waking up around 3 & 4 crying and crying. Where as before that it was getting better; going from 8:30ish till 5ish without waking. Now it’s taking 10-20 mins to go back to sleep during the 3&4 time frame. It feels like we have regressed. It is hard to even do this CIO method much less have baby start waking upper and more these last few days. It weighs on us both and nap times are no fun and probably the worst part about it. It breaks my heart to hear baby crying more and more it seems. Please offer any suggestions you might have.
Hi there, I have been doing the CIO for a couple days now. It is progressively getting better and better. MY question is with naps. When he falls asleep, he will sometimes wake up 15-20 minutes later. I have been waiting before I go in and get him to see if he will put himself back to sleep. He will sometimes, but at others he will not. Is there a time you suggest before going in his room to get him or do you start over with the interval time?? THANKS!!
Alex's Mama says
What do you do if baby has been crying but is not crying at the time of the “check” but is not sleeping. Do you go in anyway? or wait and see if they fall asleep then go in when they start crying?
I love your writing.
My baby is not quite 7 months old and when he cries, HE STANDS IN HIS CRIB!!! I am afraid that this is unhealthy for his little legs/back. Also I am afraid of his falling down (he doesn’t seem to know how to fold his knees to get back down).
Can I still use the Ferber method?
Also, I nurse my babies and they fall asleep at bedtime while nursing. Should I not leave well enough alone? Do I wake them up so I can do the method, or do I use the Ferber method only for middle-of-the-night stuff?
to qualify my singular/plural question: i have twins.
Hey NoobMommy! I’m looking for a little insight on my 10.5 month old. This article has been very helpful but I’m still not sure what to do. My daughter can be laid down awake at night and for naps and she puts herself to sleep (yay!). Sometimes she fusses before naps but she doesn’t make a peep at bedtime. My problem is that she still wakes every 3-4 hours. Usually she just lays there with her head down crying…but if I let it carry on then she fully wakes herself. She takes a bottle and goes right back to sleep. The whole process is 10 minutes….which is why I haven’t bothered sleep training before. However, our pedi agrees that she should be sleeping longer stretches. Sometimes, but rarely,she will go 7 hours, eat, then sleep another 3-4 and she’s a happier baby the next day.
We tried a Ferber method a month or two ago but it was bad. She would scream and get herself full of snot to the point she would vomit from hysterics. I don’t know what the next logical step for us would be. Any suggestions?
Noob Mommy says
CaffeineNeededNOW – Based on what other sleep and parenting experts have written, they do seem to agree with your pediatrician that at 10.5, your little one is capable of sleeping a long stretch (probably at least 8-10 hours min). When she cries every 3-4 hours, are you giving her a bottle each time? Sleep training is definitely challenging, but it is worth it in the end for you and your baby. What time of sleep training you want to pursue is best left for you to decide. The Ferber method is just one type, and I hope to write about others in the future! My To-Do list is getting longer!! If progressive sleep training isn’t for you (and I mean the way Ferber intended – not just leaving your little one to cry without any check-ins), then you can try Elizabeth Pantley’s No Cry-Sleep Solution. It takes longer, but is considered more “gentle.” It involves slowly sitting farther and father away from your little one each night until eventually you can be outside the door then not there at all for them to sleep. Whatever you decide, hopefully you will find a method that works for you! But do find a way to start cutting out those middle of the night feeds if possible. Your little one will get a much more restorative chunk of sleep this way which is excellent brain food 🙂 Good luck!
We had success with the progressive waiting approach!!!! The first night I put her down and she cried maybe a half hour and then she slept all night! The second night she went down no problem and hasn’t shed a tear since the first night. It was so much easier than I thought. We are putting her down when she is drowsy and have a steady bedtime routine. We are also having success at naptime doing the same, she goes down at noon and sleeps until about 3, I actually get something done these days.
My only question is that she is asleep usually by 7:30 and then sleeps until about 1:30 am and gets up and eats a bottle and I change her diaper. She goes back to bed by herself. But I am wondering how or if I drop the night feeding? She is eating 3 meals of solids a day and a bottle right before bed, so I know she is getting enough. I am wondering if it is becoming a comfort thing at night. Thoughts?? Suggestions?? Help!
Hi Noob Mom!
So we started the Ferber method with our 5 month old boy to break up his addiction to his paci (as i thought that was causing wakings when it fell out). We are on night 5 and he is still waking 4 times a night. I feed him during the waking between 2-4am. Help! How will I see fewer wake up? The early wake ups he is able to put himself back to sleep but the post-midnight wake ups are worse!
I am on day 2 of sleep training my 4.5 month old. My concern is naptime. He is a fighter…..and it doesn’t help that he comes from 2 stubborn parents ; ) My question is, if I end naptime after 30 min (bc he cries and wont calm down) then do I try to do naptime again after 30 min or an hour? Day 1 he did not have a morning nap, and only slept for 40 min for nap 2. Then that night he cried from 2 to 4 am…and I woke him at 7am so that he will take a morning nap. I know he is over tired, is this just part of the process? Eventually will he sleep? I just feel so bad for the little guy! I don’t want to throw the towel in….but I want to know if I just need to push through and know if he will be ok, even if he doesn’t nap? Help! Thank you!
Also, is it normal for them not to nap AT ALL? THis is getting nuts….please tell me day 3 is much better…
Noob Mommy says
Anne- Hang in there! It will start getting better soon if you stay consistent to the regimen and if you remember to keep a little log of all the times (nap and bedtime including intervals of crying/checking in). The log really puts everything into perspective and helps you see the improvement when you may FEEL like there isn’t. As for nap time… yes, nap time is the hardest to train. Because it’s the start or middle of the day and they aren’t exhausted yet. But, you have to train naps with bedtime for it all to work. Remember to cut the nap after the suggested time and try again later at the next nap time. He’ll be ok…probably pretty tired at bedtime, but it will hopefully all come together soon. Keep us posted!
Thanks for your response!! I really hope this will all work out soon. Today is Day 4 and my little guy still cries for about an hour every night before falling asleep. And naps are still not happening (unless he falls asleep in the stroller or car seat).
Is it normal for them to get a horsed voice from all the crying? Is that bad? It breaks my heart!!
Do I wake my baby for a dream feed? Or wait until they naturally wake up? He normally wakes at 12, 2 and 4. When he was really exhausted the other night he woke up at 2:30 and then at 7:30….it was GLORIOUS. But he is still very inconsistant right now.
I am keeping a log every day this week. I just hope he starts to “get it” soon. People say the CIO method is the quickest way to see results….why do I feel like this is a marathon? I know it will be worth it, but he escalates when I start to back away from his crib, leaving me feeling hopeless that this will work in the end…(sigh.)
toilet training problems with poo says
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I want to start by saying I absolutely LOVE your website! I have a beautiful non sleeping 7 month old baby demon – we need help. I, Jessica, am a feed and rock to sleep a holic. I admit to having a problem. Our little boy, sleeps great for naps but wakes 3-7 times a night. He is still eating two bottles in the night, which makes me feel extra guilty with sleep training. I have completed one terrible night of shush sleep training. Our little guy got soo upset that he threw up. That promptly ended our sleep training and added a heap more of guilt for me. I am not sure what to do? I waited the allocated times and shushed and patted him for 2 minutes but he was irate and inconsolable until he vomited. Is this normal? Should I just sleep train myself to live off 4-5 hours of interrupted sleep? I am totally desperate.
Kirstie Gray says
I slept in our baby boys nursery till he was 7 months old, if he cried I would pick him up straight away & sometimes put him in bed with me to sleep which he loved.
This we great but by 7 months I was so tired!! zzzzzzz
We tried the gradual retreat to get him to sleep on his own, he thought it was a game & just laughed at us sitting there for ages at a time so it didn’t work,
I found this site & showed my Husband, he didn’t agree as our little boy is such a happy chappy & never cries, my Husband thought it was terrible to ‘make him cry’ but I had to do something as 7 months with very little sleep made me feel like I was walking round like a zombie!
We started on Sat Night & followed the process step by step, it was the worst thing in the world to hear our little man cry, I felt TERRIBLE!!
But I kept going as I had hope it would work…… after 4 days of doing this process, little man slept streight from ( drum roll please!!!!!) 7:30pm-6am!!!!!
THIS WORKS TIRED MUMMY’S !
My little boy is still such a happy little choppy, does not hate me & hasn’t decided to move out because he cried for a couple of nights, 🙂
Good luck! X
Noob Mommy says
Kirstie- I’m so glad to hear your success story and thanks for sharing with our noob mommy readers! It’s definitely a very difficult few days but soooo worth it in the end if you are truly suffering from the lack of sleep. The whole family will be changed for it!
I found your blog to not only helpful but so supportive as well. I am a first time mom and it’s been quite the learning curve. My daughter will be 6 mos next week, and started sleeping through the night at 10 weeks. And then when she was just 4 mos she got influenza from daycare, yea I know it was awful, and stopped sleeping through the night. We were on a decent schedule where she would go to sleep at 7:30 and then would wake up and eat at 1:30ish and then sleep until about 6 am. But over the last couple weeks it has gone downhill.
She started moving the eating time to about 12-1 and it takes me an hour to get her back to sleep. But this last week it started to be more than once and I have been getting, if I am lucky, about 4 hours of sleep a night. I am in upper management and work full time so I need to be reasonably rested. She has been eating a whole bottle and the last 3 nights she has been eating 2. So I figured now is as good a time as any and I would rather do it now than later on.
We started tonight so we shall see how it goes…..
Noob Mommy says
NorthshoreMomma – Hope it has been going smoothly – or as smoothly as it can be considering. In the end, I believe it will pay off, particularly if you have a career to juggle! Waking up multiple times at night when you have career obligations in the morning is not something that you want to make a habit! Good luck to you. Keep us updated!
Hi – we are preparing to sleep train our 5 month old but he has just figured out how to roll onto his tummy. The problem is that he can’t roll back and when he lands on his tummy in the night he eventually starts a crying fit. So, can we start the training and mid training go in an flip him? Ei ei ei!!!
Noob Mommy says
Kate – How is the flipping going? My instinct would be that you postpone your sleep training a little until the little guy has the tummy rolling/flipping figured out and he’s not so frustrated. It’s probably not a good idea to throw another wrench at him when he’s learning how to manage his newest milestone 🙂 Once all that hits smooth water, you can consider taking the next step. Good luck!
Is ten weeks too young to start sleep training? My daughter wakes every night at around 3 am for no real reason. Not hungry temp is fine nappy is fine but I have to rock her to sleep. Any ideas?
I am having the same issue with my 15 week old! He falls asleep easily around 9, then is waking up every night around 2 and then again at 4 for no apparent reason. I have tried feeding him but he only feeds for about 5 mins on one breast. Last night I tried to settle him for 45 mins with paci and he refused to sleep so I caved and let him feed for 5 mins until he fell asleep. Should I be sleep training him when he wakes in the middle of the night?
Noob Mommy says
Chelsea – Sleep training after 5 months. Still a bit too early for that. Are you still swaddling? A nice snug swaddle really worked for us with NB2.0 until she learned to flip over. Good luck!
Kirst and Chelasea, yes that is far too young to use the CIO method. according to the experts, isn’t effective or advised until 4- 6 months. Try working towards putting them down drowsy. Also they’re still hungry at that age, even 5 minutes is enough to get some of the food they need in those tiny tummies. Remember there’s usually a huge growth spurt and sleep regression (fun fun) at 4 months, so they validly might need the food. The advice I was given at that was to squash a couple more feeds into the day time.
Noob Mommy says
Kirst- Yes, 10 weeks is too early. Not until 5-6 months please 🙂 Your little one hasn’t quite settled into her circadian sleep cycles yet, but will soon. Then your routine and schedules will be more consistent. And she’s still growing! Keep up the swaddling, sucking (paci), white noise, etc. to help her feel snuggly and cozy.
hello noobmommy, thank you for the blog really helpful. My LO IS 8 WEEKS TODAY AND UP UNTIL ABOUT 6 WEEKS HE SLEPT ok at night considering we’ve been to 3 different continents that short timespan he is exclusively breast fed, however since he started trying to find his thumb night time has been a nightmare as he can’t even coordinate himself properly to get his thub in he is constantly trying to suck his thumb or any finger that would go in and this stops him from sleeping as he gets frustrated when he can’t suck on his thumb, up till now i use pacifiers rarely like when we are out and he’s screaming we are now stuck in-between.
we just returned to our home and i felt this would be a good time to eventually get in to a routine do i give him a pacifier at bed time so he sleeps and not spend hours finding the thumb or do i just help him find the thumb every time he struggles and gets frustrated sincerely il prefer he doesn’t suck his thumb.
Mummy Golightly says
My 3.5 month baby is a fantastic night sleeper (we established a night time routine early on and have kept with it). However, when it comes to daytime naps, I feel as though we’re fighting an ongoing battle. Since about 4 weeks she has not been able to nap unless she is fed, swaddled, held, and put down fully asleep, or if she is in the car or stroller (though the last two are quickly going away as go-to’s). I am very worried about bad nap sleep associations and would like to start with the Ferber method, however I do have a few questions that I don’t feel were answered in the book.
1. When I go to check on my baby at the assigned intervals, besides patting her on the tummy and saying a few reassuring words, do I need to wait until she has stopped crying, or should I leave as soon as I reach the 2 minute mark?
2. Should I be following through with the method even when a nap is well-established? Her first nap of the day is generally an easy one to get her to go down for.
Mummy Golightly says
As well, if she falls asleep during the wait times, then wakes up after a short period of time, do I continue with the wait time that I was on and continue to complete the 30 minutes (say, if she fell asleep 15 minutes into the 30 minute nap program), or restart the 30 minute program?
Finally, if, after 30 minutes she’s not asleep, do I stop altogether and try again next time she appears tired?
Thanks for your help!
I am a mom of one. He is about to be 17 months old. Me and my husband will be moving in our new home in about a month. I want to try the Ferber method when we move into our home. He has slept in the bed with us since day one. I can bearly get out of bed with him without him waking up. And he will go maybe an hour and then is searching for me. He is still on the bottle. And was wondering when I go to do this do I put his bottle in the crib with him or no. And when I have tried to leave him in bed he screams and cries so much he can bearly breath. Is that just acting out bc he calms down as soon as I come in.
Hi NoobMommy!! I jUst wanted to say THANK YOU for this article. I found it on Sunday night after I got fed up of my 1year old fighting me to sleep and me rocking her to no end, Sometimes until 11pm! Started this method on Monday, and here it is Thursday night and my baby demon has been sleeping since 8:30pm for the past 3 days!! Its hard the first night, but stick with it ladies…your whole household will be glad u did!
Hi, I have a 1 year old baby demon so I am asking for help because I want to keep my sanity! I started the ferber method yesterday afternoon (5min-10min and I never got to the 12 minute period because he fell asleep) the same thing happened at night (9 o’clock) but he woke up at 1:00 am and at 3:00 am and I breastfed him so I could put him to bed, so my question is what do I do at night when he wakes up do I do the usual breastfeeding or I use the same method? Please help me because I haven’t slept in a year and it’s getting to me!
So I’m completely lost…on just about everything concerning my 4.5 month old. There are so so so so many differing opinions on every single topic that concerns babies and I just don’t know where to go. My booger was a great night sleeper from the beginning, then about a month ago she did a 180…great during the day, ok to awful at night! She has been a paci lover and advocate since day 1 of her precious little life and we are struggling with what to do about it. I was a paci baby until about age 3 I think and I don’t mind the paci at all (especially during nap time), but I’m beginning to wonder if her sleep troubles (frequent wakings at night) are because of the paci now. So do we ditch the paci cold turkey and try Ferber (sigh), or do we just keep going in and putting in the paci until she learns how to put it in herself. I’m at my breaking point and willing to try anything I just don’t know what that anything will be. I read almost every comment posted on your blog and am just so confused. Can she use the paci and Ferber train? How do I get her to stay awake (without being totally cranky) for longer than 1.5? I have a million more questions, but can’t think of them due to the lack of sleep. Someone, anyone…please help!
hi, i trained my baby at 4 months. my goal was to get rid of his paci and we just did it cold turkey for night and naps. it worked! the whole point of sleep training is to get rid of bad sleep associations like the paci. you’ll be surpise how fast they learn. it took about 3 days for major progress and 2 weeks for it to stick. hope that helps!
by not giving it to him, letting him cry it out if he wakes up in the middle of the night. i put him to bed awake and he would cry about 3-15 mins each night for the first week. bedtime was easy, it was the night waking that was hard. he would cry about 30 mins to 1.5 hour long in the middle of the night but i didn’t go in. btw, i tried doing ferber the first night but noticed that he was taking longer to settle so i went for extinct CIO which is not checking in on him at all. i watched him through my monitor but i did not go in. it’s been 6 weeks since training and he’s still doing good, no crying for more than 1-2 mins. he just wakes up whining then goes back to sleep if he does wake up.
for naps, it was the same way. you have to keep it consistent by not giving her the paci.
Any recommendations on how this would work with multiples. I have triplets and fear that one crying will wake up another!
So glad I found you. My 5.5 month old had been sleeping through the night for a good 2 weeks (swaddled) when one night he decided he HATED being swaddled and everything fell apart after that. I do nurse him to sleep before bed and he used to sleep through, but for the last 4 nights he’s been up every 1.5-2 hours and the only way to soothe him back to sleep is to feed him (more for comfort than food obviously). My question is after I nurse him for the last time at night do I wake him up to be able to lay him down awake? Seems counter productive, but I’ll do it! My 5 year old twins were great sleepers, bottle fed, and we always laid them down awake and they learned to put themselves to sleep. This baby, I think because he is nursed, got used to being nursed to sleep…and something’s got to give. I’m planning on stopping the swaddling all together too, since he hates it now, and it’s getting to that age also, and summer here soon. Thanks for your advice.
Bug's Mama says
When we first started the method, we were in pretty much the same situation, but she was only 4 months old. We made all the changes at once and it really worked quickly. We got her into a 4-hour EASY routine. We took away her swaddle, and I nursed her a little earlier, not in her nursery, and then did a bedtime routine after she nursed, to get her into a sleepy-time habit. We do a bath every night, then goodnights with dad around the house, then a book with mom, say a little prayer, lights out, a hug and a kiss and into the crib. Bug is an awesome sleeper now at 11 months.
Aussie Kylie says
Your words of wisdom have been wonderful. We tried the ferber method and after one night she went down without crying and stayed asleep all night, for the past two nights. I have two questions:
1. The first night I had to wake her at 715,the second she woke at 6am, today she woke at 530….how can I help this stay later?
2: I am trying it with naps today and right now she is screaming bloody murder. Is there any suggestions of how often or when a good time for naps would be. She was pretty tired today at 645 I put her down. On a usual day she naps at 830ish, and 2ish.
….I lied I have one more question…if she doesn’t cry for 2 nights, and then cries on say the 4th night, should I start back at the 3, 5, 10 10 etc wait times? Or should I go to the day 4 wait times? For the nap this morning I did the day 2 wait times(5, 10, 12, 12) but you said end the nap at 30 minutes so I am on the 3rd checking wait period right now..
Amy Davis says
We are also doing CIO. Question about the nap … Once they’ve gone 30 minutes and I have to stop the nap, when should I try a nap again? Surely I wouldn’t wait until the afternoon nap. Should I wait 30 more minutes and try a nap again? Or watch for signs of tiredness and then try a nap?
Thank you for your wonderful website! I am so thankful for the information you have provided! I have second guessed myself many times in the past months when I’ve attempted CIO. Now that I’ve found your website and read this post, I have the the strength to do CIO and stick to it! 🙂
Hello- I have been putting sleep training off for months now. My baby is 6 1/2 months old and became a horrible sleeper around 4 months old. He goes to bed easily; sometimes he’s fully awake, sometimes he’s just had a bottle, but he always babbles for a few minutes and then just zonks out. Our problems are his night time wakings. He will wake up at 2:30 am, and the only thing that will pacify him is a bottle (even tho most of the time he won’t drink anything). Then, he will wake up at 5-6 and nothing will help him go back to sleep, although his normal wake up time is 7. He’s a monster between his 5-6 wake up time and his first nap usually lasts around 1.5 hours. He has slept through the night over 10 times, from 8-7, so I know he’s capable of doing it. My question is this: Do I tackle both wake up times at the same time or do I master one (get rid of the 2:30) and then focus on the other one (5 o’clock) later? Help! Thanks! 🙂
Hi Noob Mommy,
My LO is almost 8 months old and at this time she is sleeping with us, however she wakes up every 2 to 3 hours for feeding and falls back to sleep. She has skin allergies and at times being itchy seems to be the reason why she wakes up, she usually stops itching after I applied her special lotion and falls sleep after I picked her up and nurse her.
I am planning to return to work soon and decided to start the Ferber Method after hearing from a friend that has been doing it with great results.
We only have a one bedroom apartment so her crib is next to our bed, she is very clingy to me and my question is what to do when she wakes up in the middle of the night and starts crying for me, she will see that I am right there and would wonder why I am not picking her up.
I am going to start tonight and hope that all goes well…wish me luck and thanks in advance for your time and also for this great blog 🙂
Love love all these comments, and they are very helpful. I’m in desperate need of help. I have a 3yr old. (Y) and a 16 month old. (D) Y has always been fantastic and slept though from 5 weeks old. My D has never never slep though. Very very keen to try CIO, but if I leave D to CIO she wakes Y. D wakes at 10pm, 2am and again at about 5/6am. I never have to pick her up, and sometimes I can get her to go back off for a bit, but will wake again in a few minutes late. So I’ve started giving her a bottle. She drinks a full 210ml at 10pm, again at 2am, and again at 5/6am. I have tried water, and not interested. Then I tried the CIO and It wakes Y. I now have Y in my bed, and still have D waking. So is there anyway you can help me. Should I do CIO with both girls, and should D be having a bottle so many bottles?. Please note. The girls share a room, and don’t have enough rooms to put them in their own rooms. A big part of me feels I can do CIO if they were in separate rooms.
My LO is just shy of 4 months and she has been rocked or nursed to sleep her entire short life but she slept in good stretches at night until recently. I am not sure if it is the 4 month sleep regression but I am really tired now of the rocking but more importantly, she needs good solid rest so I want to Ferberize her in a few weeks when I can clear my schedule of social commitments and she is 4 months+. She is very healthy at 13.5 lbs currently so I think she can sleep through the night that is 6 hours or so. I had a few questions.
Do I not change any diapers at night- usually only wet diapers – during and after sleep training?
There is mobile on her crib which she spends about an hour each morning enjoying, should I remove this?
Some people say I should wait until after teething to sleep train – what are your thoughts? I think she is going to be teething soon because she shoves her fists in her mouth all day.
BTW, I wish I found your blog sooner!! I love it!!!!!!!
Hi, Helen. I can’t offer an opinion on your other questions, but as far as teething goes, I wouldn’t put off sleep training for that reason. I can only base this opinion on my own experience, but at four months we thought my daughter would start teething any minute. She was drooling and chewing on things, but she didn’t actually get her first tooth until she was 9 months old! She is now 23 months old and just got her last tooth (with the exception of the 2 yr molars). Teething can be really unpredictable. She might go months without getting any teeth and then get four all at one time, so if you want to wait until after teething, you could be waiting a long time. We Ferberized at about 7 months. Yes, during times when she was teething her sleep was thrown off, but I still think it was to our advantage to sleep train before teething. First, because she rarely woke up at night after Ferberizing, on the rare occasion that she did wake up, we knew there was probably something wrong. We knew she wasn’t just waking up for soothing anymore, so we could conclude that she must be uncomfortable in some way. We could address the problem (in the case of teething we used infant’s ibuprofen) and go back to sleep. Then, when she was done teething for a while, she’d easily go back into her regular sleep pattern. Hope this helps!
Thank you for your reply!!! It’s sooo helpful. If I can ask you one more question… am I suppose to feed my daughter if she wakes up in the night since she is still only 4months OR let her go 6-8 hours before feeding her? If I do feed her, do I just put her down awake after? THANK U!!!
Ok so my LO is only six weeks old at this point, so I know that I can’t start ferbering him yet. But are there any tips to help him sleep longer at night? He is consistently up 3-4 times at night, and sometimes will stay up for up to 3 hours. The entire household is completely sleep deprived, and at wit’s end.
Question for you. Was wondering if you could help. I saw your blog/site at the beginning of March and implemented the Ferber Method for our 9 month old. After 3 nights, it worked like a charm and he was sleeping through the night……until about a week ago. True, he is teething right now, something to consider?
He has started to wake around 3. Since we made it to night 3/4 and he started sleeping through the night, I let him cry it out for 10 minutes before going in to reassure him. It works, and he goes back to sleep. He then will wake up at 4, 5, and 6.
Previously when making it the whole night, he would wake between 5-6 ready to nurse and start his day, which we did.
Why the change? What should I try?
never ending story says
Hi there! I came across your blog last night in my first attempt to Ferberize my 20 month old. Yes thats right. It has been 20 months of no sleep and we have tried everything and this was my last resort. He actually goes to sleep just fine but after 3 hours he is up and crying. I usually just go back in and lay him down but he will just be up again at midnight, 2am and then 5 am for the day. Ya, not happening for the rest of us. Reading some of your posts helped me as he was screaming for 15 min. at a time. He is a tough little bugger. I am just hoping it is better tonight. After starting the process at 10pm, he was on and off all night until 2am!!!! Cry for 10-15 min. and then sleep from 8-10 min. I was going to loose my mind. Then he finally just fell asleep from 2-6. I did go in twice to reassure him that we love him and we are all sleeping. I made sure just to talk to him without touching him and he would lay back down, at least for a couple of minutes. I am exhausted but if a week of this will lead to him sleeping through the night then i will take it. I can’t handle much more.
tired mama says
Hello. Love your blog! I used the Ferber method on my BF almost 5 month old 3 nights ago (last night was our thrid night). He is super easy to put to bed, and the first night only took 5 minutes of crying to fall asleep completelly on his own. Unfourtunatly, though he was up every few hours that first night (he is totally associating boob with sleep!). I followed the method till 7:30 in the morning, at which time he was awake for the day. The next night he slept 8:30-5:30! which was awesome. At 5:30 i fed him and he fell right back to sleep till 7:30. Last night (3rd night), he went down in less than 1 minute of fussing, but he was up at 1:30 and fussed for 45 min till he finally fell asleep. He woke at 6:15 at which point i fed him, and he slept till 7:30. My question is, what should i do with these early morning feedings? Should i get him up for the day and feed then, making sure he does not go back to sleep? Or should i let him fuss till 7:30? I hate to get him up earlier than his natural wake up but i also dont want to confuse him. Also, for his early morning feed i woke him up before putting him back in the crib so he falls asleep on his own. He’s in the 15th weight % so i want to make sure he eats when need be but i also need sleep big time! i feel like he defianatly can sleep long periods (like his second night) so i want to do things right tonight. thank you!!
Noob Mommy says
Tired Mama – Congrats on implementing Ferber and I’m so happy to hear that you’ve had positive results! I believe the sort of flip flop between some nights being harder and having more crying for the first week is very normal. Just as a little preface. During my sleep training experience, for the 11 days it took, some days were super easy and then it felt like there was a little regression… then back to being good again! So, just in case things get a little harder again, don’t question yourself and stay consistent with the technique. As for the waking up at 5:30 am… that is difficult. I believe that I would let her fuss for awhile and see if she seemed tired still. If it really became too drawn out, then we would just get up and start the day. I know it’s not fun to start the day that early, but as your little one gets older, his wake up time will gate a little later as well! I think you’re going to have to go with your gut and determine if he’s ready to get up or if he does need a little extra sleep. I’d say that anything past 7:30 is pretty late for a baby, and it starts to cut into that first nap time (which is often their longest). Good luck to you! I hope Ferber’s method helps you as it did for us!
Hi there, love this blog. I have a 6.5 month old lil boy who is so hard to put to sleep and won’t stay asleep. I’m planning on trying the Ferber method for getting him to sleep because my back just can’t take it anymore. (He’s 21 lbs!) My question is do I start Ferberizing at nap time first, or start it for bedtime first? I don’t want to mess it up considering how hard it’s going to be for me to get through it. Oy. Thanks so much. Love this blog.
We started with naps first and the skills did not transfer to his nighttime wakings. 🙁 I really wished they had. I sleep (nap) trained him when I was on spring break two weeks ago and he naps much better now but he’s still waking up like crazy at night. I’m just too scared to sleep train alone as my husband works nights and my baby’s got quite a set of lungs. :/
hi, thank you for your post and comments. i’ve been reading through this and it is very helpful. i am planning to train our LO at 4 months. right now he is dependent on the paci for nightitme and naps. i want to completely take out the paci with sleep training using ferber method, however, i saw your comment that you still use it on your babies after sleep training? did you use paci when you were sleep training?
also, i want to sleep train nightime first then naps. if i give him the paci during naps and not nightitme during his nightime sleep training, do you think that will confuse him? he is currently napping really well with his paci. i don’t want to ruin that. his nighttime needs work, we have to wake up a few times to give the paci to put him back to sleep. he’s a such a good baby, i know he needs more sleep. please help, thank you.
Kate in Italy says
Hi I just wanted to say that after 5 days of sleep training things are so much better for us! She’s sleeping in her cot after only a few minutes of crying and waking only once during the night, but goes back on her own after half an hour.. Yippee! We have evenings back and can eat dinner without screams!.. Naps during the day are still a problem, she is tired out but I cannot get her to stay in her cot and sleep at all.. The crying at this time is worse! Noob mummy, what is your advice for this? ..as I’m sure she needs her naps?
Noob Mommy says
Kate in Italy – How old is your LO? YOu mentioned she won’t stay in her cot. So is she capable of leaving during naps? If so, that is much trickier. I’m glad to hear that the sleep training has helped with night time sleep though! My experience with naps (which is harder to train) is just be consistent. Continue the same sleep training techniques you use at bedtime up until 45 minutes. If she doesn’t fall asleep by then, end the nap and shoot for an earlier bedtime that evening?
Bugs Meme says
Hi Noob Mommy,
Love your blogs, i have found them so helpful. My own 3 babies are 18, 15 & 15. At 37 i am now rasing my adopted granddaughter who is 11 months old. She has been with me since 2.5 months, my own never had any problems sleeping once they slept through the night. But my grandbug does, from 4 to 6 months she slept all night and then just stopped to waking 1-3xs a night. I rock her with a bottle to put her to sleep & if i put her to bed awake as long as i sit in her rm she will go to sleep. There are a few nights during the week she will wake in the night and be WIDE awake & i put her in bed with me or i have to sit in her rm for 3 hours. I want to try the CIO method but i feel so bad. I know she is fine and only crys because i leave her rm. She doesn’t like to nap either if she sleeps for more then 45mins its a miracle she takes 2 naps a day. Bed by 8-8:30 awake by 6-7. 2xs a month she will sleep all night. Please help any advice i would love. My youngest are identical twins & i found them easier then my grandbug 🙂 even though she doesn’t like sleep she is a wonderful wonderful little girl. She is on a great schedule which works out great for me & her. I just need sleep nice uninterrupted sleep. So please please any advice i would love
Bugs Meme says
Hi Noob Mommy,
Love your blogs, i have found them so helpful. My own 3 babies are 18, 15 & 15. At 37 i am now rasing my adopted granddaughter who is 11 months old. She has been with me since 2.5 months, my own never had any problems sleeping once they slept through the night. But my grandbug does, from 4 to 6 months she slept all night and then just stopped to waking 1-3xs a night. I rock her with a bottle to put her to sleep & if i put her to bed awake as long as i sit in her rm she will go to sleep. There are a few nights during the week she will wake in the night and be WIDE awake & i put her in bed with me or i have to sit in her rm for 3 hours. I want to try the CIO method but i feel so bad. I know she is fine and only crys because i leave her rm. She doesn’t like to nap either if she sleeps for more then 45mins its a miracle she takes 2 naps a day. Bed by 8-8:30 awake by 6-7. 2xs a month she will sleep all night. Please help any advice i would love.
Just wanted to say that for us things are much better now. I found out our son (7 months) only needs about 12-13 hours of sleep day and night! So after I’ve cut back on his day time sleep things have improved a lot. He stopped staying awake for 2-3 hours a night 🙂 he was tired during the day the first week or so because I wouldn’t allow him to sleep more than 2,5 hours all day. But now he’s gotten used to the new rythm. During the past week he’s slept from 8 pm till around 6.30 am when I wake him up!
So I’m sure that the Ferber method works! It worked on both my children. It’ll take some time and it’s tough to listen to your baby crying. But after a couple of days/nights things get better! And it’s really worth the trouble.
@Kate, I hope this will help you get through the tough days and reassure you, you’re doing the right thing for both you and your daughter!
Kate in Italy says
I have read through all of your posts and comments and last night just started our sleep training with our little one Serafina. We came to the conclusion that with a second baby on the way we could no longer sleep 3 in the bed!.. This was the only way she would sleep!.. Before that in her cot she was put in asleep after a feed but would wake 4 or 5 times a night!..last night was terrible for all of us, she finally fell asleep after 2.5 hours of crying sitting up! Then she woke suddenly as 10am and continued crying for what seemed like all night. I have a tired girl today, very grumpy but still at nap times she won’t sleep in her cot! We are determined to keep to the times but tell me it will get better? I feel crushed I am putting our little one through this, but think long term it will be for the best..?!!
"x"men's mama says
Going to try the Ferber method tonight with my soon to be 5 month old. My first was sleeping in his crib through the night by 4 months. I was hoping this one would follow suit but hopefully after this he soon will be. Eek, good luck to all!!! 🙂
This is a great site/blog particular when you need the strength when listening to your baby crying and your heart is breaking. Thank you for the guide of time methods because without this I was just guessing. Well mine is now at nearly 5 am. Last time attempted this it took a record of 25 minutes, tonight as it seems will be longer. He was ok, but not crying in hysterics (a little on off) but went in on 12 mins, soon to be 15. It’s great typing this at its a bit of a distractor too, but I’ll be going back in there in another minute 🙁 Good Luck everyone, hope your bubbas are much improved!
Noob Mommy says
Chrisy – Hope it has helped you get some sanity and sleep. I’m glad you found my blog to be of some relief and support!
Ps I’m in Europe so 8 hours ahead
Hi Noob Mommy (and followers)
Thanks for a great blog which I read while trying to keep my spirits up!
I’m trying to ferberize our 7 months old son.
He usually goes to sleep with little or no crying(!), but it’s during the night we have our battle!
Tonight it’s taken almost 3 (!!) hours before he has (hopefully) fallen asleep. Is that “normal” and has anyone else tried that too???
I’m close to tears and feel sick to my stomach every time he starts wimpering or crying again.
If the method hadn’t worked so well on his sister, I’m not sure I could keep doing it. We had 2 good nights (he slept for 9 hours without waking up) and I’m trying to find comfort in that as well.
If anybody has some good advice or similar experiences please share 🙂 thanks!
"x"men's mama says
We have our battles during the night as well. I would say three hours is a little long. Has it gotten better since then?
Body feels like it's 100 says
Hello Noob Mommy! Thank you so much for starting this website/ blog! You are my real life hero! Just when I think I’m going to fall to pieces I read your post on sleep and find the shred of energy I have left to giggle, thank you. I feel like you’ve been a fly on my wall writing my ‘play by play’ our experiences are so incredibly similar. Sleep has been a major issue for us because our little sleep fighting baby girl had severe reflux from birth so we had no choice other than soothing her by holding to avoid a throw up session. She finally ‘grew’ out of it and here we are 9 months later, tired, cranky and injured all over. Talk about sore joints, muscles and inability to heal from the ridiculous rocking sleep after sleep. Last night was our first night of Ferberizing and Oh my, you were right! If the liquor cabinet was closer it would be empty, lol. So after all the preamble (sorry, that’s the 9 months of lack of sleep talking) my questions are…. 1) Would you recommend tackling bedtime first and then naps once bedtime is resolved? 2) When I go in to sooth her at night cause she crying and screaming like a banshee will patting her cute little behind stall the process? I pat her for the minute I’m in there and she stops but then once I realize it’s time to ‘cut the cord’ and walk away she starts up all over again. 3) She’s 9 months and breastfeed up until 8 months (just newly taking a bottle, finally! Another story….) so at 11 pm she woke up and I paniac’d and got her out for a bottle which re-started the entire sleep training process once she was done 3 oz (made 6oz). Should I have just re-started the training process rather than pull her out, feed her and start over? Thanks so much, you are a momma rockstar! Love, love, love your humor in such a frustrating, tiring, sad situation…. Thank you, thank you, thank you!
Huge question! Need advice!
My 15 month old sleeps from 8pm-5pm, straight…that’s 10 hours. At 5am I breastfeed him and he goes another 2-3 hours. I’ve been doing the CIO for 4 nights now and he just cries from 5-6:30am. He doesn’t go back to sleep and is miserable all day!
I was wondering if I should maybe reconsider this since in about 1 month I will be going back to work and will have to get him up by 6am anyway? Maybe my son will slowly get off this feeding since he is able to go 10 hours alone? Not sure…
After recently beginning this method I’ve had 6 days of all night sleeping until tonight.
I’ve had to be strong to listen to this horrible cries from my 11 month old and get my husband to understand this method rather than me sitting with him for several hours each time he does this to get him back off to sleep. Plus we are due to have our second child in a few months which will be quite scary with no family support.
My question is after such time to you return to day 1 or crying it out method or maybe day 3.
Needing some sleep says
I am trying this method with my 12 month old…yes you read right…12months! I am wondering, if she does not get upset say for the first 5-10 min of putting her in the bed, do you still heck on her at the 3and 5 min or start the checking once she is upset and crying.
Needing some sleep says
Update: Night 1 went better than expected. She cried for 32 mintues total before falling asleep. Woke at 1am and cried for about the same amount of time before going back to sleep. I am so proud of her! Who knows what tonight will bring…could be better, could be worse.
At 7 months, I decided DD was well and truly playing me – up 3-4 times a night and totally sleep deprived, I gave the Ferber method a go. It took two (agonizing) nights, but then, voila, she was sleeping through the night and, colds and moving house aside, has been doing so ever since (is now 14 mos). Thanks for the honest and upfront perspective, it was so good to read about someone else’s experience!
Sleepless in New York says
Update: we used the Ferber method and by the 4th night, our son started sleeping for about 8 hour straight. The only issue now is that he sleeps for about 8.5 hours total and will not go back to sleep after he wakes up to eat (usually around 6-6:30am) – he is up until 10pm at night and is up for the day at 6:30am. End result is that my husband and I have absolutely no time for ourselves but at least we get 7-8 hours of uninterrupted sleep every night!
Sleepless in New York says
Dear Noob Mommy,
Thank you so much for your insightful blog on sleep training. I have a wonderful 5.5 month old boy who, from about 6 weeks of age until about 3.5 months slept for about 8-9 hours a night. However, at 3.5 months, he started waking up multiple times a night. In fact, last night, he was up 6 times! Most of the time, he just wants his pacifier and falls back asleep. He usually feed once, around 3am but only wants 3oz, which makes me think that he is waking up out of habit. He eats solids already and is doing great height/weight wise so that is not an issue. He falls asleep on his own in his own crib (but with the pacifier in his mouth which may be our big mistake) so the issue hasn’t been bed time but waking up at night. Also, he goes to sleep late – around 10pm – mostly because he only sleeps about 8.5 hrs total and is usually up for the day by 6:30am (after waking up multiple times a night). If we try to put him to bed earlier – 8pm, he is up for the day at 4am, and both my husband and I work so the schedule is just not sustainable. I should also say that during the day he is the best baby ever. Smiling, playful, easygoing and just amazing! How can we get him to go to sleep earlier and sleep through the night? We are both exhausted and need help!
Katie W says
I wanted to thank you for your blog post! It became an awesome tool for me (and my husband) when we decided to sleep train our 7 1/2 month old out of desperation. He required to be rocked to sleep, and was waking up anywhere between 5 & 8 times per night (also requiring to be rocked BACK to sleep). Night 1 brought us 1 hour of crying, with him only waking twice. By night 4, we were down to 5 minutes of crying and he only woke once. Now we are on night 12, with the past three nights having NO CRYING at bedtime (what a HUGE relief). He still wakes up anywhere between 1 & 5 times per night (usually lets out a whimper or two), but a majority of the time he will fall back asleep on his own… 🙂
My 5 month old does not sleep or nap well at all. I breastfeed her during the day and give her a 5oz bottle of expressed breastmilk before she goes to bed at 8pm (I have started giving her a bottle just so I know that she’s getting a large supply of milk before bed). I put her down in her bassinet beside my bed while she’s still awake and she has no problem falling asleep on her own most of the time, with a pacifier and sleep sheep sound machine. She wakes up around 1am and I nurse her, she will sleep for about 3 hours when I nurse her again and then falls back asleep for another 2-3 hours. I am very tired of having short spurts of sleep. She weighs 14lbs 5oz so I am wondering if I should give up the night time feeds altogther and tried the ferber method and moving her to her crib in her own room. Her naps are horrible and I know this must be affecting her nighttime sleep, she usally takes a quick 30min nap in the morning and that’s it, afternoon naps are hard for her, I did let her CIO today and she was asleep within 20 min but only slept for 30. I have slowly started her on oatmeal but not any significant amount. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
Is there an optimal age to do CIO? Should it ideally be before the baby can stand up for example?
My son is 6 months old today. We sleep trained him for naps, and he sleeps like a champ during the day (two 2 hour sleeps, no crying).
At night he is put down (awake) at around 6.30 after bath, and a feed. Straight to sleep. Then he wakes at around 10, 1 and 5. He feeds for about 15 minutes and goes right back to sleep.
He is very healthy and on the 60th percentile. He has 5 – 6 breastfeeds during the day and three meals of purées.
Is he ready to be ferberised at night time or should I wait to see if he drops the night feeding naturally?
Very nervous! I used to think I was tough before I had a baby. Turns out I’m a bit of a sook!!!
Thank you for this informative and funny post! I started this method last week with my 12 mo baby (who normally woke up every 2-3 hours to nurse), and he started sleeping 10 hours straight by the 4th night. The first night was a bit bumpy at the first wake up, but then everything turned out to be easier than I expected. He picked up on it pretty fast. He’s happy, I’m happy. This is awesome!
I love this blog.. I’m glad to know other parents are suffering like we are. I thought I was the only one hysterically crying and swearing from 1-4am.
Anyways, my son has slept good in his short 10month life but recently he has figured out how to stand himself up in the crib!We laughed and were so proud when I first saw this! Now instead of just rolling and falling back to sleep, he gets up, stands up and WAILS at the top of his lungs.He’s doing this for naps too and taking shorter naps which makes for a super cranky baby all day!
We are starting the ferber method tonight and am already anxious… I hate hearing my little guy cry like this!! Do we go in and pu/pd? Do we just let him stand and figure it out?
OK – so my husband and I are at our wits end with rocking our nearly 14 month old to sleep. She still wakes in the middle of the night (most nights) and we have to rock her back to sleep. Can the Ferber method work for an older child, like mine?
Rule Follower says
Ok, so we had Night #1 last night. It wasn’t as horrible as I anticipated, and he was out for the whole night in 35 min. Naps are a big problem (he usually takes 3 naps, each about 40 min.). Little Bubba (will be 6 mo. in 2 days) always napped in his swing, but slept fine in his crib at night (as long as he’s rocked all the way to sleep)- refused to nap in the crib (I know, weird). Well, rocking and swinging are the sleep associations we need to break, so no more swing naps. We followed what Ferber says about doing the progressive waiting with naps until 30 min. has passed. He cried the whole time for his morning nap, so I got him up to continue on with the day and he fell asleep while nursing. Nap #2 was in the car because I was running errands. Nap #3 was spent crying in his crib for 30 min., so I got him up. About an hour later, he was rubbing his eyes and sooo sleepy. I decided we should try to nap in the crib once more (he’s currently crying and I’m glancing at the stopwatch feature on my phone). Was this right? It’s still 3 hours till bedtime, but I could see he wasn’t going to make it that long. Should I have let him fall asleep on his own on his playmat or next to me on the couch instead of setting him in his crib? My thinking was that he needs to learn to nap in his crib, so I’ve got to show a little tough love.
P.S. – Thank you for your blog and your perspective. This is really hard, but I’ve been so encouraged by reading all the above comments and responses. Deep breaths, parents! This too shall pass!
Get excited for a novel: five month old Baby Girl (Pickles) was a fabulous sleeper from about eight weeks until four months when we moved. She would go from 6:30pm until about 5:45-6am. Then all hell broke loose with night sleeping.
Pickles has never been a great napper. At first she slept in the swing for naps for an hour to two hours. At four months we broke her of the swing and could possibly get an hour nap out of her. At that point she had been on the 3 hour EASY schedule since about eight weeks. Now, she won’t nap for more than 35 minutes, unless it’s in MY bed, with me in it as well. I plan on Ferberizing her naps beginning tomorrow. She is currently on the self selected 4 hour EASY schedule, minus the good naps.
Now, night sleeping. Pickles’ bed time routine consists of: 6pm bath; 6:15 baby massage, hair combing, pajamas; 6:30 nursing and in bed asleep between 6:45 and 7:pm. She falls asleep while nursing. Then I burp her and lay her in the crib. If her eyes are open, she will roll onto her side and immediately stick her thumb in her mouth. Sounds great right? Well tonight she woke at 7:55, I went in and picked her up to calm her, she didn’t really calm down, so I put her back into the crib, patted her tummy and walked out. She cried for about two minutes after that. Two nights ago she woke up at 12:10, then 1:40, then 3:00 and was inconsolable at 3am. I have not been offering her the breast during these night wakings (I tried on New Year’s Eve but she was uninterested, so her loss) so at 3am I took her back to bed with me, and fed her at 6:30am to keep her on her 4 EASY. Last night she woke up at midnight and I caved (bad Mama!) and brought her to bed with me, where she slept until 6am this morning and I fed her at 6:30am.
My biggest question is this: should I rearrange her bedtime routine to nurse first, then bath etc? Because I think putting her to bed asleep or mostly asleep is an issue, but I already feel like I’m prison camp sleep depriving her by not letting her nap after 4pm, so I don’t want to stretch her bedtime out anymore and I don’t want to put her down earlier than usual (per your aforementioned chart). Also, should I expect this method to get her back to 6am wake ups? As a champion sleeper myself, I would love her to sleep until 8am, but I would take 6am in a heartbeat again after these stupid 3am wake-ups.
I’m sleeping in the hall tonight, outside Pickles’ door, and told my husband to turn off the monitor in our room, so at least one of us can sleep tonight. Update tomorrow as I’ve decided you will hold me accountable if I cave again.
Night 1- well I didn’t cave. Mainly because Pickles never actually cried until 5am. She woke at 2:58 and would screech and coo off and on for an hour, but she never cried. So I would lay here thinking, should I go in for the screeches? But I didn’t. Then at 5am she started crying, so I started the intervals, because her first feeding is at 6:30am. Did I do that right? Or should she be up at 5am.?
On another note, I was most worried about her rolling onto her tummy and not being able to turn back over, and you know dying. She did roll over, but her head was turned to the side and her thumb was in her mouth. (I checked on her around 4:30 when she was sleeping).
Noob Mommy says
Pickles- I recall the 4 month age that there was a growth spurt which included some sleep regressions. This may be what Pickles is going through, if she’s been a pretty good sleeper thus far. If it is a growth spurt – you’ll be able to tell because she’ll be wolfing down those middle of the night nursings. It sounds like you are on the right track and have been doing your research! Keep monitoring her cues and try to be consistent if you decide to stick with the progressive sleep training (so don’t bring her into bed with you sometimes and sometimes not 🙂 I’d say, if she’s slept well up until 5:30 am, you may have to call it. That’s exactly what’s going on over here. NB2.0 goes down at 7 and wakes up at 5:30-6. In my opinion, I feel like she could be sleeping a tad bit longer (around 12 hours or so), but it may take a few more months for her to get to that point. Good luck with your training!!
Dear Noon Mama,
I just wanted to say thank you. I stumbled across your website looking for help with our 5 month old who seemed terrified of sleep. We couldn’t get him to sleep or nap (he would even fuss and cry even as I tried to nurse him to sleep). I tried all of the non CIO methods, thinking that the Ferber method seemed cruel. We had even tried the Ferber method once before the holidays and gave up because it was too difficult, but after reading your page I saw that we were making some mistakes and we tried again. It has only been a week, but the difference is amazing. He goes right to sleep when we put him in his crib (though he fusses a bit for about 5 minutes), takes naps and sleeps at night for 8-12 hour stretches. This from a child who has had sleep issues seemingly from birth (he was a colicky baby). Anyways, just wanted to say thanks and that the method really does work and life is much better with sleep!
Noob Mommy says
MamaG- Thank you so much for your comment! I’m glad my post has helped you get through what I know to be a very difficult phase in parenting! I hope sleep has improved for everyone over there! Best to you and your new little noob.
Hi mommies and Noob Mommy! I have posted on here earlier, when I was sleep training my son when he was 8 months, and we shortly afterwards had to re-train again at 9.5 months. Now, my LO is almost 11 months and for the past week and a half he has gotten back into the habit of waking 2-4 times in the night (I think he’s teething). I have (again) been caving and picking him up/nursing him back to sleep. This has got to stop. I can handle the sleep training again, since this will be try 4, but my concern is…. Is this something that will happen again and again until he’s about 2 years old? I hate having to sleep train him every time he goes through a growth spurt or teething, but this is getting ridiculous. Every month or so, he has an issue that makes him wake, then he is sleep trained, and fine again for about another month or so before something else starts to occur. Why does this happen? Is there any way I can get him to sleep through the night without all the re-training? I’m at my wits end, and need some advice/support….
Please HELP! I literally spent the last hour reading EVERY post on here. My daughter will be 9 months old on December 15. She was an excellent sleeper until she began trying to crawl. Since 5 months she basically refuses to sleep in her crib. I gave in because i work full time and so does my husband. I put her in our bed after 5 months of not once being in there and now I could literally kick myself. I have not found on here babies crying for hours before giving in. I tried this a few weeks ago and my LO literally cried for 3 hours with NO stop. She would immediately roll over and stand up. Id go in after the alloted time and lay her down tell her it was night night. Before I was even out of her room she was back up. She knows how to sit down so that isnt the issue. What do I do??? Please help me I am so desperate. I of course gave in at that time. 3 hours seems excessive to me. She is a very determined busy baby. She is on a schedule as far as the wake times before naps. She naps 1-2.5 hours per nap (2). What do I do in that situation? The standing, the excessive cry times? She is a reflux baby but it is being controlled with prevacid as well as a wedge in her bed. She doesnt cry, she screams bloody murder.
Thank you for such a great site! I’ve found all of the posts to be helpful and encouraging which is much needed! Our daughter is almost 11 months old. We started Ferber method 2 nights ago and it’s been going great! We went from 3-4 night wakings down to one last night. Putting her to bed would require nursing, rocking, looking for dogs outside, etc. The whole ordeal lasted from 30 min to more than an hour most nights. The older she got the more she resisted going to bed. Now I know it was from bad sleep associations. So I feel like her night time sleep has improved dramatically. However, during the day I and grandma (watches her 2-3x/week) have been putting her in the car to fall asleep. This has been going on for months. Since we have started Ferber method we have not had a successful nap in the crib. Is it bad to continue the car rides and work on them gradually? Grandma is on board with everything but I’m not sure she could handle an hour worth of trying to nap. I would like her to be able to nap in the crib eventually or even the pack n play at grandmas house, especially with it being winter now. What’s your recommendation in our nap situation? Thanks so much!
baby & mom needs help! says
I have been trying CIO with my 9 month old son for 4 days. We have improvement but not like a charm. He got used to sleep with nipple in his mouth whole night when we visited my family. He got sick and this was the only way I could calm him down. Now, we are back and I want him to sleep in his bed. Now, He wakes up every 3-4 h during the night which is improvement but I am not satisfied yet. My questions are: 1) He cries like 10-15 min on and off (total crying time 5 min at most). Should l still be following visit intervals or just leave him alone ? 2) when he wakes up, I nurse him because he used to be nursed very often before we started this method. I thought hunger may wake him up. So should I keep nursing? 3) He used to take 1.5 h naps. Now max 30 min. He wakes up screaming, and tired. During the nap time, I do not follow the visit intervals. Because at night his father does it, and it works. But my visits make him cry and scream a lot and I’m alone during the day. Should I visit him based on the time intervals for naps?
Noob Mommy! I need you! We are on day 13 with our 5 month old son. He still cries almost every night for 20-30 minutes. There were a few days last week where he cried for only 5-10 minutes and we thought we were in the clear, but no. I don’t know how much more of this my husband can handle. I am firmly resolved to this plan, but my husband gets so obviously stressed out when our son is crying every night. Should we just push on? Or do we start back at night one? I’m so lost!
Noob Mommy says
Mimi- Sorry! I missed your comment. What is the status now? Have you weathered CIO? Would love to get an update.
Hi Noob Mommy! Your blog is the bomb 🙂
I have been searching the web for some advice, and your post (and all of these comments…yes, I read them all) is the closest thing I can find to my situation. Thanks in advance for any assistance!
My son is just over 4 months and has been swaddled since 4 weeks old. The reason we are stopping swaddling now is because he is starting to roll over. There are not many online resources as to how to stop swaddling, so I was looking at the CIO method to see if others have used it during this transition. There aren’t many, if any, comments on this issue so I figured I’d just ask for advice.
He has been sleeping through the night for many weeks with no problems, from approx. 7pm-6am. We don’t need to try CIO for getting him to sleep, but rather getting him to go back to sleep after waking himself in the middle of the night.
We tried for the first time to not swaddle last night and he fell right asleep at 7pm, his normal bed time. He woke at 9pm, screaming bloody murder and I didn’t know what to do, so I fed him and he passed right back out. He woke again at 12:45am and again at 3am, both times screaming, so I fed him and he slept every time without the swaddle.
So, my question is should I try the CIO method for stopping swaddling? And does he need to be fed when he wakes since he had been sleeping through the night just fine for so long, but while swaddled?
I hope I am making sense. Thanks again!
Noob Mommy says
Grace- Sorry for the late response. It seems I’ve missed quite a few comments here over the holidays! I hope CIO has worked out for you. I’d love to hear any updates. Technically, when you do the progressive sleep training, you should be playing out what you plan to have as your ideal sleep circumstances. Meaning, if you don’t want him to use a paci anymore, try to slowly diminish the role of this little by little. Same with other sleep crutches. No more rocking (cold turkey). Swaddling (if it’s a sleep hazard like flipping over, just go cold turkey. We had to do this and it was fine after a few nights). Consistency is key with sleep training. You are training them to get used to new sleep conditions that are best for them 🙂 As for feeding him when he cries during the training… try and gauge if he’s truly hungry or relying on the nursing to get back to sleep. My hunch is that he’s old enough now to not need to eat so much during the night. Good luck to you! Thanks for reading my blog!
Hi, I’m an avid reader of your blog and a first time mommy of a now 6month old. I thought I had the whole sleep thing sorted, but turns out I really haven’t! My little monkey used to sleep through the night 7pm til 7am and he would have around 5 half hour naps during the day. But recently he has decided to start waking up at 5.30 am every morning and just talking to himself and eventually crying. And despite my best efforts I can’t get him to sleep through again! He has also decided that the whole nap thing is a clice and he no longer wants to do that either! He now just screams constantly when I put him down for naps! I feel so lost, and I’m not quite sure what I have done to undo my good ‘sleep’ work! Have you got any suggestions for me? Could really do with some advice! Thank you
he is waking at 5am. If his bed time is 8:30 do I try the CRO at 5am?????? My son is 6 months old and we have been trying the CIO for four days , He wakes up at 10 and 3 and then wakes at 7am . Each night and “session time” is diminishing BUT now he is waking at 5am. If his bed time is 8:30 do I try the CRO at 5am or feed him and if he falls back to sleep then good or am i up for the day?????? PLEASE, ANY Suggestions. if I feed him at 5 and he falls asleep arent i just reinforcing what Im trying to fix??
This post and most of the comments have been so very helpful! Tonight is night 1…Yay! 😉 This last wakeup has now run in to when DS (10 mo) normally wakes up. Any thoughts on that? Should I continue with the “schedule?” It’s now been about an hour and he’s starting to slow down significantly, although is talking AND crying at the moment. My instinct tells me he’s still tired, but I thought I’d see if you or any readers have any insight. Thanks!
Does the Ferber method work for toddlers? My grandson is 2 yrs old and already sleeps in a “big” bed. He has not slept through the night since he was born and his parents have never wanted to use the CIO method for fear of waking up his sister who is 14 months older. Now they are both resisting bed time, but the main problem is that the 2 yr old cries and/or gets out of be to find mommy several times a night.
What is a plan for “older” babies that are no longer in a crib?
We did this with my 2 year old a year a go and worked AWESOME!
1. Lay child in bed, say goodnights, etc
2. “Child, if you get out of your bed, Im going to close the door.”
3. Leave the room and keep door open
4. If child gets out of bed, carry child back into bed and say “You got out of your bed, I’m going to close the door now”
5. Close the door and start the timer (we followed this pattern: 1 min, 1, 1, 2, 2,2,3,3,3,4,4,4, etc…)
6. After the prescribed time (more than likley child would have been crying at the door), open the door, carry child back into bed. “good night, i love you. If you get out of bed, I’m going to close the door….”
7. Continue with this!
Our little lovely took 45 minutes the first night! She feel asleep on the floor by the door, after crying A LOT! Could hardly open the door. After a few nights of this, time lessening each night, she was good….yes – she would challenge it every now and then. But – whoa! Life was good!
So here’s my dilemma…put jack down at 745, he slept til 12. My goal was to have him go 6hrs without a fdg. (He’s 4.5months) he woke at 12 & I have been doing the interval cks..its been an hour & 27minutes. It will have been 6hrs since last fdg in 10min. So I plan on feeding him at 140am.so have I just taught him thatall he needs to do is cry for 2 hours in order to be fed?!?! This is torture…I know it works in long run but UGH!!
hello and thank you for this wonderful blog! It has been very helpful and funny. My son Jack if 4.5 months old. He usually goes to bed for the night at 10 or 1030) after napping in swing or bouncer from 8 or9 til 10ish…), sleeps 3-4 hours, eats, then is up every 2 hours to the minute to eat til 8am. We used the ferber method with our 3 year old daughter and it worked great….for some reason I have forgotten everything. And since this is our last child, I really dont mind as much as with the first, gettting up so much..but every 2 hours is like having a newborn. So tonight we are starting the method with Jack…here’s my questions. Jack usually naps every 2hours or so, (we use the baby whisper scheduling-love it). So today he napped from 3-430, fed him, then planned on keeping him up til 8pm and putting him down for the night. he was exhausted at 7pm and very cranky…so we bathed him, fed him, read him a book and put him down at 745. (seems so early since normally he goes to bed at 1030.) He went down easy, but i expect him up within 2-3 hours….so i will have to start ferberizing early in the night. Let me get to the question already….sorry. So should i have let him take another nap at 7 when he was tired, til maybe 8…then give a bath, feed and bed around 9? Since he doesn’t sleep long to begin, i’m afraid my night is going to be very long since he’seen put down so early. Thanks for any insight!
Noob Mommy says
Jacksup – It sounds like your little one is way overtired. A 10-10:30 pm bedtime is too late. Bedtimes should be between 7 – 7:30pm, so that 7pm “nap” was really him saying he wants to go to bed. My guess is that once you normalize your day routine and start aiming for early bedtimes (begin your routine at about 6:30 or 7), he will start sleeping much better. Currently, I would venture to guess that’s he overtired and wired, thus waking up so much at night and having fitful sleep. Contrary to myth, babies sleep better with more sleep and earlier bedtimes 🙂 Doctors and sleep experts agree on this, and I’ve noticed the benefits of early bedtimes with my two little ones as well. As for Ferberizing, 4.5months is technically a bit early (best around 6 months or so). You can try again then, or continue with it now but be consistent. If you feel that he can sleep for that long chunk without being fed, then proceed. But if you are occasionally going in and feeding and other times letting him cry with the progressive waiting technique, then he is probably getting mixed signals. Good luck!
Nic Ney says
I just want to say THANK YOU!!! This is my story – first baby (a girl) was the perfect sleeper and got herself into a wonderful routine and slept well all night etc etc – basically my fellow-new-mum’s worst nightmare through envy so I used to lie and say I was up all night to make them feel better! And then in July this year a little boy joined our family. I love him to bits but he is hard work and now I get it. I understand the frustration, tiredness, guilt, dread …… I get it. So I looked into what to do and loved the honest approach of your web site and really felt like you were someone who is normal and nice and would be a mate of mine ….. not some ‘expert’ who has studied babies so knows it all, but has never actually had one! Anyway, we started Ferberizing (!) on Monday this week. It’s now Wednesday (even knowing the day of the week is a step-up for me!) and although we still have struggles and although there have been tears (mine and his) – we’re getting there. The dreaded third sleep of the day used to only exist if I was holding him but today, it took him 8 minutes to get himself to sleep in his cot. No gloating yet as I know we have a long way to go – and it may get worse again …… but for giving me a great day today and giving me hope – THANK YOU!!!!!
Lynn Connell says
i wrote the above, and would love comments via email..thanks
2 am mommy says
My question: As I’m awake listening to my sweet girl CIO… She is having a two hour cry and whine fest in her crib every other night since we’ve started sleep training. Its been a week now and the pattern is making me a little crazy. Any suggestions? I’m wondering if the key is waking her up at the same time each morning whether she has a rough night or not. Thank you for your input!
Lynn Connell says
Hi…my daughter is a wonderful mom, who has been working with parts of the attachment theory over the last few years, has two wonderful children, age 3 and age 8 months, both with pretty major sleeping issues. Simultaneously, both at the same time. I have just moved in to help her as her husband is away on business for the next month. 30 nights. Her 3 year old awakens around midnight, opens her door and wanders around until she finds my daughter, or her husband to crawl in with. They have allowed this to go on for the past month, as both have been taking turns with their 8 month old who is awake every 2-3 hours, jumping up with the soother, bottle, loving hand, pick up, etc…either in the same room as the little guy, or down the hall trying to sleep. As she sai, no point in both of them being up all night. She recognizes the problem. Is a great mom, and can’t stand either one of them crying. I have read what to do with the 8 month old, but at the same time, what to do with the wandering 3 year old. She can open the door and walk out…a fence would make her crazy rattling it till the world awakens…and locking her in is out of the question…please help!!!
I love your site and have bookmarked it for these challenging sleep training nights! My LO is 6.5 months and actually started sleeping thru the night (8-5am w no wakings) around 3 months. It was bliss for about a month and its been downhill ever since. Lately she has been up every 2 hrs at night. She is a pro at soothing to sleep for naps with one longer 1.5 hr and 2 short 45 min naps daily. I also have a 2.5 yr old son which makes night time sleep training hard since you can hear her crying in his room. Do you think that getting her to fall asleep on her own initially would help her self soothe at night wakings too? I just hate to interrupt my sons sleep too! Also, in regards to the timer for going back in do you only start counting for constant crying?
Noob Mommy says
Nikki- Yes, you are right on about getting her to fall asleep on her own. When they learn to fall asleep on their own, it enables them to do the same when they wake up for whatever reason during the middle of the night. Start the timer when she’s been crying for awhile and you can tell she’s not just fussing a little. After we helped NB learn to soothe herself, her 40 minute naps transformed to 1.5 + hr naps… which was great!
Thanks for the response! We are right at a month of her going to sleep awake and while the naps have improved to two 2 hr naps daily we are still struggling with her night wakings. Tonight, she is in the downstairs room and I am trying the CIO Progressive Wait method for each of her night wakings which are now to the minute at 11pm, 2am, 5am. So we are about 30 minutes in and keeping fingers crossed!
HI! Great blog and all the tips of CIO. I am at the end of my wits with my 11 months old and this is a pretty recent development. She never really slept through the night but slept way better before than in the last 3 or 4 weeks. I initially blamed teething for all the waking. Gave her Advil before sleep but even with the medicine she still wakes up at least 5 times a night. We also have a babysitter that sleeps in the same room with her and keeps giving her a pacifier when she wakes so the baby goes back to sleep. Well, it’s time to put an end to it. I think I have to toughen myself up and sign up for a week of misery or nothing will work long term. The problem with my baby is also at the last feeding of the day. She eats at 8 pm. Then, if I leave the room and leave her she starts yelling and throws up. Yesterday I cleaned, patted her and left the room. After a bit more crying, she fell asleep. Does this happen a lot? She also still wakes up to eat 4 ounces around 5 am. I’ve been trying to eliminate this feeding but am still unsuccessful. Need advice please! 🙂 Thanks.
Noob Mommy says
Jules – Since your little one is almost a year old, she’ll be fine without that 5 am feed (particularly because it’s only 4 oz anyway). But also be realistic about what her wake up time will be. Usually around 6 or 7 am is normal. You may try and push up the whole bedtime routine to about 7 pm. So around 7 – you can do a bath, quiet activity, read a book or lullaby… whatever your normal bedtime winddown is. This should signify to her (if done consistently) that it’s bedtime. Hopefully, that will help a bit with the vomiting after her last feed because she will be soothed by the ritual and know what’s coming. Also, if you space out that last feed a little earlier (so not right before bed), it may give her tummy time to settle down while you do the rest of the bedtime ritual. Another issue is the babysitter helping her with the paci. The Baby Whisperer would consider this accidental parenting. Your babysitter has become a crutch for her to get back to sleep. The 5 wake ups shows that she has trouble settling herself (unless there are other health issues, but I believe you already ruled that out). Good luck with whatever you choose to do!
Thanks for this post. It was nice to read a real and honest tutorial of Ferber’s method. I have an almost three month old and I recently purchased three books: Dr. Ferbers, Dr. Sear’s and The No Cry Sleep Solution. I bought all three because I am completely torn over what method to use. Just the thought of Ferber’s method makes me want to take a butter knife to my eye, but I recognize the benefits for both baby and I. I have what I call a “wishy-washy” situation. Here’s his schedule: wake up anywhere from 430 to 530 for about 30 minutes, nurses, goes back to sleep for 30 to 40 minutes. Then from 9 am till 5pm his nap time is unpredictable. When he does nap it’s only for 40 minutes max! Most of the time being 25 minutes. Here’s the real pickle: the only way he’ll sleep during the day is if my husband or I are bouncing him (with our foot) in a bouncy, vibrating chair. As soon as we stop, BAM! He’s awake. He will not sleep in the swing, in the bed, nothing! Just bouncing. It’s almost violent how hard we have to bounce him. This means neither of us can do anything other than try to get him to sleep all day long and more importantly, baby gets less sleep than he needs. Come 5pm he naps for an hour if we let him (should I stop letting him nap at this time?) 630 bath time, read a book and nurse till he falls asleep. He rests on my chest for about 20 minutes (reflux) after nursing and then I set him down and he sleeps from 830pm to 2pm. After that sleep is in chunks of 1 1/2 hours to 3 hours. Then we start all over again. Phew! Do I have a lot of bad habits being created? Should I put him to bed earlier if he’s so tired by 5? I’m a hot mess! All I know is my foot is numb from bouncing and I can’t predict a thing!
But really, thanks for your website. It’s hilarious and helpful. My two favorite things!
Noob Mommy says
BoundToBounce – Holy hot mess Batman! I feel your pain and kudos to you for recognizing your breaking point before you’ve actually hit it! I know you’ve just purchased 3 great books, and if you haven’t already picked up The Baby Whisperer Solves All Your Problems … please check it out from the library or get that one too! All the schedules in that book with lots of discussion on accidental parenting would really help you out. I know this because I was totally in your situation with Noob Baby 4 years ago! First things first, get a routine down asap. Since your noob is 3 months, he is in the perfect place to be on a 3-hr EASY. Have you checked out my EASY schedule post for samples of this? Since you mentioned his day time and naps being completely unpredictable, it is a good indicator that a routine will help you both out tremendously. Not only does it create some consistency for you guys, but it will also help you identify what’s bothering him. You’ll know that since it’s been about 3 hours, it’s probably time for him to eat. Since he just ate and had a little playtime, it’s most likely time for nap! The bouncing is definitely a sleep crutch, but he’s still too young for any real sleep training. I’d try and implement Dr. Karp’s 5 S’s (swaddling, sucking, shushing, etc.) to help him feel comforted when it’s time to sleep. Swaddling was huge for us this time around with NB2.0. And if you need to have him swing while swaddled and sucking on a pacifier with white noise cranked up… it may save your back!! Yes, those are all little sleep crutches, but right now that alternative of “violent” bouncing just sounds painful for you and the hubs. In regards to the earlier bedtime – btwn 7-7:30pm is ideal for our little ones. A little catnap before that is also very typical (see EASY schedule). The real reason he’s just so overtired is because of the inconsistency during the day and unrestful naps. When those things regulate, I believe he’ll be less wound up in the evening (which also makes it easier for him to fall asleep at bedtime). Good luck!!
I have a 4.5 month old that will not sleep anywhere but my arms. At this point I am overtired from not getting a good nights sleep. I also have a 2 year old that is not getting the attention that she needs because I am always holding my baby. I am currently as I type trying to use the Ferber method. She has been crying over an hour and a half. I have been using the chart to go check on her. How long do I let her cry for before I throw in the towel? Any other suggestions to get a little one to sleep on her own? Thank you for the good info and insight.
I have a 7.5 month old who SHARES a room with his sister (3yrs). So the CIO method has become an issue. 🙁 He can get to sleep at night when we put him down drowsey but awake however, he will wake in the middle of the night and he is not hungry although feeding him was helping get him back to sleep… I stopped that and started giving him a paci and walking out of the room which helps.. However, how do I get him to soothe himself without waking up our daughter? He creid for 1 hr last weekend and our daughter woke up after 25 min of letting him cry.. What to do Noob?
Bug's Mama says
Guess who slept 10 hours last night?! I took away her pre-lay down nursing, put her to bed early at 7:35, asleep by 8:03, added a dream feeding and she slept until 6:00! Happy baby, happy mama.
Bug's Mama says
We started using the method, officially, last night. We tried the night before, but really had no idea what we were doing. Today we’re going for naps too. I have a questions I haven’t been able to find an answer to, and I’m hoping some of you mommies who have been through it can help. When her dad puts her down for her daytime naps, Bug will just happily lay there in her crib, just chillin’ chillin’. So, my question is, should be be doing checks on her if she’s not upset. I want her crib to be associated with sleeping, not just hanging out, like on her play mat, but it seems like checking on her would cause her to get upset/expect to be picked up. Thanks in advance! I’ve found this blog to be EXTREMELY helpful!
The checking in to reassure her that you are still there so that when they are crying they don’t feel abandoned! I had asked some friends who used the method if I go in to check in on him if he is fussing and they said not to….he can be learning to put himself to sleep….only check in when you feel they are fussing a lot or crying. So if I was at a wait time of 7 minutes I wouldn’t start my timer until he showed signs of unhappiness….not when he wasn’t crying or just slightly fussing!
If they are not unhappy, there’s no reason to check on them. The check is more for the parent, to make them feel like they aren’t completely abandoning their child. You can’t force them to sleep, they have to get there on their own. So, until she’s crying, I say leave her alone and let her find her way. Most babies need time to unwind before they can fall asleep anyway, so maybe she’s just taking her time with it? Naps are tough, but that’s great for you that you don’t have to listen to lots of crying!
You mention a 5-6 mon old should be able to g 10 hrs at night without a night time feed. What about a 4 min old? What if he wakes 3 hrs after i put him down? At what wake up in the middle of the night should i get him up to feed him?
Hi Noob Mommy!
I’ve posted here before and have appreciated all the feedback received! Thank you!
I need some serious help… my LM (little marshmallow) is 10 months and today is the second day of the Ferber Method with NAPS! It’s been the hardest thing ever. We trained LM at 7 months and by this time back then, he was crying a bit but fell asleep. These past two days, LM has missed ALL naps and has been absolutely miserable and clingy. Since he is also standing, he just stands in his crib and cries for all 45 minutes! Yesterday after crying through his 2 naps, I brought him to the living room and as I was on the phone and holding him, he simply fell asleep. His head literally dropped and he was asleep from all the crying. I put him in his crib and he slept for 30 minutes. Here we are day 2, and he again missed his morning nap… cried all 45 minutes. He was due for a feeding half and hour after the training and as I breastfed him, he fell asleep, still whimpering from the morning training session.
Should I lay him down at each interval check? He also gets more upset when I leave so should I just not check in? Since this time around it is so different and he cries so much harder and louder, are two days of no naps any sign of progress?
I know it’s only day 2, but this time around it is SO much harder. What is LM is simply not going to be successful with Ferber at this age? I really feel like just going back to rocking him to sleep, although it is physically painful with my 5’0 frame and his 23 pounds… I don’t think I could do this!
Help Noob Mommy! Please!
Past my wits end says
Your story sounds exactly like us. We had twins first and did the Ferber approach and felt it worked great. We started late with the twins as well and it was not this tough. CJ has a head cold and not sure if we should stop sleep training. The first couple of nights were so hard and then at night it got better. We are on Day eight and the last two days he has cried through his naps. So by the time he hits bed time he is falling asleep with his last bottle. So, even though it got better he has not fallen asleep in his crib the last two days. I am at 21 minutes for the first check in and he just stands in his crib and cries for the whole time. By 45 minutes we stop but I feel I am making matters worst as now when I start to read a book he starts crying because he knows he is going in the crib soon. Did you ever have luck with the Ferber? Does anyone have any suggestions? Should I wait until the head cold is gone then start from scratch in a couple of weeks? When do you throw in the towel and say this method may not work for us? Any help would be greatly appreciated?
Hi noob mommy, I would love some advice from you about my 8 month old beautiful baby girl. From a newborn, I always persevered with putting her in her crib/cot awake to go to sleep. I felt that I had put a good practice into place early on and she was sleeping through from 3 months. However, since she was 5 months she started waking up in the night. Thinking she was hungry, I started her on solids rather than start night feeds which stopped at 3 months. Things over the last 3 months are going from bad to worse. Some (a lot) of nights it feels like having a newborn and maybe getting 2 hours sleep a night. She has been teething and now has 6 teeth which I think is quite a lot so soon. I really don’t think that her sleeping issues are all connected to her teething but now bad habits. I have tried everything from putting dummy back in, giving milk, cuddles, teething gel, calpol etc, eventually she goes off but can’t work out what works. She can sometimes go 30 mins or a couple of hours, there isn’t a set pattern, every night is totally unique. I think it can’t get any worse and it does. I want to try Dr Ferber’s method but don’t quite understand what you do when you go to your baby after waiting so many minutes. For example, day 1, the first wait is 3 mins. Do I stay with her until she’s asleep or do I just shhh her for a minute or two and leave her crying? This is such hard work emotionally and physically. Also, not sure if its related but she use to be a wonderful napper in the day, now I’m lucky if she has one 20 min nap after lunch. She is so happy in the day but at times totally exhausted but won’t sleep even though I try and put her down and leave her. I really am at my wits end and all any advice or support would be gratefully received. Thank you.
Noob Mommy – I am so grateful that I came across your article. Instead of having to read the entire book, I understood the process in 10 minutes after reading your article. I immediately started using the Ferber method on my 5 month old son. It’s been a week now and he is sleeping so much better now – naps and night sleep are 10 times better. Thank you, thank you, thank you!
Trina – It’s possible that either one of two things happened – 1) the teething or 2) your LO went through what is commonly called the 4 month sleep regression. I’d agree with you that this method is worth a try. Basically, she needs to learn to sleep without your help or anyone else’s, same as my son did. I agree it’s hard work but it is so fulfilling to see them succeed after the 4th (or so) day. Personally, I saw improvements on day 2. When I went in to check on my son, normally all I would do is reposition him if needed (sometimes he got too close to the crib bumper or rail, other times he needed help flipping over), then rub or pat his back and sh-sh him. Other times I’d say simply “It’s time to go to sleep.” At most, I’d be there for 30 sec because I didn’t want him to become dependent on my presence to fall asleep. It’s worked wonderfully and now we are on day 7 and he is asleep within 15 min for every nap – except occasionally for that last nap of the day, around 4pm which is always tough. That one takes a bit longer sometimes for him to fall asleep. It really helped me to adjust my mindset about crying in order to make it through the first 4 days. I’d rearrange my thinking to “I’m helping him learn a valuable skill. He’s not crying because he hates me or anything, he’s protesting because no one is helping him fall asleep. I know he can do it and eventually he will.” And then, on day 4, he did! It felt amazing and I was so proud of him. This process was good for him and good for me as well – now I think I can make it through almost anything as a parent.
Anyway, I hope this helps and you get the encouragement you need in order to improve your baby’s sleep.
Also, I forgot to say two more things –
1) Stop using the pacifier. I promise you’ll be happier without it.
2) I don’t adhere exactly to the Ferber waiting periods as outlined above – I just go by my gut and listen to my son. I don’t think you have to adhere strictly to it, but do make sure you’re waiting longer each day to give your LO more time to figure it out each day as they gain more independence from you.
Thanks and good luck!
Hi Rebecca good to know I’m not the only one, I’m glad you had a little less crying on your 2nd night, fingers crossed tonight is even better for you!!! I will be starting the Ferber method next week when my partner is home, just a couple questions to you, when u tried the Ferber method previously with you baby you mentioned about being in a one bedroom apartment, so when your baby did get to sleep and if woke in the night, how did you handle the situation, being all in the same bedroom? I will be moving in 2 months to a much bigger place and my little boy can have his own room but I can’t wait another 2 months of having sleep deprivation. That’s why I’m really going try the Ferber method before, fingers crossed for me 🙂 Also when do you give your last feed? Right before bed, or sometime before, hope you don’t mind me asking you questions, I’m a first time mum and very nervous to start the Ferber method
Hi Lisa! I’m also a first time mommy so this was all new to me too. When we were in the 1 bedroom apartment, I would nurse him then put him to bed (it’s not recommended because they get faster wet diapers, but I didn’t like the idea of feeding my little one early and putting him to bed hungry.) immediately, and if he woke up in the middle of the night, I would bring him to bed with me, nurse him till he fell asleep again, then carefully put him back in his crib still asleep. It didn’t solve the problem of self soothing back to sleep, but it kept my husband sane and well rested for his work which took 12 hr shifts 6 days a week! oiy! But now that my little boy is in his own room, he’s been very good on going right to sleep when I put him in his crib, and only wakes up once at night for a diaper change and goes right back to sleep. Naps, now thats a whole other ideal I will have to face starting this Monday, since I need a weekend to relax before the tears start again!
At 7.5 months my son was falling asleep on his own when i put him to bed (woohoo) but would wake for two overnight bottles…sometimes asking for a third!…he apparently loves a sleep deprived mommy. Hubs and I decided to let him keep one overnight bottle for now….just in case knocking out all would starve him….how nice of us. Night 1: fell asleep on own….woke and received first and now only bottle…back to bed immediately….second waking poor little guy cried for 27 minutes then finally (after some serious praying…which I never do) passed out and didn’t wake up until the morning. Night 2: fell asleep on own….woke for one bottle and woke up again in morning! Nights 3 and 4: woke up once for bottle and another time woke up and stood up….i ran in his room, kissed him, laid him back down, said goodnight, hopped back in bed and stared at the monitor…success….fast asleep! Crisis diverted! Last night he fell asleep on his own, had the same standing” situation once and he didn’t wake up until the morning! Hoping he is weaning himself off that last bottle since he didn’t take it last night…..otherwise we Ferberize him in a month or so.
A week before we planned on starting Ferber he started fighting me on going to bed….big time! It took two nights of going back in his room to let him know mommy meant business! hubby offered to go in. It I said I think he needs to know when I put him down it’s bedtime….not time for daddy to come in…think he got the message!
Naps are another story. He was awesome napping in his crib….starting to fight me on it and we are suckers….he has been in the swing for a good two weeks. Ferber and naps are so much harder! We just need to brave it up and work on naps! I
Hi noob mommy, I would love some advice from you about my nearly 9 month old boy, he is breastfed and currently on three meals a day. The problem is i always feed him to sleep or if he still ain’t asleep after feeding I rock him, this goes for naps as well, and we co sleep at night and even naps, it’s getting so hard because he hasn’t learned the trick of getting to sleep or getting back to sleep on his own he uses me every time he wakes, always using my nipple as a dummy then rocking, and this happens at least 10 times a night!! I’m so exhausted and down, I’m on my own for most part of his life as my partner works away and is only ever home a few weeks then away again, so this time when he is back I will try the Ferber method, we only live in a one bedroom apartment so will this effect the Ferber method for instance if I do get him to sleep by leaving him but then he wakes in the night, should I get out of bed and leave my room?? And if he does wake up how long should I leave him before offering him a feed or do you think he doesn’t really need now being 9 months and on 3 meals a day? And finally do I start Ferber training on night and daytime naps straight away or will this be to much? Looking forward to your advice .
Lisa, I am on the same boat as you! I have an almost 8 month old boy that we once used the Ferber method successfully at 4 months, but then my husband and I moved out of our 1 bedroom apartment and into a house with 4 other people!!! So when my son started waking in the middle of the night, I had no choice but to pick him up out of his crib and nurse him to sleep in bed with me, half the time falling asleep with him. This included naps too. Since he was 5 months old, he would roll out of his boppy, papazan chair, or swing during naps and the only way to get him to nap was to nurse him to sleep in bed and STAY with him, otherwise he would wake after 10 minutes and crawl off the bed. Now that he is almost 8 months, we just moved into a 2 bedroom and tonight was actually his 1st night on his own. He cried for 50 minutes, and here it is 4am the same morning and he just fell asleep after 30 minutes of crying. After my son gets to sleep on his own at night, I’m going to wait a few days then start training him for napping in his crib. It’s heartbreaking to hear him cry, but we moms have to realize that the crying isn’t out of necessity anymore, it’s out of habit of using the boob as a way to fall asleep. It’s tough, but everyone will be happy in the long run! Even your baby will wake up with smiles and eagerness to see you!
Night 2 of Ferber method was only 15 minutes of crying!!! Huzzah!!!
Hi Noob Mommy! New question for you: according to the napping explanation on the website, I’m supposed to end the nap if she hasn’t gone to sleep and it’s been 30 minutes. Then that means I only might get to do part of the waiting increments? Am I understanding that correctly?
Hi Noob Mommy! We are on Day #2 of the Ferber nap training. Our daughter sleeps very well at night, but refuses to nap during the day unless she’s being held. So this is sort of slow going… This afternoon she fell asleep with only a yelp– but only slept for 10 minutes. I let her get up. Same thing later– she fell asleep with only a yelp–but only slept for 25 minutes. Then she was screaming for 5 and I let her get up. I’m thinking this was wrong, right? How long should I “enforce” the nap for if she keeps doing this little catnap silliness?
Noob Mommy says
Allison – Ferber recommends letting the nap go for about 45 minutes before ending the nap. I would definitely let her cry a bit longer (with the checks) until the 45 minute mark. I also recall that naps were quite difficult to get “trained” right off the bat. Try and be consistent! It is very confusing for the LO’s to be training at night, then not at nap times, then at night again, etc… if you know what I mean. There will be several days of rocky naps , some crankiness, and maybe falling asleep running errands etc. which is fine. Once everything clicks, it will help with all sleep overall! Good luck to you!
Thanks for your help! The funny thing is that at night, I nurse her, burp her, and put her in bed. She’s always asleep then so it really isn’t an issue to train her at night. Once in a while she does wake up to nurse a few extra minutes– but I let her do that because my main concern is that she’s well fed for the night.
Tomorrow is another day– hopefully the napping goes a little smoother 🙂 Thanks again!
Hi Noob Mommy! A couple of years ago, I had posted a question to you and really appreciated your input, as I was in the midst of deciphering first time parenthood and freaking out about getting my baby to sleep through the night before going back to work. Well, here I am again, now re-reading and re-visiting past resources that helped me get through infanthood, as we welcomed baby #2 in August 2012.
So I was THRILLED to find out when checking your website that your family welcomed Noob baby 2.0 earlier this year – CONGRATULATIONS!
It’s funny how much one forgets regarding caring for a baby during the first few months, but I guess it’s a blessing, and so we find ourselves having more children 🙂
The E.A.S.Y. routine worked well with my first born, and he continues to be a great sleeper at 2 years (11 hour nights and 3-4 hr aft nap)- that is not to say that bed time battles don’t exist :).
Now I have a sweet daughter and am trying to figure things out all over again. She currently is 6 weeks old and overall is a mellow baby. From the beginning she easily slipped into an E.A.S.Y. 3 hours routine. My confusion this time around is sorting out her evening routine. Currently I “put her to bed” for the night at 9 after her “last” feed. I haven’t been doing the cluster feed scheduled in the early afternoon, as she does not take cat naps during that time and mostly will sleep after her activity post the 6 pm feed until 9 pm. After 9 pm, I have not been doing the dream feed (I didn’t find it to make a difference for my son’s sleep night duration) so my daughter ends up sleeping from 9 pm until about 1:30 am. My issue this time around is that after her 1:30 feed, she wakes up WAY to early, as in 5:30 am. I try to hold off on starting the first feed until 6 am, but it’s hard. So that’s how we end up on a 3-hour routine with feed times of 6, 9, 12, 3, 9 and 1 am. Do you have any suggestions on how to delay wake up time (I guess the first feed time)? I would love if she could wake up at 7 am, or even 6:30 am, but 5:30 am for me is ungodly early! Any feedback would be greatly appreciated!!!
Ps. Your website/blog is the best!
Honestly, I don’t understand the benefits of CIO, especially since most kids will have a “sleep regression” at some point. So, you endure your baby crying for a week or so when they are 5 months old and then they ‘learn how to self soothe’ and everything is wonderful. But then they are 9 months and you have to do it again, and then again at 12 months and 18 month and after every teething/sick episode… So, what’s the point? Isn’t it better to wait till they are ready to be independent, which they will be eventually, and just enjoy your baby and not force him/her to sleep on their own?
I have 3 kiddos, and rocked/nursed all of them to sleep, never CIO’d. The oldest 2 (ages 3 and 6) are wonderful, independent sleepers, never had ‘before bed battles’. And the youngest one is 4 months-old and co-sleeping. And I love it, and cherish those moments, because I know that she’ll be out of our bed and independent very soon. Enjoy your babies, ladies, they grow up way too soon. What’s one-two years of nursing/rocking them to sleep, compare to years of them sleeping on their own in their own beds, rooms, and eventually houses when they move out? Will you really cherish the memories of your baby screaming the room, alone, and you curled up in the fetus position with a bottle of licour?
Noob Mommy says
Kanadka – I appreciate your differing opinion. But it sounds like the way you’re describing your little ones and how you never had “before bed battles,” that you aren’t one of the many who do suffer from true sleep association problems. Real problems with rocking and/or other sleep crutches is truly a trip to hell and back. We are talking HOURS upon HOURS of rocking to sleep…only to set the little babe down to have their eyes pop open in a flash. Repeat this 5+ more times a night or at each and every naptime for months on end. Then tell me if that is the “fond” cuddly memory us CIO parents want to remember years down the road. Honestly, no. Not only is that type of very bad sleep association hard on us parents physically, but it is so mentally fatiguing and frustrating that there can be MANY days, nights, afternoons where a parent will feel resentful and hopeless. And this type of frequent awakening is also bad for the developing baby’s brain as many pediatricians will tell you. So when you say that you have wonderful independent sleepers, I hope you appreciate how luck you are! Many many parents who email me and post here on this blog are not in the same situation as yourself and are often at the end of their ropes. And in fact, those who have tried CIO with success, such as myself, find that our lives, marriages and overall happiness have improved threefold with just about a weeks worth of training. Yes, yes, yes there are benefits to CIO for the health and development of every party involved! And for your concerns about sleep regressions. I honestly believe these afflict EVERY child. We are not talking about retraining (for weeks) each and every time. These small regressions which happen with teething, illness, growth spurts, traveling, visitors, moving, etc. etc. happen to every child when their normal routine is disrupted. And these regressions are usually over just as quick as they came. These regressions involve some extra comfort and attention with some reinforcement of CIO. I hope all my readers are enjoying their little noobs each and everyday. Cuddles, snuggles and kisses are never short around here.
Hi Noob Mommy, thank you for not deleting my ‘different opinion’ post! 🙂 It’s very rare to have a civilized discussion with someone who have different views, especially on such heated topic as CIO.
Just wanted to clarify some things – my kids weren’t by any means easy babies, but I guess we didn’t have bed time battles because we were co-sleeping, so there was no need for rocking and putting a kid down and doing it multiple times due to him waking up as soon as his head would touch a pillow. So, in that sense my experience was much easier than of those mommies who rock their kiddos to sleep and then set them down in the crib.
I realize that co-sleeping is not suitable for everyone, but aren’t there other ‘no cry’ ways to put your little one to sleep? There is a book called “No Cry Sleep Solution” by Elizabeth Pantley, that talks about getting your baby to sleep without resorting to CIO.
Another thing is, you said that there are health benefits to CIO, although it’s more benefits of uninterrupted sleep. However, there were studies done that suggest that excessive CIO might be harmful to baby’s brain development (ex.http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/moral-landscapes/201112/dangers-crying-it-out). I’m sure you’ve done your research and are aware of both pros and cons of CIO, so I’m not going to elaborate on that.
In the end, sleep training is a personal choice and I believe that each family needs to do what’s best for them. What saddens me, though, is a growing trend of ‘pushing’ babies and kids to grow up and be independent before they are ready. And I think using CIO for sleep training is a part of that trend.
Just a response to your last statement…CIO does not necessarily mean pushing your baby to be independent. My baby is exclusively breastfed and we’re together constantly playing, kissing, hugging, etc. What saddens me is that all of that cute, sweet baby experience was just not happening before because she basically cried all the time (whether she was being held, rocked, etc. didn’t matter). After just a few short days of the “Progressive Wait Method” I had a completely different, happy baby. I’m not going to explain the method used because I’m sure you’ve done your research.
Noob Mommy has done a great job putting together a website that supports other mommies in this type of situation…which is really hard to find. There are several, upon several other websites full of alternative methods if that’s the road you choose. Thanks Noob Mommy! 🙂
Noob Mommy says
Thank you Wolfpup for your feedback and support! This post has definitely morphed into a mini support group for other parents out there who have chosen to implement the Ferber approach. I love that we can all share our experiences and positive results here in a supportive way!
Thanks so much for the Cliff’s Notes version of a very wordy book. I can tell most of these moms are first timers. Let me assure you that the Ferber method does not get any easier with subsequent children. It is still positively heart breaking for this hardened mother of 3 stubborn girls to hear my little Pumpkin wailing.
That said, every child has responded differently to the method. My eldest was a 28 week preemie, so things began much later for her. Ironically, she is the only one of my children who slept through the night on her own. I STILL have to re-Ferb my two year old every few months. Stubborn!
I am now working the method on my 3 month old. Because of her position on the growth chart (95th), her ped has recommended early induction. Have any of you had success with such a young child? Scares me a bit even though I know from experience that there is absolutely NO permanent damage caused by a little crying. Both of my older children are very loving and affectionate, despite having used what some moms call the “heartless” method.
Noob Mommy says
3eggnest – I’ve never trained at such a young age, but if you follow the Babywise parenting method (author Gary Ezzo), he does practice setting young ones early on on routines and schedules with some delayed checkins etc. If your pediatrician feels it may work, it may be worth a try by starting slowly. Delaying your check-ins and going in little by little when she wakes up or letting her cry a little bit at bedtime to see if she’ll just fall asleep. My question is if her tummy can go so long without needing a feed even if she is a healthy chunker 🙂 Good luck! Keep us posted!
My LO is 4 months old and used to sleep about 5 hours/wake to feed/sleep 2 hours/wake to feed/sleep another hour or 2 and be awake. The last two weeks he has been sleeping about 3 hours/feed/then up about every 20-45 minutes. I’ve been feeding him every time he wakes because it’s the only way he will go back to sleep, but it is getting a bit ridiculous. He will eat for 30 seconds and then doze off again. Should I let him CIO for all the other times he wakes aside from the standard two feedings we were doing, then phase those out when he is a little older? I’m so tired I can’t see straight.
We are on day #2 of Ferber method & our son is starting to get better at night. Naps, however, I have questions about. My little guy will fall asleep fine on his own, but only sleep for 30min before he’s up and fussing. I can tell he’s still tired, so I rock him back to sleep and put him down ( probably the wrong move ). My question is, how long does the nap have to be before you let them cry it out to fall back asleep. Some other books say anything over 30mins you should let them get up, but 30mins is not a restful nap. Help! =)
Noob Mommy says
ReidsMama – Ferber recommends ending the nap after 45 minutes or so. If he’s tired (which he probably will be), it’s ok to let him fall asleep elsewhere if that happens (like in the car seat out on errands, etc.) Shoot for an early bedtime so he’s not overtired in the evening. The nap is the hardest part to train in the beginning, but be consistent. Definitely do not rock him. That is exactly the opposite of the purpose of sleep training.
Hi all, we are doing the ferber method. Our little guy is 9 months old and used to wake every 3 hours, I would nurse him 1-2 time after bedtime. By day 5 he woke once and I gave him a short nursing session; day 6 he didnt wake up at all – success! But day 7 is here and Im writing this at 4:30am, hes been crying on and off since 3:30, what the heck! Is this supposed to happen? What do I do? My instinct is pick him and nurse him but my instinct reinforced his waking 🙁
Noob Mommy says
Novamom- At 9 months I would bet that your little one is still comfort nursing. The purpose of sleep training is to wean your little one off of any sleep crutches. So, yes… go against your instinct here if your goal is to be consistent with sleep training. By occasionally nursing and other times having him cry only makes for a very confused baby. Consistency in your choice is key. Good luck
Also your naptime section says to stop after 30 minutes but then what do you do? You have a really tired/fussy baby on your hands. Just rock him to sleep like I normally do and try again next nap?
I would avoid rocking him to sleep at all costs. I just continued the longest interval…3 min, 5 min, 10 min, 10 min, 10 min… After 45 min to an hour, if she was still showing no signs of falling asleep or calming down, I would end the nap. You will have a fussy, cranky baby but try to keep him up for an hour or so (maybe in a swing or give a bath) and then try again…he’ll be sleepier and maybe fight less. I found that my LO would fall asleep in her swing watching cartoons. She would fuss a bit but I’d just keep doing chores around the house to where she could see me every now & then…next thing I know, it would get quiet and she would be sleeping.
It’s not easy at first and there were several times I felt like throwing in the towel (like I’m sure every mother experiences)…but just be patient, pay attention to the cues the baby is giving you (but still set the boundaries), and look back at your journal, you should start to see some patterns emerging that you can either go with & work into the schedule or try to curb.
Good luck & keep your head up! 🙂
I don’t really understand what to journal? As I write this I’m waiting one hour before I try to put him down again. Last time he fell asleep for about five minutes and overall I waited an hour. I just feel like I have no idea what I’m doing. So many questions,
Noob Mommy says
Brooke – Wolfpup is right on about not rocking back to sleep. If he doesn’t fall asleep at naptime after 45 minutes, end the nap. He may be tired later on and fall asleep elsewhere (like in the car, stroller, bouncy, etc.) which is fine. But the whole point of the training is NO MORE ROCKING 🙂 You are cutting out all sleeping crutches. If you are serious about the training and find that you have many questions, it is worth checking the book out from the library or picking up a copy (check out my Must Have’s section to find the link) so you can see examples of how to journal/document each day. There are many FAQ’s and special needs circumstances explained in there as well.
Ok I’m trying again with him in his crib, starting the minutes over. He’s extra tired since no nap earlier so fingers crossed! The weird thing is that about a month ago I got him to nap in his crib for about a week and then the next week he refused. After that he would only sleep on us with rocking. This is all so confusing. Thanks
Consistency is important. It’s life you are dealing with…some days are really good and others can be a bit off, and some feel like they’re just horrible. Just remain consistent…although the timing may vary slightly here & there, when the baby is tired and it’s time for a nap, do the same thing over & over & over again…kiss on the head, put down in the crib, tucked in and walk away (do it, just walk away). And if he wakes up in five minutes, don’t run to him immediately…let him cry for 5 minutes, he may surprise you and go back to sleep. Eventually, the baby may even start to anticipate nap/bedtime…he’ll see you walking up to the crib and start crying before you even lay him down or start sucking his thumb and close his eyes. It’s your consistency that will get you both through all the various stages (teething, growth spurts, etc). You can do it!
Thanks for your reply!! I really need to do something now or I’ll go insane. If we leave him in there to learn to self soothe when we first put him down he doesn’t just fuss he screams bloody murder until he’s red and can’t breathe. I feel like I shouldn’t let him cry that hard….suggestions? I’m really at the end of my rope. Naps are even worse than night.
My LO is 4.5 months old & I know how you feel. We successfully moved her from our bed to her crib with the progressive wait method…she actually won’t sleep in bed with us anymore, she fusses to be put in her crib. She still wakes up 1-2 times per night to eat, which is fine with me until she gets older, but she can and does self-soothe (she’ll even play & talk in her crib when she wakes up).
I started training during the day with her naps because I was more coherent to keep track of the time and judge the type of cry (keep a journal, it helps to look back). If you know he is fed and has a clean diaper, the cry is going to be bloody murder but it will probably have an angry “feel” to it…like he is screaming at you not calling for you. I learned there was a distinct difference for me and my baby, when she was angry she would kick really hard and scratch at her face (mittens help). I just followed the progressive wait method during the day and at bedtime…during the night when she woke up, I’d feed her and she would fall back to sleep (I avoided changing her diaper at first -unless its a #2- but now I can change her and she soothes herself back to sleep). I noticed a huge difference within the first few days and now I have a completely different baby! If he’s not currently on a schedule, I would suggest that too, it helped me learn/judge the type of cry and created some stability for both of us.
P.S. Headphones with music help me & daddy too 😉
I have a question….at what point do you feed them if they wake during the night? My 4 month old usually eats 1-2 times a night. Your instructions just say to start the timing process over but not if/when you should feed. Thanks (I’m trying to avoid having to read the book) 😉
Noob Mommy says
Brooke- The Progressive Waiting approach (CIO) shouldn’t be started until about 5-6 months of age … at which point your little one should have the ability to sleep through the night without having to wake up to eat… that’s why there is no mention of feeding in the training. At this point, I’d probably wait another month or so until your little one can go through the night to start your sleep training. However, if you want to get your little one started on some self-soothing … you should try and put him down semi-awake and let him get used to falling asleep on his own (a little fussing doesn’t hurt).
SOOOO frustrated! says
Okay, mommas. We did Ferber method 10 months ago. It has worked to an extent but my son (who is now 19 months) still cries EVERY single night at bed time. Every. Single. Night. And not for just a few minutes. We did have a couple months of that, but now we’re back to him crying for 30 min- 1 hour every night. Screaming, actually. It’s hell for my husband and me. The doctor attributes it to him being a very stubborn kid (which he is) and my mom is convinced it’s because he’s a genius (also true, obviously!) He is a very happy kid during the day and doesn’t resist bed time until the moment we walk out of his room. Then he screams bloody murder until he goes to sleep. We have tried everything the books and his doctor suggest, but nothing seems to work. I would have no qualms about patting him to sleep, but if we do, he wakes up multiple times during the night expecting the same. If he cries it out, he sleeps all night.
All this bed time stress is really beginning to wear on my husband and me and we are just about at the end of our ropes.
If ANYONE has a creative suggestion, please, please please let me know!
I am soooo sorry SOOOO frustrated!,
My LO is just 4 months but I have two ideas that might help…maybe.
1) Dr. Bach’s Rescue Remedy – they are flower essences that help calm & all natural (of course).
2) Keep him up longer before bedtime so that he doesn’t have the energy to fight that long. When I want to make sure my little angel sleeps & stays asleep (so I can take a nice bath or something), I just keep her up a little longer by cutting her preceding nap short (by maybe 30 minutes to an hour). She does start to get a little cranky towards the end but I just plan a walk in the stroller or a bath around that time to keep her distracted. For your little guy, maybe adjust the amount of nap time during the day & see if that helps at night…
I hope that helps! Good luck! 🙂
We’re on our sixth night of Ferber and honestly, our little 6 month old guy is doing so much better than I ever thought possible. For the last couple nights he’s been crying for less than 8 minutes and sometimes less than a minute (even for naps)! My husband and I have quickly become Ferber believers! However, I’m so confused as to what to do about the middle of the night wakings. Do I let him CIO with checks or do I nurse him? Prior to Ferberizing, he was used to cosleeping and nursing when he wanted to throughout the entire night. Half the time I was half asleep and so was pretty unaware as to how much he was feeding and whether he was actually nursing or just comfort feeding. His wakings now during the training are so random and inconsistent each night . And I’m always so worried that he’s waking up starving and most of the time have been either giving in and feeding him or feeding him right away before putting him back down with checks. Can you help me Noob Mom (or anyone else for that have gone through something similar)?? Here is what has happened the first 5 nights. Maybe someone else can see some sort of pattern that I don’t see:
Night 1 – woke up crying at 11:30, I caved at 12:45 and fed him, woke again at 4:15 and I just nursed him and he cried for an hour (with checks) before going back to bed
Night 2 – woke at 2 and rolled around whining but not crying (therefore no checks) for an hour then went back to sleep, woke at 4:45 whining for an another hour (not crying, no checks) until I felt bad and nursed him at 5:45 after which he went to bed without any crying for another hour.
Night 3 – slept straight through until 4(!), then woke up whining for half an hour (no checks), but given the time, I was worried he might be hungry, so I nursed him and put him back in the crib (he went back to sleep after half an hour of crying (with checks)
Night 4 – he woke up at 11:15 and cried (with checks) for an hour and 45 minutes!! I felt so horrible and couldn’t stand to hear him crying for longer than this so I nursed him and he went immediately to sleep when I put him back in the crib after that and slept through until 7.
Night 5 – he woke upat 1:30 and at this point I’m so confused as to feed or just wait it out and do checks that I go nurse him after15 minutes of crying with checks. When I put him back down after nursing he cries for over an hour before falling asleep until 6.
Should I stop feeding him when he wakes or do you think he still needs a feeding at 1-2 and another one at 4?
Noob Mommy says
Citkat20 – At 6 months, your little one should be capable of sleeping that long stretch through the night without having to eat. It is very likely that he’s waking up and comfort feeding. If you want to follow the proper Progressive Waiting method, then you should be cutting out those middle of the night feedings (which is why Ferber recommends not starting his training until around 6 months when our little ones have the stomach capacity to eat more and sleep longer). I think by going in and feeding occasionally and inconsistently, your little one is going to get mixed signals. Hope this helps!
My daughter is 1.5 years old now and we have never established a good sleeping pattern with her. We have done rocking, co-sleeping, nursing to sleep and usually she goes back to sleep quite quickly. But after 1.5 years of no long stretches of sleep I am getting quite frustrated. With us considering a second baby as well, I feel we need to tackle the problem now. Soooo, when my OH is out of town for a week in a few days, I am planning to start sleep training. Due to building work in our house, we all share the bedroom so this will give me a chance to sleep on the sofa while my daughter stays in her own bed without mum being right next to her. Hopefully this will help. I do wonder how different sleep training is at this age though. Most responses I have read on here are about much younger children (I know, I know, who on earth lets a sleep problem continue for soooo long???). My little one will of course stand up in her cot, even try to climb out (which she can’t yet do). Do I go in to put her back down every time? Do I only put her back down during my checks between the waiting times. Or do I not put her down at all and just leave her standing up until she decides to lie down?
She is a very small child, only at 9 month old weight and height by now which is one of the reasons we waited so long to do this. But by now she is capable of going without feeds at night so I thought let’s do it!
Wish me luck!
I have a 14 month old with the same problem. If he’s in his crib and awake, he is standing. When I go in for a check, I lay him down, but he’s up before I’m even out of the room again. Any suggestions? Thanks!
Naps! HELP PLEASE! Ok I read a few of the earlier posts about the naps. My angel is 2 months old. I have two other boys and fully believe in CIO. We follow the E.A.S.Y. pattern, though maybe not to the minute. He is actually not doing badly during the night, usually 4-6 hours, but the daytime is just a mess. It gets worse as the day goes on, as I’m sure he’s getting more overtired. I’m confused as to what to do. He also sleeps 30-40mins at a time. He then wakes up. I let him cry and he usually goes back to sleep for a few minutes, then wakes up, cries for a few minutes, sleeps a few, cries a few etc. My first instinct was to just let him continue this cycle until we reach the 3 hour mark for the next feeding and eventually he’ll learn to sleep longer. Does this seem right to you? Sometimes I feel like he’s just learning to cry longer rather than learning to self soothe. I am definitely not self soothing and crying more!!! I think I’ve been doing this consistently for about a week-week and a half, though it’s kind of a blur. Should I just continue to stick it out? Your advise would be so appreciated!!! Thank you
Are you keeping a log? I ask because you said it’s kind of a blur…I know that feeling, it begins to look like a bowl of q-tips after a while (especially if you aren’t sleeping). I have two things I wanted to share which I hope helps:
(1) Last week my baby girl’s schedule was all messed up. She started teething and the 3-hr EASY just wasn’t agreeing…she was crying a lot before she fell asleep (after doing very well previously), waking up after approx. 45 minutes, and I was waking her up at the end of the nap frequently too. Oh yeah, she just turned 4 months too. So Sunday we started the 4-hr EASY and with just a few minor adjustments/customizations, presto-chango el schedule is back! She gets fussy when she wants to be put down in her crib, hardly cries, wakes up once at night and takes two long naps during the day. She actually plays in her crib (quietly & sweetly) when she wakes up…unless she’s hungry of course. So maybe try playing with the timing & length of the nap. For instance, maybe keep him up a little longer before his first nap.
(2) The detailed log is a must for me! Sometimes I’m still sleeping (in my mind) or I’ve got a million things going on at once and 10 minutes after feeding her I can’t remember how long or if I even just fed her or not. Since I’ve been keeping logs, there is no question. Plus, I find that on the bad days, I refer back to the good days as a reference.
Good luck! 🙂
First off, love your blog!!!! My little Princess is on the EASY 4 hour schedule, she was sleeping through the night until about 4 weeks ago when she started to wake faithfully at 4am, initially I fed her because she was still young and I thought she was hungry but over time I started to realize it was more habit then hunger. So I started the ferber method, kinda of, lol, I know I’m not being as faithful as I need to be. Here are my concerns, generally she feeds between 6-7pm and down to sleep around 8pm, we feel like she still needs that last feed so hubby feeds her between 10pm and 11pm, we’ve tried the dream feed and sometimes it works sometimes it doesn’t. She’s a good sized baby, at 4 months she weights about 16lbs, so do you think she can do without that last feeding? Also I think I’ve created a soother demon because she wakes frequently to have it replaced, when I do she falls back to sleep but for some reason at that 4am wake up she won’t fall back as easily. Help!!!!
Noob Mommy says
Brie- I’m going to just go ahead and go with Ferber’s recommendation that you don’t start training until she’s about 6 months of age. Although she may be totally capable of sleeping long stretches without feeding (you mentioned she’s a good sized baby), I wouldn’t want to give you bad advice and say she REALLY is able to skip those middle of the night feedings. I’d wait another month or two then really reevaluate the situation. Also at 4 months, there’s a notorious growth spurt which could explain why she’s suddenly needing that 4 am feeding (although the exact timing of it does sound a little habitual). Might as well just wait and save yourself the doubt!
Hello all! I need MAJOR help/ advice/ some shedding of light! I posted a comment in May and decided to go with Ferber. It worked wonderfully after 10 days of training! My marshmallow would lay quietly and in 15 minutes he was asleep. He took long naps and was able to put himself back to sleep in between sleep cycles. HOWEVER… Now 8 months, we are plagued (but excited nonetheless) with a combination of teething, crawling, and this week standing on his own! This all began two weeks ago. I was very careful to not “mess up” the hard work of training, so I tried not to rock my lilttle marshmallow (LM) back to sleep. I did nurse more frequently because it was the only thing that helped with the pressure of teething. I rocked LM until he was drowsy and then put him down. It seemed to be working until teething became more intense (two teeth in one week and I see more gum swelling). Rocking back to sleep creeped back in!
NOW, back to square one, at least I’m afraid I am. His naps have gone back to 15- 30 minutes and when transitioning from one sleep cycle to another, he wakes up screaming. I go to him and just by seeing me, he lays down right away and waits to be patted back to sleep. Night time has been affected too! He was so good at night, sleeping 6-8 hours straight and then going right back after a feed for another 2-3 hours. Now LM does 4 hours, feeds, 2 hours, sometimes feeds or just needs to know I am there, and then just 3 hours more. He used to sleep 10-11 hours at night and now he is sleeping 8-9 hours (7-5:45 or 6 am)! He feeds only once at night but wakes up several times and I find him with his eyes closed, but sitting in his crib, standing in the crib, or rocking in his crib.
Should I retrain? What about teething again? Please, please, please help! I feel so frustrated, sad, and anxious. Is anyone out there?
Dear Tannia, Your story sounds familiar. We had great success with Ferber when my little one was about 7 months old. Then, one thing after another. She had a bad cold, and needed to sleep semi-upright (in the recliner with Mommy). We traveled out of state to visit my parents for two weeks, where she slept part of the night in a pack-n-play and part of the night with us in the guest bed. The heat in our apartment was off for several nights (this was in January). We let her sleep with us to keep warm. We thought all these things would ruin what we had accomplished with Ferber. But it wasn’t so bad. Yes, we had to retrain, but the second time around we knew what worked and what didn’t work. We had a similar situation about a month ago when she started to stand and teethe all at once. By that time she had been sleeping so well that I thought something must be seriously wrong when she woke up crying in the middle of the night. So I picked her up to soothe her several nights in a row. Now I realize there was nothing terribly wrong. These were all age-appropriate sleep interruptions. We had also decided to give up the pacifier at the same time. Talk about bad timing. So we had to re-retrain! This time it was harder because she could stand up and also had developed a bit of a temper! We had one really bad night and a couple of not-so-good nights. But it did get better again. I think it’s normal to have occassional sleep problems as babies grow and develop, even after Ferberizing. For us and our daughter, I now expect to have these problems every time the teething pain is really severe. She simply can’t sleep through that. Infant’s ibuprofen seems to work well for us in that case, and she usually goes back to sleep fairly easily after that. So, in short, I guess my advice is, don’t be discouraged, go back to what worked the first time, make adjustments if necessary based on differing circumstances, be prepared to retrain from time to time, and trust your instincts as a parent. Hope this helps! Michelle
Good advice Michelle! Tannia, I wish I had some advice for you too but my LO is just 3.5 mth…however, it is nice to know this stuff in advance so I can anticipate it. Thank you both for sharing! Hang in there Tannia and keep us posted on the progress. At least we can turn here for support during the hard times.
P.S. Little marshmallow, cute! 🙂
Thank you ladies! It’ s great to know that I am not the only mommy experiencing this! Today I started (very slowly) training again. I’m holding and cuddling longer before putting him down and I help him a little by quick pats and some singing, but i don’t let him fall asleep. For this week I may just hold off a bit to see if the new swollen gums give LM some new pearly whites. Also, we are moving this month and LM will have his own room. Yet another new adjustment!
This motherhood roller coaster ride is definitely teaching me that some of the most certain things, as far as day to day parenting, can be uncertain. and it’s OK. I appreciate your advice Michelle about embracing all the wonderful developmental changes. I guess I was honestly getting so hung up on perfect sleep, that I was missing just enjoying LM. Especially with the summer, we want travel, go to the beach or wherever. I was beginning to get anxious that I wouldn’t be able to do any of that with these terrible naps and night sleep. I didn’t want to always change things on LM, that wouldn’t be fair at all. That’s why I’m going to wait until maybe we move to officially dive into Ferber again. Until then, if things continue like today, LM and I will be just fine. I really hope that the second time around, LM catches on soon.
My baby girl is 3.5 months and we started the Progressive-Waiting Approach on July 2nd so today is day #9. All I can say is WOW! Before this, I was holding/breastfeeding/rocking/walking/crying with my little one [what seemed like] constantly (I am ashamed to admit that there were a couple days -not in a row- I didn’t even get to shower). I was so tired that I would start to nod off while rocking or breastfeeding her, I was scared I might drop her! Needless to say, it was beginning to drive a wedge in between me & my hubby…I was becoming more and more depressed seeing myself so disheveled all the time and feeling like I had lost my best friend too. Right up to the end of June (27th or 28th), she was still sleeping in bed with us, curled up next to mommy…actually, I believe it was my breast that she was curled up with 😉 Now, I can lay her down in her crib and she usually falls asleep within minutes with little or no crying. It’s almost as though she wanted her own space as much as we wanted our space back!!
Of course, it was not easy. One night, I started to cry as I laid her in her crib for the evening (my eyes water now thinking back on it). Like Noob Mommy says in her comments, there are ups & downs but don’t give up…I found that this is just as much training for the clingy, hovering mother as it is for the “needy” baby (because we all want our LO’s to love us/run to us/reach for us/etc). Prior to sleep training (since she was about 1 month old), she was always so fussy/cranky and only wanted me to hold her – my hubby was literally feeding me dinner. Now, she is a much sweeter, happier baby when she’s awake…she’ll sit in her swing, play on her toy gym, and let other people hold her.
I know that my baby girl is young but I also know she was ready for this. From day #1, I never let her get too upset, I would soothe her and pick her up for a few minutes if necessary. Plus, I can tell when she is crying because she is mad vs. when she really needs me. I also had to re-evaluate my technique. At first, I just wanted her to go to sleep on her own so I wasn’t too worried about the schedule part. Consequently, just earlier this week (Sunday/Monday), I found that she would go down for naps but then wake up rather quickly (after 30-45 minutes)…and that was mimicked at night too. Tuesday I had an epiphany: her schedule should be static and not dependent [so much] on when she cries. So when she woke up early from her nap, I waited, and sure enough she went back to sleep on her own (and stayed asleep longer). Now, Wednesday, I am waking her up from her naps! Last night, she ate at 11:00 (dream feed) and then woke up at 3:30 & 6:00 to eat again…not that bad (she’s in her own room in her crib). I will post an updated comment with our progress.
One last thing, the detailed journal is a must! It really does help to look back at the progress and to see the new patterns developing. Hindsight is always 20/20 but you will look back and be happy that you stuck through it!
Noob Mommy says
Thanks so much for sharing your experience with the Progressive-Waiting Approach! I love to hear other success stories. It’s amazing how your quality of life can improve with SLEEP! I’m glad it went well for you, and like you said… oftentimes it’s Mommy or Daddy being too clingy, which is detrimental to baby’s rest. Yes with the detailed journal as well! It’s so important to put everything in perspective.
Han Tizy says
Im so thankful to come across this site. There are so many forums out there where its impossible to have a sensible conversation about Ferberizing due to other peoples misguided judgements. At the end of the day we should all try to support each other rather than judge someone who’s shoes you are not standing in. Anyway rant over….sorry 🙂
I have a 6.5 month baby boy called Roscoe who is generally a lovely happy contented little thing, he’s small for his age – on the 9th percentile and he suffers from a milk allergy, he has specially prescribed formula and is now also weaned on three meals a day. He also still has a dreamfeed at around 10.30pm. I’ve tried stopping this but he struggles to settle and is hungry later in the night if I don’t give it. Something to do with the type and consistency of his milk i think. Anyway by the by, that’s just a bit of background info.
Regarding sleep, he has previously slept through the night (sttn) but not for some time, possible a good 6-8 weeks ago and it was only for a relatively short period of maybe 4 weeks on/off. Gradually since then his sleep has become worse and worse. To the point of him waking up to 10 times per night and sometimes it would take an hour or more to re-settle him, which usually would consist of me sitting by the cot or with him in my arms until he’s asleep. He also has a dummy. His day time sleep has also become terrible, now consisting of only about two 20 minute naps on the worst days and maybe two 45 minute naps on the best days. I tried to address all the age related issues – teething/separation anxiety/nightmares but couldn’t put it down to any of these over the length of time his sleep has regressed. So out of pure desperation I decided to try the Ferber Method – started yesterday!
So yesterday I did alot of reading on the Ferber Method during the day and printed some notes off to stick on his bedroom door, plus I made a progressive waiting chart to keep me on track. Last night we followed his usual bedtime routine, I added some lavender into an oil burner to create even more of a relaxing atmosphere and timer at the ready I took him to bed, I fed him his bottle and strangely he fell asleep!!!!! Bloody typical I thought, anyway I placed him in his cot and he stayed asleep. Ok so I’ll try again tomorrow night, thinking it’s probably best not to start this sort of thing in the middle of the night. I decided to have some tea, hadn’t eaten for about 8 hours…anyway soon as I sat down, he woke up! So here goes I thought….
I went into his room and lent into the cot, gave him a cuddle and tucked him back in, I left the room. He cried for 3 minutes so I went back into the bedroom and followed the process. Following that I completed 1 x 5 min interval and 3 x 10 min intervals and he finally fell asleep. My nerves were frazzled and I wondered how much longer I could have held out but I felt pleased. I gave him his dreamfeed successfully without waking him at 10.30pm and he slept until about 1.45am where he stirred and then cried. I checked up on him and found his nappy had leaked, we did a full change and then I kissed him gently, popped him back into his cot and there he stayed sleeping soundly until 6.10am. Amazing I thought!! The two previous nights had been awful to the point where I’d had to bring him into our bed just to try to get some sleep and he still woke regularly.
So today I’m trying to carry on the method but I have a few questions about naps. The first nap of the day is always the easiest to settle him and I followed his slimmed down daytime pre-sleep routine and put him to bed awake, he fell asleep but then woke after 20 mins. He chatted in the cot for maybe 20 mins so I didn’t go in but then he started grumbling. I went in thinking I’d start the process again after reassuring him, he’d done a poo so I changed him and put him back to bed. We went through 3 x min, 5 x min and 1 x 10 min intervals of crying, then half way through the second and final 10 minute interval I went in and ended the nap, he was very upset. Here are my questions:
1. If he falls asleep but then wakes up after only 20 mins, should I end the nap? Or carry on the routine?
2. If he’s not crying but awake and then starts crying after a while do I start the timer from when he starts crying or when he’s chattering and grumbling to himself?
3. When he gets tired again (probably before he’s been awake for 2.5 hrs) should I take him to bed for a nap or just stick to two naps a day one at 9 – 9.30am and one at 1pm ish?
We were following a 4 hour easy routine but because he wouldn’t sleep during the day it was difficult to keep this up.
Any help would be greatly appreciated. I really hope Roscoe continues to respond well to the routine……sleep at last!
Noob Mommy says
Han – Thanks for your comment and I hope the Ferber method is working well for you! I believe that Ferber suggests ending a nap after about 45 minutes or so of crying at most. Also, to not let the little one take a nap randomly to make up for the missed nap (unless it’s in the car or something and you can’t help it of course). That way, the little one will be tired by the evening. I think if it’s after 20 minutes of sleep, you can just let him hang out for awhile and see if he falls back to sleep or just chats and keeps himself amused. Also, start the timer when he actually starts crying. Another thing, for a 6.5 month old … you may still want to have him take a little catnap in the later afternoon. I imagine that he must be getting tired again somewhere after the 1pm nap and bedtime? If he looks sleepy, definitely encourage him to get his rest so he won’t be cranky and will sleep better in the evening. Good luck!
I’m so happy I came across your post- maybe you can offer me some insight or help. I’m a teacher and I started summer break this week . I’ve had my little one home with me since. Monday seeing as she doesn’t need to be in daycare for the summer. I have been having the hardest time getting her to nap and sleep well- I feel like I reverted back to the ten week old I put in daycare when I started back to work.
She gets up at the same time more or less each day (7:30 am) and her bedtime during the school year was always no later than 8 pm but as early as 7:30 pm. She is now five months and this week she had been up at least once a night each night and three times on two nights this week. Her naps that used to be two hours are at most one hour now. I’ve been trying to have her cry through the intruder but it’s not working. Last night I veered only slightly from our typical bedtime routine and it took 90 minutes to settle her.
I don’t think she is feeding – like really nursing right now. She did just get her first two teeth but all shed seems to want to do is play and for me to hold her.
I’m logging all of her actions during the day and night to figur out what could be going on. I was shooting for a three hour schedule and move to a four hour schedule but at this point I feel like we have do many hurdles in front if us and I’m obsessed with mastering her sleep.
I’ve read several books and in trying to put together what world for us. I know I can’t let her get to far gone with her crying or she is inconsolable as evidenced by last night but I feel like shushing and patting her to sleep the way I am now will be something I am going to have to continue forever. I don’t want to have to nurse her to sleep. Right now I put her to sleep when she starts wiggling in my arms and running her eyes and yawning. That turns to crying some nights and lightly fussing others. I know I need to give this ax few more days but I dread bedtime right now and I feel so emotionally exhausted afte our battle last night.
Any advice would be so helpful! Thank you!!!
Wondering if I should take his musical mirror out of his crib for now while we’re ferbering? He seems to be knocking it around a lot and I don’t know if that’s going to mess with his ability to fall asleep. Any suggestions? His mobile only runs for a minute and actually wakes him up so we don’t use that. We have a noise machine that simulates the sound of the ocean in there as well, is this a good idea? I don’t want him to need perfect silence to sleep but I don’t want him to be too dependent on a constant noise because I have that problem.
Hi, JennieT. My question is above yours’ and since then, my baby boy is sleeping through the night! I cannot believe it!! It took about 3 nights to do it and I would suggest not using the sound machine. My son takes the pacifier and we decided not to go in and give him the pacifier back…it sort of defeated the purpose of it all! I would also say if the mirror is distracting him, take it off.
Does that make sense? Feel free to email me with any questions..i cannot believe how well it worked! We are all happier and my son is happier in the morning because he is so well rested!
Hi, Noob. My son slept beautifully in the beginning, the at about 4 months started waking every 2 hrs. I never tight I would ferberize (didn’t with my 3 year old. She sttn at 7 months other own), but I am exhausted and frustrated!! We started last night but with the paci. He still woke every 2 hrs, but no nursing. Tonight, we decided no paci, because it seems to defeat the purpose to me. He went to bed at 6:45 (normal time), woke up at 8:30 and it is 9:40 and he is still not asleep! I don’t know what to do!! Please help…this is torture! He has to fall asleep at some point , right???? Any suggestions, anyone?