Ferber's Sleep Training Method (progressive waiting/checks/controlled crying)



Listed below is Ferber's sleep training plan where you tackle naps and night time sleep at the same time. You can begin to use this with children 3-5 months of age. Everything is done in one step which makes for quicker results, but also a lot more change all at once. This is suppose to be used for children that have poor Sleep Props/Associations or habits (we treat them the same) that make falling to sleep by themselves in the correct environment difficult. If, after implementing this method for 1 week, there is no improvement in sleep or it seems to be getting worse then your child's poor sleep may be due to something else besides a poor sleep prop/association (see "But Why Doesn't It Work?").

Ferber states that it takes a few days to a week to fix sleep problems using his methods. He compares a child having to learn a new way to sleep with an adult having to learn to fall asleep without a pillow. At first he will have a hard time falling asleep but over time he'll get used to sleeping like this. To get used to it he simply has to do it and then do it over and over again. Remember to be consistent otherwise all the hard work and crying is for nothing.

Ferber says that his "progressive waiting" approach is better than the "cold turkey approach because it allows parents to check on their children which gives them comfort and it allows children and parents to have a less distressing and drastic approach to sleep training which makes parents more likely to follow through.

Night Sleep
To begin, start off by picking a bedtime around the time your child usually goes to bed. Make sure to make this time no earlier than your child usually goes to bed since this will make it even harder for your child to fall asleep. Ferber actually suggests maybe putting your child to bed 30-60 minutes later than usual to help your child fall asleep faster, although this may end up back firing on you if your child gets too overtired and tries to fight sleep. Then put your child to bed in his crib (or where ever he will be when he wakes up normally during the night) awake. If your child is sleeping in a bed rather than a crib then you may need to either put a gate in his door way or close the door to his room in between "visits". When your child starts to cry or calls for you whether it be right when you put him to bed or some other time during the night, allow him to cry for gradually longer periods of time starting at the minimum waiting time for the night with each new awakening.

Three to five minutes is a good starting point but if you can't handle that you can start with something as short as 1 minute. The key is to progressively increase the time between visits up to a desired max amount of time each night as shown in the chart below.

Number of minutes to wait before responding
Day 1: 1st wait period-3 , 2nd wait period-5, 3rd wait period-10, remaining wait periods-10
Day 2: 1st wait period-5 , 2nd wait period-10, 3rd wait period-12, remaining wait periods-12
Day 3: 1st wait period-10 , 2nd wait period-12, 3rd wait period-15, remaining wait periods-15
Day 4: 1st wait period-12 , 2nd wait period-15, 3rd wait period-17, remaining wait periods-17
Day 5: 1st wait period-15 , 2nd wait period-17, 3rd wait period-20, remaining wait periods-20
Day 6: 1st wait period-17 , 2nd wait period-20, 3rd wait period-25, remaining wait periods-25
Day 7: 1st wait period-20 , 2nd wait period-25, 3rd wait period-30, remaining wait periods-30

If by day 7 thing are improving but still not better just continue adding a few minutes onto each interval of time.

When you go in to "visit" your child make sure you only stay in there for 1-2 minutes at a time. When you visit your job is to reassure your child (and yourself) not to make him stop crying or go to sleep (since your goal is to get him to fall asleep by himself). Ferber suggest not even picking up your child when making your "visits". Don't be surprised if your baby starts to cry more right when you leave the room. This is pretty normal. Also, if your baby needs a blanket placed back in the crib etc., go ahead and do so during your visits but not in between visits. Ferber doesn't suggest replacing a pacifier since this would just create another bad sleep association that would need to be fixed at a later time.

Continue your visits until baby stops crying, is about to fall asleep or is calming down (whimpering etc) or it is time for baby to get up in the morning. You may need to make this time a little bit earlier than usual (around an hour) . If baby is asleep at his usual wake time then wake him up, even if he was up much of the night. Do not let your child fall asleep right away somewhere else after he gets up in the morning since this would counteract all the work the two of you just did during the night.

Day time sleep
Use the same "progressive waiting" approach that you use for nighttime sleep except if your child has not fallen asleep after 30 minutes (I personally recommend a limit of 60 minutes for naps) or he falls asleep for any amount of time and then wakes up, get him up and finish that nap period. Don't increase nap times or make them go late into the evening to make up for lost sleep at night or your child may then not be able to sleep well that night. Also, if your child ends up falling asleep later on the floor or somewhere else outside the crib, Ferber says not to worry about this as long as your child falls asleep by himself.

I personally have my doubts about some of these "nap rules". I think it might be wise to increase nap times slightly to make up for some lost sleep the night before. The reason I think this is important is because a child that is over tired is going to have a harder time falling asleep which will make sleep training much harder. As long as you don't let your child sleep too late during the day or for too much longer during naps it should help with night time sleep training rather than hinder it. I also am not sure why Ferber says it is ok to have your child fall asleep outside the crib between nap times but not right after he gets up in the morning. This seems inconsistent to me but he says that eventually baby will learn to fall asleep in his crib during nap times even if he falls asleep on the floor every so often.

189 comments :

  1. Hi I have a question. I started Ferber approach on 8 mo son who had been nursed to sleep/co-sleeping up until this point. It seems to be working fairly well. We are on day 4. However, now as soon as I enter his room to begin pre-sleep routine (read from a story bible b sing a specific song) he starts fussing and rubbing his eyes etc. Then he fusses til I put him down where he screams until the first check (which is getting farther apart), after which he has begun settling better. Any thoughts on what, if anything I should change about pre-bed routine.?
    Also, I put him down on stomach because it seems like he stays asleep better that way and doesn't do as much flailing when crying, but it seems he doesn't like to be on stomach. WWYD?

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    1. Katie, this is a pretty normal reaction for some kids. It is their way to fight sleep and protest what is about to happen. They would much rather play with you! Trying to keep positive and matter of fact and not drawing things out helps. You kind of ignore the issues. Even if you offer comfort, it is attention, and attention to a child, whether negative or positive, often reinforces things. With one of my boys, it helped a bit to start the pre-sleep routine outside of the room then move into the room. You can also have him distracted as you start the routine by singing or something. And something to look forward to (like a lovey) can help the sleep transition go smoother. Don't worry, this usually goes away before too long (although it may pop back up a few other times with developmental stages).

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  2. Hi Rachel, I love your site... So much information. We just started the Ferber method and our daughter finally fell asleep after 1 1/2 hours. Now, my question is what to do when she wakes up in the middle of the night outside feeding schedule ? Do we do this method again, and start over .. wait 3 minutes, then 5 and so forth ? Thank you !

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    1. Roberta Blanco,
      The general rule is to start off from the beginning in the middle of the night like you did at bedtime. When you start stretching things out at bedtime (like starting with 10 minutes first etc) then you'd do that in the middle of the night too.

      best,
      rachel

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  3. Thank you so much Rachel.. We started the Ferber training last night with our 5.5 month old daughter. It was rough... She cried over an hour intervals , with falling asleep between 1.5-2 hours until after midnight, where she woke up at 5:00am ( from falling asleep and feeding at 12:30am) I guess I can say , not bad .. I have to say that we are just doing sleep training at bedtime. Naps we are still rocking her to sleep. According to Dr. Weissbluth day and night routines can differ because we are training different parts of the brain. Anyway, I am hoping tonight will be less painful.. Thanks again! I would say, so far this method is more tolerable than CIO.

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  4. Night 4 of Feberizing and my daughter fell asleep in 8 minutes. Wow, my husband and I could not believe it ! She cried a little and was talking to herself , then silence. The only thing right now is that she still has her night wakings. It could be 4 hours after she falls asleep or 5 hours, then she nurses, then she would wake up again after 4-5 hours (12:00am & 5:00am) , which I am fine with.
    However, last night, she woke at 11:45pm, then again at 3:30am, then at 6:20am. Could she be that hungry ? Or is this because she fell asleep so quickly. The first 3 nights of sleep training, she would fall asleep after an hour or so after being put to bed. Rachel, any thoughts on this would be so much appreciated ? Do I have to night wean ? She is 5.5 months. Thank you !

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  5. Just started last night. I have two question/clarifications: First it says not to let child go back to sleep right after awaking in the am, I work and usually get my daughter, 5 m, change diaper and put her in the car where she sleeps for another half hour on the way to daycare, where I then nurse before leaving. I wake her up at 6 and usually get home at 5:30 and bedtime at 7:30. Also she has fallen asleep for naps after twenty minutes but will only sleep for 15 to 20 minutes, I'm tempted to start over, why is it recommended that the nap be over? Thanks, very helpful info.

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    1. Kim,
      It is suggested not to let your child fall right back to sleep in the am because it can end up making the morning wake up time occur earlier and earlier. This doesn't seem to be an issue for you so I'd just do what is working.

      Did that answer your question?

      I'm not sure what you mean with the second question. Maybe looking over the short nap post and extending nap post will clarify things for you?

      best,
      rachel

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  6. I started ferberizing my 5 month old 11days ago. She has gotten much better at night, but naps are still a major issue. Before we started this process, she would only take 40 minute naps. During the first week of sleep training, she would take at least one long (hour & 40 minutes or so) nap a day. For the last few days, she refuses to nap longer than 45 minutes a nap. I am trying to do only 3 naps a day now ( down from 4). Can't figure out how to get her to nap longer. Does she simply not need more sleep? She usually sleeps about 11hours a night. Thanks in advance for any help you can give!

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    1. Ellen Hemmert,
      Naps can take a few weeks to get down. Likely she does need the longer nap, especially if she wakes cranky. I would 1) give it more time 2) consider some nap extending techniques (see post on short naps and extending naps) and consider doing a super early bedtime for the time being to help your little one get over over tiredness which is likely going on from sleep training and short naps.

      best,
      rachel

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  7. I was wondering what I should do for naps- my baby takes about 5-6 minutes of crying to fall asleep initially, but will then only sleep for about 20 minutes or so. Should I take her out of the crib and end the nap at that time? Or start the checks again in hopes that she may fall asleep again. My reason for even doing CIO to begin with is she has a waking problem, often waking 3-4 times for a nap and up to 20+ times over the night for her pacifier and a quick rocking. Her naps pre-CIO were lasting approximately 2-2.5 hours. Thanks!

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    1. Anastasia Patti,
      I always see if I can extend naps, especially if they are that short. Babies are more likely to extend them that short. she will likely get better at extending them as she gets better at putting herself to sleep and gets less worked up before falling asleep.

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  8. Thank you so much for this site. This is our 3rd child and he is now 5 months old, cuter than cute can be! But from day 1 he's been, well, a handful is an extremely nice way to put it... our first two were really easy and slept ok they are 4 and 2 and still like to seek in but I like that too, our 5 month old has never slept well, after he would fall asleep he would wake every 30 minutes - all. night. long. Unless he was in our bed nursing, then he'd wake up and suck a little and fall back to sleep. This doesn't work well for me when mama is gone two-three nights per week, working. We started the Ferber method on Knox last night and seems to be doing somewhat ok, but he's never napped well. If he falls asleep after nursing or after a bottle he maybe sleeps 45 minutes otherwise it's 4 20-30 minute naps per day. Do we try to extend them by "ferberizing" him when he wakes after 20-30 minutes or just get him up even if he's tired and cranky? I'm confused. 4 months of colic and 5 months of no sleeping, we had to try something different - I sometimes think The Big Guy has an odd sense of humor / way of teaching us patience. Any advice is welcome. Thank you in advance.

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    1. Bigcountry22,
      It depends on the situation what you do, but right now with the total lack of sleep everywhere, I would just extend the nap in any way possible (outside of a feed, if possible) if it is under the 45 (or so) minute mark. When night sleep is better then you might want to work on naps more.

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    2. You have a very good attitude about everything, btw :)

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    3. Thanks! That's what my wife and I thought too but wanted some others input, little chunker needs his sleep...so does papa!

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  10. Starting to ferberize my 6 month old tonight! Thanks for this site, it's so helpful!

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    1. Good luck Carrie! Remember it'll get easier in a matter of days!

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  12. Hi we are about to start this method with our almost 5 month old little girl.... she use to sleep for about 6-8hours a night without waking and npw for the last month she has starts to wake 2 hours after we put her in the crib so I nuts her and put her back but then she wakes every 20 minutes to an hour after that. So my question is once we start this method if our daughter wakes up in the middle of the night do I nurse her and then start back over or do you not nurse her and just start over?? Thanks!!

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    1. Coyrtne,
      OK. I'm not totally positive I'm understanding he question so forgive me if I throw out a bunch of useless info at you!. At each subsequent waking throughout the night, you will restart your checks with the initially nightly waiting time and work up to the max again.

      I would wean from night feeds, doing ferber around those feeds until they are mostly weaned (once you are at a few minutes of nursing then I'd drop it completely--it is just a snack at that point). Make sure baby doesn't fall asleep eaten or you'll just keep the problems coming...pop off and time to go back in her bed to learn to fall asleep on her own (although she should be relaxed, at least). If she's eating all over the place all night long, then I'd pick some times a few hours apart and feed then and wean from them. If she's recently done 6-8 hours, you may be able to wean a bit quicker than some babies who haven always eaten all. night. long. Drop a few minutes every couple days to one feed at a time. When it is done, move to the next. Don't let her eat sooner than the 'scheduled' time, you don't want backtracking with this one.

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  13. Similar question to Coyrtne - our almost 7 month old has starting waking every 1 to 2 hours at night (used to sleep for up to 8/9 hours straight). I'm offering the breast every 3 to 4 hours, just in case he's hungry and he's eating quite a bit when I offer. I'm worried I've created a bad habit allowing him to eat more at night than during the day. I want to start Ferber method training, but I'm wondering if I cut the night feedings cold turkey, or do I continue to offer every 4 hours, then put him back, let him put himself back to sleep using Ferber, and gradually extend time between feedings? Is it a bad idea to feed while trying to "ferberize"? Will that be confusing?

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    1. Erin,
      Ok. So the ferberizing and feeding at the same time is a touching confusing, but it does work out. and yes, I would wean some, not just drop all feeds cold turkey. Alhthough if he's recently been going much longer, you may be able to wean a touch quicker. One other way of going about this to be less confusing is to set your alarm to feed baby an hour earlier than he normally wakes to eat. That way if he wakes after that you won't feel stressed that he's hungry and you don't have to worry about reinforcing the crying by feeding sometimes but not others. You would set the alarm an hour before he normally eats.

      best,
      rachel

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  14. Hi Rachel,

    You have a fantastic site! I find it so helpful and I'm hoping you can help me out today. I started with a modified Ferber method 2 weeks ago with my 4.5 month old. We are on week three. I couldn't bring myself to to extending beyond the Day 1 routine. The first week it would take about an hour to get him to sleep, then week 2, about 30-45 minutes. Now we're on week 3 and it's still taking up to 30-45 minutes to get him to sleep. He'll still wake up once/twice and I nurse him and put him back to bed awake and he'll fall asleep on his own. For naps, it's still up to 30 minutes for some naps. But some nights and naps he'll just talk/cry for 10 minutes and then be out. I know it's supposed to take longer if we modify the method, but I feel like there isn't any real improvement. I'm going to try and hold out for the rest of the week but it'll be tough because my husband will be working late and not able to help out. My questions are 1. Should I just give up on what we are doing? 2. If we stop this method, would it be best to wait until he is 6 months (he's 5 months today) to try something different e.g. PUPD?
    I really don't want to go back to rocking him to sleep for all his naps and all his night awakenings (which were every 1.5-2 hours), but I don't think I let him CIO on my own. I appreciate any advice you may have. Thanks very much in advance!

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  15. Hi Rachel,
    We started sleep training my 4.5 month old on Friday because the doctor said she was too old to be eating at night. She goes to bed at 7pm with no issues after I feed her. She had been waking up 1-2 times a night wanting to eat for 15 mins and then going right back to sleep. Here is how the last 5 nights have gone.
    Night 1: Cried for 1.5 hours and went to sleep until 5am
    Night 2: Cried for 1 hour and went to sleep until 5:30am
    Night 3: Cried for 45 min and went to sleep until 5am
    Night 4: Cried for 30 min and fell asleep until 5:45am
    Night 5: Cried for 2 hours and finally at 4:30am I went in to feed her
    Up until last night I thought we were making progress. How long should I let her cry? Any advice on what to do tonight would be greatly appreciated.
    Thanks!

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  16. What do you do during nap times when baby stops crying or is quietly fussing after like 4 minutes of a 10 minute wait, then starts crying 5 minutes later? Do you reset the 10 minute clock? Or go in in 1 minute? Or restart from 3 minutes?

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  17. Hi! I have a question....
    We are on night 2 of the Ferber method for my 1yr old. Cried one hour 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?
    Thanks!

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    1. Angelica,
      Treat any waking before the morning (give or take 30 minutes) as a night waking. No eating until breakfast :)

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  18. Hi - Any thoughts on the Ferber method with twins? I was thinking of trying this method with my 4 month olds naps. They sleep pretty good at night, but are terrible day sleepers. Their naps only last about 30 minutes--on a good day! They seem overtired at the end of each day. I'd really like to get something established before bad habits start (sleeping in the living room in swings, chairs, etc.) Thanks!

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    1. Katie,
      It would likely help with naps. Many people find that separating twins during nap time is very beneficial (not just during sleep training, but on a long term basis). Make sure you have some healthy sleep habits before doing sleep training. You can find some on this post
      http://www.mybabysleepguide.com/2013/01/how-to-set-stage-for-good-sleep-tear.html

      best,
      rachel

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  19. Love this site! I've been reading Ferber in preparation for sleep training our 4 month old. I'm confused by his chart that says a 3 month old only needs around 8.5 hours sleep at night. If the baby went down at 7pm, that'd mean waking up around 3.30am,which really doesn't sound right. What's your take?

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    1. I don't agree with ferber's averages louise. And if he says 8.5 hours at this age, it is probably because a child is going to bed much later than 7, and waking between 6-7 am.

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  20. Hello my name is Chandra and I need help big time. I have tried and want to try again the Ferber method but I have a few questions first. My 8 month old is EBF and falls asleep while
    Breastfeeding all the time. I'm wanting to know when should I feed her before nap and bed time? We also co-sleep and she wakes several times during the night to feed, so do I feed her every time she wakes while I'm doing the Ferber? Please help need some sleep.

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  21. Wanting to start this method for my 6 month old ... I'm just confused to do this and what if he is hungry in middle of night?? Do I pick him up to nurse or just let him cry?? Any helpful information would be greatly appreciated ! Thanks Kristin

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  23. What is the right age to start this method?

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    1. He suggests starting as early as 3-6 months. You can start anytime after this though.

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  24. Thanks for the info. We modified Ferbers Method and doing only at nights and repeat if it is earlier than 10pm - due to our neighbours -. We are on the 4th night and he slept in 4 minutes. Do you think with this modified version we can still teach him to sleep? I assume, it would take longer but it should be still a teaching tool. I am wondering what you think. thanks

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    1. aysegul diril,
      I'm not quite sure what you mean by repeat if earlier than 10 pm? that you stop the checks once it is later than 10 pm. If that is what you mean, this may or may not work depending on your child. Some children will get much worse if things aren't more consistent than this, but others will show much progress. you would just have to try it out and see. most likely as your child gets older inconsistency would cause more issues (if they don't now)

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  25. Hi, your site is awesome and I love that you respond to comments! We started using the ferber method on our 7 month old 4 days ago and have seen great results for starting bedtime. He's sleeping from 7-4 waking up 1-2x but puts himself back to sleep within 5 min. My question is his consistency with the 4 am waking. Could he be hungry? Until we started this he would nurse up to 3x times a night and now he's going over 8 hours without food. Just looking for your input but even the consistent 4 am is so much better than every 1-2 hours. Thanks!

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  26. I will fully admit to being a bit of a failure with this the first time we tried. It was 1 night of hell and I didn't have the energy with working full time to keep going so we moved him back to our room. My son kept waking up every hour and then it would take 2 hours to get him down. We are going to try again this week and hope that maybe your suggestions and advise will help. Did you find that your child woke up every hour or so when you started this method? He used to be great at putting himself to sleep and sleeping through the night but for some reason does not seem to in his crib. Any thoughts or advice would be helpful.

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  27. I started sleep training my 9 month baby last night. It was so hard to listen to her cry for so long. Before she used to nurse to sleep and when she would wake up during the night, the breast was there to sooth her. She finally fell asleep after 2 hrs, was asleep for about 3 hrs. She then woke up and we tried it again. Can I nurse her in the middle of the night? What about nap times? She was in her crib for about 30 mins but I took her out after because she didn't go to sleep. She fell asleep in my arms. Una first time mom and really don't know what to do

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    1. Doraly,
      At 9 months, imo, I don't think she needs a feed at night. IF she eats a lot at each feed, you could try weaning from them, if she just eats a little, drop right away. Maybe just do a dream feed and no other. do not let her feed to sleep or fall asleep in your arms or you'll back track (see post on consistency). For naps, leave her for 1 hour then get her up for a bit and put her back down again when she's tired (probably pretty soon).

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  28. Rachel, four questions:
    1. Does the Ferber method state that the baby shouldn't be eating at night?
    2. We started last night and he fell asleep after 2 hours in his crib. Then we fed him (breast fed so my wife did, I am a supporter), and I put him in his crib after. He fell asleep after a few minutes. The second feeding, we kept him in the bed till the morning. Is that counterproductive?
    3. If he falls asleep around his nap time just playing on his quilt, should we move him to his crib or is it ok to leave him where he is?
    4. When we put him down for the nap, and he's not crying or fussing, just talking to himself, do we still need to go in? Also, if he starts crying, do we start the 10 minutes when he starts crying, or from when we put him down?

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  29. I am confused about the day time sleep. I have a 5 month old who only sleeps 25-30 mins at nap time. What if he cries for 30 minutes then falls asleep, do I leave him? Or what if he cries the entire 30 minutes and does not fall asleep? Can you please explain day time sleep for me. I want to start this method and I don't want to do it wrong. Thanks!

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    1. Ashley,
      If he cries for 30 minutes then falls asleep, let him sleep. If he cries for 30 minutes but doesn't fall asleep, get him up and try again later. I personally usually suggest trying for an hour at nap time if baby doesn't fall asleep, then call it quits. I hope that made sense and I didn't just confuse you more!

      best,
      rachel

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    2. Thank you for your help!
      I have another question about his naps. We started the program last night. It says don't let them sleep more then usual during nap time. He usually sleeps 30-40 minutes. His first nap was 30 mins, second nap 1hr 52min and last nap was 1hr 45min. Should I wake him up after 30 mins or let him sleep until he wakes up? What do you think?

      Thanks again,
      Ashley

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    3. Ashley, the 'more than usual' comment applies to average nap lengths/ideal nap lengths. So don't let baby sleep like 4 hours or something in one nap period :) I

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  30. Hi,
    I was wondering if you know how successful Ferber's method is for naps. I read the book, and we used it for night sleeping and my 4 month old is doing great... She puts herself to sleep and isn't waking up nearly as frequently. Our challenge is naps... She only naps 25-45 minutes. I admit I am skeptical of getting her up when she has only slept a short time. I tried the progressive approach when she woke up early but that didn't work either.
    Thanks,
    Paige

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    1. Paige,
      I think his method will be just as successful as other ST methods at this age for you nap issue--it may or may not help. Look at the short nap post and the extending nap post for more on that. good luck!
      rachel

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  31. Hi!

    We're about to begin sleep training our 7 month old, who, like others, slept for about 7 hours straight through the night until a couple months ago when he began waking every couple hours for comfort feeds. I know you're supposed to put them in their crib awake so that they learn to fall asleep on their own, but my LO almost always falls asleep during his last feeding of the night, as this is really the only way to get him to sleep. Any recommendations as to how to give him a feeding before bed without him falling asleep??

    Thanks,

    Jordan

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    1. Jordan, give the feed earlier on, reduce wake time length before bed, give the feed outside the bedroom in a bright and active environment.

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    2. Thanks so much, Rachel! What do you mean by reduce the wake time length before bed??

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    3. See this post for info, Jordan

      http://www.mybabysleepguide.com/2009/02/wake-time.html

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  32. Apologies if this has already been answered.

    Using Ferber for naps. Nighttime is great, naps not so much. 4 months old. Breastfeeding

    My question is this: he often will cry through the 30 min mark or even an hour, or sleep for less than 30 mins. So I end the nap. At his next feeding though, he will almost always fall asleep because he is still tried because he missed the nap or didn't sleep long enough. What should I do? I feed him in a bright room and try to keep him awake but he always falls asleep.

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    1. Erin,
      This is a tough situation and one you have to just do your best in. You'll find some tips on the sleepy newborn post to keep him awake. It'll get easier with time, and as the naps improve. Make sure to not keep him awake too long during the next wake period after a rough/short nap, and I'd feed him early too.

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    2. I'm on this post looking or the same answer Erin. My LO night times have improved but her day naps have turned into 30 minutes. I feel lke if i try extend each nap using CIO when she wakes early then we spend all day in the bedroom and tired when shes up! I'm thinking of allowing 30min morning and arvo nap but focusing on making her lunch time 2-3hrs using CIO when she wakes at the 30min mark

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  33. I am on night 4 of the ferber method. The first night it took my 8 month old 1 hr to fall asleep with her fussing on and off, then 50 min night 2, 45 night 3, but then 1 hr again night 4. She has also been waking about 3 hours after falling asleep and then it takes another 30 min. She has been waking around 3:30 or 4 and wanting to nurse and then going back to sleep until 6:30 or 7. She has 2 naps a day about 3 hrs total and goes to bed around 7. Should I be seeing more improvement now? I hate listening to her fuss and she has a hoarse voice when she wakes up.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lauren,
      The quickness of improvement varies a lot by baby. I would expect to some some changes in the next few days. Some babies can take a couple weeks before they really start to figure it out. I would make sure you are being consistent as possible and not giving double messages. I would consider waking her up (maybe at 3 to make sure she doesn't wake up on her own) and feeding her at night to help to not reinforce the waking at night issue--sometimes this can be an issue with some babies.

      good luck! I hope you see improvement soon!

      Delete
  34. Hi Rachel,
    My question is do you think I can use the baby projector or is it too stimulating. It helps calm her and has helped her sleep before. She is 3 months but her getting to sleep routine is getting worse and worse. Once she is asleep she goes 8-9 hours before a feed then another 3-4 hours before waking for the day so I think she is ready.
    Thanks
    Cathy

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    Replies
    1. 42catnaps,
      Likely, the projector will start to be more of a disturbance at her age. I don't love it because it isn't continuous. It isn't an absolute no go. You can always keep it if you really think it helps, but keep in mind that you may need to get rid of it later (and go through that change) if it obviously causes issues.

      Delete
  35. Hi Rachel, so happy to have found your site, it's been very helpful! I'm about to start sleep training my 5 month old with this method but I had a few questions first. Right now he usually sleeps 8:30pm-8am with usually no night time wakings, my problem is he relies on nursing to be put to sleep for bedtime and naps. My questions are:
    1. How/when do I go about changing his bedtime to around 7? And should I wake him at 7 am right off the bat if he's still asleep or wait for his bedtime to be adjusted?
    2. Since I'm the one right now putting him to sleep should I be the only one to do the comfort checks or can my husband help?
    3. Finally, during the checks, what should I do if the site of me causes him to become more hysterical? Thanks for your help!
    Shalane

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    Replies
    1. ShalaneRd,
      1) when adjusting a schedule, start with the morning time then adjust the entire day with that time. If 8:30-8 is working well now, no rush to adjust it.
      2) Your husband can do the checks too, but I would try to keep it a little consistent, as in not checking back and forth constantly. And it would be great if he could put baby to bed sometimes too :)
      3) Getting worse when he sees you is somewhat normal. it usually doesn't last very long. If he seems to have no improvement in a few days time, I would consider not checking, or only checking once after several minutes.

      best,
      rachel

      Delete
  36. Hi Rachel,

    Your site has been very helpful and informative. We started sleep training our 4.5 month old five nights ago use the Ferber method. However after three checks, her crying was gradually getting worse. So we decided to just not go in. She cried for about 40 min in total the first night and then went to bed with no crying on nights 2&3. Night 4 had less than 10 min of crying and night 5 again was no crying. However on night six she got sick with a cold and possibly teething and cried on and off for half hour, at which point I couldn't take it anymore as it sounded like a distressed cry. Turns out she had a burp and spit up a little. This makes me think how do we come up with a plan for days like these (sickness, teething, milestones etc) when the sleep will be affected and some extra comforting may be needed. Since we switched to extinction I wonder what that would look like. Or because she didn't really cry much the other days and its soon enough in training, can we implement some sort check and console plan when she is sick?

    Thanks so much for your help!

    ReplyDelete
  37. Hi Rachel,

    Your site has been very helpful and informative. We started sleep training our 4.5 month old five nights ago use the Ferber method. However after three checks, her crying was gradually getting worse. So we decided to just not go in. She cried for about 40 min in total the first night and then went to bed with no crying on nights 2&3. Night 4 had less than 10 min of crying and night 5 again was no crying. However on night six she got sick with a cold and possibly teething and cried on and off for half hour, at which point I couldn't take it anymore as it sounded like a distressed cry. Turns out she had a burp and spit up a little. This makes me think how do we come up with a plan for days like these (sickness, teething, milestones etc) when the sleep will be affected and some extra comforting may be needed. Since we switched to extinction I wonder what that would look like. Or because she didn't really cry much the other days and its soon enough in training, can we implement some sort check and console plan when she is sick?

    Thanks so much for your help!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Tasha,
      It is tricky when sickness, or some other issue, comes along when you are just getting into the sleep training. You will want to check on her, but keep it to a minimum then. For later on when baby is sleeping well, I would check on her if she cries and it is unusual (see the post check on the unexpected). I would comfort when sick, but only as much as needed. Every child is different and reacts differently to these checks. Some will need some sleep training after the event or will start to sleep worse if checked on or held and you'l have to be very careful about this. Other children will just sleep normal again right after the event. You'll have to see what happens and adjust to that (check on less or more etc). I hope that made some sense. A very good question, btw :)

      Delete
    2. Hi Rachel,
      I've been using this method for over a month and it's worked great. However my son still cries 5-10 mins before falling asleep each time I put him down. Is this ok? Shouldn't he get to the point where he no longer cries at all? Thanks

      Delete
    3. ShalaneRD,
      Most kids will stop all crying (or whimper for a few moments) pretty early on, but some kids will cry a bit before falling asleep for quite a while. I would double check that the waketime length isn't too long and I would consider increasing the soothing time before sleep (relaxing, reading) to see if it helps.

      best,
      rachel

      Delete
    4. Hi Rachel, thank you for your advice. I've started extending the soothing time but so far he still cries. Is it possible I'm putting him down too early? Could that cause the crying? I watch him closely and when I first see him stop moving around so much and staring off I take him in to put down (usually 1.5-2 hours after his last wake up) but then he perks back up and I start second guessing if he's actually tired. Also I've noticed the longer I rock and sing to him the more restless, squirmy and upset he gets. I've read on your site that babies wake time at 6 months is 2-2.5 hours and I rarely wait that long l, do you agree with that time range? Any advice you can offer me is much appreciated :)

      Delete
  38. Hi Rachel, firstly thank you so much for this site, it's most informative site that I have found regarding the Ferber method.

    I really need some advice with regards to my little girl. She is 7 months old and we are just about to start the process of the Feber method, I just have a few questions that I am hoping you can help me with.

    Grace used to be a great sleeper, she slept through the night from the time she came home and never had a dummy. Since I started work and since her teeth came through aged 5 months her sleep regressed, I think it's the combination of the dummy which she now has and bad sleeping habits that have now formed from her teething and waking up. She currently wakes up twice a night once from 12am/1am and then at 3am to nurse, so now for the questions:

    She goes down at 7pm and is nursed, she generally falls asleep on the boob, I have tried on many occasions to wake her up and put her down half awake half asleep but she most of the times dead asleep, how do I solve this problem?

    Then secondly what does Feber say about the dummy, at 1am she is waking for the dummy, do I go cold turkey on that or still give it to her? she is not able to put it in her mouth on her own.

    Once again thank you for such an informative site it's really appreciated

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    Replies
    1. Sorry I wanted to add do I just go cold turkey on the 3am feed as well?

      Delete
  39. Starting tonight with 7.5 month old. Very sad and nervous. The question I see that's not answered here is what to do of baby settles in the middle of a timed check. If we were supposed to wait ten minutes and he quiets down 3 minutes in, but starts up again, do we reset the clock and do the full 10 from there? Or from when we left the room and he started originally? It's been 40 minutes so far and he quiets as soon as we walk in the room and screams as soon as we leave...

    ReplyDelete
  40. Starting tonight with 7.5 month old. Very sad and nervous. The question I see that's not answered here is what to do of baby settles in the middle of a timed check. If we were supposed to wait ten minutes and he quiets down 3 minutes in, but starts up again, do we reset the clock and do the full 10 from there? Or from when we left the room and he started originally? It's been 40 minutes so far and he quiets as soon as we walk in the room and screams as soon as we leave...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Tara,
      If he stops crying at all (stops, not just catches his breath) then you will start the time over again. Good Luck!! It will get easier very soon. You can do it!

      Delete
  41. So far, so good. Putting him to bed awake at night has become easier - each night there was less protesting - but I'm unsure how to go about naps and night feeding. He's waking twice at night and I'm okay with continuing to feed him at the first feed of he wants/needs as it helps me maintain my supply as I don't pump well and will soon be back to work again and want to keep nursing through the first year at least. My question is, if it's "time" for a feed, do I just go to him as soon as he cries? What if when he started crying at night it wasn't time for a feed but an hour or however long later, it now is? Doesn't that seen like caving in? And of I want to keep the midnight feed but drop the 4am, do I just start doing the timed checks then again? I know ferber would say at 8 months he doesn't need anything and I should drop both and maybe he'll naturally wean from the first but I worry about my body not adjusting if I can't empty in the day as well...

    Aaaaand... for naps, would you follow however long your scheduled night timed checks would be? Even if your only supposed to attempt for no longer than 30 minutes?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Tara,
      Yes, the feeds can get tricky. I would try to wake him up and feed him an hour sooner than he normally eats, to prevent the crying and getting a feed issue. Or, if it is close to a feed, feed him the moment he wakes without having him cry at all.

      When dropping a feed, I would reduce the amount/time of the feed every few nights until it is almost gone (a few oz, few minutes) then drop it completely. You will start timed checks when you put baby down after the feed and once it is totally dropped.

      I would attempt sleep for 1 hour at naps. I'm not totally sure wha you mean by the last question. If you are doing checks at night, go ahead and continue during the day. You can do it at separate amounts for naps, just be consistent with whatever you do for naps or night.

      Delete
  42. I have been using the Ferber method to help my 4.5 month old go to sleep at night and it is working. There are some hiccups in the middle of the night when he wakes prior to a feed time but I just let him CIO and he's back down before 10 minutes on his own. However, NAPPING is getting worse and worse. He will start at an in home daycare in 3 weeks and I am a nervous wreck. He seems to only nap on a walk, in the car, or on me. These naps are anywhere between 45 min and an hour and a half. None of those will be an option when I am back to work. What do I do? I tried to let him CIO this week and he screamed for 30 minutes and then I took him out of the crib, carried him downstairs and he was asleep in my arms. WE NEED HELP please :) He's beyond over tired everyday and night and gets cranky.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ESchlamp,
      I'm sorry things have been so rough. Sleep can be so tough! I would 1)make sure he has an early bedtime to help offset the bad naps and 2) be consistent with the methods. If he only falling asleep being held or in a stroller etc--it is not being consistent. He should only be falling asleep in his bed for naps. Every time he falls asleep elsewhere, it is making the future sleep for naps harder. I know that sounds mean to say when you have been trying so hard, but I want the two of you to get over this tough sleep phase quickly, so I'm being direct in hopes that it'll help you fix the issue sooner. :) Good luck.

      rachel

      Delete
  43. Dear Rachel, thank you so much for taking the time to read through my post. I started to ferberize my 4 months old baby yesterday and after 1h of crying he finally went back to sleep. So far ...very normal but my question is more about the early wakings. His wake-up time has always seemed to be 5/5.30am...even if I feed him only at 7am! I read Dr. Ferber's book and can't figure out how to push back wake up time for a baby... Thanks so much for the help!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ruth,
      If you've left him to see if he'll go back to sleep on his own and he still wakes at 5/5:30 (and your bedtime isn't super early, like at 5 or 6), I would try to put him to sleep using a swing or something.

      Delete
  44. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
  45. Hi Rachel, we agree going to start ferberizing our baby at 5 months. I also want to move him to his own room at some point. Do you think it's too much to do both at the same time or is it a good idea to combine the two?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sorry Rachel but I also now realise that when he wakes every two hours he's getting fed so this is an issue that has to be dealt with too. Any suggestions on tackling this and the getting him to sleep on his own without rocking? It all feels quite daunting but i need to do this as I'm exhausted.

      Delete
    2. Helen,
      You can just st those feeds out, but I prefer to try to wean from feeds (either spread farther apart or feed less at each feed) first, then work on the falling asleep issue. Sometimes, once the feeds are less frequent, baby will start to wake less frequent all on his own.

      Delete
  46. Hi Rachel,
    My name is Stephanie and I'm a first time mom. I'm still confused about the process for naps. We are on day 2 of the Ferber method and had a rough first night but then he slept all night last night! Not a good napper though. Can you re explain the process to me for naps? My son is 5 mo old.

    Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  47. Hello Rachel,
    My name is Melissa and I'm a first time mom, I started ferber 4 nights ago, each night it has taken him 45 minutes to fall asleep, is this normal? I feel like there should be more improvement! Also his naps vary from 45 minutes to 2 hours, is this okay or should they be the same length?! My son is 5.5 months old!

    Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. melissa,
      That is a bit long, but some babies will do that for several days. I would double check that you are being totally consistent. I would make sure you are not checking too frequently.

      Naps may vary a bit at this age, especially if he's sleep training. They will likely get more consistent at a time, or at least you will notice some sort of pattern with them and maybe help him stick to that pattern as time goes on.

      good luck!
      rachel

      Delete
  48. Hi Rachel, thanks for the wonderful information!

    We are trying to move our 6.5 month old out of our room where she has been sleeping in a rock n play into a crib in her own room. She is a great sleeper in the rock n play, but she is getting to big for it and we know it's time for her to be in her crib. She screams and screams when we put her in there, and I think part of it is because of the lack of incline and close quarters compared to the rock n play. We've put a wedge in the crib to replicate the incline, but she moves around while she's screaming and ends up off it pretty quickly. She has never been one for swaddling, so I was wondering if there was anything you would suggest that may help make the transition a little easier for her.

    Thanks in advance!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'd also like to add that she sleeps in her crib at day care regularly now. They say she cries for a minute or two and then rolls over on her side, sucks her thumb and falls asleep.

      Delete
    2. Well, I don't have a great method to transition out of the rock and play besides just grunt your way through it. If you were still swaddling, that might have helped, but I wouldn't just implement it now. Most babies don't have much of a problem, but as you've witnessed, some definitely will! Since she sleeps at day care, I have a feeling she may be purposely fighting her parents or maybe you are not consistently leaving her there to figure it out? Either way, I would just let her figure it out and she should have it figured out soon, especially with minimal to no disruption from you.

      best,
      rachel

      Delete
  49. Hi, I have been trying to use this method for my 10.5 month old who is used to falling asleep during breast feeding. When I put him in his crib he just stands up and screams from the crib. He doesn't seem to ever lay down and eventually go to sleep. After 2 hours he is still just crying and screaming. Is this normal? Also for the naps during the day. It says to not go past 30 minutes. So if after 30 minutes he has not settled and fallen asleep do you just pick baby up and skip nap? Not sure what to do when he screams much longer than that.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Bre Paszkat,
      I would make sur you are being totally and complexly consistent. When you say it seems like he never falls asleep, that sounds like you are getting baby up after X amount of time which is reinforcing the waking and actually making him cry longer with progressive sleep training attempts. I'm not trying to be mean by saying this, I just want to make sure neither of you goes through any more crying than needed. As for naps, I personally think a 1 hour limit works best. After 1 hour, get baby up and put baby down again when tired (likely very soon) and start the process over again, making sure baby isn't hungry etc. Try try try to not have baby all asleep on you then or it will reinforce the crying also. I know some methods will say that it's fine to happen (like the no-cry sleep solution), but it really will make the whole process take longer which is not what anyone works. That said, don't beat yourself up if you are not 100% consistent, do you best. Being a parent is tough!

      best,
      rachel

      Delete
  50. Hi Rachel, thanks for all the info, love your site.

    today was my first day using the Ferber method on my 6 MO. He cried and yelled for a little under 3 hours. Can this still be normal or is it just cruel?

    Thanks

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anastasia,
      You have a good questions. CIO can really feel cruel at times, I know. You have to look at the bigger picture, and you have to look at what is going on with baby. He is feeling unsettled because he is tired and wants to fall asleep but doesn't know how to do it on his own and is frustrated while trying to figure it out. That length of time is pretty long, but it is that long sometimes. I would make sure to make sure you are not 1) checking too frequently or 2) giving too much attention while checking or making the check too long.

      best,
      rachel

      Delete
  51. Hi Rachel!
    Just started the Ferber method with my 5 MO tonight. He went to sleep fine at first, slept 2 hours, then woke and started to cry. I did the 5m, 10m, 12m check for 2 hours. He finally fell asleep for 1 hour, and has now woken back up and been crying for almost 1.5 hours. Is this normal? Also, I had been feeding baby 2 times a night at no specific time since he would wake randomly. How do I know if I should pick him up feed him or not. I don't want to hinder all the work we have done by picking him up.

    ReplyDelete
  52. My 5 MO gala asleep on his own but when he wakes at night he is PISSED! We're in our second night of CIO (the first was much more successful than tonight). He's been crying an hour with no sign of stopping. Last night was the forest night we dropped the night feeding and he did fine. Could be possibly be hungry tonight? I don't want to make him CIO when all he really needs is milk! How can I tell?

    ReplyDelete
  53. My 5 MO gala asleep on his own but when he wakes at night he is PISSED! We're in our second night of CIO (the first was much more successful than tonight). He's been crying an hour with no sign of stopping. Last night was the forest night we dropped the night feeding and he did fine. Could be possibly be hungry tonight? I don't want to make him CIO when all he really needs is milk! How can I tell?

    ReplyDelete
  54. My 6 month old sleeps from 8-2 at night, I then get him out of his crib and put him in bed with me for a feeding and then he sleeps with me till I get up. My question is should I not get him up at 2?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Amanda Womack,
      Are you asking if it's necessary to wake him for a feed? If that's the case, no, I don't think so. But if you don't get him up for a feed st 2, he may wake at some other time, or he may sleep through. Won't know until you try it :)

      Rachel

      Delete
  55. We started the Ferber method a week ago on our three month old daughter. She had to be held and rocked to sleep before starting this and slept next to me in a vibrating bassinet. She is now in her own room in her own non-vibrating crib. The first night she cried for about 30 with checks and then finally went to sleep and woke up 2 times to eat and back to sleep with little crying. We are one week in and she is consistently waking up only once to eat and right back to sleep. Every night now she consistently takes 10-15 minutes of crying before she goes to sleep. Because we are on day 7 we don't go in and check on her we just let her cry for the 10-15 minutes and then she sleeps. She doesn't go to bed until 8:30pm wakes up at 5 AM eats and then goes back to sleep until 8AM. Naps she falls asleep on her own but she won't sleep in her crib. We tried a couple times but we don't want her to hate her crib. She only naps for 30-40 minutes 3-4 times a day. So my questions should she not be crying at all at this point when going to bed at first through the night? and Should we try again with the naps and if we do what times do we put her down in her crib for a nap as her nap times are all over the place. Any advice would be awesome!!

    ReplyDelete
  56. Hi Rachel

    Your site is great and all your replies have so much advice it has been great to read! We started CIO 4 nights ago and I need some reassurance. First night I did 2.2.5.5.10. Intervals. She fell asleep after hour and 20 minutes, most of which was flat out screaming. 2nd night 3.3.5.7.10 - 35 minutes. I was shocked. The last two night I increased intervals 4.4.7.10.12 and tonight was 5.7.10.12. And both nights were roughly 50 minutes. I plan to stick with it for atleast a week. Should I be worried that she regressed and didn't progress the last 2 nights? She seems to get very agitated when I go into the room and leave, but not sure if I should stop going in for comfort. If after a week she's still screaming for 45 minutes at the top of her lungs then soothing for a few minutes what do you think I should do?

    What led us to CIO is she will not fall asleep without being bounced or excessive nursing (the bad habits we created fighting thru 3 months of colic)

    Thanks so much for all your hard work on this site.

    Kevin

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Forgot to add. Once she falls asleep usually around 830 she sleeps til 6. Feeds then goes back to bed til 8. So no complaints there.

      Delete
    2. Kevin,
      It's normal for the crying to increase at one point, often for a couple days on day 3 or 5. You might have more success if you go in less frequently, and start your checks at a higher time interval. I would also stay less than a few minutes. More like several seconds. You aren't really calming her, per se, you are just letting her know, very quickly, that you are still there. A long interval check can agitate some babies a lot more. Some babies even do better with no touching.

      good luck. Cio can be hard, but hopefully it'll be over soon and you'll all be getting some great sleep!
      rachel

      Delete
    3. Thanks for the speedy response! We were thinking of increasing intervals so that will be the plan. And I only stay for 30-45 seconds so I will try dropping that too. She slept like a log after she falls asleep, last night 10 hours! Just hoping the screaming cuts down. She starts screaming right after bath until she's nursing, and as doo as she's done nursing the screaming begins. Once again I appreciate the advice so much.

      Thank you!

      Delete
    4. Kevin Ross,
      The crying will get better. Do make sure she has something to go to sleep with that she finds soothing too, if she's old enough. Also, she may cry for a few days on and off as she gets older--children sometimes have phases of doing that as they change developmentally.

      Delete
    5. Thanks Rachel! She has a little bunny blanket she soothes with. Last night I did 10 12 15. And she last 45 minutes. So slight improvement! One last question. If she goes 7-10 days and it takes 45-50 minutes everytime is it OK to keep going or does that mean she may be too young. Or does the fact she sleeps 9-10 hours mean she's old enough and just a tough nut to Crack.

      Thanks!

      Delete
    6. Kevin Ross,
      I would keep it up. Maybe make sure she isn't too sleepy when put down, but also that she has a a nice relaxing routine prior. Also, consider whether she is overtired before bed. Those things may lead to more crying.

      Delete
    7. Thanks again! We are on day 9 now. Day 6 and 7 were around 30 minutes (amazing). Last night little regression but still good. Thanks for your reassurance. She's eating cereal before bathtime now and seems to be a bit happier afterwards. Hopefully that's the key. Cheers!

      Delete
    8. Hi Rachel

      Looking for some guidance once more. We are on day 15 and it took 50 minutes of screaming, with one check at 25 mins. Our times have been between 30-50. For some babies is this just as good as it gets you think?

      She will not sleep in her crib for naps. We've tried several times with the training and she has gone passed 2 hours of screaming which was too long for us. So she still gets naps in arms while rocking , cars or strollers.

      We have started to look it sleep coaches but the local ones are $500+ for basic guidance. Thought I'd ask you again.

      Helpless parent
      Kevin

      Delete
    9. Hi Rachel

      Looking for some guidance once more. We are on day 15 and it took 50 minutes of screaming, with one check at 25 mins. Our times have been between 30-50. For some babies is this just as good as it gets you think?

      She will not sleep in her crib for naps. We've tried several times with the training and she has gone passed 2 hours of screaming which was too long for us. So she still gets naps in arms while rocking , cars or strollers.

      We have started to look it sleep coaches but the local ones are $500+ for basic guidance. Thought I'd ask you again.

      Helpless parent
      Kevin

      Delete
  57. Rachel,

    Thank you for all of the info! I read over all of the comments to see if I can find an answer to my questions but I had no luck! My 5 month old daughter was sleeping through the night until she turned 4 months. She suddenly started eating more at night and refused to eat during the day! We have slowly worked on making sure she is eating more during the day, but we are still hVing a hard time. I think the problem is that she associates the bottle with sleep and wont eat because she thinks we are trying to make her go to sleep. She is now eating about 19 oz during the day and one 8oz bottle before bed. We start her bedtime routine around 6:15 pm (bath, lotion, pjs, and her bottle as I pray and rock to sleep). It is hard to keep her awake but will wake up about 30 mins after I put her in her crib (she is usually asleep by 7:30). I let her cio and check on her every 10 mins but only gets worse. Tonight i let her cio on her own and didnt check on her (i watched her from the camera) and she fell asleep after 40 mins. Because she doesnt eat enough, I have been waking her up for a dream feed around 10:30 pm. She eats about 5-6oz and goes back to sleep until about 4am. The last two nights I let her cry until 6am before I gave her her bottle. Should i continue the dream feed? What should I do when she wakes up at 4am? Should I just feed her or let her cio?

    Also, because she is so tired she goes back to sleep after her morning bottle until about 9 am. I read that you shouldnt let your baby sleep after waking up in the morning. I am so sleep deprived that I am happy to let her sleep until 9am! Should I keep her up for a couple of hours and then let her go back to sleep? I am so exhausted that at this point I will do anything to sleep!

    ReplyDelete
  58. Is it too late to sleep train my 11 month old?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Do you think it will be harder now that he is older? He also still wakes up in the middle of the night.

      Delete
    2. It may be a little harder than say, a 6 month old, but it is much easier than a child that is a bit older (like 18 months) and extremely opinionated and in a strong protesting age :)

      Delete
  59. Hi Rachel.
    I need some more advice. I started this method last night with my 6 month old son. I started with 3 minutes, then 5, then 10 and he didn't fall asleep until 3am. I put him down at 7pm. It was so 8 awful hours but I did my best to stick to it. I'm on night 2 and it's been 4 hours since I put him down and he still hasn't fallen asleep. His cries escalate every time I go into the room. Is this normal? I feel awful.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Unknown,
      There are the occasional children out there that have s super tough transition to sleeping on their own and fight it for very long. I would 1) make sure to be 100% consistent and 2) consider decreasing how often you check on baby and how long you check on baby. It is normal for a child's cries to escalate for a short time after you check on then. Sorry so rough!

      Rachel

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  60. Hi Rachel,
    We are thinking of trying this routine with our progressively more difficult 11-month old. But the problem is, her crib is in our bedroom and we have no other option to sleep in separate rooms. Would we still use the same method in the middle of the night (ignoring her until the timed checks) even though we must remain in the room?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Unknown,
      putting up a sheet from the ceiling or some other room divider can help when you share a room. You can also 'play dead' and pretend to be asleep when baby cries, but I personally think this is a little harder than baby not seeing you at all. Yes, you'd use the same method in the middle of the night while sharing rooms.

      Delete
    2. Unknown,
      You also have the option of using your voice only to 'check' on him.

      Delete
  61. Hi I started this morning with my 4 months old. After 30 minutes of following day 1, I went in nursed him and he fell asleep. Should I have just continued with the 10 minutes intervals for longer? At that point I just wanted him to sleep and so we used our 'night crush' of nursing and he went straight to sleep and has been out for over an hour and a half. I also stopped using his soother this morning since he doesn't need it at night and I am tired of going back in during his day time naps and giving it back to him, he keeps lifting his head and spits it out (stomach sleeper). Thank you for your response!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. George Gubb,
      I would do a max of 1 hour for nap then get baby up and put baby down again when tired (which will likely be soon). I would try your best to put baby down away without nursing, otherwise you are confusing baby and backtracking with the sleep (and generally resulting in more crying in the long run). Sorry to not get to this sooner!

      rachel

      Delete
  62. Hi Rachel, Last night was night 7 of the Ferber Method with my almost 8 month old son. These are the minutes of crying I have experienced over the first 7 nights: 45, 22, 5, 3, 25, 25, 25. It seemed he was doing well, but the last 3 night I feel he has regressed. Is this normal? On a positive note, once he falls asleep, he does sleep through the night. He has no issue going down for his naps, awake, with the Nanny, without a peep. Do I just keep working on our bedtime routine, and this method? Some sites have claimed you should take a break after 7 nights if it isn't working. Maybe this is good progress. I just hate hearing him cry, even for 25 minutes. Any thoughts you have would be great. Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Tara,
      It is normally to have a period of regression with sleep during sleep training. I would personally never stop after night 7 then start up again. You are giving your baby very inconsistent sleep signals and just going to make it harder and longer (and more crying) for the both of you.

      I would review your consistently to make sure it isn't adding to the crying. Review the consistently is key post. I would consider decreasing how often I visit baby and how long each visit it.

      best,
      rachel

      Delete
  63. Thanks Rachel. The night I wrote the post.....he went down without a peep, and was asleep in 3 minutes!!!! Same with last night and all naps! Seems to be working. Thank you for your response. Tara

    ReplyDelete
  64. Is 3.5 months too early for this to start? I'm all for it but as soon my LO starts crying & I see her face, I'm dying inside & then thinks it's too early. I know Ferber says to do it between 3-5 months but I'm afraid it's too early. Just so nervous. Also, is it better to do this method I n both naps & bedtime or just one or the other to start?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Also, she sleeps about 10 hours every nigh religiously. She just always had to fall asleep on me to go to bed & if I don't lay down to take a nap with her, it won't happen then.

      Delete
    2. Jen-L Gaczol,
      I feel like 3.5 months is ok, but there is no problem with waiting a bit longer if you don't feel ready. If you aren't comfortable enough with it you might not follow through and be consistent and that's no fun for anyone. I would do either just bedtime/night then naps a couple weeks later or bedtime and naps together. Either way is fine.

      Delete
  65. hel, my 6 week old has started the 30 minute intruder. I know it may be too early to sleep train., but are some good habits we can implement now besides nap routine? Other issue is she's relying pacifier to go to sleep. During the night she doesn't. She sleeps after nursing right away. I want to improve the napping situation and rid of the pacifier and bouncing on ball to get her sleepy. What am I to do? My first slept train at 3,5, but this one is starting bad naps way to early.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Diane Tran,
      I would help her fall back to sleep with her naps right now if she doesn't fall back asleep after being left for a few minutes. Getting her into the habit of sleeping longer for naps often results in them extending out by themselves eventually (you can try a swing, give a pacifier etc). As far as the pacifier, you can get rid of it for naps, but it will likely result in crying and rough sleep for a bit, so you'll have to consider that and decide if it's worth it. You could give it until sleepy but not asleep, but I've found that to be pretty tricky to do. The ball you can try to fade out of, like do it for less time, until less tired, etc.

      rachel

      Delete
  66. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  67. Could I pu pd to help her transitiion if pacifier doesn't do the trick? I attempted to st with pu pd. first cio 5 minutes, settled her laid her back down 6 minutes, pu and she passed out after about a minute of holding her. I set her back Down and she Naples for about 25 minutes. Offered her pacifier to help her transition but what if that doesn't work after several minutes?

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  68. My first attempt from comments above. I offered her pacifier after waking up at 25 minutes and she also for another 2 hours.

    Update second attempt at training on her next nap; I laid her down drowsy on a full stomache I thought to myself should I put her through this again today? Holy crap she cried for 30 seconds and went down. Does that mean she is getting it or i didn't give her enough opportunities before. Think I'll try it again for bedtime. She is 9 weeks.

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  69. Hello, I am looking for some advice about my 4.5 month old. He goes to bed at 8 pm after a full bottle (and falls asleep on his own), but will then wake up between 11pm-12am and again at 2-3am to eat. Sometimes, he wakes up at 11, 1 and then again at 3 or 4. We are only giving him about 2-3 ounces during those night time feedings, so I don't think that he is really hungry. He falls back asleep immediately after eating. I think he is getting enough to eat during the day and he is a good weight of over 16 pounds. Do you suggest we try the Ferber method when he wakes up at night to eat, or keep feeding him? I am a bit confused by how Ferber method interacts with weaning from nighttime feedings, when he just falls asleep instantly. Thanks!

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  70. Hello

    We have started sleep training 1 week ago and the last 2 nights we have had our 17 month old down at 10pm without a single whimper and he has not woken in the night at all which is the first time in his life so well impressed. Also he was sleeping in our bed and nursing through the night but now in his own room in his cot without feeding. However since starting the training, he has been waking from 4am to 5:30am when before the training he would get up at 8am. He is only sleeping for a single two hour nap in the day from 1pm to 3pm. Will he start sleeping in later himself or will we need to implement further training to assist?

    Thanks

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  71. Hi Rachel, for the first time tonight we are using the Ferber Method with our 7 month old daughter. She is exclusively breastfed and typically wakes up twice a night to nurse. Should I continue to nurse at night while we try this Method? Another concern is that she would scream every time we put her in her crib in her own room. In an attempt to ease her into sleeping in her crib, we have temporarily moved it into our bedroom. Would it have been better to put her in the crib in her own room from day one? My last question is: how safe is it for her to sleep on her tummy? Each time I check on her (between intervales) she has flipped herself onto her belly. Sometimes she is still awake and crying so I flip her onto her back but other times she is asleep. Is it safe to leave her to sleep on her stomach? My husband and I are hopeful that this will work as neither of us have had much sleep at all. Please help!!
    Many Thanks,
    Diana

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  72. On day 4 of the method for my 8 month old, night time is great, last night went to sleep in 4 minutes with only 2 waking for just a few minutes and went back to sleep on his own each time. Naps are another thing. He will cry through the whole hour, with the intervals. He used to nap in a swing, is it too many changes all at once? Bedtime he would be alone, but he used to always have a bottle to sleep, and I would go up to him when he cried - either just to be held for a few minutes, or for another bottle if he was hungry. It was getting to be every 2-3 hours at night which led me to try this. I just don't know what to do about naps now. I read a short book for 2-3 minutes and put him down. Bed is sleep by 8, up between 7 and 7:30, and I am trying naps at 10 and 2. He cries so much his voice is hoarse. Suggestions for naps?

    ReplyDelete
  73. Hi Rachel

    This is a great website and provided some great information... thank you so much already for the help you have provided.

    I'm currently on day 6 of using the Ferber method and I've had some ups and downs. The naps are still a bit sporadic, but my little one is at least sleeping in her cot during the day.

    Night times are better, but still not perfect. Last night was probably the best night I've had for ages.

    I have a couple of questions. My little one tends to wake for a late night feed anywhere between 10 and 11.30. Should I try giving her this feed before I go to bed at about 9.45? At the minute I am having to wake up to give this feed, as it is getting later. Or any other suggestions about this feed would help.

    Secondly, there is another feed during the night which I have slowly been moving so eventually it will be her first feed. I have moved it from 2am and this morning, although she woke at 4am, she settled and didn't feed til 5am. Am I doing the right thing here? As in slowly moving the feed to the morning?

    Schedule-wise, I put my little one down after bath/feed/story at 1830 and it now seems to be only taking her 5 minutes or so to go to sleep. She then stirs and gets herself back to sleep until the late night feed.

    Thanks in advance!

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  74. My son is 4 months old and sleeps well at night but absolutely refuses to go down for naps. The routine is identical except that there is no bathtime prior to the naps. I've tried letting him CIO, but it doesn't seem to work. If he continues to cry past when nap time should be over, what do I do?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Unknown,
      Get him up and put him down for a nap again when he seems tired, which will likely be very soon. And repeat the nap process. Don't let him fall asleep on you or outside his bed (on his own) if you can help it otherwise it'll make the process take much much longer and be extra confusing for him.

      Delete
  75. We have a night time routine for our 10.5 month old of bath at 7:30, a couple of stories, mom breast feeds for 10 min or so, and then I (dad) hold him for a bit, he gets groggy and I put him to sleep in his crib while he is still awake, but tired. I visit him during the night if he wakes up, so he doesn't get tempted by mom and ask for food. He wakes up at around 6, is breastfed then goes back to sleep in our bed until about 7:30 am. He naps during the day typically for 0.5-1 hours around 10-11 am and then again between 2-3 for about 1-1.5 hours. He does not take his naps in the crib. Generally in bed with mom, or in mom's arms.

    We started sleep training him a few weeks ago with much success. The first night he cried for 1.2 hours, 50 min the night after and then basically for a couple minutes or so each night after that for 3-4 days. We found it was easy to put him to sleep after a couple nights. He either slept through the night or woke up only once during the night the first couple days. However, he got croup and as concerned parents, we put him in our bed for a couple nights so we could monitor his breathing, with breastfeeding on demand during multiple wake ups during the night. After two nights of being in our bed, his breathing got better, we put him back in his crib and we resumed sleep training. He went to bed after a couple of minutes of crying each time, and would wake up, but when he did, he would only cry for a max 30 min before falling back a sleep, most nights if he woke up, he'd put himself back to sleep after 1-5 min of crying. 3 nights ago he slept for 9.5 hours, woke up at 6, was fed and went back to bed until 7;30 (this is our ideal schedule). Then the next night it took 20 min to get him to bed (which seemed unusual at the time) and he woke up every 1-2 couple hours, for about 20 min of crying before going back to bed on his own, then at 12:00 we woke up and cried for almost 3 hours before we picked him up, my wife fed him and then we put him back to sleep, the long cry made us think something was wrong with him; however, he did't show any usual signs of pain at night when I checked in on him and he did't have a dirty diaper or any other obvious sign that demonstrated to us that something was out of the ordinary.

    The next night he cried for 15 min before falling asleep, and woke up at 12, cried for almost 2 hours before going back to sleep. Last night he fell asleep after 5 min of crying, woke up at 12 and cried for 1.5 hours before falling back a sleep.

    We are worried he is now on a constant schedule of waking up at 12 and crying for an extended period of time. The first night we thought he might be teething or had some other discomfort, so we gave him tylenol the last couple nights before bed to help him out. We don't think he is in pain at night, he is just having problems putting himself back to sleep. He tosses and turns or even wakes up at other times during the night, but is able to put himself back to sleep right away. His cries the last few nights have been very loud- angry like, and he has tears. He calms down quickly after I visit him, although he continues to breathe heavily. I stay for a couple minutes until he calms down rubbing his belly, then leave his room (closing the door) but as soon as I make way for the door he starts crying immediately, louder than when I came in.

    Do you have any idea why he might be waking up consistently at 12 and then taking so long to fall back asleep? Is there something you would recommend we can try to get him to eliminate this wakeup? Or is this just a temporary blip that he'll get over? Could our feed at 6 am, and then back to sleep in bed (rather than crib) for 1.5 hours be contributing to this problem- i.e. does he think that if he cries at 12, we'll be putting him in our bed?

    Your insight is much appreciated.

    ReplyDelete
  76. Hi Rachel

    My daughter is 6 Months old she used to sleep through the night 7pm to 6:30-7am in the morning and averaged 4-5hrs sleep during the day until about a month ago when teething kicked in!. Now she gets up so many times during the night and only sleeps 20-30mins per nap totalling maximum 2hrs sleep on a good day.

    She takes forever to fall asleep and she has always been like that even before teething i put her in her cot and leave the room and she will play in there for up to 30mins some times and doesnt sleep by herself. She doesnt really cry when i leave the room only if she is over tired so how can i use the controlled crying method if she doesnt cry much?? I just want her to sleep quicker! And by herself

    ReplyDelete
  77. Hi Rachel!
    I have a 7 month old. We are on day 4 of Ferber (tonight is night 5). Nighttime has been going very well. We went from co-sleeping and him waking every 1-2 hours at night and sleeping in a zipadeezip to transition to swaddle to night 1 down after 25 min of crying and only woke 3 times. Last night he slept from 7p-7a only waking and eating once. While I am so glad nighttime is going well, naps are a total disaster. He is crying at least 20 minutes every time I put him down and only getting, 20-30 minute naps a day (he was getting 3, 1 hour naps). Nap time routine is same as bedtime without bath. We say goodnight to all the lights, play 5 minutes of lullabies while I rock and nurse him. I look for cues when I put him down (running eyes and yawning). His nap schedule is usually 9am (2 hrs from morning wake time), 12:30-1 (~2.5 hrs after wake time) and 3:30 (~2.5 hrs after wake time). For today's first nap he fell asleep in 15 minutes but woke up after 25 minutes. I tried to see if he would go back to sleep and let him cry at intervals like we do for nap time but he just cried the whole time and I got him out of the crib when the 1 hour nap window was up. Am I doing something wrong? I am using the same interval checks as we did the night before. Last night we did 15 minutes so that's what I did today. I took a week off of work to sleep train, but I'm getting nervous his naps won't improve before the nanny needs to take care of him and I don't want her to have to endure the long crying bouts. Help!

    ReplyDelete
  78. I wanted to add that when I nurse him before sleep, I do not nurse him all the way to sleep. I put him down drowsy but awake

    ReplyDelete
  79. I have a 5 week old that I'm ready to start some sleep training with. I did it at 6 weeks with my daughter and she did great. I have a couple questions however. He does pretty good at night and falls asleep on his own usually without having to CIO. Naps are a totally different story though. He will usually fall asleep on his own, but always wakes up 30-45 minutes into the nap. Ive watched to make sure he's not too tired when I lay him down and catch him as soon as he show sleepy cues. I've tried going in as soon as he starts to wake and using shush/pat. I've tried PU/PD and I've tried CIO. Nothing seems to get him back to sleep. I've resorted to giving him a paci and putting him in his swing to extend his nap which most of the time works because I can tell he is still tired. Any suggestions for nap time. Do I continue to let him CIO, and how long for naps? Am I being counterproductive using the swing to extend the nap? Any suggestions would be helpful.

    ReplyDelete
  80. Hi there, I have a question for you. I feel bad even asking about this because after using the Ferber method very early on, we are very happy to say that it worked. Our daughter is now 11 months and has been sleeping the night for a while now, since about 3.5 months. She is able to sleep 12-13 plus hours. Until about 5 months she used to wake up after 10 hours, eat, then go back to sleep so that she had about 12-13 plus hours total. When she wakes up she doesn't cry, she lays there talking until I come in to get her. However in the past week she has been waking up about earlier and earlier. Fist waking up an hour to two hours before her normal wake up time, crying, which is strange in itself. I thought these days were just one offs, as they were immediately after a stomach virus she had (although her sleep was not disturbed by the virus), then the two days of waking up 1-2 hours earlier and crying, were follows by two days of her waking up 4-5 hours earlier, the first she lay there awake for two hours, happy and talking then dosing off again, then the second, she woke up, talking for an hour and a half, then started crying hysterically. I waited 20 minutes, as she had done this one of two nights in the past and waiting the 20 minutes worked and she went back to sleep, but at the end of this 20 minutes, she had actually pulled herself up on her crib, she had never done that before, so I went in, changed her (she had a poop) and then I tried putting her back down without feeding with instant crying, so I fed her a bottle, the one I usually feed her 5 hours later, then put her down, she was awake and happy for about half an hour before falling asleep, then woke up about a half hour earlier than her normal time, but she's been super grumpy, because she's obviously lost more sleep than just a half hour. I know it's only been a few days, 4 to be exact, but I am very scared of starting a bad habit. What do I do? Do I ferberize again? If she stands up in the crib, do I go in and put her back down and let her cry? I don't want to add a feeding 5 hours before her wake up time at this stage in her life when I know she is perfectly capable of sleeping 14 hours. My husband thinks it is because her top teeth are breaking, but she never did this when she was breaking her two bottom teeth, and either way I don't want to get her used to this bad habit. What do you suggest? Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
  81. Hello,

    I’ve done all the wrong things and am now left with a 13.5 month old who doesn’t nap or sleep well. She did sleep through the night and take two solid naps. Then she turned one. And is teething. And now it’s terrible.

    I nurse her to sleep for naps and nighttime. Which was never a problem until recently. Now she might nap 30-40 minutes (used to take two naps, but now doesn’t seem to want to take two) and then wake in the night. I do not nurse in the night, just go lay her down (as she stands and screams) and rub her back.

    I don’t know what her wake times before her nap should be or how to break the nursing to sleep habit. I love nursing her but am exhausted and feel bad for her, because she’s definitely not getting enough sleep.

    She’s usually up for the day around 6:30am. I’ve tried naps at 9:30, 10:30, 11:00, noon. Nothing seems to help.

    Please. Help me and my baby sleep.

    ReplyDelete
  82. I have a question - I'm still exclusively breast feeding, and typically my little one will still nurse twice during the night. How should we approach night feeds while following the Ferber method?

    ReplyDelete
  83. My 4 month (18 weeks) old daughter is doing wonderful at night, she usually sleeps from about 7:30/8:00pm until 6:00/6:30am. My question is with naps: she went through a sleep regression 2 weeks ago and was napping awful but now she is doing better at falling asleep in the crib it usually takes her less than 5 minutes to fall asleep with some fussy/crying (sometimes just babbling). She often will wake up 35-40 minutes into the nap and I don't think it's due to sleep associations I put her down awake and without a pacifier... do I let her be and see if she will fall back asleep within 15-20 minutes? How long is suggested? Also, what if she wakes again like ten minutes in after she's fallen asleep for the 2nd time during the same nap? Do I leave her for another 15-20 minutes to see if she will fall asleep again? She often does this too. For example, yesterday she fell asleep for her morning nap at 7:58am until 8:31am (33 min), then fell back asleep at 8:36am until 8:56 am (20 min), then fell back asleep 8:59-9:53 (54 min) and then didn't fall back asleep after 15 minutes so I picked her up. I assumed her nap was over with any way because she had a combined sleep time over 1 hour.

    ReplyDelete
  84. Hello,

    We are working on naps. My little guy is solid at night. He goes down between 7:30-8. Due to weight gain issues I wake him between 10:30-11 to eat again, then he sleeps until between 6-7. Napping is another beast. He's going to sleep within 10 minutes but doesn't stay asleep long 39 minutes or less. When you say when this happens to "get him up and finish the nap," what do you mean? Let him go to sleep any way I can? He seems like a zombie and isn't getting any rest. I'm so confused. This is day two for us.

    ReplyDelete
  85. Hello! We are starting this method with our almost 5m old. He takes horrible naps - 30-45 min waking in that time as well. He was doing a 6/7 hour stretch but is now waking every 45min-1 hour. I only offer a bottle at 12:30, 4, and then when he wakes for the day. He takes 4-5 short cat naps throughout the day - we put him down awake but it takes longer and longer to get him to sleep. My question is: it says not to let them nap past 4pm. We were doing bedtime around 8-8:30 with a nap between 5-6. Do we strip this nap out no matter what the naps were like or give him the nap so that he is not over tired for bedtime.

    ReplyDelete
  86. Hello. Thank you for this great information. We are on day 6. The initial put down is going great, tonight our 5 month old daughter was asleep within 3 minutes. It's the night wakings that are a problem. She cries every hour. Sometimes she's able to go right back to sleep, but tonight she's been crying for two hours. I checked on her at the intervals and after 45 mins decided to nurse her (we do one feeding a night). But that still didn't calm her down. I keep checking on her at the intervals, but she's still crying. Any suggestions?

    ReplyDelete
  87. Hello. Thank you for this great information. We are on day 6. The initial put down is going great, tonight our 5 month old daughter was asleep within 3 minutes. It's the night wakings that are a problem. She cries every hour. Sometimes she's able to go right back to sleep, but tonight she's been crying for two hours. I checked on her at the intervals and after 45 mins decided to nurse her (we do one feeding a night). But that still didn't calm her down. I keep checking on her at the intervals, but she's still crying. Any suggestions?

    ReplyDelete
  88. Hi...my son is 12 months and because of sleep issues.. Waking after 45 mins every time he's put down our pediatrician recommended this method...my question is it possible to do this method with the child's crib being in the same room with us?...we flooded and have alot of family staying with us so there is literally no where else to put his crib...would it work if i was in the same room but feigned sleep? I'm just trying to find a way for both of us to get some sleep and not be so cranky daily...any way to make this work???... Thanks

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Beverly Sierra,
      Yes, you can feign sleep. Or a sheet hanging from the ceiling or something else blocking him from your direct site can be helpful. It can make things a touch harder in my opinion - yes, he knows you're there and that could be a comfort, but knowing you are there can also make him cry for you more), but it is still very doable. I would probably wait until family leaves if that is possible, since there may be a lot of crying and it could be hard to be consistent and follow through with your plan if you are feeling nervous about other people throughout the housing hearing crying too.

      best,
      rachel

      Delete
  89. Hi Rachel

    Thanks for such a great site and the responses to everyone's questions! It's been so informative.

    We started the method last night after trying on Monday with shorter interval checks that we noticed seemed to agitate our son more. He cried for over two hours before i caved and gave him soother. Last night we increased first period to 20 minutes and noticed at around thst mark he started to calm down and by the 30 min mark he had rolled himself over and passed out.

    We are struggling with night wakings though. He has been waking up like clockwork the last few weeks at exactly 2 and 5 (give or take 30 mins). I have been feeding him back to sleep at those times. He's almost 15lbs at four months so I feel I can drop the night feeds. Last night he woke at 120 and I let him cry for twenty minutes. I decided maybe he was hungry so I fed him for 10 and he went back down right away. He however woke again at 4. I decided he couldn't be that hungry and didn't the 20 min interval again and eventually just before the one hour mark he fell back asleep. So now it's 520 and i assume next waking will be his wake up for the day. I am confident I can drop the night feeds but was this the correct way of handling our situation? I feel he has been waking up for comfort nursing/out of habit. Are we supposed to let him cio during those night wakings if we are trying to drop night feeds.

    Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  90. Hi Rachel loved the site very informative best ive found on the net to be honest!
    My Question is i started the ferber method 4 days ago with my 5 month old daughter. She has been getting on well with it, falling asleep at night time after a few minutes of crying. Her naps are better too maybe 10 mins of crying then check and another 5 mins or so and shes off, and the nap length is good getting longer.
    She has never been a good sleeper never slept through the night so i expected it to take longer.
    During the night the past two nights she has woken around 0100, the first night i offered her a feed making sure i didnt speak or make eye contact she didnt want it, so i continued with the CIO method she was of to sleep after 5-10-15 min intervals, and slept until 0645 which i was happy with. Last night however it was the same time 0100 but she did not fall back to sleep for 2 hours, i kept extending the time and was very consistent.
    I am unsure of what tonight may hold, do you have any advice for this? or shall i carry on as i am doing. Thank you. Gemma

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  91. Hi,
    My son is 16 months old and I have been co sleeping with him since he was born. I'm on day three now and the last two nights have been better than i thought. However he refuses to take naps. He just cries and cries maybe falls asleep for 10 minutes. I just rocked him to sleep because he NEEDED a nap and he's been out now for hours. Is it ok to work on night time sleep first and then work on naps after we figure that out? I don't want to do anything to hinder my progress but my poor baby needs those naps.
    Thank you

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Courtney,
      Yes, you can do night now and naps later. I wouldn't work on naps if you aren't going to be consistent with your method with them, it'll just make it harder for the both of you.

      good luck,
      rachel

      Delete
  92. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  93. Hi Rachel,
    We are currently trying the Ferber method with our almost 7 month old daughter. It started really well...She almost felt sleep after 10 or 15 min of us checking up on her on laps of 3 to 5 min. Rarely we would need to do longer or wait longer. Is going to be a week tomorrow.
    There was one night that she wouldn't go to sleep and she was crying differently making me believe she was hungry so I picked her up and feed her.
    She did go to sleep right after. She was half sleep by the time I put her back down.
    Also there might of been two nights when she felt sleep on the breast but when I was putting her back down she will cry just got a few seconds and would go back to sleep.
    We co-sleep so I put her down and then after she is completely sleep I go in and I sleep by her.
    I feel that instead of getting better is getting harder and worse she cry so much last night it took us about an hour and even then...She end up going to the bathroom and it was a hole debacle.. My question is..I wonder if I'm making it worse some how.
    If I'm doing something to make her have a harder time?
    Also, if we are out...let's say at a friend's or family house and nap time comes? Should we stay consistent and try the ferber method there as well?

    Thank you so much!!

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  94. Hi Rachel,
    We are currently trying the Ferber method with our almost 7 month old daughter. It started really well...She almost felt sleep after 10 or 15 min of us checking up on her on laps of 3 to 5 min. Rarely we would need to do longer or wait longer. Is going to be a week tomorrow.
    There was one night that she wouldn't go to sleep and she was crying differently making me believe she was hungry so I picked her up and feed her.
    She did go to sleep right after. She was half sleep by the time I put her back down.
    Also there might of been two nights when she felt sleep on the breast but when I was putting her back down she will cry just got a few seconds and would go back to sleep.
    We co-sleep so I put her down and then after she is completely sleep I go in and I sleep by her.
    I feel that instead of getting better is getting harder and worse she cry so much last night it took us about an hour and even then...She end up going to the bathroom and it was a hole debacle.. My question is..I wonder if I'm making it worse some how.
    If I'm doing something to make her have a harder time?
    Also, if we are out...let's say at a friend's or family house and nap time comes? Should we stay consistent and try the ferber method there as well?

    Thank you so much!!

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    1. Iara tarabay,
      When you are starting sleep training it's important to be 100% consistent. Anytime consistency is off, especially since baby is 7 months and pretty smart at this age, change will take longer and sleep can get worse. I would not plan on going somewhere that won't allow you to be completely consistent for a couple weeks, or until baby is sleeping well with the new method. some things to watch out for: feeding baby too close to sleep backfires for a lot of people. Sleep can get better then worse then better again when sleep training, especially the first week. Your method of baby going to sleep alone but you being there later is somewhat inconsistent- this may end up working ok, or baby may end up not sleeping well because of this- only time will tell with this.

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  95. What do you do if baby keeps waking up every 30 min or so? Just start the process over again? Same question for middle of the night wakings.

    Doctor said at 10 months shouldn't go longer than 8 hours without eating. But doesn't that defeat the purpose of learning to "sleep through the night" if baby needs to eat in middle of the night?

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    1. Also we live in a one bedroom apartment so putting her out of our room isn't an option. Will that hinder the process?

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    2. Alisha r,
      You would continue to do checks for any night waking all throughout the night until morning wake time.

      I'm not sure if your child has a medical reason to only be able to go 8 hours at ten months of age, but for the average healthy child this is very appropriate per many professionals. But even if you are going to do one feed at this time, it is still possible while ST. Some people will wait until a certain time to feed but no sooner. Yes, a little inconsistent. It it will work. Another option is to do a dream feed or to wake baby up for a feed an hour or so before he normally eats - that way you are waking before he wakes to eat and won't worry if he wakes crying after this time that he's hungry.

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    3. A one bedroom apartments works although it could make it harder for you to be as consistent if you are closer to crying:) you could use some sort of divider so baby doesn't see you. You can play dead too. If you have a master closet baby could sleep in there.

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  96. Hi -
    We've been using the Ferber technique for about 4 weeks now. Our now 5 month old daughter was falling asleep within 15 minutes or less each night. Then, for the past 9 days, she has been crying for an average of 1 1/2 hours each night. We are doing NOTHING differently. She's not sick, didn't hit a developmental milestone, and is not teething. We tried moving her bedtime earlier (by 15 minutes) but it made no difference. Any suggestions? Explanations? Thank you!

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  97. Hi Rachel! Thanks so much for your article! My husband and i ate planning to start ferber training or almost 5 month old. Right now he goes to bed at 8, nurses and then is placed in his pack and play bedside with his pacifier, and he goes to sleep for either 3 or 4 hours at which time he wakes up wanting his pacifier placed back in his mouth. This has become a game of "fetch" 10 to 20 times a night. My question is
    1. should i let him have the pacifier to initially go to sleep and just not replace it, or should i get rid of the pacifier altogether?
    2.Also, we are planning to move him to his own room soon. He already naps in his crib during the day, but didn't do well when we tried to move him at 3 months to his room. Should we move him to his room at the same time as sleep training or should we sleep train forest and then move him?
    3. Lastly, we still swaddle him to sleep and have mittens on him since he wakes up and scratches his eye or sticks his finger in his eye and then cries. Should i also just get rid of the mittens so he can learn to be ok without those too? Any guidance you can give is so greatly appreciated. Right now, I'm sleep deprived and at a loss for what to do.. Thank you in advance!

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  98. We've been "sleep training" our nearly 6 month old for about a month. Bed time has become a breeze...after changing, pj's, and nursing, Daddy takes over--reads a story and puts him down happy and awake at about 7:15. All is well...until 3:00am. Baby wakes, I nurse him, then he won't go back down. HOURS of crying after the night wake. Not sure if I should stop nursing him when he wakes, but I feel like after 7-8, he's likely legitimately hungry. Really stumped, and rather frustrated. Seems like we're doing what we should be doing, but something is obviously not right!

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  99. Hi Rachel!
    Thank you so much for taking the time to answer our questions!
    I started the method tonight. My girl has no problem sleeping at night, but naps she only wants to take them on me... she is obviously not getting enough rest being on top of me... she only sleeps half and hour to 45
    minutes... what can I do to get her to sleep in her crib for nap time (she sleep in her crib at night time no problem) should I use the Ferber method for naps? How can I approach it? Please help me! Thank you so much!
    If you could give me clues on how to get her to sleep on her own for naps I would be in heaven!
    Thanks for your time again!

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  100. Please help. I get home at 7pm which is the baby's bed time. I breastfeed him and he falls asleep at my boob. I know this is a no no, but I can't get home any earlier. Do I wake him up after the feed just to put him down crying? It seems cruel to do.

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    1. Vittoria,
      If he doesn't have any sleep issues then having him fall asleep while nursing isn't an issue. I can't promise it'll stay that way though. Sometimes there isn't always an idea way to do things. You simply have to do what works best. If falling asleep bf before bed is adding to sleep trouble then maybe try to move naps around so bedtime is later, start the day off at a different time etc.

      Waking after he has fallen asleep will be hard for many babies, even those that do know how to fall asleep well on their own. Preventing the falling asleep while eating (when desired) is key :)

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  101. First I want to say your blog is the first helpful nap time guide that I found online and I'm very thankful for it. I also used this blog for getting my girl to sleep through the night.

    I'll try to make this short and sweet. My little one is 22 months old she currently sleeps through the night on most days I rock her to sleep and put her in the crib and on some nights I put her straight into the crib when she's already awake, nighttime sleep hasn't been an issue for us in a while thankfully.

    It's the nap time that's been such a big problem. We just started school and she needs to learn how to fall asleep on her own at naps. They don't provide a bottle which I understand and have successfully taken away from nap time. They provide music and some soothing back rubs and that's about it.

    My biggest question is you suggest to try to get her to sleep for an hour? If she's not asleep by then try again in another hour correct? How many times do I try this during the day and what if none of my attempts are successful at what point do I go to what works? Will skipping naps make her time at school bad, mess up her night time routine? Please help!

    Her nap (she only has one) is anytime between 12:30 and 1:30 and her bedtime is between 7:30 and 8. She wakes up pretty consistently at 7 a.m. in the morning.

    Thank you so very much in advance!

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  102. Hi. Our 4-month old has been a really good sleeper for a few months now. Usually takes 45 min naps 4 times a day, then sleeps another 8-10 hours straight at night, with no wakeups. It's worth noting that all of this sleep happens in her "rock n play". Now that she is close to rolling over, our doctor told us we need to get her into her crib. We started this yesterday, and it was a disaster. She would lay in her crib and scream for 10 minute straight, to the point where she got herself so worked up that she started to choke. We tried to go into the room in intervals and soothe her to calm down, but she continued to scream. She would even continue crying after we picked her up. My question is, how long should spend trying to get her to take a nap before giving up and doing something else? Also, is it ok to have her sleep in her rock n play during her naps and try to get her in the crib at bedtime when she tends to fall asleep quicker. Any help here would be great! Thanks.

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  103. My husband and I plan to sleep train our 10 month old baby boy this Friday night. He has been bed-sharing with me since about 7 months when he was getting sick a lot from daycare and teething. (Side note: My husband and I have not slept together in the same bed since he was an infant. We have an extra bed in our son's nursery where I have been sleeping since he was 3 months old and our son joined me at 7 months) We have a relatively solid night time routine. Bath, pjs, bottle, rock/hold/bounce to sleep by 7-7:30. I usually take care of his night time routine and put him to sleep in his crib and he used to stay there until 10pm-12am. However, over the last several weeks (he's been sick but is well now) he stays about 45 mins, then I hold him until he's asleep again and repeat until I am ready for bed then I'll put him in bed with me around 10. He wakes for his bottle around 1:00am. Then he sleeps until 7am-ish.

    Question 1: Do you think it matters who performs the Ferber check-ins? Me or my husband since baby sleeps with me? Is it confusing if we both do the check-ins?
    Question 2: With a bed-sharing 10 month old who has never put himself to sleep before do you recommend more frequent checks in the beginning?
    Question 3: Since he is 10 months old I know he doesn't need a bottle at 1am but do you think sleep training AND taking away the bottle cold turkey is too much?
    I appreciate any HELP! My husband and I are SO ready for this but nervous about the process.
    THank you! :)

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  104. I have to say that this method is absolutely amazing! My son just turned one and after a very long frustrating night I had enough and decided I was going to sleep train him starting the next night. I read everything word on this page and had a pit in my stomach that grew larger by this minute thinking about bedtime but I was determined. My son has Down syndrome so I thought it might take him a little bit longer to get it down so I thought maybe within a month or so we'd have a good nights sleep. We also already had a good bedtime routine but it included me nursing/rocking him until he fell asleep and then softly laying him down and creeping out of the room. He'd sleep for about 4 hours before he'd be up and then up every 2 hours to nurse. I decided he was getting cut off cold turkey from breastfeeding between the hours of 8pm-6am no matter how the sleep training went. Well, night 1 we did our bedtime routine and when it came time for books, cuddles and nursing we sat in the chair and as soon as he closed his eyes I put the book down and laid him in his bed. Total meltdown. He screamed for an hour. During my checks he'd beg for me to pick him up but I'd just give him a big hug and lots of kisses and tell him I'd be right back. Once he fell asleep the joy was overwhelming. I was so happy it was over but then my anxiety grew over when he'd wake up throughout the night. He didn't wake up until 5am!! I waited 10 minutes and then went in to tell him I was here and we started the checks again. He fell asleep after 20 minutes and woke up at 7:30! I had an amazing nights sleep the first night! Nap time the next day took him 30 minutes to fall asleep and bed time the second night he fell asleep in 2 minutes!!! He was up once last night I went in after 10 minutes and re adjusted him told him he needed to go back to sleep and left. He fell asleep almost instantly. Wow!!! I'm so impressed! I thought this would be a long, tiresome, heartbreaking experience but instead it is the best thing I've done for my family (and my sanity) all year! Thank you so much for this website! It was a lifesaver.
    I did have one question about nap time. I created a schedule for Parker for nighttime and nap time. If something comes up that I can't get around during nap time should I try to put him down for a nap earlier or just skip the nap all together? Most likely he'd fall asleep in the car ride during the time of his normal nap if I don't put him down earlier.

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    1. Claire Kraus,
      I'm so glad things have worked well for you! Keep up the consistency if things get off here and there.

      I wouldn't put him down early for a nap. I would avoid going out during nap times as best you can (especially during this time when he is getting independent sleep solidified). You can only do the best you can though so sometimes it will be unavoidable.

      best,
      rachel

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  105. Hi Rachel. This sight is wonderful. Although I have read the above comments I would really like to ask my query again just to get a clear answer.
    My daughter is now 4.5 months old. She started sleeping through the night and also putting herself to sleep by herself I'm her crib at 1 month. Now she has stopped sleeping through the night, although she is still able to put herself to sleep without any crying. I want to try sleep training her for during the night. I don't mind feeding her every 3 or 4 hours, but sometimes she wakes up every 1.5 or 2 hours and that gets too much. My questions are as follows:
    1) should I let her cry it out if she wakes up before the 3 hours, and feed her only after the 3 hours, or should I stop feeding her completely at night.
    2) how long can a baby of this age go without feeding at night? Is that safe?

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    1. I forgot to mention that I am still swaddling her for naps and night sleep. Should I continue doing this of wean it off? She associates sleep with swaddling and immediately calms down when I swaddle her

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