Play & Learn

Ferber Method as Your Sleep Training Technique

ByNiño QuizonJanuary 19, 2023
sleeping baby
Getting your bean to sleep may be difficult at times. Not only will they be having a hard time to get those sleeping hours they need but you will probably experience the same as well. It cannot be blamed of course, especially during their infant stage. But it would be great to start considering sleep training your newborn. Starting this early can reap benefits and one method to use is the ferber method. We’ll run through what you need to know about this method so you and your bean can both have improved sleep.
What is Ferber Method?
Many of us may have heard of the ferber method but have not yet fully understood it. This is simply a technique of sleep training newborns to help them learn to self-soothe and eventually fall asleep on their own. It also teaches them to fall back to sleep by themselves if they wake up in the middle of the night. The ferber method for sleep training is still different from the “cry-it-out” method. The latter is leaving your bean even if they cry until they fall asleep. The ferber method, on the other hand, needs you to still check your bean at gradually increasing intervals. We may think about this as a more caring process while teaching independence. Now that we have some background on what ferber method is, let’s jump on how to “ferberize” your bean.
How to Do the Ferber Method?
Its name might make you think that the ferber method as sleep training for your baby is complicated but it’s actually just simple. Firstly, before you put the bean to sleep, be sure that they are calm and relaxed. Mamas and papas can tell some bedtime stories or play some soothing music for this.
After your routine, place your drowsy infant in the crib or bassinet while they are still a bit awake, then leave the room. If they cry, wait for a few minutes before going back to comfort them. The ferber method suggests three minutes for the first check on the first night. Keep in mind that in this sleep training technique, comforting should not involve picking your bean up, feeding them, or turning the lights back on. It could be simply patting them or talking in a soothing voice lasting for only about one to two minutes. Leave the room after and when they cry again, repeat the process but extend the period of letting them whine. The second check suggests waiting for five minutes. The same process remains if they are still awake and the third and fourth checks are a period of 10 and 15 minutes respectively. This is referred to as the “progressive waiting” in the adoption of the ferber method for sleep training. The concept follows in the next few days with changes in the period between checks. Below is a summarized guide for the waiting periods when using this method.
Day 1
  • First check-in: 3 minutes
  • Second check-in: 5 minutes
  • Third check-in: 10 minutes
  • Subsequent check-ins: 10 minutes
Day 2
  • First check-in: 5 minutes
  • Second check-in: 10 minutes
  • Third check-in: 12 minutes
  • Subsequent check-ins: 12 minutes
Day 3
  • First check-in: 10 minutes
  • Second check-in: 12 minutes
  • Third check-in: 15 minutes
  • Subsequent check-ins: 15 minutes
Day 4
  • First check-in: 12 minutes
  • Second check-in: 15 minutes
  • Third check-in: 17 minutes
  • Subsequent check-ins: 17 minutes
Day 5
  • First check-in: 15 minutes
  • Second check-in: 17 minutes
  • Third check-in: 20 minutes
  • Subsequent check-in after: 20 minutes
Day 6
  • First check-in: 17 minutes
  • Second check-in: 20 minutes
  • Third check-in: 25 minutes
  • Subsequent check-ins: 25 minutes
Day 7
  • First check-in: 20 minutes
  • Second check-in: 25 minutes
  • Third check-in: 30 minutes
  • Subsequent check-ins: 30 minutes
When to Start Sleep Training the Baby?
You already have an idea on how to do the ferber method. Now the question is when can you really start sleep training newborns using this technique? Sleep training, including “ferberizing”, is usually done when the bean reaches 4 to 6 months old. The maximum age you can start is up to 2 years old. But the older the bean is, the more difficult the process would be.
It’s also not just a physical journey for you but mamas and papas must remember that it could also be an emotional challenge. There would be moments when your bean would cry the hardest during the adoption of the ferber method for sleep training. This kind of situation is likely to fall in the early stages of the process - around the second or third day. Commonly known as the “extinction burst”, this is the usual reason that most parents tend to give up on sleep training. Mamas and papas care so much for their beans that hearing hard cries can’t be resisted to be replaced with comfort. But keep in mind that when this burst happens, you and your bean are in the process of improvement. It’s actually proof that the training is slowly working! And just like any journey, consistency will be the key to completing the process.
Benefits of Ferber Method
What is ferber method? Check! How and when to do the technique? Done too! This time, we’ll let you know some of the benefits of this method of sleep training newborns when you pursue it. But be mindful that these effects are usually seen when you are consistent and successful during the training process.
  • Beans are less likely to throw bedtime tantrums
  • Beans are likely to settle down at bedtime within a couple of minutes
  • Beans are less likely to awaken mamas and papas at night
  • Mamas and papas experience less stress, improved mood, and better interaction with their beans
The process may be challenging during the early stages but the benefits sound worth it, right? And using the ferber method as the technique of sleep training babies can help you achieve these better. Come to think of it, it’s a balance of still showing care to your bean and not fully spoiling them in bedtimes. Give it a shot because sleep training will eventually benefit both you and your bean.
Tips and Reminders
Before you start with your “ferberizing” journey, we have a few tips and some things to keep in mind. These can help you make the process easier and more successful in the end.
  • Keep in mind to put your bean in the crib or bassinet while they are awake but drowsy, not fully asleep. Using the ferber method for sleep training works when the bean recognizes the surroundings, allowing them to learn self-soothing.
  • Establishing a routine before sleeping helps the beans know what to expect and have consistency for their bodies. Remember the telling of stories or playing some music earlier? You can use those in establishing your routine. Mamas and papas can add other soothing activities too like bathing or relaxing talks, it’s up to you to get creative!
  • Sleep training newborns work during nap times too! Naps of beans mostly happen in their crib or bassinet also so implementing the ferber method during these can add to the consistency of the process.
  • Sleep training babies is not recommended when your bean is going through big changes. These can vary from major physical changes like teething or environmental changes like getting a new nanny. These transitions can stress out the bean and that can negatively add up to the process of the sleep training.
  • Consulting your doctor for other tips, do’s, and don’ts are good too. Their familiarity with your bean combined with their expertise can produce ideas for your ferber method journey.
Mamas and papas, remember that this is a process for both you and your bean. Showing patience and determination along with the consistency we mentioned will surely grant you a successful sleep training. On to your ferber method journey!