Firm Sleep Method: Solve Your Child's Sleep Problems By Dr. Richard Feber
In the April 2010 Be the Best Nanny Newsletter we discussed popular infant sleep methods.
We have already reviewed a few books about gentle infant sleep methods on our blog. Last Saturday we reviewed how to comfort a newborn with the help of Dr. Harvey Karp in The Happiest Baby on the Block. We have also reviewed other gentle infant sleep methods of The No-Cry Sleep Solution by Elizabeth Pantley, as well as The Baby Book and Nighttime Parenting both by Dr. William Sears.
Today we review the old and well known firm infant sleep method by Dr. Richard Ferber in his book, Solve Your Child’s Sleep Problems. Dr. Ferber has become a world-famous pediatric sleep expert; however, some see his views as rather controversial.
Dr. Ferber's book is easy-to-understand and a guide to common and uncommon sleeping problems for children ages one- to six-years-old. He provides advice on developing good sleeping patterns and daily schedules. Sometimes referred to as the "cry it out" method, Ferber dislikes the label and says it minimizes his advice and individual children's needs.
The Ferber Technique is centered on putting the child to bed awake so he can learn how to fall asleep on his own. Often misunderstood as a cold and insensitive parenting style, many completely miss Ferber's approach to helping a child fall asleep and stay asleep.
Dr. Ferber strongly recommends developing a loving and predictable bedtime routine for children to help ensure that the transition to falling asleep without a parent is comfortable for the baby.
Before using this method, Dr. Ferber says you should be sure that the daytime necessities and living environment (feeding, stress, playtime, and parental attention) are all operating well, as these can all contribute to a baby's problems falling asleep. Also, keep in mind that Dr. Ferber only recommends using his method if the baby is six-months or older. As most sleep experts agree, by this age most infants no longer need a nighttime.
Have you ever used The Ferber Technique? What are your thoughts on this sleep method?