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4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
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on August 30, 2015
This book helped me to understand why my son was having issues sleeping. I already knew he had trouble falling asleep on his own, which is why I bought the book, but I didn't make the connection between my rocking him to sleep and his frequent night wakings. Nor had I really admitted to myself that it was past time to discontinue night feedings for my son, since he was really only interested in nursing for comfort rather than nourishment. The chapter on sleep associations really helped me to connect all the dots.

I'm not sure why so many people complain about Ferber's advice. He constantly says if you're not comfortable with one method, try something else. He does admit that sometimes crying will happen, but that it can be kept to a minimum by just extending his suggested timeline and using shorter waiting times. I actually went into the book knowing I would never be able to let me son "cry it out" because he is one of those kids that gets worse with each passing moment and he works himself up into hysterics very quickly. Even normal day time crankiness can quickly escalate to gagging and choking when he cries - and he's only just turned 4 months, so it's not like I'm dealing with a willful toddler. Crying at night was simply not an option for us. All I did was shorten the suggested waiting times (considerably - I started at 30 seconds!) so that my son didn't have enough time to really get worked up before I went in, and I gave him extra nights with the same waiting time progressions so that he had a better chance to get used to it. It definitely took longer, but we did it with very little crying and now we're both sleeping much better.

I also found the whole book to be very reassuring and easy to read for a sleep deprived single parent!

My only regret is that I didn't read this book before I had my son so that we never developed the bad sleep associations in the first place!
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on January 22, 2009
I bought this book along with another called "5 Days to a Perfect Night's Sleep for Your Child" by Eduard Estivill. I strongly recommend that you buy both and start with the latter.
Estivill's book recommends a method that is basically the same. Ferber calls it the "progressive waiting technique" because after putting your baby to sleep, you go visit him (or her) every now and then until he falls asleep, but the time between those visits gets progressively longer.
This may sound simple and really it is, but of course it is very difficult for some people to hear their baby cry, even if it is only for 1 or 2 minutes. People think it is cruel, there is even an expression "to Ferberize your baby". Sadly that is a wide-spread misconception. This is NOT a cry out method. A cry it out method would have you leave your baby to cry at 7:30 or 8 pm and not return until morning regardless of the amount of crying. Ferber says right in the intro that would be cruel.
His method allows your baby to know that he is not abandoned or forgotten, but also that he cannot control your movements and that he may as well fall asleep. And more importantly, it allows his environment to be the same during his night wakings, as it was when he fell asleep. Nobody who was there then is suddenly disappeared now, vanished into thin air.
Once he can fall asleep on his own at bedtime, he can also fall back asleep on his own after nighttime wakings. Teaching your baby to fall asleep, or back asleep, on his or her own is an important gift you need to give him or her. It would actually be cruel do to otherwise. If you are too weak to hear him cry for a few minutes during this method, you are going to instead make him cry several times a night for months if not years. Every time he wakes he cries, and every time you go through your crazy routine you steal precious sleep time from his night. That is unhealthy, not just psychologically but physiologically to.
I say all this because I know that you are probably considering the No-Cry sleep solution. You may have read that there is a debate, that Sears and Ferber are at two extremes of a spectrum, that Sears is compassionate and Ferber is for heartless vulcans. Well, I have not read the Sears books, but I would recommend that you avoid them. The parents I know who have bought it are still having trouble with sleeping.
Everybody is jealous of our baby and how much sleep we get. They may think it is genetic, that he is a natural good sleeper. While there may some truth to that, I think that the genetic lottery is at most half the story. If anything, this method is even more important if you don't have a natural good sleeper, if such a thing exists.
I recommend that you buy and start with the Estivill book because it is very short yet everything you need to know is there. Ferber is much thicker, goes into much more detail and covers many more types of situations, like sleep walking for example. So it is also a long term investment. We may need it again is some years.
I urge BOTH PARENTS to read the books before starting the method. At the very least you should both read Estivill, then you will be tempted to start. Do so and read Ferber the next day. We did it when our son was only 4 months old, so we only had to read chapters 1,3,4 and 6 in Ferber.
That is perhaps its one main weakness. It is sometimes unclear if some technique he explains is applicable to 4 month old babies, 4 year old toddlers or both.
Also, try to phase out the night feedings before starting this method. And of course bedtime routines. Every night around the same time we give him a warm bath in a vertical tub, take him to our bedroom to rub some balm around the diaper area, go to his bedroom for some breastfeeding, then the same book, then the same song, then it is time for night-night. My girlfriend does all of this except I sometimes give him the bath.
Now 6 months he sleeps from 8pm to 8am. He still gets a night feeding around 5am, but does not usually cry out before or after that. So yes, 9 hours generally uninterrupted, then another 3 hours uninterrupted. We could and should get rid of that last night feeding, but my girlfriend seems OK with it so I don't insist.
I'd say good luck, but again, luck has nothing to do with it. Be smart and talk it over.
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on May 20, 2008
I purchased both this book and The No-Cry Sleep Solution by Elizabeth Pantley. Two vastly different books on how to get your baby to sleep. I read both and decided not to use the Ferber Method based on the research in the No-Cry book. The book by Dr. Ferber provides much information on the science of sleep and I found it very useful from this perspective to learn how my child falls asleep. However, I am not a mother who can listen to her baby cry, so I chose to go a different route. If you don't mind listening to your baby cry, then based on the science Dr. Ferber presents, use his method. Friends who have used it say it is very effective. If you can't stand your baby crying and you want to comfort her to sleep rather than cry her to sleep I recommend the No Cry Sleep Solution. It takes longer, but I found it so much gentler than crying-it-out. This book is still worth reading though to learn more about the science of sleep.
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on May 11, 2016
My two year old slept decently till about two months ago. After a molar and daylight savings, he could no longer get himself to sleep without his dad sleeping on the floor next to his crib.

This plan got him back on track within a week. We imposed a comforting and positive bedtime routine and firm limitations. My son learned that my wife and I are there if he needs us (through progressive waiting) but the skill of getting himself to sleep rests on him.

He is back to getting himself to sleep at bedtime and in the middle of the night. My son is tenacious and stubborn so you may even see improvements in your own child sooner.

The book itself gives a great insight into sleep patterns of children and adults. It allowed me to understand why he was upset during the night and why he woke so early in the morning.

The book also presents information and contingencies for head banging, bedwetting, night terrors or any other problem (or non-problem) your child may have.

Life is returning to normal (gradually :))
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on November 24, 2012
So I bought this book when my daughter was 4 months old. She went from waking 1 - 2 times a night to 6 times overnight it seemed. I didn't feel right trying this method out while she was that young and not eating solids. So now at 8 months after our family vacation I decided to give it a try. My daughter always went down awake, but that did not prevent her from waking almost every 1-2 hours at night. I would feed her back to sleep. Anyhow... since she was now 8 months and eating really well I decided to give it a try.

I fed her, put her down in her crib awake (as usual) and thought I was in for a bad night. She went to sleep easily around 7, woke at 10 and cried for about 45 min. I followed the schedule in the book and went in accordingly. After 45 min she fell asleep and didn't wake up until 7 am the next morning! The next night she went to bed at 7 and woke up at 1:30. She cried about 30 min (and I went in based on schedule) and slept until 7 am again!

After those 2 nights, she has been going to bed at 6 and sometimes waking at 5 (at which I feed her since its been 11 hours) and then she sleeps until 7. This program was great...only 2 nights and they were not as bad as I expected. A surprise benefit was that my daughter who was a 30 min cat napper... is now sleeping between 1- 2 hours during her day naps.

I cannot recommend this book enough. I know every baby is different but the book does say by day 3 you should see improvement which I did. His idea that sleep is habit is true, she now goes to bed happy and awakes happy. I am super rested.

I do expect some bad nights (teething and all) but I will stick to the schedule because the benefits have been well worth it. Good luck to other parents!
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on October 16, 2012
As a first time mom, I'd heard about the "Cry it out" Method and was adamant that it was cruel, heartless and worse that it would psychologically damage and create an insecure cry baby. For this reason, I subscribed to Sears "Attachment Parenting" for 6 + months of my son's life. I ended up being SUPER exhausted, depressed and wondering if I will ever have the energy to have another one. This is because what Sears fails to tell you is that "Attachment Parenting" is UNREALISTIC! You are on demand 24/7 and contrary to advice that your baby will sleep through the night! They do NOT! Mine was erratic with his nighttime wakings, some nights he was up 3-4 times a night, some nights 1-2. I did everything to make sure my son slept through the night with the "no cry solution" i.e. bedtime routine, nursing on demand, cluster feeding, dream feeds and nothing worked. I started to label my son as a "bad sleeper". I decided to take a poll of parents around me and started to ask who had used a cry it out and who hadn't. Without fail, I found that parents who didn't have the courage to do the cry it out STILL had sleep issues. The worst I'd heard was a parent whose son didn't sleep through the night until the age of 7!!!!! All these parents advice to me was that they regretted not having tried the a cry it out type of method. All the parents that had sleep trained through a cry it out method had babies and kids that slept through the night. I decided to investigate cry it out methods and realized all my beliefs about this technique were wrong. To make your child cry will NOT damage them and is the GREATEST gift you can give them as it allows them to learn coping tools to self rely and put themselves to sleep. My husband and I decided to take the plunge and picked Ferber's method as it allowed our son to know we are still here. To hear him cry was REALLY hard. I always say, I wish I could hear my son's cry with my ears not my heart. But the truth is I don't. But within days I saw MAJOR improvements, he was pulling 8-9 hours of sleep. Something he has NEVER done. And his crying became less dramatic. The best part is he was playful and super happy, unlike what I feared that his happy demeanor before would disappear. That is why I think Ferber really understands sleep problems and as an earlier reviewer said, it would be cruel not to teach your child how to sleep. Sleep deprivation over the years will accumulate and yes that will impact their potential in life. I think a big part of being a parent is the acceptance that we may have to do things that require courage and will not be pleasing to our children but they are to teach them valuable lessons. They look to us to guide them to give them the best chance at life. Sleep training is the beginning of that lesson for both parents and child. PLEASE DO NOT FORGO THIS CHANCE FOR YOUR FAMILY! The No Cry Solutions do not work.
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on January 8, 2015
This is the first Amazon review I've ever written, because frankly, this is the happiest I've ever been with something I've purchased from here.

I won't go into how it works because other reviewers cover that, but I will say that it works! I was a sceptic since my little guy had such an erratic sleeping pattern at 8 months, and I rolled my eyes at other reviewers saying you'll notice a change in 3 days. But sure enough, I stuck with it and voilà, my son is sleeping 10 1/2 hours a night!

It makes so much sense to teach your child to fall asleep on their own, and with doing so, they'll have the skills they need to fall back to sleep when they awake during the night. So logical I can't believe I didn't think of it myself. I'm actually feeling good about having a few more kiddies knowing I have this amazing book to help them become good sleepers. So upset I didn't stumble upon earlier as it's been a pretty sleepless 8 months for me... until now. Buy it! You won't regret it!
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on February 19, 2010
I liked some of the sleep facts in this book and was determined to give it a good try. Did not work at all for my son at 7 months or at 10 months. At 7 months I thought it was working after 3 nights as his crying was reduced and he did fall asleep on his own, but was unpleasently surprised when all of a sudden the next day he would cry EVERY TIME we brought him into his room. And SCREAMED the second we put him in his crib. This went on for a week while we continued the method (without seeing any improvement) This was for naps (which had previously been a strong point for him) and night itme. It was almost as if he associated his room/crib with crying. Quit after that as we felt we were making things worse, (as he was now not even napping anymore!) but then tried at 10 months. EVEN WORSE!!!!!!!!! By this age he was very mobile and could stand on his own and so basically screamed his head off while standing at the side of his crib clutching the rails. Heartbreaking! And, how does one fall asleep standing???? After the third night (and 2 hours of non-stop screaming which resulted in him having a raspy voice the next day) we called it quits. SOme say we weren't persistent enough, but I say we gave it a good shot and don't think we could have handled much more. He is now 12 months old and seems to be sleeping better naturally on his own. Still needs help falling asleep, but only wakes once at night which is a huge improvement from before. And, I did NOTHING to achieve this. He did it on his own. I think for some babies, they will do it when they are good and ready. And if they are a willful child, good luck getting them to sleep using ANY methods!
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on March 8, 2014
After 4 months of limited sleep and great difficulty putting our daughter to bed this book and the methods outlined did the trick. The issues and solutions outlined are logical and easy to follow. I would strongly recommend this book to anyone with a child having difficulty sleeping
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on November 20, 2015
We went from getting up 6+ times a night and always walking or nursing to sleep, to only getting up once a night for a feeding and simply placing the baby into the crib to fall asleep. Using the technique in this book the transformation only took 3 nights!!! It is amazing to get almost a full night sleep again, and to feel rested and happy in the mornings. there was a little bit of crying ( less than 15 min), i never felt like we were being cruel or damaging to her in anyway. A little bit of crying in the evening is better than crying throughout the entire night. I also liked how the book explains about the different types of sleep and phases of sleep. It helps us understand why she was doing certain things and how best to help her through different transitions.
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