Top positive review
12 of 12 people found this helpful
Very Effective - Result Oriented
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.