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Solve Your Child's Sleep Problems

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Book Overview

This description may be from another edition of this product. When your child isn't sleeping, chances are that you aren't either. Solve Your Child's Sleep Problems--a tired parent's essential for more than 10 years--offers valuable advice and concrete help when...

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

Thank you Dr. Ferber!

This is NOT the cry-it-out plan you have heard about! I was originally very reluctant to even read this book due to comments I had heard about "Ferberization." Since we practice attachment parenting principles, what I thought was the Ferber approach, did not seem an option for us. However, after 16 months, my son was still nursing every 2 hours at night. I was physically exhausted and it was taking a toll on the whole family. I read both The Baby Sleep Books by Sears and The No Cry Sleep Solution by Pantley. Although they offered numerous tips on how to teach your child to form positive sleep attachments, I finished both books not really having any idea on how to SOLVE my son's sleep problem. In my sleep deprived state, I needed a no-fail, step by step PLAN! In this updated edition, Dr. Ferber sets out a clear and concise plan to solve your child's sleep problems, and it works! The book starts with an extremely informative overview of children's sleep cycles and how they differ from adult cycles. On thing that Ferber really emphasizes, is that your child's awakenings are not the problem, as they are a natural part of every person's sleep cycle. The problem is, more often, that a child does not know how to go to sleep without a parent's intervention (rocking, nursing, patting etc), so when they naturally awake in the night, they need the intervention in order to fall back asleep. The solution: teach your child to fall asleep in the same conditions he will find himself in when he wakes up in the night (most commonly alone in his crib), so that he may easily fall back asleep. Ferber details a plan called progressive wait, where you put your child in his bed, sleepy but awake and leave him to fall asleep on his own. Obviously the child will protest, but you return at intervals of your own choosing to calm and comfort him, but again leave before he falls asleep. Eventually, you increase the times between your returns to comfort the child, until he falls asleep. Ferber suggests intervals of 5, 10, and 15 minutes; we started with 1,2, and 3 minutes because even 5 minutes of crying alone seemed too much. Dr. Ferber also details a plan for night weaning which was very effective for us. He suggests lengthening the time between night nursing sessions by a 1/2 hour each night until the night feedings are eliminated. My husband tended to our son if he awoke before it was time to nurse and comforted him back to sleep. The first 2 nights were hard, but our son quickly learned that if Dad came in, it was not time for milk. The night weaning was complete in about a week and we then used the progressive wait technique to teach him to fall asleep in his crib by himself. So, in less than a month, our son went from always falling asleep by nursing in my arms and nursing at EVERY night awakening, to going to bed awake and falling asleep by himself in his own bed and staying asleep all night! I was truly amazed to see the improvement in my son's m

True "attachment" parenting

My wife and I tried for a while the ideas presented in the "no-cry sleep solution" without success. After months of lots of cry and no-sleep problems (both for our son and for ourselves), I decided to read Ferber's book. Because we were concerned about the "cry-it-out" method, I also did some research on what is known in the scientific literature. Here is a summary of my findings: 1- there are several published studies showing that cry-it-out (extinction) and graduated extinction methods are effective in solving sleep problems. Almost no controlled and detailed scientific studies support the "no-cry sleep solution" methods. 2- there is no hard evidence that letting your child cry-it-out causes long-term problems (unless you're ignoring real medical problems). 3- there is evidence that a child's sleep deprivation leads to impaired cognitive development. 4- cold-turkey cry-it-out (extinction) requires more maintenance than graduated extinction, the method proposed by Ferber. 5- Parents using graduated extinction to solve their child's sleep problems bond with their child more than parents whose child does not sleep through the night (true attachment parenting). The above considerations led my wife and I to try Ferber, since it is in our son's best interest that he sleeps well. I should emphasize that Ferber does not support the "cold turkey" cry-it-out method, where you just let the child to cry to sleep. Instead, he supports the periodic check and reassurance of the child, to let him/her know that you're there for them (graduated extinction). Ferber's book was very easy to read, even for a tired parent. I followed his recommendation, and read the whole book before attempting any treatment. This was very important to us, as we found out that our 9-month old son was eating too much at night, causing his sleep problems. After keeping a log of our sons sleep, we followed Ferber's treatment for night eating, and then we changed his sleep associations. Now, for the first time, our baby slept almost 10 hours in a row. Here is how I would summarized the pros and cons of Ferber's book: Pros: easy to read; works; not judgmental on parents expectations and capabilities; supported by scientific research; not a cold-turkey cry-it-out method. Cons: Not for everybody (some parents are unable to let their child cry, even for a minute, without consoling them); Bottom line: Solving your child's sleep problem is in your child's best interest. You need to make sure that your child does not have any medical problems (our son had reflux, and we had to solve it before we approached his sleeping problems). You also need to make sure you have the right diagnosis of the sleep problem before attempting a treatment, and this requires reading most of the book. Update: Since we starting using Ferber's two months ago, our son sleeps for about 10 hours in a row, and he is clearly a happier child. When we put him to sleep, most of the time he doesn'

Ferber vs. Sears

I have read all the reviews published up to date and need to clarify several things from the previous comments of other readers. I love Dr. Sears and practiced attachement parenting for the first 6 months. Our son slept with us in our bed for 6 months. At the end of the 6 months we had to go to bed with him at 7pm since this he could not sleep in his crib. We had practiced attachment parenting (Sears) and this is what he had learned to expect. He could only sleep in bed with us next to him. Add to this that my baby could only sleep with us and ate 80% of his milk during night time. So not only were we in bed with him by 7pm, but also feeding him all night long. When the morning rolled in, my husband and I felt like zombies. We were exhausted and fighting with each other all the time due to the stress and exhaustion. I was then recommended Ferber. I was terrified as I had heard horrible things and I do not believe in Crying it out. Howeverm I had already tried the No cry sleep solution and this did not work for us. So I gave Ferber the benefit of the doubt and decided to read his book. I focused on chptrs 5 and 6. First, you do NOT need to let your baby cry it out. Ferber explains it very clearly in his book. He suggests a timetable, but leaves it up to the parents to change the suggested minutes on the table to meet the baby and parents' needs. For example, he suggest to let the baby cry for 5 min and increase gradually, but that the parent can change this to any minute they wish. I would only let my baby cry 1 min at a time and would them run into his room and confort him for 3 min. I am not sure how the previous readers would be considered detachment parenting!!!! I did this for 2 nights. After two nights my baby was sleeping through the night. In order to correct his night feeding, we gradually reduced his night intake. Ferber suggests doing this over a week. Since I did not want my baby crying, I implemented his program over a 4 week period. During these 28 days, my baby cried once!!! I know can sleept through the night and so can my family. We all wake up rested and ready for another day. My husband and I are no longer exhausted nor fighting due to exhaustion. In conclusion, give this book an opportunity. Remember, you can tailor his program so it is as gentle as you wish. I believe that the people that are giving this book a bad review is because they chose to let their baby cry all night long, did not modify the program/timetable and truly this is unacceptable!

I got this book because I COULDN'T let my child "Cry it out"

At 2 years old, my daughter wouldn't sleep on her own. We would have to lie down in bed with her until she was asleep, then get up and go to our own bed. She would then wake up in the night crying, and wouldn't go back to sleep until one of us laid down with her again. Most of the time, one of us just slept in her bed with her (a twin size-not very comfortable). We were miserable, and asked everyone we knew for advice. Everyone, including her pediatrician, told us to just let her cry it out, but we just couldn't do that. We tried, but it just seemed to cruel. Then her pediatrician recommended this book. I read the whole book the afternoon that I got it, and tried the method that fit her problem that night. I was able to get her to sleep on her own without crying, at first by sitting outside her room while she fell asleep, then gradually moving further away. Now she goes to sleep without any fuss, without me staying nearby, and sleeps through the night. And she actually asks to go to bed at night. She knows that if she needs me, I will come immediately. This book truly changed our lives, and for the better. Anyone who says this is a "cry it out" method is wrong. Every baby is different, and some will go through some crying, but the parent is constantly going in and reassuring the child, so that the child knows he/she has not been abandoned. Real "crying it out" is just leaving the child to cry and scream until they tire themselves out. This book is totally different, and offers parents alternatives. You can modify the methods to suit your individual child. Your child CAN sleep through the night, and so can you! I just wish I had had this book from the very beginning. I highly recommend it to all parents of young children or babies, whether they have a sleep problem or not, because it also teaches you how to develop good sleep patterns and habits.


As a parent and an educator I never dreamed I'd reach the point of "Ferberizing" my baby. After all, wasn't this the toxic method that forced you to let your baby cry all night alone in a cold, dark prison-like bed? As a new Mom I was committed to the theoretical viewpoints of Dr. Sears and his colleagues, and was determined to make the family bed work for us. After 10 months of perseverence with little to no sleep at night I knew I had to make a drastic change for my own sanity. That is when I bought the Ferber book in an attempt to find a solution to our nighttime woes. As it turned out, I read the book in one night and was completely wrong about the process Dr. Ferber advocates. His logical, developmentally sound and behavioristic approach helped me to understand the improper sleep associations I was developing in my young one. After one week we were well on the road to recovery. I can now be a better parent to my child during the day since I am getting adequate sleep at night. This book has changed our lives! To all those who cringe at my words, I should add that I am still a staunch advocate of the family bed...if it works for you. I would never change the bonding my baby and I experienced sleeping together the first few months. However, there comes a time when you need to assess the health and happiness of the family unit. If you have reached the end of your rope at night, this book is the right one for you.
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