Babies: 6 - 9 Months

Those that have had success with Ferber...

please come in!

I am just popping over from 3-6 Months board but wanted to ask some mommies of older babies if they did ferber and how it went.

Right now my LO isn't the greatest sleeper and if she still isn't sleeping well in another month I think we are going to try Ferber. She will be 5 months old then. I have the book and just started reading it but have a few questions.

Our main problems are she needs to be held or rocked to sleep before being placed in her crib and even that doesn't always work. So it can take multiple attempts. She also wakes up multiple times during the night because she realizes she isn't being held. We only actually feed her once during the night so I know she isn't waking up that often because she is necessarily hungry.

So my questions:

1. What age did you do Ferber? Was is Successful? How long did it take to see results?

2. Did you still allow a night time feeding? If not did you try to cut that out before hand or just tackle all your problems at once?

3. Did you use Ferber for naps too?



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Re: Those that have had success with Ferber...

  • I've had mixed results with ferber. We're actually re-ferberizing because dd's schedule got screwed up from the holidays. To answer your questions:

    1) She was about 5 1/2 months when we did it. It was somewhat successful; we had the same issue that you do, where she would be rocked to sleep, but then would wake up when we put her down. She was otherwise a good night time sleeper, going 11-12 hours per night. We saw results pretty quickly, 2 or 3 days, but then it got worse. She started to fuss when we began the bedtime routine, I think because she knew what was coming, and then the crying got worse instead of better.

    2) no, she hasn't done a night feeding for a while, but that just came naturally for us

    3) yes, and this has been where we had the most success. she goes down for naps now with no problem, and just in the past week her naps have been getting longer - from an average of 30-45 minutes to an average of 45-90 minutes 

  • I think we were in the same situation as you.  Before ferber our LO slept in our room, in my arms because that was the ONLY way any of us could get any sleep.   To answer your questions...

     1. We tried ferber the first time when she was 5 months, but she SCREAMED for well over 90 minutes (with checks at 3-5-7-10-10-etc), and she was choking and gagging and we decided she (and we) weren't ready.  It was hard because we knew all that crying was then for nothing, but I couldn't let it go on any longer.  We tried again a week or so after she turned 6 months, and it WORKED.  The first night she cried a total of 20 or 25 minutes (checks at 3-5-7-10), and she cried less and less each night after.  After about a week, she would occasionally go to sleep without crying, but more likely she cries for about 5 minutes before falling asleep.  Now, 3 weeks later, about half the night she goes to sleep without crying, the other half she cries for anywhere between 1-10 minutes (an we don't go in anymore because it makes it worse).

    2. As far as night time feeds, we decided to Ferber to get rid of her sleep associations (being held/rocked), not to eliminate night feeds.  BUT she has been eliminating them on her own.  She sleeps through the night about 75% of the time, and the other times when she wakes up, I do feed her, but put her right back in her crib when she's done.  I think if she was still waking up 2-4 times to be fed then I would work on eliminating the feeds, but since it's only once a night a couple times a week, I figure she's hungry!

     3. For naps:  Yes, we decided to tackle night and day time sleep all at once, and it has been AMAZING.  I was so worried she would scream the whole time for naps, but she fell asleep for her first nap after about 20 minutes of crying, and for all her naps since then she has cried no more than 10 minutes before falling asleep.  And now, 3 weeks later, she only cries before naps occasionally, and usually for a few minutes and then she's out.

    And just so you know, I honestly never thought ferber would work with my LO because she literally slept in my arms for the first 6 months of her life, and would scream her little head off when I tried to get her to sleep in her crib.  But it worked, and it was nowhere near as bad as I had anticipated (although as I said, when we tried at 5 months it did not go well!)

     Sorry for the longest reply ever, but I hope it helps!

  • 1. What age did you do Ferber? Was is Successful? How long did it take to see results?

    We did a modified Ferber (I think the method as is, is a little too harsh for us) around 5 months. It took one heartbreaking night and it was sucessful, however if you are not super diligent and consistent then you will have a sleep regression and have to start all over. We did and it sucked. It only took 1 night of crying and thats all. The sleep regression took a week.

    2. Did you still allow a night time feeding? If not did you try to cut that out before hand or just tackle all your problems at once?

    I BF so I still do night feedings if it has been close to 4 hours or more. Eventually when she is completely weened then we will cut the night feedings out. Usually she only wakes once sometimes twice. Sleep nurses and falls right back down.

    3. Did you use Ferber for naps too?

    Not at first. I have though a couple times. After night training, I didn't really need to.

    I blogged about my expierence with sleep training, feel free to check it out. (There are additional posts about it, but this was the 1st night)

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  • 1. What age did you do Ferber? Was is Successful? How long did it take to see results?

    We actually started the process a little earlier than most (I know, I know... I'm the meanest, worst mom EVER).  We started at about 4 months to transition DS from the carseat, where he slept for the first 4 months of his life, to the crib.  He would sleep soundly and STTN in the carseat but wasn't having anything to do with the crib. 

    Our nighttime routine was the same as always.  Bath, lotion, cuddle, rock, bottle/nurse then pacifier and bed.  I didn't want to take everything away from him all at once so I let him keep the pacifier and his blanket. 

    The first night was hard - he cried for 2 hours.  I went in to check on his every 3, 5 then 10 minutes.  There was nothing wrong with him, he just wanted to be in his carseat.  The next night he cried for 45 minutes and the 3rd night he was asleep before we even hit the first 10 minute check.  It's HARD the first few nights, but totally worth it!!  Now he STTN on his back in his crib. 

    2. Did you still allow a night time feeding? If not did you try to cut that out before hand or just tackle all your problems at once?

    After about 8 weeks DS started STTN so nighttime feedings wasn't really ever an issue.  We always made sure to feed him as part of our bedtime routine to make sure he was full before putting him down.  At this point (4-5 months), I think they should probably be done with nighttime feedings, but that's not something we had to worry about so I'd check with your pedi on that.

    3. Did you use Ferber for naps too?

    No.  I let him sleep wherever for naps.  The daycare he's at doesn't put him in a crib for naps until 6 months so since he's there most of the day I let that slide.  However, the 6 month mark is rapidly approaching for us ( 2 more weeks!) so hopefully he'll do fine then.  If not, we'll be using Ferber for naps too.

    Good luck and stick with it!!

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  • 1. 5 months - We wanted to wait until we were done traveling for the holidays.  Also, my son had gotten in the nasty habit of eating 4+ times a night.  We took about three weeks to wean down the night feedings to one time somewhere between 2am-5am.  (We used a chapter in the back of the book to help us with weaning night feedings.)  Things are definetely better, but he does still cry sometimes in the middle of the night.  The thing that helps me following the Ferber plan is that I have a set time to go back in.  Usually well before we get to the time, he falls back to sleep.  The first night took 45 minutes, the second only 20 minutes, the third three hours, and after that it's been good for the most part.

    2. I breastfeed him somewhere between 2am and 5am depending when he wakes.  Once my pedi okays knocking it out, I'm planning on it!

    3. Yes and no...some days it works, some days that's when I run errands so he'll sleep in the car.

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  • We did Ferber around Thanksgiving and things went great. She was between 6 & 7months. Then Christmas came and her schedule got all messed up.  So we did it again about 2-3 weeks ago.  We started by dropping her middle-of-the night feeding so that was tough. Then we started doing Ferber for naps. We would do Ferber for bedtime too. The naps were worse than bedtime. She started sleeping 12-13hours a night and taking 2 hour naps.  She has been this way for almost 3 weeks. Now, yesterday and the day before were bad days & nights.  She has another tooth popping through so I think thats the problem but I still don't take her out of her crib through the night. If she wakes up, I let her cry for the 3,5,7minutes and check on her.

    Right now she has been in her crib for 25minutes for a nap.  She will whine, then cry for a minute, then play. So I am just leaving her up there and NOT checking on her.  I can see her through her monitor so I know she is okay.

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