Ferber Method Question — The Bump
March 2013 Moms

Ferber Method Question

For those of you who have used the Ferber method or know about it, how long do I let her cry before we stop? I know the schedule (intervals) and how long to wait before going in to visit her, but how long do these intervals go on before stopping? We are planning to start this method tonight, and maybe I'm just being negative, but I have a pretty strong-willed baby and I'm concerned that she'll cry for hours before falling asleep. I've read that if you "cave in" and give up, though, that it only makes it worse and they'll only cry longer the next time. Opinions?

Please no comments about this being cruel and abusive. If you don't agree with me, fine. Move on. My baby has begun waking up approx. every 45 min. to 1hr. and she is tired/fussy during the day and so am I. I took her to the pediatrician today and we have an all clear (she is perfectly healthy & not cutting any teeth). I believe that a few nights of crying is a small price to pay for a baby who will sleep better in the long run, and thus be happier during the day.
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Re: Ferber Method Question

  • Ferber supporter, here. Used it on both my girls and will be using it again once our Christmas company disappears and DH has a break in work to help me cope with it. DS is in the same boat, waking up frequently, unable to calm himself down and not even napping unless I'm holding him because he can't put himself back to sleep in his crib. Very grouchy kid on hand.

    Anyway, that being said... it's hard to say how long is too long. I remember it taking just over an hour with both my girls (very stubborn) the first night, a little longer the second, and noticeably less the third. I very much doubt that it'll go on that long. I personally would not feel comfortable going any longer than 2 hours the first night, but really... play it by ear and go with your gut.
    DD- 11/17/08, DD- 11/16/09, DS- 3/20/13 
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  • I've had past and recent success with Ferber. For night time, I think the longest we had to let her cry was an hour and a half? I would probably not go longer than two hours. I agree that caving definitely doesn't gain you any ground and most likely sets you back. I just nap trained my girl with ferber and was not letting her cry longer than a half hour because I thought I read to give up after that. Well, another source said that for this age you could probably go an hour. So, this is what happened: I let her cry for an hour and no luck. I got her up and did quiet play and tried for another nap within the hour. The second attempt she cried for almost an hour the. Fell asleep and took an hour and a half nap. The last few days now I haven't had any issues with naps. Time will only tell, but it seemed to only take one hard day. And boy was it worth it!! Hang in there mama.
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