The main goal pursued in Richard Ferber’s articles, “How to solve your baby sleeping problems,” published in 1985 - is teaching a child sleeping alone in bed, and without help of parents, in the case he wakes up at night. Ferber method’s positive experience progressively teaches children relying on their own efforts in achieving comfort.
Ferber compares this process with adult’s feelings, if he was not allowed to sleep on a pillow. At first, he would fall asleep with great difficulty and constantly wake up. But after a few nights, he would get used and sleep well without a pillow.
Ferber method, like many others, begins with a special ritual before bedtime (maybe swimming, and then reading books or singing a lullaby). Then mom or dad puts a child to bed, while he is still awaken. Then parents leave a child (a baby is crying). A parent returns to the nursery in five, ten and fifteen minutes, then at intervals of fifteen minutes to convince a child he is not abandoned. Parent does not stay in the room, not sway a baby and not offers him any pacifiers or bottles. Under no circumstances a parent should remove a child from the crib. This is repeated every time a child wakes up at night. Starting with the second night, all intervals should be increased by five minutes.
Ferber method offers several alternatives (at first sit next to the bed, then slowly push the chair every night), but most of all, he recommends to leave a child’s room at regular intervals.
Ferber method can last for several hours at night, several days, even weeks. In the end it usually works. Another question: Are you able to follow through. (Typically, dads follow recommended intervals more firmly, hormones produced due to a long baby cry in nursing mothers complicate the task.)
After publication of Ferber’s book, they published a number of similar, slightly modified programs. Perhaps the most positive news is the results of the latest research: you do not need to repeat the process every time a baby wakes up at night. Follow instructions only once, when a baby is put to sleep, but at night you can sway him a little. In most cases, this deviation from rules does not delay the advent of a child sound sleep at night.
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