Home Baby Ferberizing your baby: Whys and hows


Many new moms are often told to ferberize or let their baby cry to sleep. Several Indian mothers think of it as an impractical step but ferberizing is a scientific way of letting your infant fall asleep while crying. Read on to know more..

Many new mothers are scared of the thought of leaving their crying baby alone. The common reaction is ‘how can I let my child cry to sleep?’. But feberizing is a scientific approach developed by Paediatrician Richard Ferber who is a leading (and controversial) expert on children’s sleep.

 What is ‘ferberizing’?

Ferberizing is a method for teaching babies to soothe themselves to sleep. This is a developed method with many variations. Many people accuse it as ‘cry it out’ method but Dr Ferber doesn’t believe babies always cry themselves to sleep.

When can I start the Ferber method?

You can start ferberizing your baby to soothe himself to sleep when he is physically and emotionally ready. Start trying between 3 to 5 months of age.

How do I start it?

Dr Ferber recommends following a proper bedtime routine. Change the baby into his night suit, change his diaper, and feed him. Then put your

Ferberizing your Child

baby in bed when he/she is awake. Leave your baby on the bed (even if he/she cries) and gradually increase this duration of lying on the bed.

Putting a child to bed awake is important as it teaches the baby to go to sleep on his own. Parents are allowed to pat and comfort their child after a predetermined time period, but you are not to pick up or feed the baby.

Baby sleep/freedigitalphotos.net

According to Dr Ferber you can have a suggested waiting time in terms of how many times you check on your baby every night. This waiting time can be gradually increased after a a week.

According to his study, the baby will discover that crying earns nothing more than a check from you.

Why is Ferberizing controversial?

Over the years, Ferber’s method has sparked controversy: Some say that Ferberizing creates lifelong emotional scars (though there is no proof to it). Moreover, not all parents and doctors find it okay to let an infant cry.

Can I modify it?

Absolutely. If you find ferber method too strict, try it once every three days. Slowly bring it down to alternate days. The main motive of this method is to give the infant and his mother a good night’s rest.


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