Many parents struggle with good sleep for themselves and their child. You might have heard the term Ferber method for sleep training for babies or ‘ferberize’ your baby at night. Here we have thrown some light on these terms to help you stay abreast of different techniques for your parenting tool-kit.
There is never an absolute right or wrong answer in parenting. You should pick and choose different tools because each child and parent is different and the situations and needs also change. Of course, after educating yourself on different tools, you should ultimately let your instincts do the guiding.
The Ferber method is a sleep training technique invented by the American paediatrician Dr Richard Ferber to solve infant sleep problems. Sleep training methods are meant for helping a child fall asleep as well as stay asleep through the night.
Parents can use this method for babies starting from 3 months and ideally closer to 6 months and train babies to self-soothe rather than helping soothe a child. It is not recommended for newborn babies (less than 3 months) because newborn babies need help falling asleep and also need to breastfeed or feed frequently around the clock. This method can also be used for toddlers and preschoolers with separation anxiety and with sleep disorders.
The Ferber fans say that the Ferber technique is different from the Cry It Out (CIO) technique and is more of a modified CIO technique. In CIO, babies are left to cry and self-soothe completely and fall asleep totally by themselves.
This technique is fleshed out in detail in Dr. Ferber’s book “Solve Your Child's Sleep Problems”. This book first came out in 1985. In India this book is available in large serious bookstores for about 395 Rs. (In Dec 2008). This technique is very popular in the United States and some other western countries. Make sure to get the latest edition (2006) that has been updated significantly.
The idea that the parent will return to soothe is reassuring to the child and makes the child feel more secure vs. just being left to cry it out.
There is no right or wrong answer, whatever works best for you and your child. Read up what parenting gurus, your friends or the Parentree community say but then just follow your gut.
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