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Ferber Method -3rd Night of Technique

We have continued using J’s bedtime routine with the inclusion of putting her into her cot awake.  Half expecting the same as the night before, however this time it took her 10 minutes to settle.  It is nice to be able to have the evening to ourselves and not having to rush up when she cries.


The night was very successful.  We only heard her once whimper, but that was it.  I don’t think she woke up but just stirred.  The whole night was undisturbed.  I’m wondering if from our old routine of putting her into bed asleep was our problem as her last memory would have been in our arms and she would be expecting us.


J didn’t wake up till 7am today which means nearly 12 hours sleep for her.  Her mood is much better today and she’s not as clingy as she has been.  She is quite happily entertaining herself playing with her own toys.  Any Mummy managed to get a good night sleep.  This could all change, so yet again i’m not pining my hopes on the fact that after 2 nights she has cracked it.

Published on December 31, 2011 by Lainy

About Lainy

Lainy is a guest blogger for Lullaby Babies. She hopes her posts on sleep training will help other parents who are considering taking similar action.

31 Responses to Ferber Method -3rd Night of Technique

  1. Hi Lainy.

    I’m so pleased to hear of your progress. I think it is wise not to get your hopes up too soon but I believe the odds of it just being a coincidence are remote.

    I agree with you that the crucial change has been putting her to sleep awake.

    I’m delighted that you’ve had an undisturbed sleep for the past two nights and that J is showing the tell tale signs of being a well-rested, contented baby. You’ve done really well so far- congratulations!

  2. Nancy says:

    Hi Lainy – I stumbled upon your blog when researching the Ferber method. I also have a 10month old and I have bought the Ferber book and am reading it in preparation to try it soon. Can I ask some additional questions re: your experience:
    -is baby J wide awake when you put her in her crib for the night or do you put her in when she starts to show signs of being sleepy?
    -when my baby usually wakes in the middle of the night, he cries for a few minutes not fully awake but rolls around with his eyes closed and crying – did you find this to be the case with Baby J too? I wonder is he can hear me soothe him if he’s not really awake?

    Good luck and I hope it continues to work for you!

  3. Lainy says:

    Hi Nancy, Apologies for not finishing my blog I’ve been manic trying to get my wedding prep organised.

    Anyhow, in answer to your questions:-

    - Baby J is indeed awake when I put her into the cot for the night (I think this was our problem in her not sleeping all night as we used to put her in the cot awake). It is also not a case of waiting for signs of being sleepy, but maintaining a good bedtime routine. Ours is:

    Dinner about 6pm
    Playtime with daddy till 7pm
    Bath 7pm
    Milk (we always take her into our room to feed her milk)
    7.30 put her into her cot awake.

    If you maintain the bedtime routine in my opinion it is a trigger for baby to know that it is time to sleep.

    - If Baby J started crying in the night we followed the technique which is to wait 5-10 minutes before going in and doing the soothing shhhh and rubbing her. However I’ve actually been lucky and not had to do this in the night and you might find that your baby settles themselves.

    I’m not sure if babies hear the soothing technique if they have their eyes closed and appear still asleep. However they might feel the presence of you in the room which might re-assure them.

    I wish you success with the technique, 10 months down the line and you must be exhausted too. Why not set up a blog yourself, I have found it useful as I can look back and see the progress.

    I also promise to write up my blogs after my wedding :D

  4. Carla says:

    If my baby is waking and needing to be fed back to sleep in the night after 6 months do i need to go through a period of offering water first or some other ‘milk refusal’ before trying Ferber or is the technique ok to start from the next day (for example)? (He is not 6 months quite yet so i have my fingers crossed that this is academic but at the moment he is still waking 2/3 times a night and the only way we have found to get him back off to sleep is a breastfeed.)

  5. Lainy says:

    Hi, I haven’t blogged in ages. Its one thing after another and I don’t seem to get time on here but I’ve just seen your message Carla. I’m not an expect, just a blogger … but couldn’t leave your message without writing something back.

    Breastfed babies who take less than 5 mins on the breast should be ready for sleeping through the night. If your baby is longer than five minutes on the breast you can start to gradually cut the amount of time each night. i.e

    cut down the time spent on the breast by 2-5 minutes, so if your baby usually feeds for 15 minutes you’ll need 13 minutes for 2 nights, then 11 minutes for the next two nights and then 9 minutes for the next two nights and so on.

    Hope that makes sense. Then if you find you need to do the controlled crying, use the technique. I’m not sure of what age to start using the technique, our Daughter was a lot older and not having milk. You may find (and fingers crossed for you) that slowly weaning your baby off the night feed is enough to make them go through the night.

    Good luck tho and let us know how you do.

  6. Carla says:

    thank you

  7. Victoria says:

    I enjoyed reading your experience with the Ferber Method. I have hope that my 14 month old will be as successful. I’ve avoided this technique for so long, but now I’m at my wits end. Our son is a co-sleeper, falls asleep with mom & dad in our bed. It’s truly time that he sleep in his crib. We are starting the technique this week and I’m hoping for the best. You’ve given me hope! I’ll keep ya posted. ~Victoria

  8. Rachel says:

    Hi Lainy and everyone,

    I am also at my wits end with a 10 month old daughter who is wide awake at night and ends up in our bed and breastfeeding on and off throughout the night. I am about to begin the technique this weekend as I am just so exhausted that I have to make it work. I think both my daughter and I will feel much better when we both get a good night’s sleep.

    Thanks so much for your blog, it gives us all inspiration and hope in what seems like desperate times!

    Wish me luck!
    Rachel x

  9. Lainy says:

    Hi Victoria and Rachel,
    I’m wondering how its all going for both of you. I’m again finding things hard as Jaiden has been not well, with teething and a horrendous cough oh and the MMR jab!!

    Its really difficult to continue with the technique especially now that i’m 22 weeks pregnant again. I must be mad. I will have to admit that she has on the occassion slept in with us again, all i say is ‘DON’T DO IT’ I know its hard when you’re tired and want to sleep…but it has set us back again.

    From tonight we are going to start the technique again…its very hard when all you want to do is comfort your child when they are wailing in their bed. I know it works with our little girl so will persevere again.

    Good luck ladies and let me know how you get on.

  10. Sandy says:

    I have a 9 month old daughter who cannot sleep at all without being breast fed. I have got her into this bad habit as this was the only way I could soothe her and take her away from the vicious and severe eczema that she suffers from, but now not getting enough sleep is one of the causes. This goes for day naps and night sleep. I am exhausted and need a way out. She has a very loud scream and wakes my other little ones in the night if she does not get what she wants. Any help or advice would be well received. How did you do Rachel with you 10 month old?
    I am at wits end, tearing my hair out and need some sleep.

  11. lou says:

    Reading all of these lovely caring mummys’ blogs has really consoled me, I have to say. I have been going to mummy and baby groups and noone seems to have the sleepless nights we do! I have started to feel like the biggest failure, letting my little boy down. He slept in our bed for the first 4 weeks and made his own transition to his own bed by 3 months and goes to sleep well (he is coming up 9 months now). The problem is, as it seems to be with many of you, the nightwaking which is every 2 hours and sometimes more frequently. He has plenty of personality already but I feel I’ve allowed his sleep to get out of hand, having to breastfeed him to sleep even though I know he’s not hungry. This is only at night, his daytime naps are fine now and he is his in his own which took a little time and again, waiting until he was ready… and I was desperate. It is interesting to see that there are some women whose 2nd or 3rd baby is having problems sleeping, not having had similar problems with other children so maybe some of it is down to their own little ways and I don’t need to be so hard on myself! The question is whether to try cc now when he is starting with the childminder this week and it will be an upheaval anyway and I am going through the guilt of that let alone embarking on the tough challenge of cc. Anyone have any advice?

  12. Holly says:

    Hi All, My daughter is 13 months old and is still not sleeping consistententy through the night, she may sleep from 7.30 straignt through to 7 am for one to two weeks at best and then seemingly for no reason she starts to wake during the night. I must admit that we usually tend to bring her into the bed when this happens as all the shushing and patting will not calm her down, take last night for instance, she woke at 10pm crying i took her up and tried to calm her she then pointed to go downstairs, i gave in after about 10 mins, we went downstairs and listened to a lullaby that she loves and then went back upstairs, put her in her cot and crying started again, strolled around the landing with her to try to get her off, at this stage she was absolutely shatttered and pointed to our bed as usual I gave in and brought her in. She is a very happy child naps well and has a consistent bedtime routine, however, from time to time she suffers from bad ear infections which makes sleeping difficult for her although last night it definately had nothing to do with her feeling unwell. I am going to start cc tonight and am feeling totally apprehensive but I know that if I don’t start now the problem will continue but what if she does get sick and I need to revert to old ways of comforting her, will cc have been a waste of time and energy for both myself and Kate? Lou, if I were you I would probably wait until your little one is a bit more settled with the childminder, after all it is a big transition in their little lives, but thats just my opinion as you can see I am no expert….

  13. Victoria says:

    Hi Lainy,
    I haven’t started it yet. The very night we were going to start, he got sick (i wonder if he planned that. ha ha). Anyway, I am gearing up for a 2nd attempt. Timing is important I think. I’m also dreading it because my husband & I both work. However, it may go easier than I think. I will touch base when I begin and let you know how it goes. Best of luck to you as well.

  14. Victoria says:

    Successful 1st 1/2 nite of Ferber method (by accident!). Last night, I decided to “try” the Ferber method. My approach was to test it out and I could always try again another night when I felt more mentally prepared. I was surprised when my son fell asleep after only 22 minutes! Here is my back story. My son is 15 months old and breast fed until he was 10.5 months old and he co-sleeps. For a while, my husband & I and would be able to have him fall asleep in the bed and we’d gently carry him to his crib. For a few months it worked. He’d sleep from 9:00-3:00 or 5:00am. Then he got older, bigger, and wiser and wasn’t having it. He’d wake up the second he was placed in the crib. After months of just having him sleep with us I was starting to lose my mind. It was affecting my sleep, my husbands and more importantly, my sons quality of sleep. I knew I had to do something. I read Sears, Pantely, but there methods weren’t working. I’ve dreaded the thought of the Ferber Method and tryed to convince myself there was a better way. A more peaceful way to transition him to his crib and to have him fall asleep on his own. I gave in and gave & tryed it. So, here it goes. This is my routine. The past two weeks, I got him reacquainted with his room. The bed time routine always remained the same: dinner @ 6:00, some play time, bath @ 7:00, but the difference was that I read him a story in his room while he layed in his crib and drank his bottle. Then I left the room & he cryed.
    5 min later – reassured him, gave him his bottle, layed him back down and left the room. At 10 min/15 min/20 min later I did the same thing. He was crying the entire time but it was very tolerable. You could tell he was tired and wanted to sleep. He wasn’t screaming at all. Then at 22 minutes, there was silence. He was asleep @ 8:15. Couldn’t believe my ears. After that, he slept for an hour. Woke up @ 9:15, cryed for less than a min and fell back asleep. 10:15, the same thing. woke up, cryed for a minute and fell back asleep. then he was asleep for the next few hours after that. Then at some point during the night, he woke up twice with in 20 min and I figured he might be wet. He saw me sneak in to check on him and @ that point I was so tired, I brought him back to our bed, changed his diaper and we all fell asleep. For what was to be a “trial” experiment, turned out to be a success in my eyes even though I didn’t carry it through all nite. Tonight, we will try again and I won’t cave if he wakes up during the night. I feel confident that he is on the right track and he’ll learn very soon. My attitude towards Ferber has changed. I’ll follow up tomorrow with my 2nd nite.

  15. Victoria says:

    I’m happy to report another successful night of using the Ferber method. I followed the same bed time routine and put him down in his crib. This time, within 3 minutes he was asleep. He woke up @ 10:15 and needed to be changed. I didn’t really talk to him, i kept the lights dim, changed him, gave him a kiss and back in his crib. He fussed for nearly 10-15 min. but it was nothing major and then he slept all night long!!! woke up @ 6:00am.

    For you moms & dads out there struggling with the thought of trying the Ferber Method, take it from me and at least try it. I was against Ferber from the beginning and I finally had to try it because nothing else was working. These past two nights has taught me that maybe I didn’t give my son a chance to sleep on his own. I should have given him a chance to show me that he wanted to sleep on his own and needed to. I don’t regret co-sleeping at all. I love snuggling with him, but it was our time as a family to transition him. I hope my comments help those that are on the fence. :) I’ll follow up tomorrow with one more blog.

  16. Victoria says:

    Good morning. I’ll just take a moment to share my 3rd nite using the Ferber method. Last nite, my son fell asleep shortly after I put him in his crib. Did not put up a fuss. He woke up 3 hours later to be changed and he did cry for nearly 30 minutes before he finally fell back asleep (it was the longest crying session but wasn’t an overwhelming cry). He ended up sleeping through the rest of the night. We are very happy. I believe that each nite has gotten easier & I’m so happy that I gave this method a try. I believe it has made a tremondous difference already. Good luck to all. :)

  17. Sonia says:

    Hi to all,
    My daughter is 7 month sold and wakes up 10 times at lest at night… I have tried evrythgin possible.. and now her Ped asked us to try the ferber method… I am goign to start tomorrow.. I will take todya to prepare myself… I need a lot of support from all you guys… I read all yoru post and it has encourage dme to try it out…
    Hope it works..

  18. Sonia says:

    sorry abt the spellings…. my keyboard is messed up…

  19. Solita says:

    How is is going so far? I am also considering giving the ferber method a try. I’ve made some half-hearted attempts but since I didn’t really stick to it, it hasn’t worked. My son is 8 mo old and has consistently slept with me since the beginning. He can’t nap unless I’m holding him and he nurses himself to sleep. The same at night, he nurses to sleep at the beginnnig and everytime he wakes up during the night ,usually 3-4 times. Hubby has been sleeping on the couch this whole time. I know our routine is not healthy and I have to change it. It’s taken me a while to come around to Ferber but nothing else seems to work.

    I hope you’ve had some success so far

  20. Sarah says:

    oh my goodness- you know when you finally find a result on a web search that makes you feel like there is a chance for a normal life … well this thread is it for me … I have a 11 month old. He has had the most awful gastro reflux since 2 weeks old. Finally controlled (unfortunatly) by drugs at 9 months but he has never slept through the night as he would reflux and be sick and that would wake him up understandble if you know how painful heartburn is… so the reflux is so much better but he is still not sleeping through. He always takes a bit of bottle and more often than not now goes back to sleep but this is at least 4 times a night and if he doesnt go back off to sleep I finally give in and cuddle him to sleep. Sometimes I can then put him back down in the cot other times it takes over an hour. all other searches for this controlled crying type technique sais do it and all will be good but James never fails to fall asleep on a bottle and sleep from 8 till at least 11 but its the constant waiting throughout the night. Tried this type of technique once at 9 1/2 months and left him for 5 mins walked back in to see him trowing up the whole of his dinner and bottle all over the cot.. so was too scared to do that to him again. now and 11 months I have to go back to work next week so its now or never. I feel inspired. I think I will have to try to keep him awake while having his bottle and maybe that will be the key to getting him to resettle during the night. Good luck to you all and please do carry on updating this site with how you are getting on as I will need all the inspiration I can get. :O)

  21. Denise Daber says:

    Dear sarah,
    Your story is all too familiar to me. Our son had silent reflux for the first 12 months and it went undiagnosed. We were told he was just seeking attention. He would cry all day and night. Things changed after i went to see a naturopath and got him onto goats milk formula and homeopathic drops for acidic stomach etc He is now 21 months and we are expecting another bub in 8 weeks. Only problem now is the night waking 1-2 times a night asking for milk. I am going to try this technique and i hope it will make him sleep through as i am one of these people that finds it hard to function on broken sleep. Perhaps get things checked out with your bub, it might be the reflux that is causing him the pain and making him wake constantly. Perhaps start by adding some of these drops into his night bottle ??

  22. Tara says:

    So many of these posts have helped me tonight. I just started the Ferber method (today, as a matter of fact) out of desperation and was searching the web as a distraction because I am sitting scared, waiting for the next waking. So glad I found this thread! My 6 month old son has been co-sleeping with us because he wakes every hour or two throughout the night and now nursing him back to sleep isn’t working every time. Sometimes he won’t go back to sleep for a couple hours in the middle of the night no matter what we do. This is my 3rd child and I didn’t go through this type of sleep problem with the other 2. I’ve been reading every book there is on the subject and am now so confused by the myriad of views that I can’t think straight. I’m praying this method is the answer. Thanks to all for your posts! To know that I am not alone in this has been such a help. Wish me luck tonight and in the nights to come…

  23. Donna says:

    Hi All, I have to say compared to some my little one sounds like an angel only waking once int he night but I have to give her 5 oz bottle before she will go back to sleep. I was just just working on cutting this bottlle down gradually until there is none hoping she will sleep through but she has come down with a temp today so progress will have to stop. However Ive never heard of the Ferber Technique so will defo look it up, any advice on cutting out this bottle will really help, although she is still in our room but in her own cot so crying it out at the moment seems difficult as I cannot walk out of the room. Any advice???

  24. Donna says:

    P.S – I have always put her down awake and she used to sleep through but after a bout of flu she has kept waking, I still put her down awake but now she stands up and just cries, sometimes we shush her to sleep and other times she will eventually crash out, however she always wakes at least once for the bottle!

  25. Karla says:

    Hello everyone. I’m going to try this method on my son next weekend…I think. My son is almost 9 mos old. We tried this method right when he was six months and he got so worked up that he threw up after the first 10 minutes. The problem with my son is he won’t calm down unless I pick him up. Everything I read says to sooth him, but don’t pick him up…that’s imposible with my son. Did anyone else have this issue? Another problem is that I’ve never put my son to bed while he was awake. He eats dinner around 6:00, we have bath at 7:00 and at 8:00 we read a book and give a bottle. Then I take him upstairs and sit with him until he falls to sleep. If he doesn’t fall to sleep within 10 minutes I take him into the bathroom and turn the fan on and he’ll be asleep in a few minutes…problem is that he’ll wake up a couple hours later screaming. This happens about twice a night. Another concern is that he may fall and hit his head…he just started standing in his crib. Do you think he could fall and hit his head on the side of his crib? I’m not sure if I’m ready for this yet…Thanks for listening

  26. Becky says:

    Good Evening Ladies (and Gents)
    My son J is 6 months and he is rocked to sleep every night. He goes down fairly quickly, but may wake 1/2 times during the night. My biggest issue is J’s naps. I cannot put him down for his naps. I have to hold him his entire nap. He sleeps on me (which is kinda nice…) but I can’t get anything done as when he is awake, I cannot leave his side, as he will cry none stop. Any advice??? Anyone???

  27. Lainy says:

    Hi Becky … I haven’t written anything for ages. But thought i’d write something in reply to your post. I too used to hold DD1 for her naps, it was the only way I could get her to sleep.

    I think the way I stopped doing this was when it was time for naps I’d put her in the pushchair and rock her to sleep that way. There were the moments of screaming and kicking off, but I just kept at it because I knew that even tho i loved the cuddles it was getting me no-where. Now she sits next to me on the sofa and goes to sleep, which means I can escape. I know in theory I should take her up to her bedroom for a nap, but she’s one of these children that fights and fights and fights sleep, never wanting to miss anything.

    As to the night sleep, we’ve hit the nail on the head with her (well not literally) I had DD2 3 weeks ago now and now because we can’t bring her into our room as we have little one there she has to stay in her bedroom. Most nites she sleeps through, we have to accept that there are going to be nites where she doesn’t.

    Its all a learning curve, I just hope we don’t have to do the same journey with DD2.

    How’s everyone else doing? Is the technique working for you?

  28. Becky says:

    Hello everyone. WE DID IT!. J is sleeping from 8pm to 6am. We do however, continue to dream feed him at 1045pm every night. It truly is amazing. We put him down and we walk out of his room. There MAY be 1 mins of whinning… if that… and he is fast asleep. If there is anyone out there that is thinking of doing the Ferber Method with their child.. do it. Don’t wait another day. We are so glad and happy we did it. J now has the skill to put himself to sleep at night time and nap time.

  29. Becky says:

    J will be 7 months in a few days and is still napping every two hours?? is that odd? Did/does anyone else dealing with the same situation? any suggestions?


  30. Laura M says:

    Hi there,
    just been reading the above stories to try and get some help. My lo is nearly 6 months old and has only slept through one single night. The rest of the time she wakes every hour (sometimes every half hour) from midnight. She is usually easy to settle by putting the dummy back in but this is getting us nowhere and I reckon I am now on the verge of a nervous breakdown with the sleep deprivation. I recently spoke to a well know expert who still gives advice and she said to ditch the dummy and do controlled crying. Is this the same as the Ferber method? For the first 3 nights I thought we were slowly improving but the last 2 have been a complete disaster. She soooo wants her dummy poor little mite. She has been awake about 5 times a night for probably 45 mins each time. She screams and screams and though we go in every 3, 5,7 9, 11, 15 mins etc, she doesnt seem to peter out, just goes like a steam train, until thoroughly exhausted. I did some controlled crying with my first daughter and it worked a dream but not this time. Don’t know whether to continue, it seems so cruel when its not working. Anyone had a similar experience?

  31. Becky says:

    Hi Guys. J is not almost 18months and still doing wonderful when it comes to being able to sleep by himself. Laura. I just read you comments on your situation. How is it going now? Don’t go back to giving her the dummy as you are teaching her that if she cries she will get her way. I know you wrote back in Feb… I am just checking this site now… you have come this far… it may take this baby alittle longer than the first… but DON’T GIVE UP. Hang in there.

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