Solve Your Child's Sleep Problems: New, Revised, and Expanded Edition

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Product Description

When your child isn't sleeping, chances are that you aren't either. Solve Your Child's Sleep Problems--a tired parent's essential for more than 10 years--offers valuable advice and concrete help when lullabies aren't enough to lull your child into dreamland. Based on Ferber's research as the director of Boston's Center for Pediatric Sleep Disorders at Children's Hospital, the book is a practical, easy-to-understand guide to common sleeping problems for children ages one to six. Detailed case histories on night waking, difficulty sleeping, and more serious disorders such as sleep apnea and sleepwalking help illustrate a wide variety of problems and their solutions. New parents will benefit from Ferber's proactive advice on developing good sleeping patterns and daily schedules to ensure that sleeping problems don't develop in the first place. You'll also find a bibliography of children's books on bedtime, sleep, and dreaming, as well as a list of helpful organizations. Here's a book that is sure to put you and your whole family to sleep--in this case, that's a good thing.

Does your child

  • Have difficulty falling asleep?
  • Wake in the middle of the night?
  • Suffer sleep terrors, sleepwalking, or nighttime fears?
  • Have difficulty waking for school or staying awake in class?
  • Snore, wet the bed, or head bang?

In the first major revision of his bestselling, groundbreaking classic since it was published twenty years ago, Dr. Richard Ferber, the nation's foremost authority on children's sleep problems, delivers safe, sound ideas for helping your child fall and stay asleep at night and perform well during the day.

Incorporating new research, Dr. Ferber provides important basic information that all parents should know regarding the nature of sleep and the development of normal sleep and body rhythms throughout childhood. He discusses the causes of most sleep problems from birth to adolescence and recommends an array of proven solutions for each so that parents can choose the strategy that works best for them. Topics covered in detail include:

  • Bedtime difficulties and nighttime wakings
  • Effective strategies for naps
  • Sleep schedule abnormalities
  • A balanced look at co-sleeping
  • New insights into the nature of sleep terrors and sleepwalking
  • Problems in setting limits
  • Sleep apnea, narcolepsy, bed-wetting, and head banging

Solve Your Child's Sleep Problems offers priceless advice and concrete help for a whole new generation of anxious, frustrated, and overtired parents.

Customer Reviews:

  • Outstanding!! A Must Have Reference for Parents!!
    A friend recommended this book to my wife who read it and passed it on to me to read. Since we are new parents we are gobbling up as much information as we can. I had never heard of Dr. Ferber just a few months ago and I have to tell you -- this book is a standout! It is an absolutely outstanding book, very well written, and a must read for new parents! It covers everything sleep related in children and is extremely thorough! The book consists of a Preface, 5 Parts, 18 Chapters (note: the origial edition had 15 Chapters). It is an excellent primer on children's sleep problems and even sleep in general.

    He starts with some technical information about sleep in general (stages of sleep, sleep cycles, etc.) and then goes on to explain that sleep in children is very different from sleep in adults. Just one key example REM sleep in adults occur toward the end of a sleep cycle, but for newborn infants this phase of sleep occurs immediately as they fall asleep -- you can actually watch this happen if you pay attention to your baby's eyes as he drifts off to sleep. Three key chapters in this book have to be Chapter 3 -- "Helping Your Child Develop Good Sleep Pratices" (Patterns in the original book), Chapter 4 -- "Sleep Associations -- A Key Problem." and Chapter 5 -- The Problem of Limit Setting." He makes a strong point about sleep associations and sleep problems which even has application for adults as he says in Chapter 4, "We all learn to fall asleep under a certain set of conditions." He gives explanations of why various sleep problems occur and very detailed suggestions for correcting them. There's a whole new chapter in this new edition on Naps. My wife and I have followed his guidelines and they really work!

    After reading this book from cover to cover it is very clear to me that so many people who discount the information in this book simply haven't really read the book. Dr. Ferber is not an advocate of rigid rules which leave the child locked in a room crying himself to sleep -- such a claim is laughable if you read the entire text. While he doesn't encourage parents to proclaim "it's my way or the highway," he does warn that inconsistency and leniency is a common and critical error many parents make as they attempt to deal with sleep problems in children. He makes it clear that scheduling, setting limits, consistent routines, and a clear understanding of the sleep processes in children are keys to success in solving their sleep problems. What you have here is the classic contention between the two camps of "the parent knows best" vs. "the child knows best." If you lean toward the belief that the child knows best (esp. at any cost) you will probably not agree with many of Ferber's views and I'm guessing you will likely have a number of other issues to struggle with concerning your children -- the least of which are sleep problems.

    Dr. Ferber brings an interesting blend of experience in pediatrics, psychosomatic medicine and sleep disorders. You can detect these backgrounds in this book. What's also very apparent in this book is how unusually thorough he is in his explanations which are often followed by more than one example taken from a completely different angle to make sure that you understand the point he's making. The book is very well written and aside from some of the technical details, which may bore the average reader, it is a major contribution to parents and a must have for their libraries. I highly recommend it!...more info
  • Worked for me, in 2 days
    I got myself mentally ready for this method for a few days before I tried it. I memorized each detail so it would work like clockwork. I, like many parents, don't like listening to my baby scream. When I was ready, we did the Ferber method, and in 2 nights my son was sleeping at least 8 or 9 hours a night. The key for me was reminding myself that babies are different emotionally from adults. If you heard an adult screaming and wailing like I heard my son screaming and wailing, you would assume that they were having surgery without anesthesia, or lost a loved one. Most adults don't make that kind of racket to protest a change in routine. Babies, however, have no other way to communicate. They sound like they are experiencing trauma because they only know one way to protest. That's why, in my opinion, it's better to deal with the sleeping problem before the child is a more nuanced thinker. This way, before baby is a willful, mobile toddler, you already have the system that works for you in place. If having the baby in bed with you or rocking to sleep works for you, than go with it! If not, than give this book a try. If it works, it's a lifesaver.

    My only complaint with the book is that it didn't address the question of naps enough. I had a lot of trouble getting my son to nap. Now that he is walking, he tires himself out a lot faster and I can get him to nap, but I could have used some guidance from this book. All in all though, an interesting book, with a lot of informative stuff about baby sleep cycles....more info
  • Good to understand the root of sleep problems
    I like this book because I wanted to have some flexibility to make our own way of getting our child to sleep well. This book explains the science behind sleep habits and then some examples of sleep problems and lets you diagnose your child, figure out how to fix the problem according to your beliefs and then guides you in carrying out the plan. It is a mistake to think that Ferber tells you to let your child cry it out - he simply allows you to set up your life and your child's routine in a way that will facilitate healthy sleep habits for all the family. The specifics are left to the individual parent....more info
  • 4.5 Month old now sleeping 10 hours at night, no crying
    I have two children and with my first baby, I never let him cry. But now with the new baby I wasn't getting enough sleep to function during the day. So I bought this book and tried the method. I started this when he was 3.5 months old. It took only a few days to make a huge difference. Now when I put him down at night he goes to sleep with no crying! It's a life saver! Also if you don't want to try this method, this book is still good to have for the other info in it. There is a lot of good info on sleep terrors, napping, etc....more info
  • Not my philosophy
    When I was pregnant with our first and only child I read many many books, including this one. I actually didn't even finish this one as it was not along the lines of my parenting philosophy. I found it harsh, anxiety producing and punishing honestly. This philosophy may work out fine for other parents, it just didn't feel right to me and went against my intuition of what we wanted for our son. Our son co-slept with us for the first 5 months. Since then however he has slept in his crib and wakes up once per night to breastfeed and often sleeps through the entire night - without harsh "sleep training" methods. I am not comfortable with Dr. Ferber's methods. If you feel the same way I do I would recommend reading more from Dr. Sear's. He promotes co-sleeping, attachment parenting, on demand breastfeeding and trusting your own instincts. ...more info
  • learn everything about sleep
    Get this book and learn everything about sleep problems. You don't have to read the whole thing, but he covers it all. You could have just one issue, like our son, or a couple in combo. I bought this book when my son was struggling getting to sleep right around the time he was weaned. We were already doing all those nice routine things like the music and stories etc. What I didn't know was none of these things had taught my son how to go back to sleep himself. He wanted to nurse back to sleep. This doctor had my answer! Don't be afraid of this cry it out thing. My son learned to go to sleep and get back to sleep by himself in only a couple of days. So, all the fuss was about nothing as far as I'm concerned. I wish I had know this a lot earlier! It's been at least a year and we've had no problems since. I've lent this book out and recommended it several times. Don't be afraid of the cry it out hype-just get some sleep....more info
  • I think its a good book...but
    I have been trying to get through this book, but for a sleep-deprived mommy of a 2 month-old, its not an easy read. I need simple steps to follow -- this is way too complicated....more info
  • Not the Ferber I was expecting
    This book, and the infamous term "Ferberizing", have such a bad rap that it was with extreme trepidation I bought this book on the advice of a psychiatrist friend. I was pleasantly surprised that Ferber does NOT recommend simply putting your infant in his crib and closing the door to let him cry until he finally falls asleep. Far from it, Ferber painstakingly describes the many causes of sleep problems commonly seen in infants and children, and provides many sensitive ways of handling them -- most do NOT involve just crying it out.

    In fact, where Ferber does recommend putting an infant down to sleep by himself, he actually advocates the "check and console" method -- so the baby is not left crying alone. As we're all learning in parenting, each child is different and if some crying in the crib traumatizes your baby to the point that he or she is terrified of the crib, then don't do it again. But my child, for instance, on the first night cried off and on for 45 minutes (being checked on and comforted every 5-10 minutes); after a few minutes of silence, I snuck in to find him not asleep but happily rolling around in his crib and smiling -- well, obviously I'm not doing any harm!

    This book helped me diagnosis my infant's sleep problem (which was NOT that he doesn't know how to put himself to sleep), and find a workable plan. He remains a happy, secure baby....more info
  • this book is a god send
    could of asked for a better guide! after weeks of sleepless nights my wife and i got fed up and didnt know what to do and even almost went as far as going to see the doctor about our daughter then we found this book within 3 nights she went from crying for 2 hours at a time in her crib to 5 minutes after the lights went out she was out too.! highly recommend this book!!!!...more info
  • Life saver
    Everything said in this book makes perfect sense and sincerely helped me understand my baby sleep issue and solved it in few days. I highly recommend it for any sleep-deprived parent !...more info
  • Changed our lives
    I read an earlier edition of this book in 1998 when my daughter was just a few weeks old.

    It is rare when I can say that a book changed my life. But this book did for myself, my wife and our daughter. Within three days of starting the program, we were able to give our child (and ourselves) the gift of good sleeping and of happily going to bed. The effects last to this day, nine years later.

    The author has done a great deal of research on sleep, and so comes to the problem as a sleep specialist instead of as a pediatrician (though he works with pediatricians). The theory and techniques presented in the book are based on extremely solid and detailed research. The chief notion used (other than the importance of sleep for so many other things) is the "sleep association". What this understanding leads to is that the people need to sleep in the same environment in which they initially fall asleep. This means that a child shouldn't fall asleep in your arms or while feeding and then be smuggled off to a crib. That is what we had done prior to reading this book.

    The actual program pulls at your heart stings to actually do it. But it is not, as some reviewers suggest, "cry it out". Do it. What you are giving to your child is wonderful. After only three nights our child changed from being a cranky baby to an extremely happy one. Later she would sing herself to sleep and when she woke up in the middle of the night, we would hear her singing again and happily go back to sleep.

    I haven't looked at the revised edition. The edition that we read may lack some of the "user friendliness" of many parenting books. But if you don't need cute little pictures and big friendly letters, that shouldn't be a problem.
    ...more info
  • We didn't believe it either
    Our daughter is 7 months old and, until recently, was getting up 4-5 times a night on a bad night. Our pediatrician recommended this book, and we finally gave it a try. After only one night that featured about an hour of wailing (not the first time), Kate started sleeping much better. It's been only a week, but she's now going 9 hours at a stretch. I've not completely eliminated night feedings, but that's next! A couple of weeks ago, she was eating every 2-3 hours at night - I was exhausted, dehydrated, and despairing. Now things look *much* better - and Kate does seem happier and more energetic. She just got up from a nap in her crib - another big change. Used to be she'd have to fall asleep on someone, and then stay asleep on them, but no more. This book' s suggestions seem to work, at least for our daughter....more info
  • Don't let your fear of some crying not help your baby to learn to sleep alone
    After reading who knows how many books I finally got to this one. I wasn't opposed to letting my baby cry, but I didn't know if it would really work. My baby was waking up EVERY hour at 4 months old and we were at the end of the rope. My doctor said, it's time to cry. I told him I had read Ferber's book and he said to do it that night. We started the same night and 7 nights later, that weren't so bad after all, he was sleeping like a champ. Three months later he's still sleeping great, he goes to sleep on his own at night and for all naps, and he sleeps from 7:30pm - 5:30am, wakes up to eat and goes back to sleep. Sometimes he wakes up during the night and he goes back to sleep on his own. This book is a life savior, so please try it and don't worry a little bit of crying is not going to do anything to your baby compared to the benefits of him learning to sleep on his own. ...more info
  • Eh, sleeping hasn't changed
    I was disappointed that only a few pages of the entrie book really discusses what specifically to do at night to put your child to sleep and what to do when they wake up during the night. I wish there was more about just this! The other chapters don't provding anything hands on regarding sleep. Our daughter still does not sleep, and the methods suggested only made her cry even harder. I think she is just destined to be a terrible sleeper - even though the book claims all kids will eventually sleep. She is 7 months old and waking up 3-5 times a night. :(...more info
  • A classic
    This book helped me with my toddler, now considering colleges. Now I prescribe it for clients whose children are going through developmental sleep changes. Having a child who is a good sleeper may sound trivial, but it is an important gift to give a child and Dr. Ferber knows how to help. ...more info
  • Hands down the best sleep book you can buy!
    I tried Pantley's "no cry" sleep solution only to have my 12 month old son cry hysterically for more than 1 1/2 hours. It was far harder for him to have me in the room the entire time than for me to leave and periodically check on him. Like many, I avoided Ferber like the plague believing his method to be barbaric. And, like many, my understanding of Ferber's method was completely incorrect. I am on my third night of "Ferberization" and it is going well. He cried for 30 minutes the first night, and 45 minutes the second and third night. On day two I tried putting him in his crib for a nap and removing him if he did fall asleep within 30 minutes. I think this caused a set back as my smart little guy expected Mommy to pick him up in 30 minutes that night and threw a massive tantrum when I did not do so. I have taken Ferber's advice and allow him to nap wherever he falls asleep during the day. Bottomline-Ferber's book is wonderful. It is a quick, informative and fabulous read. Save yourself a lot of $$$ and just buy it first! I wish I would have. ...more info
  • Worked like a charm
    My wife and I hadn't slept in 15 weeks. Coincidentally we had a 15 week old baby who thought sleep was for losers. I had just read the Ferber book from cover to cover and decided enough was enough. The first night was painful. The 2nd night was a littly less painful. The 3rd night, my wife and I slept like a...well...a baby! Now our baby is 1 year old and has gone to sleep without problems every night except for a couple of times when he was sick. I highly recommend this book. ...more info
  • Good book!
    This is such a debated topic...but I really like this book! I "taught" my two month old how to sleep in 3 days. He's on a schedule that works well for my family. With 3 kids in the house I needed something to keep my sanity. This book teaches the IMPORTANCE of sleep for parents AND children, in order to function in society. The debate is that parents let there children cry ALL night long. Its SO not true! I have several friends that do the attacment parenting. And think you just have to do what works for you, not one way or the other. I don't consider myself the "ferber" parent. I just do what works for myself, my husband and ALL of my children. I'm really glad I read it! It taught me a lot about sleep and how it works, and how to start doing more of it!! :) I would recommend this book to any parent, even if its just to educate yourself on what Dr. Ferber REALLY teaches! ...more info
  • My Baby's Ferberlicious
    My four-month old Vanny was a horrible, horrible sleeper until Tuesday night. There were several nights a week over the last month during which he would wake up every forty-five minutes to be rocked back to sleep (which took 20 min a pop, so you can imagine how exhausted he was, I was, and my husband was). He never wanted to eat at night; he just needed help learning to fall asleep on his own. He was also a horrible napper - never sleeping more than 45 minutes during daylight hours. He would never, NEVER, just fall asleep in someone's arms or on the floor/bouncy seat/swing/nursing. He had to be exhausted and held in *just* the right way, swaddled to *just* the right tightness, sucking on MAMA's fingers only, being swung at *just* the right tempo. He would still cry and cry for about 45 min - 1 hr before he would fall asleep, exhausted (just to wake again).

    I tried everything I could think of - wearing him, holding him and walking him all day long, co-sleeping him, rocking him, singing to him, feeding him more, feeding him less, putting him to bed early, putting him to bed late, adding more naps, skipping was insane. Finally, after another night of him waking every 45 minutes all night long and refusing to sleep all day, I agreed to try the Ferber Method for THREE DAYS ONLY. If there was no significant improvement after three days, I would stop. We also decided to get rid of the swaddle (since we were desperate) and I bought him a velboa Sleep Sack.

    The first night, we put him in his bed at 9:30 (an hour after his normal bedtime, so he'd be nice and tired). He cried for one minute. I came into his room and stood over his bed, talking sweetly to him about how much I loved him and how Mommy was going to sleep in her bed all night long, and how Vanny should sleep in his bed, etc for two minutes. Then, I said goodnight and left the room. He cried for three minutes. I came in and repeated the process - he smiled at me and said, "goo," then snuggled into his bed and waved his little fists. After I left, he talked to himself for three more minutes, then slept until 6:55 the next morning.

    He fussed for three minutes the next night, until I came to check on him and reassure him, and then smiled at me, said "goo," and fell asleep the minute I closed his door. Last night, he smiled and laughed when I put him in his bed. He woke up talking and giggling to himself this morning (slept from 8:50 p.m. - 6:30 a.m.). Before Ferber, he would wake up SCREAMING. He was still taking short naps, but about 30 minutes ago, he fell asleep playing on the floor (which is why I had time to write this).

    I know that Ferber doesn't work for everyone, and most people don't have the kind of sleeper that I was given in Van. He was ready, so ready, to learn to sleep on his own, but he needed the chance to do it. I've gone from hours of crying every night, in my arms, to mere minutes (and none at all, last night) of just fussing. It's amazing....more info
  • worked for me!
    My son never really had sleep issues until he about 3 weeks ago when he turned 4 months old. Even though it's tough on me getting up every night to give him a bottle, I didn't really mind that, it was the going to bed that was getting more and more difficult. No matter how many books we read or how long we rocked, he still screamed every night when put in his crib for up to an hour (I would go in and comfort him of course during these times) and then wake up screaming after sleeping for an hour or so. I was worried, thought he was having nightmares. At four months old I wasn't sure if he was just too young to address any sleep issues but I bought the book anyway thinking if he was too young, at least I would be prepared for when he got older. To my surprise, the book addresses babies as young as 3 months old and how they should be sleeping at that point. The funny thing is the first case study addressed in the book was my son to a tee. Of course I wanted to jump ahead and read about how to fix this but I persevered and read the entire book, and found the information very helpful. I do admit, as soon as I go the basic idea, I began to adjust his schedule and changed how he was put down and within 2 days I could see a difference!! The first night was horrible but as the nights went on I had to go in his room less and less, and as of now (it's been about a week and a half) my son goes to bed very easily and is sleeping through the night!! (an added bonus) The book does get a little tedious when talking about the medical aspect of it but overall it was a lifesaver, I already recommended it to to friends....more info
  • Amazing Results!!!!!
    All I can say is WOW! Our 5 month old daughter was not a very good sleeper. She would regularly wake up crying in the middle of the night, and we would have a very tough time getting her back to sleep. After we read this book and began "Ferberizing" her, she started sleeping through the night almost immediately! Now she regularly sleeps for 10 hours straight, even going for 13 hours one Saturday!! Now my wife and I can actually sleep in a little bit on the weekends, and are getting great sleep during the week. And best of all, our baby has never been happier. Because she is so well rested, her awake time is sooo much better! I highly recommend this book!...more info
  • Loved this book!
    This book was not at all about letting baby cry it out. It has systematic steps that I could follow to help my baby learn to soothe himself. I learned how to teach my baby to put himself to sleep. It is amazing what babies can do when you understand them and this book really helps with that....more info
  • I was skeptical, but it works!
    We've been lucky so far with our little daughter, but after having her sleeping in our bedroom (in her own crib) for over 7 months, rocking her to sleep every night and having to get up at least once most nights to feed her, we decided it was time to gradually make her a more "independent" sleeper before moving her to her own bedroom. I didn't like the idea of letting her cry herself to sleep, even if only for a few nights, so at first I tried "The No-Cry Sleep Solution" by Elizabeth PantleyThe No-Cry Sleep Solution: Gentle Ways to Help Your Baby Sleep Through the Night, which offered some helpful advice, but not a "solution" to our baby's dependence on rocking and feeding. So I relented and decided to give the Ferber method a try (although I set a limit to the amount of crying I could put up with - less than half an hour - and luckily our baby would fuss, not even cry, for no more than 15 minutes in total - before falling asleep). Also, following Ferber's advice, I managed to gradually give up the usual middle-of-the-night feeding and she can now fall back asleep on her own even if she wakes up during the night. It has also helped a lot with daytime naps.
    Overall, even if the sleep science theories on which the book is based seem mostly sound to me, every baby is different and I found that Pantley's book pays more attention to this important fact, while Ferber's book is more "detached" and a bit "clinical". I believe Ferber's method works but to avoid putting your baby through a lot of stress, it's crucial that the parents become familiar with their baby's body language (yawning, rubbing his/her eyes, being less active, etc.) and follow his/her clues to decide on his/her bedtime, not just stick to a fixed schedule. I would recommend reading both books before deciding which advice works best for your child and start by using the most gentle ways to get him/her to sleep. I definitely wouldn't use the Ferber method on babies younger than 6 months (for babies 0-3 months old I would recommend "The Happiest Baby on the Block" by Dr. KarpThe Happiest Baby on the Block: The New Way to Calm Crying and Help Your Newborn Baby Sleep Longer).
    ...more info
  • Ferber comes through twice
    My two boys, 3 1/2 years, and 2 years, were both "Ferberized" around 5 months old and it worked like a charm. Back then I learn about the Ferber method through citations in other author's books, magazines, and friends. My 3 1/2 year-old started waking up every night about a year and a half ago. During that time we sold and bought a new house, my husband start his traveling again, both of our brothers were married, etc. But enough was enough so after reading five books on children's sleep this week Ferber once again struck a chord and made sense, especially where it concerned preschoolers. I started "Ferberizing" again tonight and it worked after 15 minutes! I was so excited I had to write this review (the first I've ever written on Amazon). Give me strength for tomorrow night in case this was a fluke....more info
  • I returned this one
    I suggest this those who want to be cruel parents. I immediatly returned this book after understanding Dr. Ferber's method....more info
  • The Answer to Our Prayers
    Like many parents, we were at our wits end trying to get our 8 month old to take naps or go to bed. While she often slept okay through the night besides waking up to feed, bedtime was a long, drawn out, hour long affair filled with stress. We faced each night with dread trying to rock and soothe her till she was out. Naptimes were unheard of.

    We tried "crying it out" by just letting her scream, but that only made matters worse. Finally I decided I was fed up with relying on second hand information and misguided Internet gossip to try and solve our problems. It seemed like everybody who'd ever so much as looked at a baby assumed they must be an expert. So we picked up this book.

    The first thing I could say was that I was surprised at the length. Everyone who'd ever mentioned this book simply truncated it's contents into "let them cry a few minutes then come back and do it all over again". I think I expected it to be 10 pages long. :P

    What I got was a long book filled with the actual facts and information about infants and their sleep cycles that I had been desperately searching for. Doctor Ferber references many examples from his years of experience helping families solve their children's sleep problems in the actual medical facility he has worked through. He references so many different issues that families could have that I had no problem finding examples and situations which applied to our baby, along with specific solutions and OPTIONS for how to treat them. We will be holding onto this book for a long time, as it guides good sleep habits well into the teenage years.

    All I can say is, thank God for this book!...more info
  • tough but it works
    My husband and I were rocking our 4 month old to sleep every night. My husband would come home and i would be on the verge of tears from exhaustion and frustration and our daughter was equally upset. He would then rock and SSHHHH her for over an hour until she was finally alseep enough to put down. After reading this book and one week of practice we put Fiona in her crib and she wimpers a bit but is asleep quickly and wakes up happy. The method is hard i cried so hard the first night less the second but by the third i had it down. Try this book it will change your life!...more info
  • I can't believe it - it worked in 3 nights!!!
    I never thought this would work for our baby, but after trying most of the other techniques - we felt we had to give it a try. Our baby is 6 months old, only sleeps in a swaddle blanket, only sleeps in a rocker chair (similar to a car seat), and was getting up at least twice per night to feed. The night he outgrew his rocker seat (by falling out of it) - we started Dr. Ferbers program. It was extremely tough the first night, but each waking he cried less and it became easier. After 3 nights (and I still have trouble believing this) - he slept without being swaddled, in the crib, from 8pm to 6am straight!!! It has now been 5 nights and he has slept right through 3 of them (the other 2 nights he woke up 1 or 2 times but was only up for 5 minutes at most).
    I'm not sure if this will work for everyone, and I'm not sure what age it can start working. However, if you have a baby that is at least 6 months old and not sleeping through the night - I strongly recommend trying this!...more info
  • This book will help if you put in the effort
    Our 13 month old needed my help going back to sleep 2-3 times each night and her doctor wasn't giving any helpful suggestions. I bought this book and the No-Cry Sleep Solution by Elisabeth Pantley at the same time. While some of the background information about babies' sleep cycles is similar between the books, Solve Your Child's Sleep Problems was exhaustive in the potential causes for ongoing sleep disturbances and emphatic that one should determine all of the causes in order to create a plan that will correct the whole problem. No-Cry Sleep Solution made a small dent in the problem in a few weeks, but within three days of finishing Ferber's book we had our daughter sleeping through the night and napping better during the day.
    I found that by using Ferber's proposed schedule in combination with Dr. Harvey Karp's "Toddlerese" from "The Happiest Toddler on the Block" we were able to get her to settle in just a few minutes when we put her to bed, and while she did still wake and cry the first few nights, she only cried for at most 3 minutes and then went back to sleep on her own.
    I passed along the book to my best friend who says that my sticky notes were in exactly the right places for their situation with their son. I think I have already recommended this book to every friend and acquaintance with a child under three, and one who has a six year old. If you have a child over six months old who can't fall asleep on her own, buy this book....more info
  • Life-saver for exhausted parents
    We were exhausted when we finally bought this book; trying to get the baby to sleep every night was a long battle, and he would only sleep for a few hours at a time. I recommend reading the first 3 chapters as Ferber does (he explains how sleep works - so insightful), then find the chapter that matches your was a fast read this way, which is great for tired parents, and Ferber has loving advice for getting your child to sleep on his own. Our son goes right down for the bedtime now, and though he still wakes up once or twice during the night, it isn't for long and normally he puts himself back to sleep. Overall our lives are so much easier now that we've tried this method. ...more info
  • Has some value
    This method has value, makes sense and does work -- mostly. But it is not the end-all be-all. I recommend this book; it can help. Nothing is "THE" solution, though ...more info
  • Helped my 3.5 month old sleep 11-12 hours a night
    Ferber says "It's entirely reasonable to cut back to two nighttime feedings by the time your child is two or three months of age, one feeding by three or four months, and none at all at five months. Many children give up nighttime feedings altogether around the age of three or four months;basically no normal, healthy full-term babies still require a nighttime feeding when they are five months old, and you can certainly insist on stopping them altogether at that point if you want to."

    Sounds too good to be true? That's exactly what my son did.

    From talking to my friends, it sounds like I won the lottery on the sleep friend since my 3.5 month old son has started sleeping 11-12 hours straight a night. He just started a week ago and he's not completely consistent about this yet, so there are some nights he still wakes up to be fed, but I can happily live with that. I think part of it is genetic & part of it is luck, but I also attribute it to the fact that I obsessed over having him develop healthy sleep habits early on so I could avoid having to "sleep train" or break bad habits later on. Some of things I did as soon as he turned 2 months old:

    - Moved him to his crib in the nursery (before that he was sleeping with me in bed)
    - Did not wake him for feeding during the day (if he slept through a meal, I would just time shift subsequent feedings)
    - Avoided rocking him to sleep
    - Put him down while he was drowsy but still slightly awake
    - Separated the time between his last feeding for the day and bed time (so he didn't need to rely on food to fall asleep)
    - Made sure all his naps and bedtime were in the crib
    - If he fell asleep in a swing, I would turn off the motion so the swing would be still

    Basically, I tried very hard to teach my son how to fall asleep by himself while respecting his demands and need for sleep (i.e., watching for his sleepy cues and letting him sleep for as long as he needed, even during the day).

    The two books I swear by that gave me the necessary methodology are "Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child" by Marc Weissbluth and "Solve Your Child's Sleep Problems" by Richard Ferber. There was some overlap between the two, but I gleaned enough different information from them that I recommend getting both.

    Parents often think that to get their kids to sleep longer at night, they
    should be kept awake for as long as possible during the day so that they become exhausted in the evenings and snooze better. WRONG! Kids actually become "overtired" and can't sleep. Instead, they should sleep as much as they need to during the day and be put to bed earlier -- completely counter intuitive. I used Weissbluth (I know this is a review for Ferber but bear with me) to make sure I paid attention to when my son showed signs of being sleepy and put him down for napping right away. Weissbluth also gives some very helpful descriptions on what to expect (and what to do) when a baby is 0-2 months old, 2-3 months old, etc.

    Ferber is attributed (and in a bad way) for the "cry it out" method, but I think it's because people misinterpret his recommendations. I think he is misunderstood and his methodology isn't as traumatic as people make it out to be. Having said that, I never actually had to sleep train my child or "Ferberize" him. Ferber doesn't recommend this for children until they are four months old, and I wasn't going to even try until he was five months old, but I was able to avoid this altogether.

    Oh, and try to read these books BEFORE you baby is born! These books are not light reading and I made the mistake of tackling them after my darling was born which is tough to do when I had so little "free" time and was horribly sleep deprived. But the effort paid off in spades....more info
  • Offers Insight and Possible Solution For Baby Sleep
    A guide for parents who would like to evaluate their child's current sleep patterns and help them to develop new ones using a modified cry-it out technique. This book is interesting because while it does offer parents a modified "cry-it-out" solution to their baby's sleep problems, it also addresses so many of the other issues baby have when we put them down to sleep. The chapters that include information on sleepwalkng, night terrors, sudden partial wakings, nightmares, bedwetting, headbanging, and sleep apnea are so terrific because they are often not addressed in your everyday "help baby to sleep through the night book." ...more info
  • Helpful for all ages
    I just purchased this book and started reading it last week. Our 6.5 month old has only slept more than 5 continuous hours on 4 occasions. Both my husband and I were exhausted. We travel quite a bit and know it is taking its toll on us as well as our son. After reading this book I feel like I understand what elements we should focus on. We had heard about the Ferber method and tried it prior to reading this book. It worked a little but what we didn't understand was we were not being consistent enough. In the past week we kept a log like the one illustrated in the book and it was amazing how little he was sleeping. He always seemed exhausted. In just one week, we have increased the amount of "quality" sleep he gets by about 4 hours... and the best part is that he goes down at 8pm with no more screams and is able to soothe himself back to sleep when he wakes of up in the middle of the night.

    The book isn't going to tell you anything you haven't heard of... but what it will do is help you put the right situation together for YOUR child because they are ALL so different.

    I am sure I will consult this book as my son gets older... there are tips on how to manage the toddler who won't stay in bed... toilet training toddlers... and again tips on traveling. ...more info
  • The man and his plan make sense
    Prior to reading Solve Your Child's Sleep Problems, I have only heard negative comments about Ferber. "Oh, the 'Cry-it-out-Guy,'" people would comment whenever his name surfaced. However, I was getting desperate. I was tired of waking up at 12:00 am, 1:00 and 2:00 am to resettle my four month old daughter. She seemed to settle back to sleep only when I picked her up, and she nestled into my arms.

    Although I thought his work wouldn't apply to me -- I mean, hey, my baby doesn't have "sleep problems" -- she falls asleep very easily when it comes to naps and nighttime, and I only have to rock her back to sleep in the wee hours. But I realized that this was the problem!

    Babies don't come into this world knowing how to do anything. Think about it: whether we're breastfeeding or bottle feeding, often times a lactation specialist has to come in to teach our babies how to latch on and then they (babies) have to learn how to take a bottle.

    So why would we expect them to know how to sleep?

    Ferber explains just this, giving very informative (and interesting, mind you) info on baby sleep cycles. Through anecdotes and analogies, he explains why "sleep associations" (rocking, holding, pacifiers, superfluous late night feedings) need to be stopped in order to help your baby learn how to fall asleep by himself.

    After reading, I asked myself, "What's my goal?" If it was to simply get my child back to sleep when she woke up, I could surely keep picking her up and rocking her for the next couple of years I suppose. But I realized that my goal is to get her to be able to put herself back to sleep. And Ferber taught me how to do this.

    By putting your awake (but tired) baby down to sleep and consistently checking in on her according to time intervals with which you are comfortable, you essentially teach your little one how to soothe himself or herself.

    This is day two and already I've noticed a remarkable difference. Last night at 7:00 my husband and I put my daughter down, and after 3 minutes of crying, I did a check. Just stood there so she could see me and kept making a "Shhhh" sound. Left after a minute. What followed were 5 minutes of crying. Again, another visit, same deal. More crying followed, but before 10 minutes were up (my next scheduled check), her cries became staggered. They turned into little mumbles. With a quick check on my video monitor, my sweet pea was asleep!

    She woke up for a feeding at 11:30. I treated her wakefulness as interrupted sleep until I realized she had her hungry cry -- you know, the "Nyah, nyah, nyah" sounds. Fed her and didn't see her smiling face until 6:00 in the morning.

    Notice I say smiling. She hasn't spit in my eye or given me the ol' stink eye for that matter.

    We've been following the routine with naps. Ferber includes fantastic help on how to handle naps.

    All in all, do yourself a favor and just get this book. You will notice a difference in literally a couple of days.

    For those people who claim that their child only got more agitated when they came into the room -- well, yes, that did happen. Sometimes my daughter would begin smiling and laughing. I didn't return her enthusiasm, just kept a straight face, shhh'ed and left. I wonder if those people had problems with the program because they went in at the inappropriate times. (In other words, just because your child is making noise doesn't warrant a check-in. He/she needs to be crying or calling for you. As long as your baby is safe -- no arm/leg hanging out of a crib slat, etc... -- those other noises might be attempts at self-soothing and sleep!)

    Hope this helps.

    ...more info
  • Very Helpful - tips worked within the week!!
    After reading just a few of the tips on getting my child to sleep ... we were sleeping through the night that weekend!
    Key take-aways were positive re-inforcement using the gate at their door - bribery after a good night and sometimes just letting him cry it out!
    ...more info
  • It didn't Work
    I was diligent with the methods in this book. However, for the first week he got so scared everytime we left he $#^@ his diaper, after a month of this method, my son was falling asleep faster, but still falling asleep crying and sitting up against his crib rails; he was beside himself in emotional pain; and it made him more anxious and clingy during the day, because he felt abandoned by his parents when he needed them. I had specific problems for which there were no answers in this book. It is not right for every baby. However, less intense, laid back children may respond to this well. I think you have to know your child and do what is right for them. I have had better success with more sensitive methods....more info
  • Worked for me!!
    My husband and I were at the end of our rope. Our daughter is 19 months old, she has been sleeping through the night since she was 2 months old, but she always needed me to rock her to sleep. It was becoming a HUGE problem. She would wake up at random hours in the night and scream, I would go get her and bring her into our bed, which in turn made my husband mad because he couldnt sleep. We were taking advice from ANYONE who would give it. After countless Google searches and reading artice after article, I came across a blog about the Ferber Method. Which in turn led me to

    After reading ALL the reviews on this book, my curiosity got the best of me and I ordered it.

    On a Thursday night, I read the entire book, front to back. This is a MUST for anyone who buys it. My husband and I decided that we would try out the "method" on the next night, Friday.

    I will admit I was very concerned about just leaving my daughter in her room and letting her cry, as most reviewers on here are. And let me assure you, the Ferber Method is NOT just letting your kid cry and cry until she falls asleep. It's called the Ferber "method" for a reason. He gives you a time table, and you can adjust accordingly to however you feel comfortable.

    I decided to do exactly what the table said. 3, 5 and 10 minute intervals. We got ready for bed, 1/2 an hour later than her normal bedtime (thats another tip in the book), and did our ususal routine. I laid my daughter down in the crib, gave her a kiss and walked out. It was HORRIBLE! She screamed and screamed! We stayed consistant with the time table and she was asleep after 45 minutes.

    The next night, we did the same routine, this time only 20 minutes past her normal bedtime. Laid her down in the crib and she was asleep in 30 minutes with very minimal crying.

    The 3rd night, at normal bedtime, she laid down and fell asleep in 10 minutes with no crying.

    This method is amazing. I will recomend it to anyone and everyone having a problem. It has been 1 week today and there have been no problems whatsoever! On Tuesday I started laying her down for her nap time, which i thought would never happen, but sure enough she went right to sleep.

    I already have a waiting list of people wanting to borrow this book, its the best 10 bucks I ever spent.

    If you cant stand to hear you child cry even for one second without consoleing them, then this book isn't for you. As a first time mother, I thought letting my daughter "cry it out" was the worst thing in the world and thought i could NEVER do it, but I did. And you can too! it takes will power.

    For those parents that are on the fence about this book, let me assure you.. You dont just leave your child in the crib to "cry it out" for hours on end. Ferber explains WHY your child has a sleep problem, in our case it was because she was falling asleep by me rocking her and when she wrestled during the night and woke up, just for that split second, i wasn't there and she was scared. There is a time-table chart that you can adjust to wherever you feel comfortable, and last but not least... IT WORKS!!

    I just wish we would have found Ferber sooner. :)...more info
  • Amazing!
    My husband and I had tried pretty much every method for getting our one-year-old to sleep through the night, so I was skeptical that we would get results with this book. The first night he cried for about 15 minutes, and every night after that it was less and less. These days, there's no crying at bedtime. Now he's sleeping through the night (YIPPY!) and naps are great. He seems so much happier and feels so much better now the he gets such good sleep. If you're at your wits end like we were, try this method. You'll be glad you did!...more info
  • A True Ferber Believer
    Many of Ferber's critics have not actually tried his method. One poster accuses Ferber of being mean. What is really mean is allowing an entire FAMILY to continue to suffer sleepless nights without trying to remedy the problem. I tried Ferber's methods 21 years ago with my sleepless colicky son. Within three days, we were all sleeping through the night; what a huge relief! My husband and I thought we were going to die from exhaustion when this book was recommended to us. Bottom line: You don't shirk from training your kids in other ways, so train them to sleep through the night too. It's the truly kind thing to do for all. My son will soon be graduating from college, and I don't think he has any psychological damage from the training. God bless Dr. Ferber for his great gift to parents and children....more info
  • It has worked for us - twice.
    We first picked up this book (reluctantly) when our oldest child was an infant. He's now 3 and a half, and a fantastic sleeper. But we were like so many other parents, exhausted and frustrated with his sleeping habits (or the lack thereof) when he was about 5 months old. We of course hated the idea of letting him "cry it out" so when our pediatrician recommended we read Dr. Ferber's advice, we declined. At first. We'd heard about "Ferberizing" and thought it was cruel. But like so many other people we'd formed those ideas prior to actually picking up the book and reading it.
    But after reading almost everything else out there (seriously) I finally agreed.
    It took one week. Ever since, our son's been a rock star sleeper.
    Now, we have a second child and she's 6 months old. We were back in the same position. And once again, I turned to Dr. Ferber. Different needs, different children, but twice now I have found useful, comforting, solid advice in this book.
    Is it easy to help your child learn to put him or herself to sleep? No. But good parenting rarely is. Crying is not the goal of this book. We don't like it any more than any other loving parent. But for the sake of our childrens' future sleep habits and our own sanity, we have now turned to Dr. Ferber successfully two times. If you've tried everything else out there and are still looking at book reviews maybe it's time to read this.
    FYI - both my children are breastfed and sleep in their own cribs. Just the choice we've made...
    I can't say enough about what this book has done for our family. Thank you Dr. Ferber!...more info
  • Interesting
    I liked the insights that Dr. Ferber gives regarding sleep habits. I found them to be very true with my son. However, most of this book was non-applicable to my situation and so I pretty much just tried his sleep approach. Going in every few minutes on his schedule did not work for my son. He would start getting calmed down and then we would go in and he would start up again. The 2nd night we stopped going in and it worked so much better. I guess you just have to try many approaches to see which will work best with your individual child. There seems to be no "one size fits all" approach. ...more info
  • Much-needed advice for an all-night nursing baby!
    I live in an all-natural, Attachment Parenting town in Vermont where Ferber is a bad word, and "Ferberizing" your child is seen as equivalent to abuse. Before reading this book, I too thought of Dr. Ferber as "The Sleep Nazi." However, I turned to his expertise in desperation when my second baby was nursing every hour or two all night long at six months old. I was on the brink of sanity and needed some concrete help about how to change her sleep habits. This book is well-written, organized and researched, and Dr Ferber is much more mild than I expected given his reputation. His plan of "controlled crying" can be adapted according to parents' and children's needs and temperaments. Within 4 days my six-month old was sleeping 3-4 hour stretches at night-- a huge improvement. And this was without following his plan to the letter (ie. being much more soft-hearted!). If you are struggling with sleep, give Dr. Ferber a chance....more info
  • Great for an parent!
    I first read this book in 1996 when I could not get my first child to sleep more then two hours at a time at night and my son was three months old. I heard about it from other mothers. I loved it! The author had done research on the topic and explain why his approach worked. I used it with the other three child and saw great results. Now, I wanted to share the book with other first time moms and was excited to see it was revised and still being printed. The nice part about this book is it is not just for infants but gives advice for older children having sleeping issues too....more info
  • The Ferber Method Works
    The book delivers on the title. We have been having trouble getting our daughter to sleep at night at various times and for various reasons. The methods in this book are well explained and clearly presented. We have had excellent success using the methods in the book. The whole house is sleeping better, and is much less stressed out....more info