My baby’s sleeping routine now that she’s 3 months old has changed drastically and I don’t know why. By 3 months she should be sleeping longer not less right?
Want to see a bunch of new moms come to blows faster than teams in a Stanley Cup playoff? Mention infant sleep training – and then talk about Richard Ferber. We review his ideology so you can pick a side for the fight. Just remember, you are the parent and your own instincts blended with your baby’s cues cannot be preached at by anybody, no matter how much of an offence they can play. (And moms also reserve the right to change their mind if their first choice doesn’t work). Here is an overview of Baby Sleep Methods from Richard Ferber.
The Ferber Method
Infant sleep problems are what a lot of parents are normally confronted with as a challenge in raising their children. Dr. Richard Ferber, in an attempt to help solve these problems proposed a couple of methods to be used in sleep training for infants and children. These methods are now popularly referred to as Ferberization techniques. In a nutshell? The parent leaves the baby to cry for a predetermined time before giving external comfort that will put the baby to sleep.
The wide array of techniques for infant sleep training as proposed by Richard Ferber includes taking steps to prepare the baby for sleep. This involves a number of day time and bed time activities – a routine that the baby can easily associate with sleep. It also entails leaving the child in bed and leaving the room at bedtime. The parent can return to comfort the baby at progressively increasing intervals without picking the baby up. This should be done till the baby falls asleep. As the days go by, the intervals for returning to comfort the baby should be increased progressively. Ferber is often misunderstood. He does condone flexibility, such as when a child is ill, traveling or has a babysitter, but stresses the importance of the routine and the lack of positive reinforcement that a baby receives for crying in order to be soothed to sleep.
The Sleep Training Controversy
This ‘training’ usually takes place between 4 and 6 months of age. However, different parents may get different results using these techniques. The controversy comes about when experts try to determining whether infants become insecure and are scarred for the future if they are left to cry at all.
Whatever your opinion, bringing up the topic in a group of new moms is always quite exciting. Just be prepared to win or lose friends..
For more information about training a baby to sleep, visit: www.childrenshospital.org
Many overtired parents wonder the same thing – when should my baby be sleeping through the night?
Unfortunately there is no easy answer to this question. It really depends which definition of sleeping through the night you are trying to achieve as sleeping through the night means different things to different people. A baby can sleep longer stretches of sleep based on their age and weight.
Q – My baby is 10 months old and I am still up every 3 hours all night. I think I need to get some sleep in order to function properly during the day. How can I get my baby to sleep?
A – The way that your baby falls asleep is probably the way that your baby has to return to sleep during their night wakings. So you would want to start making changes at bedtime and then again do the same thing at all night wakings. You will have to teach your baby to fall asleep without props so that they can learn to return to sleep when they next wake up. The type of method that you could use would depend on a couple of factors but the underlying key in any method is for them to go into their crib aware – sleepy but awake.
Q – What are some gentle methods I can use to encourage sleep if I don’t feel comfortable letting the baby cry?
A – It’s very hard to train a baby to fall asleep by themselves without some crying as very often you are changing what the baby knows. As an example if the baby is used to being nursed to sleep and you would like to teach them how to fall asleep by themselves they will cry on the first night whether you are in or out of the room as they are naturally responding to the changes that you have made of not nursing them.