Ferber Method - how exactly does it work?!

(20 Posts)
EmmaOvary Tue 16-Feb-21 20:33:57

Hi, first time mum with a nearly 9 month old. He goes down ok but then wakes frequently throughout the night, sometimes at hourly intervals and we are exhausted, hence trying the Ferber Method.

My question is for the intervals, I know for the 1st night it's 3 mins, 5, 10 and 10 thereafter but is that throughout the night or for each crying episode, ie until he stops? Do I need to start over 3,5,10 etc each time or just carry on with the 10 min intervals? Any positive stories also welcomed from a very frazzled mum, thanks in advance.

OP’s posts: |
MonicaGellerBing Tue 16-Feb-21 20:38:48

In my opinion 9 months old is far too young for cry it out. All it teaches your baby is that you won't attend to him when he cries. He's obviously waking for some reason, comfort, teeth, temperature.

minniemango Tue 16-Feb-21 20:46:27

Does he go down awake/alone at bedtime?

EmmaOvary Tue 16-Feb-21 20:51:56

@minniemango yes he is drowsy and I put him down in his crib. Sometimes he fights it but a lot of the time he just drops off, it's the waking up later that's the issue.

OP’s posts: |
brokengate Tue 16-Feb-21 20:53:45

If you google Ferber method and then look at images you get the chart from the book.

First night would be 3, 5, 10 then 10 for any reawakening.

I did it at 14 months. It did work after two nights. The improvement in Dd for a good nights sleep far far outweighed the crying. I also realised the difference between her distress cry, which of course I go straight to, and her angry cry, which is what I was actually getting.

I did play about with it slightly, stayed in hall, out of sight. Made a huge fuss and explained it in basic terms. New pillow, big girl, new night light. Very, very strict bedtime routine. Worked well for her.

EmmaOvary Tue 16-Feb-21 20:56:14

@brokengate thank you, that's made it clearer for me. The charts I saw were a tad confusing. Good to know you had a positive result.

OP’s posts: |
brokengate Tue 16-Feb-21 21:01:22

The book is about ten I think. Most of it you can get on Google. It was a last resort after 14 months of wakening every 20 minutes. I actually felt really guilty and stupid when it worked so quickly for her. Her development, behaviour, mood, everything just improved because she was sleeping. I totally confused overtired with wide awake.


latheritup Tue 16-Feb-21 21:02:04

I did it at 10 months and worked a treat. Took a few nights but she sleeps through now smile

2021isalsorubbish Tue 16-Feb-21 21:14:29

Worked a treat for us too. Did it at 6 months and DS is now 2 and has slept through the night ever since. Ignore the 'mums must sacrifice themselves' brigade that will pile on here. Good luck, hope it goes well

EmmaOvary Tue 16-Feb-21 21:17:10

Thank you everyone . We are two hours' in and I think I'm crying as much as the baby. This is rough.

OP’s posts: |
Incrediblytired Tue 16-Feb-21 21:23:30

I did it for every night waking too.but I did jo frosts version and I did spend time settling her properly, rather than just walking in and out.

Groinpainruiningmylife Tue 16-Feb-21 21:59:13

Did it at 7 months for both of mine and it worked, after a few days they were sleeping 7-7.

Hope it works for you Op!

ShirleyPhallus Tue 16-Feb-21 22:02:03

We did it too. First night was tough, she pretty much slept thorough from night 2/3

Life changing. Stick with it even though it’s tough. Good luck!!

mimichou Wed 17-Feb-21 04:56:37


In my opinion 9 months old is far too young for cry it out. All it teaches your baby is that you won't attend to him when he cries. He's obviously waking for some reason, comfort, teeth, temperature.

I second this! And then on top of that it sometimes makes sleep worse and you had to redo it all over again. I had few friends who did this and each time there’s a regression it becomes so much harder to put baby to sleep because baby associates sleep to separation.

But of you do you !

Iggly Wed 17-Feb-21 05:09:22

I would suggest reading his book. People pick on the actual crying out/timing but miss the context.
He talks about the difficulty of changing a sleeping environment and sleeping cues and ruling out any medical causes. It’s not a magic fix.

9 months is also classic sleep problem age.

EmmaOvary Wed 17-Feb-21 08:49:42

Well, we survived the first night. He woke about an hour after being put down, then there was a sticky period at 2.30am when he was awake for an hour and we went in at intervals, then he woke at 6.30 but only grizzled for a few mins before falling asleep again. This is far less than usual which makes me think that my comfort feeds at night are causing painful wind. He's chirrupy and in excellent spirits this morning and I can't believe he went all night without a feed and was chatting when he woke up so clearly he isn't waking due to hunger.

OP’s posts: |
FizzingWhizzbee123 Wed 17-Feb-21 10:40:50

Is this a new behaviour or has been ongoing for months? Just because there’s a big sleep regression around 8/9 months, often linked to crawling and cruising. My DS hit it hard and we had a horrific 6 weeks but then it just suddenly passed by itself. If it’s relatively new, could just be a developmental phase?

FizzingWhizzbee123 Wed 17-Feb-21 10:41:28

Also a lot of desperation anxiety around 9 months old as they learn object permanence (that you exist when they can’t see you).

FizzingWhizzbee123 Wed 17-Feb-21 10:41:44

*separation (not desperation!)

EmmaOvary Wed 17-Feb-21 11:36:21

@FizzingWhizzbee123 He's always been a frequent waker. It got worse around 4 months and has never really improved. My gut feeling was that the night feeds were causing wind as sometimes he would be twisting about and farting, but boob was the only thing to get him back to sleep. Not having a feed at night last night seems to have meant fewer wake ups. So far he doesn't seem to be affected by separation anxiety, but we are with him 24/7!

OP’s posts: |

Join the discussion

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.

Join Mumsnet

Already have a Mumsnet account? Log in