Did You Use The Ferber ‘cry-it-out’ Method To Get Your Child To Sleep?

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Just like the question says, did you use the Ferber ‘cry-it-out’ method on your baby? If so please share your experience.

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17 Responses to “Did You Use The Ferber ‘cry-it-out’ Method To Get Your Child To Sleep?”

  1. We did do the CIO method (though im not sure if all CIO methods are the same hence the Ferber method)
    Anyway, we only did it when we were 100% sure that she was okay & only wanted attention. Sorry I love my daughter to itsy bitsy peices BUT a cranky not well slept mommy has more potential in snapping at the baby the next day for some mundane reason, so for me it was the best choice. I mean 2-3a.m. is just not the time to “hang out” with my baby & id rather her cry for a few minutes then go back to sleep & me also be well rested then go into her room which 9 out of 10 times only further wakes her up-so what might have only been 5 minutes of crying now turns into 1/2 an hour ordeal trying to get her to calm down enough to go back to sleep.
    I’ll probably get a lot of thumbs down-hey to each his own but for me The CIO really helped her (& me)
    *add* & like someone else said-its a method for older kids obviously not infants! it should be used with great discretion, & used properly it can be a life saver! Also babies have “different cries”, I can tell when My baby is crying from pain (gas) , hunger, or just b/c she wants attention & or has thrown all her binky out of her crib (like all 20!) & now wants me to go fetch them (@2 in the morning! LOL)

  2. Lady A says:

    I wanted to try it, but my ex decided it was easier to have him climb into bed with us. As a result he refused to sleep alone until he was seven, I got NO sleep for those seven years and had to wash peed on bedsheets every night. Make the kid sleep in their crib, rock them until they’re almost asleep and put them down.

  3. McMom says:

    God no.
    I want my child to grow up knowing that I love her, and that I don’t stop being her mother when the lights go out.

  4. JessicaA says:

    nope. I will lay with my daughter until she falls asleep. If I lay with her she wont cry and if she does, I pick her up and walk around with her and she falls asleep that way. I could never just let her “cry it out”

  5. gemini81 says:

    Nope don’t like the crying

  6. Nina Lee says:

    Nope & I never will. It’s cruel.

  7. No, I use love and cuddles.

  8. Eva A says:

    After having to sleep on my couch for 4 months and for most of the night an additional 2 months, I did let her cry it out. I didn’t know it was a method, though.
    I just made sure she had everything she needed, was appropriately dressed for the temperature, and soothed her before laying her in the crib. She simply wanted to sleep with me. There was nothing wrong with her. She would start crying as soon as she saw her doorway. It’s probably because I had her sleep with me (by choice) the first 2 months, and you would’ve needed the jaws of life to get her away from me throughout the day. I did everything for her, although Daddy would’ve helped.
    I stayed up and listened for her cry. If she sounded distressed, I went to comfort her. In my case, she just cried angrily when I didn’t get her. It sounded like a tantrum. You can tell by the tone(?) of a baby’s cry if they are hungry, uncomfortable, upset, or just angry. At least, I can.
    After 3 nights, she only cried for 10-15 minutes before falling asleep. After 2 more nights, she cried halfheartedly for the 10-15 minutes. She would cry, but you could hear that she was sleepy and only hoping to get her way. It got increasingly quieter as she fell asleep.
    After 2 weeks, she only fussed for a couple minutes before laying down to sleep. That was normal for her and lasted until she was about a year old.
    When she woke up at night to eat, I didn’t have any problems putting her back in her crib. At 1 year old, she was sleeping for 10-12 hours!
    If she was really upset, I would’ve gotten her. I could tell that she wasn’t. I agree that leaving a child stressed out and crying is wrong, but there are times when they just want their way. I know my child and I know that was all it was in her case.
    I do not recommend leaving a baby to cry when they are obviously very stressed. It probably won’t kill them, but it must be miserable. Also remember that babies swallow a lot of air when they cry. What starts out as crying for attention, may turn into crying from gas pains. Also, I would imagine that loud crying would give them a headache pretty quickly.
    The result: A happy, loving, kind, healthy child who loves her mother and making people laugh. And a wife who got to sleep with her loving husband (in a bed, no less!) after 6 months of back aches. But she was worth it. =)

  9. S&M says:

    No, I could never do that. My little girl still doesn’t sleep through the night at 6 months old, but I want her to know I love and take care of her whenever she needs me or even thinks she needs me. I could never listen to her crying all night just so I could get some sleep, I’d get less sleep listening to her cry than I do now with her waking up and going right back to sleep.

  10. Reese's Mom says:

    Yes, I did. And it was a MIRACLE.
    We did the “controlled crying” where the first night we put her down awake and she of course started to cry. So I (or my hubby) would check on her after 1 minute, then 3, then 5 with 5 minutes being the longest we’d go before checking on her. She cried a total of 12 minutes. Then slept through the night. The next night she cried for 6 minutes and the 3rd night she didn’t cry at all. She now sleeps 12 – 12.5 hours every night. Prior to Ferberizing she was a tired, cranky baby because she was sleeping so poorly (she was colicky and we always rocked her to sleep so she never learned to get herself to sleep). Since Ferberizing she sleeps so well and is super happy because of it. She just needed our help.

  11. Mommy of Thomas & Brody says:

    I used the CIO method with my first son. He was a year and a 1/2 and still not sleeping through the night. I was so mentally and physically exhausted from waking up every 2 hours, I couldn’t take it anymore. My son would always go to sleep on his own fine, it was the waking up every 2 hour I had to break. So one night I turned off the monitor and went to sleep (his room was attached to my room so I could hear everything anyways.) The first night he woke up twice and he cried for about a 1/2 hour each time. I was in my bed crying as well. It was hard for me. But it only took 3 nights before he stopped waking up during the night. Each night his crying got less and less. I know some people think its abuse and blah blah blah. But after a year and a 1/2 of no sleep, it was much needed. And I plan on doing it for my second son if its needed. Not until he’s older of coarse.

  12. Shelby says:

    I noticed your additional details, but I still felt the need to reply…
    We were turned onto a book called Healthy Sleeping Habits, Happy Baby by Dr. Weissbluth. My friend (who has a baby only 3 weeks older than our son) was trying some of the techniques in the book and was telling me that her daughter was much better rested, happier and was sleeping through the night at 12 weeks. She went over some very simple points about babies sleeping habits (that I would never have thought of if she had not metioned them!) and told me that they were working for her and her child. One of them was putting the baby to bed earlier and this would allow them to sleep better and longer. I thouht it was crazy………. but that night (this was my first day back to work and our son was exactly 12 weeks old), I went home and tried some of the techniques!!! He’s been sleeping through the night since then! He now sleeps 7:15/7:30 – 6:30/7:00 a.m. and he’ll be 5 months old on Nov. 4th. I’ve since bought the book and read it and I found it to be very interesting…….
    However, it is controversial because Dr. Weissbluth talks about allowing the baby to Cry It Out and provides many different successful examples of this. BUT – we were lucky enough to ever even have to try this method… and in all honesty, I don’t know if we would have. Maybe we would have tried it briefly, but after a while I don’t know if I could handle it.
    So I guess I wanted to share our experience with the OTHER techniques that some of the experts recommend before having to try the Cry It Out method…. I’d recommend getting a copy of this book and taking from it the methods that work best for you and your baby. I truly attribute the sleep training techniques of this book to the success of our son’s great sleeping patterns!!!!
    He has awoken during the night and we’ve let him fuss for maybe 4-5 minutes and he’ll fall right back to sleep. I don’t think that’s considered crying it out, as he’s really not awake when he does this. Of course, there have been moments when he’s woken up due to a wet diaper, but that’s not the norm! Usually it’s a full nights sleep……….. even now with his cold! He caughs and caughs and doesn’t wake up :-)
    Best of luck – I know I probably didn’t answer it from the right perspective, but maybe it’s allowed you to consider other ideas before having to try the cry it out method.
    Whatever YOU choose to do is what’s right for you and your baby. You’re the mom and you have the motherly instinct… you’ll know what’s best :-)

  13. An Inconvenient Thinker says:

    I have before. It’s hard, but sometimes it is the only thing that will work. I refuse to let my children have control over the situation, and I don’t think it’s cruel. I don’t think it has emotionally harmed either of my children.
    If I know something is wrong with my 17 month old daughter, I will try to make it better. When I can tell she simply wants to be held all night, it’s time for her to go to bed. I have tried bringing her to bed with us, and she thinks it’s playtime. So, after I have exhausted all possiblities of discomfort or pain, she goes back to bed. We had a couple of really rough nights, but it was worth it. She might cry for a minute when I put her down, but she goes to sleep on her own. When she wakes at night, she might settle down and go back to sleep. If she doesn’t, I go check on her, try to find out what’s wrong, and then she goes back down and goes to sleep. Everyone sleeps better, and she knows that she can’t manipulate the situation.
    Cry-it-out does not mean ignore your child all night long. It simply means that children need to be taught from an early age where and how to sleep all night. I have a well adjusted 9 year old who cried it out as a child. I have a 17 month old who has cried it out and still loves me. The way I see it, my mental health depends on me getting a good night’s sleep. When I’m well rested, I can be a better mother.

  14. HeatherJ says:

    We started using Ferber’s method with our son about a week and a half ago. He is 4.5 months old. He was sleeping through the night for several weeks, but then stopped for no reason I could figure out. He is breastfed but also weighs 17.5 pounds so is certainly capable of sleeping through the night without a feeding.
    I talked to my pediatrician about his sleep at his 4 month checkup and she suggested we consider sleep training. I was conflicted about the idea of letting him cry, but the doctor said a few things that really rang out to me -
    1. You are a better parent if you have adequate rest.
    2. Babies must be taught to soothe themselves back to sleep.
    3. It is a parent’s job to set limits; otherwise your child is in charge.
    4. Better sleep is in your child’s best interest too.
    In the end we decided that it would be worth a few bad nights to have mostly good ones going forward. We combined Ferber’s progressive waiting schedule with a gentle goodnight routine. We also shortened the intervals – never went longer than 15 minutes between checks even when Ferber’s schedule goes to 20 minutes plus.
    The first night our son cried for 40 minutes at his longest stretch. The second night he cried for less than 10 and on the fifth night he slept through the night. Now, 10 days in, he does still wake and cry sometimes at night but he never goes longer than those 15 minutes and we never have to go in to him.
    I would advise you to check Ferber’s book out of the library and read some of it first, rather than just reading about it online. Most summaries I read online didn’t really convey all the details I got when I read the book.
    For what it’s worth, my mother is a developmental psychologist and I discussed this method with her before trying it – she tells me it’s based on conditioning methods. Contrary to what opponents may tell you, it is not cruel to let your child cry. A good example that Ferber gives in the book – if your child wanted to play in the street, you wouldn’t let him no matter how he cried. Bad sleep habits can be distruptive and unhealthy and as your child gets older they will only become deeper-rooted and harder to break.
    Good luck.

  15. cathrl69 says:

    Yes, and it was a complete waste of time. My daughter would scream and scream and scream, and never settled herself. Going in and calming her down as soon as she cried worked far better.
    Yes, and it worked within half an hour the very first time I tried it, and I had no further problems – my son would yell three or four times, roll over and go to sleep.
    All babies are different.

  16. Ella's Mamaí says:

    no way, how could you leave a baby crying!? what if there was something wrong..i think its cruel.
    My daughter is 4 months old and sleeps almost straight away when she is put into her crib. She is really well behaved so when she cries, she cries for a reason.

  17. Keara says:

    Hi I found this website as I was looking for info on negatives regarding cry it out.
    I hope I do not sound too harsh , as I realize that all parents are doing the best they can for their child.
    I personally am very against the cry it out method! My son had colic for approx. 3 months when he was born and so therefore had a hard time getting to sleep. He did not sleep more than 2-3hours at a time some nights but even when he slept longer it was many times waking up during the night. My son slept in our room from the time he was born and for us being available all night long made it safer and easier for us to actually sleep .
    I was able to reach over to him and comfort him and he didn’t stY awake long and then either did I . I began learning all about attachment parenting and nighttime parenting when my son was already 5 months old but found that many of the principles I had already been doing intuitively . It has been wonderful for us .being there for my baby created so much comfort and support for him and allowed him to feel safe and that his needs were being met and he mattered.many credible reaserchers and doctors have concluded that babies and young children benefit far more by being constantly nurtured .. Even at night. It creates a trust and a sense of rightness within the child and all of the principles of attachment helped me undrestand the deep and profound importance of giving more than your child needs and basically the provision is greater than the need. I have come to understand that just because a baby finally falls asleep doesn’t neccesarily mean they have soothed , they finally give up and come to learn that their tears are not going to be answered and that is a heartbreak.
    My son has just turned 3 years old. He still sleeps with us as I now firmly believe in co- sleeping and all the benefits. I realize that our approach may seem over the top and certainly not for everyone but my son is so secure and living abd confident. His preschool teacher has shared how happy a child he is abd many many people feel he is so loving and emotionally strong. It is never too late to change things up and add some attachment parening techniques into the arsenal. Even teenagers who have ended up in some pretty negative situations have had incredible turn arounds with the attachment practices. I felt the need to comment and share here to let others know about a different approach. So no I would never let my baby cry anymore than I would leave any human being, whatever their age was be left to cry alone .There are more lovi g ways of dealing with this issue. Yes my own sleep has been compromised some of the time but I didn’t get into motherhood to find an easy way out! Best if luck.

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