So letting your infant lay alone it his/her crib crying to the point of exhaustion until he/she falls alseep isn’t a good method? The father of the popular Ferber method, Dr. Richard Ferber, is changing his tune. He now says that different methods should be used with different children and that the CIO method won’t work on children with anxiety.
According to Ferber his method is often misunderstood. Well let’s see:
Once you put her in bed, leave the room. If she cries, wait a certain amount of time before you check on her. (The suggested waiting time, which Ferber charts in his book, is based on how comfortable you are with the technique, how many days you’ve been using it, and how many times you’ve already checked on your baby that night.) When you do go back to her room, soothe her with your voice but don’t pick her up, rock her, or feed her.
This excerpt is from a BabyCenter.com article entitled “The Ferber Method Demystified” Dr. Ferber is part of their experts panel.
I’m not really sure how this could be misunderstood. The idea is that you place your child alone in their crib and then when they cry you don’t pick them up or comfort them, except with your voice and anyone who has every tried to soothe a crying baby, with just their voice, knows how effective just their voice is. To me this is cruel, not only to the child but to the parents as well. I have not yet met anyone who has used this method and was not torn apart, listening to their child cry for hours on end.
Here’s my two cents. Children are people, just like adults. Most adults I know have chosen to couple up and have someone in bed next to them. Those same adults have trouble sleeping when that person is not there. Children are the same way. They spend nine months in the womb attached to their mother and then when they come out it is expected that they will sleep alone in their crib. That is ridiculous. Children, like adults, need that closeness and comfort that comes with falling asleep in their parents arms.
Ferber’s method also does not take into account the fact that infants stomachs are too small to last the entire night with out eating. Many infants nurse/bottle feed several times during the night not just for comfort but for sustenance. Denying an infant food when it is hungry, is cruel. It is this idea that infants shouldn’t nurse or bottle feed during the night that causes parents to do other detrimental things such as putting rice cereal in bottles or starting solids too early in hopes that the child will not wake to eat. Neither of these has been proven to affect sleep.
I’m glad that he is softening his position because he has the ear of many parents. Hopefully his new book will bring about a kinder, gentler Ferber method and stop the current “Ferberizing” trend of letting infants cry them selves to the point of exhaustion.