ferber method rules

Being a new parent is exciting, but it can be really tiring when your baby doesn’t sleep well. That’s where the Ferber Method can help. Dr. Richard Ferber created this method to make babies and parents sleep better. 

In this article, we’ll explain the important “Ferber Method rules” in a super easy way. These rules will teach your baby how to sleep better, so everyone in your family can rest and be happy.

1- No picking up

In the Ferber Method, it’s a big rule not to pick up your baby when they cry while you’re teaching them to sleep better. This is because the Ferber Method is about showing your baby how to sleep without your help.

When you pick up your baby every time they cry, they might get used to being held by you to fall asleep. The Ferber Method aims to help your baby learn to calm down and sleep on their own without always needing you there.

It can be hard not to pick up your crying baby, but following this rule can lead to better sleep for both you and your baby in the long run.

However, in some cases you have to pick up the baby such as nursing or in case of emergency i.e. when the baby becomes sick. You can pick the baby for these reasons but make sure you put them to bed while they are drowsy but still awake.

Read more:
* Ferber method for breastfeeding baby
* Ferber method when the baby throws up

ferber method rules

2- Strictly following the progressive waiting intervals

In the Ferber Method, you have to wait for a bit before you go to your baby when they cry. You start with a short wait, like 5 minutes, and then wait longer each time, like 10 minutes. This helps your baby learn to sleep without needing you right away.

If you don’t follow these waiting times, it might be tougher for your baby to learn how to sleep on their own. So, it’s important to follow this plan to help your baby become a better sleeper without you always being there.

Here are the ferber method progressive waiting intervals:

ferber method chart

3- No prolonged comforting

In the Ferber Method, it’s important not to comfort your baby for extended periods when they cry during sleep training. You should limit the comforting time to a maximum of 2 minutes.

The reason behind this rule is to help your baby learn how to fall asleep independently. If you provide lengthy comforting, your baby might become too reliant on your presence to sleep. The Ferber Method is designed to encourage your baby to become more self-sufficient at bedtime.

So, you offer comfort but make sure it’s brief, not exceeding 2 minutes. This approach guides your baby to self-soothe and become a better sleeper without depending on you for extended comfort.

4- Dont let the baby to sleep in arms or lap:

The Ferber Method encourages you to help your baby learn to sleep on their own. To do this, it’s essential to put your baby in their bed when they’re feeling sleepy but not fully asleep. This approach helps your baby become more self-reliant in their sleep and not depend on you to fall asleep.

5- No eye contact:

In the Ferber Method, it’s a clever trick not to look into your baby’s eyes when they cry during sleep training.

Why? Well, when you make eye contact, it can make your baby more awake and active, making it harder for them to fall asleep. The Ferber Method’s main goal is to teach your baby to snooze like a champ on their own. By skipping the eye contact, you’re creating a peaceful and cozy sleep environment, which is a big deal in this method.

6- No intense comforting:

In the Ferber Method, they suggest not using strong comforting techniques, such as rocking your baby to sleep.

Why is that? Well, it’s all about helping your baby become a little sleep superhero! If you rely on intense comforting like rocking, your baby might need it every time they wake up during the night. The Ferber Method is all about teaching your baby to be a confident sleeper on their own.

So, by avoiding the intense comforting, you’re helping your baby become a sleep superstar, and that’s a win for everyone in the family!

6- Modify as necessary:

In the Ferber Method, you can be a bit flexible with how long you wait before comforting your baby if they’re really upset. But once you decide on these new waiting times, it’s crucial to stick with them.

This rule offers some room to adjust when things are tough for your baby, which is different from the usual Ferber Method rules. The key is to balance being understanding of your baby’s needs while also helping them become better sleepers on their own.

So, you can adapt, but once you make a plan, be consistent to give your little one the best chance to sleep well and feel secure.

Find out more about the modified ferber method here. 

7- Follow for at least 7 days:

Just like when you start a new game, it might take a few rounds to get the hang of it and start having fun. The Ferber Method is kind of like that. To see if it helps your baby sleep better, you should stick with it for about a week.

This rule is all about being patient and giving the method a fair chance. Sometimes, it takes a little time, like seven days, to see if it’s making a positive difference in your baby’s sleep. So, keep trying it out and see how it goes before deciding if it’s the right choice for your family.

If the Ferber method is not working in seven days, you can even go beyond it.

baby sleeping

8- Dont start for less than a 4-6 month-old baby

The Ferber Method is like a special tool, and it works best for babies who are a bit older, usually around 4 to 6 months old.

Think of it like a bicycle with training wheels. When you’re learning to ride, you need to be a certain size and age to use those training wheels effectively. In the same way, the Ferber Method is most helpful when your baby is a bit older. 

Even I recommend not starting the training until the baby is 6 months old. Because at this age babies start to follow a regular sleeping pattern and start eating solids. These factors make the training easier and more effective.

Read more: Ferber method for 4 month old.

9- No staying in the room

It’s important for parents not to stay in the room with their baby when trying to help them sleep.

this rule is about giving your baby some space and time to learn how to sleep alone. It might feel a bit tough, but it can lead to better sleep for everyone in the long run.

If you need to sleep train the baby in the same room, read this article.


In summary, the Ferber Method is a helpful way to teach babies and parents good sleep habits. By following its rules, like not picking up the baby right away and using waiting times, you can help your baby learn to sleep by themselves.

It might not be perfect for everyone, but it’s worth trying for at least a week. With patience and following the guidelines, the Ferber Method can make nights more peaceful and keep everyone happy.

Featured Posts:

10 Clever Tools (GADGETS) for Moms Of Newborns & Toddlers (Game-Changers)

8 Cool Things That Ensure A Baby’s Restful, Deep Sleep

15+ Expert Sleep Training Tips For Super Restful Nights

Find out complete ferber method guide here.

Similar Posts