gentle modified ferber method

Ferber method seems to be very promising but not all parents like the idea that their baby will keep crying for a lot of “minutes”.

But luckily, you don’t have to follow the exact Ferber chart to sleep train your baby effectively.

You can modify the typical process as per your requirements.

In the blog, we are going to discuss what is modified ferber method or gentle ferber method.

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What is the Gentle Ferber method:

The “Gentle Ferber Method” appears to be a modified version of the Ferber method that emphasizes a softer approach.

You can check on your child according to his temperament in this approach. 

For example, if your child is generally demanding in other stuff and wants to be with you all the time, then you can consider implementing a gentle version of the Ferber method.

You can modify the intervals as per your and baby’s tolerance.

For example, if you feel that progressive waiting intervals are too long, you can shorten them.

Also, the rule of not picking up the child during comforting remains the same, however, you can comfort the child a little longer.

Generally, it is less than 2 minutes, in a gentler version you can take it up to 5 minutes to comfort the child.

You can create your own modified ferber method chart (I’ll share an example later in this article) but be sure to follow it.

Sticking with the plan is the most important step of sleep training.

How long does the gentle ferber method take to work?

Don’t forget that the gentle version of the Ferber method may take longer than usual to sleep-train the child.

The process can go up to 3 weeks or a month, so if you have the stamina to take up the training for up to 1 month then you can follow the gentle version of the Ferber method.

Modified Ferber method / gentle Ferber method tips:

Here are a few important tips to follow the gentle Ferber method effectively:

1- Flexible Approach: 

Be open to adjusting the method based on your child’s reactions.

If your child is extremely upset, you can go in to comfort them sooner than the standard waiting interval.

The key is to provide comfort and reassurance while still encouraging them to learn self-soothing skills.

2- Shorten the interval time:

If your child is responding well to the shorter intervals, you can still increase the waiting time each night but do so in smaller increments.

For example, you might increase the waiting time by 2 minutes instead of 5.

3- Take a gradual approach:

Even while following the gentle Ferber method, you must follow a gradual approach.

The progressive waiting intervals should increase gradually.

4- Comfort the child a little longer:

Comfort for a little longer but try to gradually transition from intense comforting like rocking and nursing to soft comforting like rubbing, patting, and saying comfort words. 

You can also gradually decrease the comfort timings and come under the rule of less than 2 minutes of comfort but this has to be gradual.

5- Use comfort items such as a lovey:

You can offer your child a lovey when he wakes up and cries at night. (Remember that the lovey is only allowed for the babies who can roll over on their own).

Lovey is a playable and cozy blanket that usually has an animal and it helps the children overcome stress during transitions like sleep training, sickness, or anxiety.

6- Consistent bedtime:

The bedtime should be consistent no matter what, Even if you have opted for a modified Ferber method.

Consistency at bedtime will help the child to create a sleep cycle and he will be automatically tired and sleepy when bedtime approaches. 

7- Bedtime rituals:

Adding some bedtime rituals will help the child to sleep peacefully.

A gentle massage with calming massage oil followed by a warm bath and breathable clothes can help a child to relax.

Some soft lullabies with gentle stroking of hair while the child feeds would be a great idea too.

8- Be consistent with the training:

Since you have opted for the gentle Ferber method, make up your mind that it can take up to 3 or more weeks to sleep-train the child, so you need to be consistent and patient throughout the journey.

Modified Ferber method chart (example):

Here is an example modified ferber method chart. The waiting intervals and the increment in the intervals are too small that makes this approach gentle for the baby.

DaysFIRST CHECK-IN AFTERSECOND CHECK-IN AFTERTHIRD CHECK-IN AFTERSUBSEQUENT CHECK-IN AFTER
DAY 12344
DAY 23455
DAY 34566
DAY 45677
DAY 56788
DAY 67899
DAY 7891010
DAY 89101111
DAY 910111213
DAY 1011131616
DAY 1112151818
DAY 1213172020
DAY1314192222
DAY 1415202424
DAY 1516222626
DAY 1617242828
DAY 1718262929
DAY 1819283030
DAY 1920303030
DAY 2022303030
modified ferber method chart
gentle ferber method chart
example

This example of the gentle Ferber method shows that every interval is shorter as compared to the standard Ferber method. So parents who think that their child will not be able to compete at the pace of the original Ferber method intervals can follow this modified version of the Ferber method. 

They can extend the training until the baby gets used to the original Ferber method waiting interval that is up to 30 minutes of waiting.

Since the above plan is for 20 days if you are willing to stretch it for a month then you can re-modify it and shorten the interval much more according to your ease.

Read more about the ferber method

Summary:

The modified Ferber method or gentle Ferber method is a modified version of the Ferber method. It consists of short waiting intervals compared to the standard approach.

You can create your chart according to your child’s temperament and your preferences.

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