is ferber method cruel

Is the Ferber method cruel? Is it harmful? Am I doing bad with my baby? These kinds of questions are very common when parents consider following this method. 

However, the answer largely depends upon your own thinking. For some people, the Ferber method is a life-saver while some don’t like the idea of letting the child cry. 

To decide, whether the Ferber method is cruel or not, you must understand how this method works. You must also understand the benefits of the method your baby is getting before deciding if it’s bad. 

Let’s talk about the Ferber method in detail. 

What is the Ferber method:

The Ferber method, also known as the graduated extinction method, is a sleep training method introduced by Dr. Richard Ferber. 

This method is used by parents to train their children to sleep through the night. In this approach, it allows the child to cry for a progressive interval of time before they receive comfort from the parents. 

The main idea is to train a child to self-soothe and fall asleep on their own while they go to bed or if they wake up in the middle of the night.

Each night the progressive waiting interval time increases, with the goal of helping the child develop a self-soothing skill and become a consistent sleeper. 

The Ferber method usually takes a week but it sometimes goes beyond depending on the temperament of the child and the consistency of the training.

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Is the Ferber method cruel?

There has been a great debate about whether the Ferber method is cruel for the child as it involves crying which can traumatize the child in the long term. 

I would like to add that since the Ferber method involves the parent’s intervention after a certain time interval, it gradually trains the child to self-soothe but the child knows that the parents will be there after a certain time. Unlike the cry-it-out method, where the parents do not intervene and let the baby cry and learn to get quiet and self-soothe by himself.

Health and development experts all around the world agree that when a child goes to sleep or gets up in the middle of the night they need attention and love, and in the Ferber method they eventually receive comfort and attention which isn’t cruel to the children. 

Since learning how to sleep independently is an important life skill and developmental milestone, using the Ferber method for sleep training is safer and a mild way to excel in this transition.

The families who have implemented the Ferber method on their children have observed some awesome benefits:

1-Children learn to sleep faster when they go through sleep training using the Ferber method.

2-Children tend to sleep longer and wake less at night.

3-The Ferber method generally gives less stress and fatigue to the parents during the training.


“Is the Ferber method cruel? The Ferber method is not cruel as you are not letting your baby cry for a long time. The child receives so much love and attention while learning to self-soothe. Moreover, the results are good for the baby as they will learn to sleep on their own, they will sleep better and for longer which is eventually good for their growth.

Moreover, if the parents get some rest (after the baby is sleep-trained) they will take better care of the baby during the day as they will be less tired.”

Is the Ferber method harmful?

A short period of crying helps children vent out, settle down, and fall back to sleep easily. When the parents use the Ferber method, it enhances the natural ability to self-soothing in the children which helps them to fall asleep again.

Remember, every child is different, and the Ferber method may not work for everybody but as long as you as a parent show affection, love, and care for the rest of the day, your baby will be fine with some of the crying session at night.

Is Ferber’s method bad?

Is ferber method bad? The answer totally depends on the parents and the temperament of their child. As parents know their child closely, the decision should be based completely on analyzing and understanding the child’s needs and the parent’s own comfort level.

If you’re considering sleep training through the Ferber method, it’s a good idea to research it, talk to experienced parents, and consult with medical professionals to make an informed decision that aligns with your values and parenting style.

Read the book:

I highly recommend reading the Ferber method book so you can completely understand the approach of Dr. Ferber and decide on your own whether this method is good or bad for your child and you. 

Reading the book will give you complete insights of this method. When you will read the information given by Dr. Ferber himself, it will be so much different from searching over the internet. 


Solve your child’s sleep problem by the very own Dr. Richard Ferber himself is the ultimate guide you need if you are planning to implement the Ferber method. This well-structured and deep guide is for parents who want to seek a solution for the most challenging issue of their child’s life which is sleep.

Dr. Ferber has addressed various sleep-related concerns of babies from birth and has given insightful advice and strategies to overcome the struggle of sleepless nights. One key component of his book is that Dr. Ferber has presented the Ferber method in the most compassionate and non-judgmental manner and has addressed all the misconceptions, concerns, and rumors about the Ferber method so that the parents can make informed decisions about the child.

The tone he has set in the book is quite understandable and empathetic in that it does not make the parents open Google and search for the medical terms. This ultimate sleep guide is an absolute must-have.

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