when to stop ferber method

If you are following the Ferber method properly and are eager to know “when to stop the Ferber method”? When this tiring phase will come to an end? Read this article. 

We’ll talk about in what situations you can stop following this sleep training method and what to consider before calling it quits. 

Is there a time limit to the Ferber method?

The Ferber method chart is given for 7 days because most babies start sleeping independently by this time using this method. But there is no set limit. You can extend the period of the training depending on the progress of your baby.

Some children have a slow pace of adapting to changes in their lives, so for such kids, you can implement the gentle/Modified version of the Ferber method which goes beyond 2+ weeks.

Also, whether to extend the Ferber method or not, there are two situations. Progress or no progress, depending on the situation on the 8th day of the Ferber method training you have to make a choice.

when to stop ferber method

When to stop the Ferber method?

Following are some signs on which you can decide to stop the Ferber method.

1- When the baby starts to fall asleep independently:

Generally, the Ferber method is for 7 days, and most children learn to sleep on their own in this period. So if your child adapts to the change, learns how to self-soothe himself, and starts to fall asleep independently in 7 days then you can stop the training.

Your child might sometimes cry in the middle of the night even after learning self-soothing and independent sleeping. It doesn’t mean they are not sleep-trained yet.

In that matter, you have to check if everything is alright. If it is, wait for the baby to settle down on their own for at least 10 minutes. 

2- When the baby doesn’t wake up crying during the night:

When your child successfully adapts to the sleep training process, there are high chance that he will rarely cry during the night. So when he comes at this stage you can stop the training and take the coming days normally.

3- If you don’t see any progress in the first 7 days:

It would be quite disheartening for the parents if they do not see a tiny bit of progress in 7 nights. If you feel that the method is not working for your child or causing excessive distress, it may be worth exploring alternative approaches or seeking advice from a pediatrician.

You can read the article “5 Reasons Ferber Method Is Not Working” to get more insights. You might be making any mistake unknowingly. 

4- If your baby becomes sick:

After starting the Ferber method, if you find your baby extremely distressed or sick, you need to stop the Ferber method right away. 

A sick child has to be attended to carefully and kept closely, so no matter how progressive the training is going, you have to stop it the moment your child shows signs of illness.

5- You see Signs of Regression or Trauma in the baby: 

If your child shows signs of regression in other areas of development or displays symptoms of trauma, stress, or fear associated with sleep training. In that case, it’s important to reevaluate the method and potentially stop or adjust the approach.

By adjusting the approach, you can try doing the gentle Ferber method where you can design the progressive waiting interval time on your own.

Do you start over with the Ferber method?

Yes, you can start over if you stopped before for any reason. So once you are out of the situation and sure that everything is falling into place, start the Ferber method all over again.

Alternatives to the Ferber method:

Besides the Ferber method, there are other sleep training methods suggested by the experts. Those methods are equally good, realistic, and have success stories too. Learn more about the alternative to the Ferber method in my blog “Sleep training methods- Ferber method Alternatives”.

Some things to consider before giving up on the Ferber method:

1- Baby’s sleep pattern changes as they grow so it might be possible that there is a clash between the pattern and sleep training.

2- Teething or sleep regression may temporarily stop or slow down sleep training progress. Let’s say you have started the training and your child starts to show signs of teething or sleep regression after a couple of days, the progress may not be up to the mark as it was on the initial days.

Learn more about following the ferber method when the baby is teething.

3- Sleep training progress may not be linear. Some nights might become good at first and then the baby may start protesting. Usually, the night that starts with longer intervals i.e. 3rd and 4th night, will get on your nerves. But you need to be patient and hopeful that these days will also pass.

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Summary:

If you don’t see any improvement in your baby’s sleeping habits for at least 7 days, you can consider following an alternative approach. However, if you see any progress, even if it’s a tiny bit, consider continuing the training for more than 7 days. 

You can stop the Ferber method if the baby becomes sick or is traumatic. 

Before stopping the Ferber method, you must also consider the natural behavior of the baby and the expectations of this method.

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