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Solve Your Child's Sleep Problems

3.92  ·  Rating details ·  2,480 ratings  ·  364 reviews
The completely revised and updated edition of the all-time bestselling book on children’s sleep problems, with important new insights and solutions from Dr. Richard Ferber, the nation’s leading authority on children’s sleep problems.

Does your child have difficulty falling asleep? Wake in the middle of the night? Suffer sleep terrors, sleepwalking, or nighttime fears? Have
Paperback, Revised, Expanded, 464 pages
Published May 23rd 2006 by Touchstone (first published 1985)
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3.92  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,480 ratings  ·  364 reviews

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Oct 31, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: parenting, favorites
I've read every baby sleep book there is. EVERY. DANG. ONE. Most of them made me feel like a horrible parent who, despite her best efforts, was doing absolutely everything wrong and ruining my child. Or they made me feel horribly frustrated, with all their claims of "Our method works! On every baby! EVERY SINGLE BABY IN THE UNIVERSE!" and then, shocker, my baby was still up and crying all night, leading me to assume that something was horribly wrong with either me or him. This was the book that ...more
May 07, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: All parents. Just read it at least.
Shelves: glad-i-read-it
Dang it if it doesn't work! We put this book off as a last resort to get our 6-month-old to sleep through the night. She was waking up every hour. We tried all kinds of "no cry" solutions for 2 months with little to no change; but Ferber had her sleeping through the night in a week and a half (it would have been quicker than that but I was too chicken to follow the rules completely--I wish I had).

Definitely read it at least. I was completely misled by all the myths out there and found it to be f
This is one that I consult every day in my work as a therapist. On page 19 is a chart that gives the recommended hours of sleep for each age of your child. I find that almost all of the children who are brought to me for therapy are chronically sleep deprived, some by three hours or more. If your child is having difficulty concentrating in school, has behavior problems, is irritable, defiant, etc., I would recommend looking first at mundane things like adequate rest, exercise, and a healthy diet ...more
Nov 18, 2008 rated it did not like it
Shelves: parenting
I read this when Zeke was a baby and someone recommended it. I found it to be concise, scientific and not nearly as bad as some had made it out to be. Hence my first baby was "ferberized".


I have since learned that his science is faulty and not based on the traditional cycles of "normal" infant sleep at all. When I was doing this with my first son, I would watch the clock in pain until I was allowed to go in and comfort him. He slept
"through the night" at six weeks (5 hour stretches)
May 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I'm sleeping. Baby's sleeping. Best. Book. Ever.
Sep 13, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: All parents
Love him or hate him, Ferber's method actually works! I wasn't sure if we would try it or not because my son's a pretty good sleeper anyway, but one night he decided that there was nothing we could do to help him fall asleep, so we tried it that night. He cried for only 40 minutes the first night before falling asleep and slept for 8 hours straight. He's continued to sleep through the night most nights for 9-10 hours without waking. Best of all, no fighting at bedtime and naptime. We just
Dec 17, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Parents
In my opinion, Ferber gets a bad rap in the media. This book isn't about making your child cry for hours on end, but rather about deciphering what is interfering with your child's sleep, and helping you create a plan to address it. There is lots of research/data about sleep in here that is good to read even if you're not looking to implement any of his plans for addressing sleep issues. We used his plan with my 26 month old when she was a baby and now my 5 month old and it really works. I feel l ...more
Dec 14, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2012
Dr. Ferber must not be happy about the demonization of his name to make it synonymous with "locking your kid in a room all night to cry himself to sleep." In no part of this book does he ever suggest this, and he is actually much more compassionate than how he is portrayed in Parental Circles. His central point is that babies may have inappropriate associations with falling asleep, and if those associations are not altered, they may turn into long term sleeping problems.

The Ferber method worked
Jennifer Rachal
Aug 10, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: babies-kids
Okay, I was skeptical. I'd read Happiest Baby on the Block (which I liked) and lots of other semi-okay baby sleep books, but I was terrified of Ferber. Every mom who has heard the term "Ferberized" has shuddered at the thought of leaving her baby alone to cry it out. But after weeks of working with my daughter (she was only a year then) I decided to check this book out from the library - God forbid I'd actually buy it! What a pleasant surprise this book was - straightforward, smart, and a pletho ...more
Koray Al
Aug 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
My main purpose of reading this book was of course what's written at the cover. But after a while even though the content of the book is aimed for children, it actually covers all ages. So, now I'm not only reading possible causes of the issues regarding my kid's sleep, I'm also learning how it works, what it's affected by and what to focus on to pinpoint possible causes.

Each chapter has several previous problematic experiences of families with children from different phases of development. Then
This is the book that worked for us.

We met with a sleep physiologist for our 3.5 year old because we just couldn’t take it anymore. Bedtime was awful, nighttime wakings were awful, and mornings were awful. She suggested this book and everything clicked as we read it. It covers so many scenarios, unlike the books that say, “just do this, it works for every child.” NOTHING works for every child.

I never would have picked up this book to read on my own because I knew Dr. Ferber as the “cry-it-out” d
Apr 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Kimberly by: Lauren
I do not give 5 stars lightly. Perhaps I just read this book at the right time. I read a slew of sleep/baby books while I was pregnant (Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child; The Baby Whisperer; a book about Dr. Sears' view on co-sleeping; etc.). I read this book when my son was 6-months-old and it was perfect timing. We had been attempting to keep a fairly regular yet still flexible schedule since about three months, so we had a good nap/bedtime routine, but our son needed a pacifier to fall asleep ...more
Mar 18, 2015 rated it really liked it
First, if you don't want to be pee-in-your pants scared, then don't read the section on sleep walking at night by yourself. It is the stuff nightmares are made of.

Second, judging by the comment I left myself, I was one of those parents who erroneously thought of Ferber as the "cry it out" guy. Nope. He does not advocate complete extinction (ie: put your child to bed, close the door and don't go in until the morning).

My first child was a relatively good sleeper... excepting a few nights here and
Nov 11, 2011 rated it really liked it
So, I read what I needed to at this stage in the game (4 months into parenting), and I will go back as needed, as The Bean's habits change.

Ferber often gets a bad rap, and most people who know of him think he's all/just about letting your kid cry it out. The book is actually more nuanced and compassionate than that, and I found his discussion of sleep cycles pretty illuminating and helpful. My baby can fall asleep without nursing, which is great, since it not only means Daddy can be The Bedtime
Feb 07, 2009 rated it it was amazing
I checked this book out from the library when my son was 2 1/2 years old, sleeping in our bed, and keeping everyone from getting decent sleep. I am soft hearted and hate to hear a child cry, so I kept trying to tough it out and do the Dr. Sears approach, which for me meant getting very little sleep and being a grouchy mommy during the day. After 2 1/2 years of sleep deprivation, I finally broke down and read the Ferber book. My only regret is that I didn't read it much earlier. It wasn't nearly ...more
Emilia P
Jan 30, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: real-books
From skimming this tome, I learned that my kid basically does not have sleep problems and I should calm the hell down. :) I can see it being useful, and I'm basically a cry-it-outer-as-long-as-it's-not-ramping-up-to-freak-out-territory-unless-i've-really-had-it-and-it's-better-for-me-to-stay-away, so if I had a trickier baby, it might be really really useful. I do think there needs to be a major asterisk -- start this when you're ready and your baby is ready. If that's 3 months, fine, if that's ...more
Jan 10, 2013 rated it really liked it
1/27/14: Back to this book at 18 months. Glad I kept it.

12/15/12: I made it through probably close to half of this book and found it to be a really good resource, and one that didn't leave me feeling like a crap-ass parent. Ferber has a lot of good tips and techniques beyond the "cry it out" method everyone always accuses him of promoting, and I got a lot out of reading this. More importantly, Dr. Ferber, backed by the power of science, asserts that letting your child cry a little bit, or even
Jul 29, 2008 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: parenting-tips
It's just my opinion, but I don't think any child should be made to cry themselves to sleep. There are ways to teach them to sleep on their own without using "The Ferber Method". It was recommended to me and I was against it. Ok, so sure Joey came to my bed many a night but he's six now and sleeps on his own. Those early years are precious. I had a friend babysit one night, someone I trusted and she tried to "Ferberize"Joey after knowing how strongly I felt against it-he was 11months. She let hi ...more
Jul 22, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It worked! When I read it, I had three children under 3 and the whole family was sleeping in one small room. This book was a miracle. Within a week I was able to get all three children to sleep, one at a time, in 30 minutes. The method described is a gentle compromise between crying it out and a more compassionate bedtime approach. The kids learned that bedtime rules are serious without ever feeling abandoned. And I learned how to be firm about enforcing bedtime without feeling like I was cruel. ...more
Jan 15, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I LOVE THIS BOOK! It's so much better than "Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child." I would highly recommend this book to ANYONE with ANY sort of problem with their kids sleeping. It's to the point, easy to understand, and I don't feel like I'm "reading around in circles" like I did with "Healthy Sleep Habits."
Jessica Wilhoite
Dec 13, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction
SUPER helpful! It worked - it actually worked! Hopefully I won't need this book again, but I'm so happy he's sleeping!
Apr 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
Disclaimer: All children and families are different and what works for one will not work for another. That said, holy sh*t this totally worked for me and my daughter. My advice if you want to try it, do it sooner rather than later. My kid is 4.5 months and I'm so glad we did it before she developed any of the bad sleep habits mentioned in the book. (So far) Also, give your child some credit and believe that they can do it. This method isn't about leaving them alone to cry all night, it's helping ...more
Roxanne Parker
Dec 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Saved my sanity. God bless you, Dr. Ferber.
Aug 08, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This is NOT a 'cry-it-out' book. Repeat. This is NOT a 'cry-it-out' book. There, I said it.

This is my first written review for a book because I think I need to do justification to this book. This book is one of the most misunderstood book of all times. If you think that it's just a book about the cry it out method, you haven't read the book. If you have read the book and still think so, then you haven't read the book properly (all the chapters!) or have issues with comprehension.

It totally worke
Carisa Burns
Sep 19, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This book is not what most people think which is to leave your infant alone in their crib for hours on end screaming all night long. There's so much more to it and it worked wonders on my child. It allows your child to learn how to settle down without help and feel comfortable and safe in their own surroundings. Yes, that means they might cry at first but it only took my daughter 2 nights to learn and now she sleeps 12 hours through the night (unless of course she's sick or teething or something ...more
Aug 20, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: babies, read-2010
I really didn't think I would like this book. I only turned to it out of desperation after reading The No-Cry Sleep Solution series which I found to be worthless. Well, not worthless exactly, but not effective (for my baby).

I learned a lot about sleep cycles, consistency, babies, etc. Who knows if I would've liked this book at the beginning of my journey towards a full night's rest (after being awakened every 2-3 hours for the last two months by a baby who used to sleep through the night until
Lindley Walter-smith
Oct 06, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Overall, we are on the attachment parenting side of the spectrum. But nothing, nothing, nothing in the "gentle" sleep techniques lauded by attachment experts was saving us from having a near-toddler who wanted to have me sitting in the chair rocking him all night, and would wake, scream and vomit if I tried to put him down. (No, cosleeping, once he was old enough for it to be safe, didn't work, either. He hated it. None of us slept.) I was demented with months of sleep deprivation.

This didn't c
Apr 03, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Great book for all sorts of sleep issues from birth - up. I actually feel bad for Dr. Ferber - he's really gotten a bad rap. Most people refer to his techniques for getting a baby to sleep through the night as "Ferberizing" and it's said with much disdain and in a tone that indicates you may very well be abusing your child if you use his strategies. I actually found his strategies to be very reasonable and humane. He most definately does not say that "one size fits all" when it comes to getting ...more
Jul 18, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a completely fascinating book. The first few chapters describing sleep cycles and the physiological changes during REM and non-REM sleep completely creeped me out (thanks to Dreamscape and Inception). I learned some things about my older children that will help me avoid repeating certain mistakes with my younger children. For instance, my 7 and 5 year old never took naps as toddlers, even though I tried and tried. Now I know that because they were already sleeping at least 12 hours at ni ...more
Can understand why people don't want to try it, but when you have a child that cried all of the time anyway and nothing else worked it was worth a shot. We got lucky and it worked within 1 day! He cried less than 10 minutes for each nap/night sleep on the first day and then barely fussed at all on all of the days thereafter. He is now 3 years old and sleeps well (although an early riser!) He was probably the type of kid that the more we fussed with him, the more he fussed for us and really just ...more
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“In later years, your child will still appreciate having some time with you before he goes to sleep. He needs close, warm, personal time , something that simply watching television together, for instance, will not provide: even if the shows are not exciting or scary —which is unlikely— and even if you are sitting next to him, the lack of direct personal interaction makes this bedtime routine a poor one. Instead, use the time to discuss school events, plans for the weekend, soccer, dance class, after-school programs, or music lessons. It might also be helpful to talk about any worries your child may have, so he will be less likely to brood over them in bed.” 3 likes
“By age two, your child should still sleep about nine to ten hours at night, with a one- to two-hour nap after lunch—about eleven and a half hours total.” 0 likes
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