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Solve Your Child's Sleep Problems Paperback – April 17, 1986

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Fireside; Reprint edition (April 17, 1986)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0671620991
  • ISBN-13: 978-0671620998
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.7 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (337 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #210,878 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews Review

When your child isn't sleeping, chances are that you aren't either. Solve Your Child's Sleep Problems--a tired parent's essential for more than 10 years--offers valuable advice and concrete help when lullabies aren't enough to lull your child into dreamland. Based on Ferber's research as the director of Boston's Center for Pediatric Sleep Disorders at Children's Hospital, the book is a practical, easy-to-understand guide to common sleeping problems for children ages one to six. Detailed case histories on night waking, difficulty sleeping, and more serious disorders such as sleep apnea and sleepwalking help illustrate a wide variety of problems and their solutions. New parents will benefit from Ferber's proactive advice on developing good sleeping patterns and daily schedules to ensure that sleeping problems don't develop in the first place. You'll also find a bibliography of children's books on bedtime, sleep, and dreaming, as well as a list of helpful organizations. Here's a book that is sure to put you and your whole family to sleep--in this case, that's a good thing.


Kirkus Reviews Those wrestling with a persistent or more serious problem will find this a real boon. -- Review

More About the Author

Richard Ferber, M.D., is an associate professor of neurology at the Harvard Medical School and director of the Center for Pediatric Sleep Disorders at Children's Hospital Boston. He lives in Newtonville, Massachusetts.

Customer Reviews

I was very hesitant to read this book.
In Solve Your Child's Sleep Problems, Richard Ferber, M.D. discusses many nighttime problems parents face concerning their babies.
Anna M. Ahn
Now that I have made it clear to him that nighttime is for sleeping, he knows, and he is a MUCH happier baby because of it!
Liza M. Shaw

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

268 of 285 people found the following review helpful By Anne Moss on January 27, 2000
Format: Paperback
I want to reassure parents who feel Ferber is cruel. Ferberizing was our last choice. We tried nursing/rocking to sleep and co-sleeping first. I knew Ferber would work because so many parents had said so; but at what cost?, was my strong feeling. We finally turned to Ferber after the other two methods failed us. With nursing to sleep, our 7-month-old baby would wake up and wail as soon as we place him in the crib; we would repeat this cycle for hours each night, which exhausted everyone and deprived him of time he should have spent sleeping. With co-sleeping, he didn't cry but slept on my schedule (ie, way shorter hours) and showed fatigue and stress because of that. That was actually the worst in terms of the baby being tired during the day. And I slept badly because I was so aware of him next to me (important, but my sleep is not the first priority, his is). With Ferber's method, he cried 35 minutes the first night, 5 minutes the second, 15 the third, and less than one minute last night. Each day I scrutinize him for any signs of trauma, alienation, any problem, and he is as happy and engaged as ever, and clearly not tired the way he used to be. It is unbelievably hard to not respond to your baby's cries, that's for sure. But you have to make up your own mind on how to handle this universal problem. Sears parents sometimes go a little nuts: I know babies who still nurse all night at age 2 years, who have never tasted solid food, their moms are zombies and dad sleeps on the couch. But I know they are doing what they feel is best for their families. The bottom line is every parent is trying to do what's best, we each make different choices, and we should respect each others choices. But one more benefit of Ferber--it is so fantastic to have some quality time alone with my husband again each night. You need to keep investing in your spouse too; not just in baby. Good luck to all!
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478 of 525 people found the following review helpful By M Butner on March 14, 2000
Format: Paperback
Even if you disagree with this book's program, it's worth a read. There is a great deal of valuable information on how babies sleep, and the theory of sleep associations and how they relate to a baby's sleep patterns is convincing -- especially if you're a mother for whom this program worked.
On the other hand, this book desperately needs updating, especially as relates to breastfeeding. It's really meant for formula-fed infants who sleep in cribs in their own rooms. And the book rarely differentiates between 3-mo olds, 9-mo olds and 3-yr olds! Moreover, there is no information on how to maintain the good habits once you've "done" the program, which would have been useful.
There is at base an unbridgeable chasm between Ferber and William Sears, the renowned advocate of "attachment parenting." Sears claims that by not responding to a crying baby at night, you teach your baby that mommy is unresponsive. That the baby who doesn't cry at night has "given up." And that attachment can suffer as a result. (He even states that "Ferberized" children do continue to cry out frequently at night, but that their desensitized parents do not hear them.) Ferber claims that you can teach your baby that you are still "there," but that your brief visits are not worth all the crying. Ultimately the baby learns to go back to sleep readily on his or her own.
Until the book is updated, I recommend that parents familiarize themselves with both Ferber AND Sears, and then feel their way along. Many of my friends, like myself, practiced attachment parenting "by the book" for 6 months. Then, as the baby's increasing activity and alertness made this impossible, found varying degrees of success with "Ferberization." Flexibility and sensitivity to the baby are key.
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65 of 68 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 1, 1998
Format: Paperback
As a parent and an educator I never dreamed I'd reach the point of "Ferberizing" my baby. After all, wasn't this the toxic method that forced you to let your baby cry all night alone in a cold, dark prison-like bed? As a new Mom I was committed to the theoretical viewpoints of Dr. Sears and his colleagues, and was determined to make the family bed work for us. After 10 months of perseverence with little to no sleep at night I knew I had to make a drastic change for my own sanity. That is when I bought the Ferber book in an attempt to find a solution to our nighttime woes. As it turned out, I read the book in one night and was completely wrong about the process Dr. Ferber advocates. His logical, developmentally sound and behavioristic approach helped me to understand the improper sleep associations I was developing in my young one. After one week we were well on the road to recovery. I can now be a better parent to my child during the day since I am getting adequate sleep at night. This book has changed our lives! To all those who cringe at my words, I should add that I am still a staunch advocate of the family bed...if it works for you. I would never change the bonding my baby and I experienced sleeping together the first few months. However, there comes a time when you need to assess the health and happiness of the family unit. If you have reached the end of your rope at night, this book is the right one for you.
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56 of 61 people found the following review helpful By Rebeca on October 10, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have read all the reviews published up to date and need to clarify several things from the previous comments of other readers. I love Dr. Sears and practiced attachement parenting for the first 6 months. Our son slept with us in our bed for 6 months. At the end of the 6 months we had to go to bed with him at 7pm since this he could not sleep in his crib. We had practiced attachment parenting (Sears) and this is what he had learned to expect. He could only sleep in bed with us next to him. Add to this that my baby could only sleep with us and ate 80% of his milk during night time. So not only were we in bed with him by 7pm, but also feeding him all night long. When the morning rolled in, my husband and I felt like zombies. We were exhausted and fighting with each other all the time due to the stress and exhaustion.

I was then recommended Ferber. I was terrified as I had heard horrible things and I do not believe in Crying it out. Howeverm I had already tried the No cry sleep solution and this did not work for us. So I gave Ferber the benefit of the doubt and decided to read his book. I focused on chptrs 5 and 6.

First, you do NOT need to let your baby cry it out. Ferber explains it very clearly in his book. He suggests a timetable, but leaves it up to the parents to change the suggested minutes on the table to meet the baby and parents' needs. For example, he suggest to let the baby cry for 5 min and increase gradually, but that the parent can change this to any minute they wish. I would only let my baby cry 1 min at a time and would them run into his room and confort him for 3 min. I am not sure how the previous readers would be considered detachment parenting!!!!

I did this for 2 nights. After two nights my baby was sleeping through the night.
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