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

339 customer reviews

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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

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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 (339 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #216,302 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

274 of 291 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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481 of 528 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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68 of 72 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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47 of 51 people found the following review helpful By Jenn on October 12, 2005
Format: Paperback
I was very hesitant to read this book. I had heard of 'Ferberizing' your child and Detachment parenting, and when put this way, of course you wouldn't want to do such a thing to your precious baby. I consider myself to be a strong advocate of attachment parenting and had looked to Dr. Sear's books numerous times for advice about sleeping. My 4 month old spent his first 4 mounths sleeping in his co-sleeper in my room or in my bed with me and my husband. This arrangement was working well for us the first few months and I really enjoyed having him close by and being able to easily breastfeed him throughout the night. I kept expecting his intervals for sleeping to gradually lengthen, for him to wake less often and not need to feed 4-5 times throughout the night. My husband kept telling me that coworkers were telling him that we would have to let the baby cry it out and I felt very annoyed with their advice and assumptions. We (I) decided that we would keep things as they were until he was 4 months old hoping that things would work themselves out. During this time I also read Healthy Sleep Happy Baby and found the advice (especially about naps and tired cues) to be somewhat helpful though I thought the book was extremely poorly written.

When my son was 4 months old our situation had not improved. I was up with him constantly throughtout the night and had reached an entirely new level of exhaustion! A co-worker of mine, who is also a Therapist, loaned me this book and I decided to read it over. I was pleasantly surprised to find well organized information about sleep patterns as well as workable solutions for addressing my son's sleep. His theory explaining my son's crying; because he was used to my nursing and rocking him to sleep and back to sleep, was right on.
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