I have read years ago of a tip in a magazine suggesting that one
should wait for some minutes before attending to a crying baby. I now
found that this is called the Ferber method. Richard Ferber is
director of the Center for Pediatric Sleep Disorders at Children's
Hospital in Boston. He wrote a book called "Solve Your Child's Sleep
Problems", showing you that his method was meant to solve sleep
problems (the method has since been called "Ferberizing"). In it, he
says when a baby wakes up and cries, wait a while before you actually
go to your comfort your baby back to sleep. The length of time depends
on what you, the parent, is comfortable with. If ever the baby cries
again, wait five minutes again, and so on. The catch thought is that
many recommend not using it for babies under six months of age.
Conventional wisdom does say as soon as a baby cries, you should go
and see at once to know what's wrong, and then cuddle the baby back to
sleep. I personally believe the conventional wisdom is better. Who
knows if a baby is crying because a venomous bug got in the house and
bit him or her, or there's a thief in the house. But I see no harm in
trying Ferber's method. Just do so when you're sure you could afford
to do it. Practicality is called for when applying these ideas,
especially on something as sensitive as a baby. Of course, most might
be reluctant to try Ferber's method because it is seems more natural
to go at once and check the baby, so Ferber's style will a take a
great deal more thought and willpower to carry out.
I admit though that I could not really answer what "school of thought"
is better because there is really no right answer for all. Your
question depends on the premise that one school of thought is better
than another *for everyone*. That's not so. What Ferber proposes is
something that some people can try and might work for them, but might
not work for others (see some of the links below for testimonies of
"failed Ferberizers", and then others on successful ones). I
personally believe that there is no one school of thought, whether on
baby care or other fields, that will work for everyone. Just because
it works for your neighbor or friend doesn't mean it will work for
you. Everyone, and thus every baby, definitely is different, and there
will always be the case of someone's idea not working for someone
else. I doubt research will help much here since it might show how
different people really are.
You could try applying Ferber's and conventional methods, and see what
works for you. Trying to observe the success or failure of other
people can be educational, but you won't know if it works for you
unless you try it yourself.
Please read the sources below for more information.
The Ferber method demystified
Sleep Problems at Keep Kids Healthy
Colic ... or ... How to Calm a Crying Baby
BabyCenter | Soothing Your Crying Baby - brought to you by Infants'
Pediatric Services - Babies and Sleep
- mentions the "Ferber technique"
The Family Bed; Co-sleeping With Your Baby
- Also mentions the Ferber method
Babycenter.com Q&A - Will the Ferber method work for us?
Babiestoday.com message board - Re: The Ferber method really isn't all
- Follow the thread of messages to see different reactions about
DRspock.com message board - My Anti-Ferber method is working- night 1
The Ferber Method Helps Some Children Sleep Longer
News & Opinion: Bedtime Story (Nashville Scene . 07-08-97)
Google search terms used:
infants allow crying
infants allow cry while before pick
This answer by knowledge_seeker is about co-sleeping, but it may
contain some helpful information for you:
Oh yes, I strongly recommend that you read Ferber's book for more
Solve Your Child's Sleep Problems - Book
- Some reviews of Ferber's book
ParentCenter | Solve Your Child's Sleep Problems
I hope this has been a most helpful answer. If you need anything else,
or have a problem with the answer, do please post a Request for
Clarification and I shall respond as soon as I can. Thank you.