Ferberizing Benji

I’m trying to type this post in the middle of Benji’s uncontrollable sobbing. My stomach is churning, my palms are sweaty, and my heart is racing. I keep telling myself “think big picture, think big picture, think big picture.”

We are trying to Ferberize Benji, as Bry called it. Last night he decided to take the plunge and introduce the “controlled comforting” method, similar to Dr Ferber’s somewhat controversial method that a lot of people associate with the “crying it out” technique of sleep training. Our health nurse encouraged us to try it, especially since Benji has been waking up more than usual to seek comfort, as well as taking longer than before to fall asleep. This is going to be quite unsustainable in our household with both Bry and I returning to work pretty soon.

Using the “controlled comforting” method, we had our usual nighttime routine with him: bathe, moisturize, read a book, feed, cuddle, Bry steps in and pats Benji till he’s sleepy, and then places him in his crib. As expected, Benji started screeching once Bry left the room. Bry decided to let him cry it out for 2 mins, and then go in for 1 min to comfort him, and then leave again this next time for 4 mins, and then keep extending the time he’s left alone by 2 mins extra. I whimped out at 4 mins; Benji was freaking out so much, I couldn’t take it.

Bry and I talked about this a lot last night; he really wanted to try it. So did I, but it was a lot harder than I thought. But after doing more reading and, yes, praying about it, I decided to really commit to trying to sleep train him. We know that training him earlier will be more effective than later.

In line with my promise to Bry to really try this method, this morning, I singlehandedly rolled out the harsh treatment during his morning nap.

Hence this post. Now. I needed something to distract me from his cries and blogging really helped pass the time more easily — and it did. I was able to drown out his cries more easily than last night when I was sitting on the couch watching the clock tick.

After the 6th minute run (the 3rd interval), he finally caved in and fell asleep. He still needed me to soothe him but I think he was so exhausted from the cries that he fell asleep within seconds after I patted him and had zilch energy left to check to see if I was still around after.

I just went in to take a peek and the little screaming babiac (baby maniac) is now our little sleeping angel, looking all cherubic like he did below. Ah, if only he can sleep as easily in his cot as he does in the baby carrier or stroller.

Whew. So this method supposedly takes between 3 to 10 days to take effect. Let’s hope it works.


  1. Craig Canapari MD said:

    Hang in there! The second or third day is usually the worst and then improvement usually happens quickly.

  2. bellissimom said:

    Good luck. I will be very interested to read your follow up post as I have been thinking we are going to have to try this soon.

  3. So glad to hear he fell asleep! It is so hard to let him cry it out. We did and are fortunate that (after 10 minutes of whaling) he learned that when he goes down in his crib, he goes to sleep.

  4. Connie said:

    We started training our baby to sleep on his own at 8 weeks old. We followed the Babywise method, also a method by which baby cries it out. Our baby slept through the night at 12 weeks and sleeps well without any form of aid since then (he’s 8 months now). It is truly great for us. There is a lot of sanity at home. Press on!

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