What Is Weissbluth Sleep Training

Is Weissbluth Sleep Training Different From Ferberizing?

As a new parent, you probably loathe nighttime because your newest member of the family will not let you get any sleep. Peaceful nights of uninterrupted sleep seem to be a thing of the past and it may feel like there is no solution to a restless baby. Ah, parenthood.

When you hear about sleep training, you mostly hear about “Ferberizing”. But what is Weissbluth sleep training? The author of “Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child”, Dr Mark Weissbluth feels that a child’s sleep patterns can indicate his or her general quality of life. He also believes that parents can use routine and consistency to their advantage in improving a child’s sleep habits. This is where the Weissbluth sleep training method comes in. It should be worth noting that this method is usually confused with Ferber sleep training but they are quite different from each other.

So What is Weissbluth Sleep Training?

Dr Weissbluth posed the Weissbluth Sleep training method with the belief that implementing quality sleep guidance once your baby first comes home will help in preventing various sleep problems in the future. Parents usually think Weissbluth sleep training is ferberizing since both methods call for an extent of crying by the child in an effort to learn how to self-soothe.

The difference is that Ferber sleep training involves the parent going into the room to provide comfort to the child after regular intervals. The Weissbluth method, on the other hand, makes use of extinction whereby the parent does not provide any sort of comfort to stop the child from crying and waking during the night.

In the Weissbluth method, the parent is instructed to lay the baby down to sleep at night as early as is possible and to keep from going into the baby’s room at all unless it is an emergency. The doctor also advises implementing longer sleep intervals during the night even if it will mean having fewer or shorter naps in the course of the day.

Weissbluth pediatrics strongly believes in high-quality sleep for the baby and Dr. Weissbluth claims that the method produces results faster than ferberizing does. This is because the baby learns that you will not respond to his/her cries more quickly.

The Weissbluth approach is only supposed to take 3-4 days while Ferber’s method by comparison may take almost 2 weeks. This method also depends heavily on watching for the baby’s sleep cues and laying him/her down once the baby seems tired.

During sleep regressions my son has had, I have employed BOTH techniques and personally I find that the Weissbluth method is more effective. Any parent can benefit from using this method to sleep train their baby because I believe it is a whole holistic approach.

Tips to Ensure Success When Using the Weissbluth Method

If you are looking to try this method, it is important to seek advice from your pediatrician. This method is not meant to be used on babies younger than 6 months of age because at this age they are still waking up during the night for feeding and changing. The doctor will have to check your baby for any hidden medical conditions that might be keeping the baby awake before him/her is ready to start sleeping alone.

    • Start Early- The biggest tip when using this method is to start implementing it as early as possible because early sleep training will be beneficial for the baby and the parent. If you start developing habits in your baby early, it will be much easier for him/her to learn them.
    • Establish multiple naps during the day- As counterintuitive as this may sound, naps are crucial when you are sleep training your child. Establishing many naps during the day will prevent your child from being over-tired come sleep-time at night thus helping him/her sleep better. It also helps with the development of normal circadian rhythms. It is advisable to go with a morning nap at round 9 a.m., a midday nap at around 12p.m. to 2 p.m. (if the baby is under 9 months), and a third nap late in the day.
    • Ensure you have help- Another tip when implementing the Weissbluth method is to ensure the mother is not the only one putting the child to sleep so that the baby does not depend on only one person. Everyone in the family should help when it comes to bedtime if possible.
    • Establish a middle-ground- When putting down your baby to sleep, you should make sure that he/she is not too tired. The baby should be drowsy but still awake. This way, the baby is not always in deep sleep whenever he is being put down to bed so the child will learn how to fall asleep without any help.
    • Remain Consistent- After you have developed a sleep routine working for you and the baby, stick with it. This will help the baby learn to become soothed and to respond to the repetitive pattern. This method works very fast if the baby is mature enough and crying will be eliminated within a few nights. If you find yourself giving in and going to provide comfort to your baby, then you are better off trying again another night or choosing another method that fits your parenting strategy.

How to Go About It

Once you observe signs of sleepiness in the baby, put him/her down in the crib. Some of the signs to watch out for include a lack of alertness, crankiness, or rubbing the eyes so you need to be in tune with your child’s sleepy cues.

You should never feed or rock your baby to sleep when using this method and instead allow him or her to fuss in the crib. A comfort item or a regular routine will help the child fall asleep instead because ‘crutches’ will set up the child to stay awake during the night.

Leave the room without going back in even if your little one is sobbing. You can listen while outside the door without offering any comfort. Your child will go to sleep eventually.

Go with a predictable nap schedule the day after without sacrificing nighttime sleep for daytime sleep. If the baby appears to be alert before the morning nap, you can skip it and go for the afternoon nap instead.

Should You Go For Weissbluth Sleep Training?

Weissbluth sleep training is essentially a version of crying it out with its own variations to boot and crying it out might not be everyone’s cup of tea. You may be reluctant to listen to your baby crying during the night and not check up on them but the method works!

This method supposedly does not possess any physiological effect on your baby and this may help to put your mind at ease. Since self-soothing is involved with this method, it can help to set up your baby for independent sleep while helping to get rid of bad sleep associations developed. It is definitely worth a second look if you are interested.

Hey Sophia, I am so happy I came across your post. I actually did this with my son for a while, and didn’t even know there was a name for it lol So I’m happy to know that I am not alone. I did a combination of Ferber and this method but it was really hard. In the end, I did more of the Weissbluth method and by the 3rd night, my little man didn’t cry when I put him down. My husband and I were so surprised but hey, it worked wonders for us. Now we actually get time to chill before bedtime, as opposed to spending 30 mins to an hour trying to put him to bed lol.

It sounds using both the Weissbluth Sleep Training method and the Ferber method together worked like a charm. Crying is expected and you knew how to handle the situation. It isn’t easy, but in the end its a win-win situation for all parties involved. Now your baby is sleeping happy. Your husband and you are happy. With consistency you can get results like this.

I am following you on instagram now and I added your site to my favorites because I am trying to have a baby with my girlfriend and I am aware how babies need help going to sleep. I have a lot of friends who have babies and I hear it all the time ” I never sleep ” and even though the idea of no sleep is kind of poopy, it isn’t going to stop me from wanting to give parenting a go, and sites like this are very informative and helpful for new parents.

Hi Dylan, I am glad you added me on Instagram. I agree that parenting has its poopy moments, but it is definately worth having a child because it changes you for the better and teaches you to have more empathy and compassion than you ever thought possible. I am glad you bookmarked this site because it will come handy to you later on when you and your gf have baby. Thank you and good luck !

I am honestly prepared to try any method with my little one haha. The weissbluth method sounds like it could be promising. My boy likes to take naps during the day to, so this method may work perfectly for him. Good to know it is for babies over 6 months old. Have you tried this method with your kids, and did it work well if you did?

Hi Cliff, I have tried MANY different sleep training methods. My son has gone through all of his sleep regressions so I have had to re-sleep train him many times. I have found that this method works best when you approach it from the get-go when your baby is first 6 months old. It is easier to modify your little one’s schedule when they are younger and not so mobile. 

Aww I remember these days! My daughter is now 8 so this ship has sailed for me but I do believe I used the Ferber sleep training. It literally worked after one night. It was amazing haha. I think any sort of ‘cry it out’ method is beneficial because the child just needs to understand that crying isn’t going to change a thing when it comes to bedtime! Haha, Good info for mommies. Keep it up!

Thank you for reminding me that the days are long but the years are short! And that my baby is going to be 8 years old also one day and these sleeping issues will be a thing of the past. You remind me to appreciate and enjoy this time that I have now with my baby.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *