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How to Get My Baby to Sleep Through the Night: Chair Method vs. Ferber Method

One of my biggest pet peeves is that parents are expected to just limp through life until their baby finally sleeps. Exhaustion is a bi product of parenting to be sure however, why would we leave something as important as sleep up to chance? I hope this baby figures it out!

As a mom of 4 kids and a sleep consultant who has helped hundreds of families and done lots of research I’m here to tell you that babies who just “figure out” sleep are rare. There’s nearly always some help from parents. I am going to outline two popular methods to help infants sleep through the night. The Chair Method and the Ferber Method. Each can work well depending on your family, parenting style and child’s temperament.  I will help you explore these methods in detail, highlighting their differences, the importance of consistency, and the benefits of hiring a sleep coach to guide you through the process.

The Chair Method


The Chair Method is a gentle sleep training technique that involves gradually moving a chair farther away from your baby’s crib over several nights until you are out of the room entirely. This method provides a comforting presence without immediate intervention. This is the method I recommend to 95% of the families I work with. 


  1. Initial Night: Sit in a chair next to your baby’s crib until they fall asleep.
  2. Subsequent Nights: Move the chair a little further away each night.
  3. Final Stage: Eventually, position the chair outside the room.

Pros and Cons


  • Gradual and less stressful for both baby and parents.
  • Provides a sense of security for the infant.


  • Can take a longer time to achieve results.
  • Requires patience and consistency.

The Ferber Method


The Ferber Method, also known as “graduated extinction,” involves letting your baby cry for predetermined intervals before offering comfort. The intervals gradually increase each night, teaching the baby to self-soothe.


  1. First Night: After your bedtime routine, put the baby in the crib awake and leave the room.
  2. Check-In Intervals: Return at increasing intervals (e.g., 3 minutes, 5 minutes, 10 minutes) to reassure but not pick up the baby.
  3. Subsequent Nights: Extend the intervals each night until the baby learns to fall asleep independently.

Pros and Cons


  • Can produce faster results.
  • Helps infants learn self-soothing techniques.


  • May be distressing for both the baby and parents.
  • Requires a strong commitment to the method.

Key Differences

The primary difference between the Chair Method and the Ferber Method is in their approach to parent presence and comfort offered. The Chair Method involves a gradual withdrawal of the parent’s presence, which can be less distressing but slower. I typically see results with clients in 3-5 days. In contrast, the Ferber Method uses controlled crying with timed check-ins, which can lead to quicker results but may involve more initial distress. We typically see results with this method in 3 days.

The Importance of Consistency

I always tell my clients, “you will hear me say be consistent 150 times”.  Inconsistent responses can confuse your baby and prolong the sleep training process. Once you choose a method, stick with it like glue. Consistent bedtime routines, responses to night wakings, and sleep environments all contribute to successful sleep training. Remember that you’re asking your baby to fall asleep alone, something they have absolutely no idea how to do. They are going to be confused and upset, understandably so. Consistency and calm from you will make this process much easier for them.

Hiring a Sleep Coach

Sleep is emotional. It’s vulnerable. When we’re tired everything feels more difficult and larger. Googling questions at 3 am when your baby has been crying for 45 minutes will make any parent throw in the towel and just feed or rock or hold to sleep. A sleep consultant can take that load off of you. I am here to answer questions, give you a clear step by step guide and tools for your parenting toolbox.

 I want to help you:

  • Develop a customized sleep plan.
  • Provide ongoing support and adjustments as needed.
  • Offer reassurance and professional advice to reduce anxiety and improve success rates.

Hiring a sleep coach ensures that you have expert support, making the process smoother and less stressful for both you and your baby.

Choosing between the Chair Method and the Ferber Method depends on your parenting style, your baby’s temperament, and your family’s needs. Both methods can be effective if applied consistently. For personalized support, consider hiring a sleep coach who can guide you through the process and help your family achieve restful nights. Consistency, patience, and the right support can make all the difference in helping your infant sleep through the night.

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