Know Which Sleep Training Method Suits Your Baby And Why
There are many misconceptions that the parents hold regarding baby sleep training methods. The very first one parents have which is not true is that there is only one method to sleep train your baby. No, this is not true. Every baby is different. Even if this is your second baby, he/she might differ in their ways of sleep and feed as compared to the first one.
Is one sleep training better than the other?
In reality, there are many ways of baby sleep training. Some involve crying which we have already spoken about the cry it out method article, and the others involve minimal or maybe no tears. There is no right or wrong method as per the pediatricians. Which method you want to choose for your baby is something that we will help you decide when you read further. Both are equally effective, but the results of each can take different time to show up on your baby. Read below to know what the various methods are and what will you prefer for your baby.
What are the different sleep training methods?
While research does not stop here to find out more about the sleep training options, there are already defined ones to teach healthy sleeping habit to your baby. We will tell you the strategy behind each of it to know and decide which one to decide on for your baby. But all you need to be sure before starting the training is to stick to the method until weeks before re-trying or choosing another approach.
1. The cry it out approach: This approach says it all from the name. Yes, it is okay for your baby to cry when you put them to bed and leave the room. But that doesn’t mean you leave the baby to cry indefinitely. The catch in this method is to put back the baby on their bed when they are awake and allowing them to cry for a short period which is only comforted by parent without picking up the baby. The baby learns to soothe themselves in order to go to sleep.
2. The no-tears approach: This approach is more gradual approach to soothe the baby to sleep offering coziness and comfort right away to the baby when they cry.
3. The fading approach: Camping out is the other name for this approach where the parent moderates their bedtime role by sitting near the baby until the baby falls asleep and gradually moving farther each night. Another way to this approach is when the parent returns to soothe the baby every few minutes until the baby fall asleep (without picking up the baby). The goal is to let them know that they have to learn to soothe themselves.
4. Other approaches: There are pediatricians who suggest a particular routine for calming the baby (and not for sleeping). It is the five S’s approach: Swaddle, the side or stomach position, shushing, swinging, and sucking.
What is the theory behind the cry and no-cry or no-tears methods?
The no-cry method or the no-tear method is preferred by the parents who think spending time with their little ones during the bedtime offers them an opportunity to connect with their kids. They get the cozy quiet environment to work up in their relationship and build it up stronger by creating a dependency on each other. The mother responds to the baby’s request for food and coziness.
On the contrary to this, cry it out method is where the parents have to go via the precisely opposite of the above and let their baby cry and fall asleep eventually. There is more to this that you can read from our previous article published on the “cry it out method”. This gives a peace of mind to the parent and the baby when the baby learns it.
However, the controversy comes up when some experts think that cry it out is not a suitable method for babies as this might leave them with a negative association with the bedtime and sleep that could last longer in their lives. Whereas, the sleep experts and most of the pediatricians who support the cry it out method of sleep training say that it isn’t traumatic for the babies as it is only for a very short period of time. The parents have frequent check-ins for the baby, and the results are not just promising but also keep both parents and the baby happy. On the contrary, they say that no-tear method of sleep training makes the baby emotionally over-dependent on comfort from parents at bedtime, making it harder for the baby to learn to fall back to sleep by themselves.
Know your baby’s personality
Observe your baby’s response to a new or different situation. See how the baby copes up with a stressful situation. Does the baby extend the hands or gets fidgety for lots of comforting or does the little one just finds their own way to comfort self.
If you match the sleep training method as per your child’s temperament, you have better chances to succeed. Some parents feel the babies do better with the physical contact and sleep with their little one. Easy going or adaptive babies are often to do with the gentle sleep training baby methods. Like the no-cry, fading, camping out.
On the other hand, if the kid is sensitive, they need a slower approach which means they are strong-willed and might do the best with the cry it out method. It encourages the baby to fall asleep on their own as the parent is not available to soothe and console them every time. This works out excellent for them as they learn to be self-dependent.
Does my baby need a sleep training method at
Not really! Parents often succumb to the tantrums and fussiness of the baby and try out these methods to get the baby to sleep. If you are happy with the baby’s sleep pattern and the way the things are going, then you must count yourself blessed! Keep up whatever you are doing and continue it.
Live we said earlier all babies are different and act differently to situations. Similarly, the parents also have a different mindset, patience and anticipation. Maybe, the baby who wakes up twice at night can have parents who do everything possible to calm the baby whereas another family would deal with it the other way. Remember, the sleep is essential not just for the baby but also for the parent’s healthy state of mind and body. You can always consult your doctor for the suggestions on sleep training method and take their advice as directed.
Few important things you must know and consider for any sleep training approach:
- Some kids are good sleepers who cooperate readily to fall for a pattern to sleep. Whereas, the others are anxious and fussy ones who take time to fall into a sleep pattern.
- Every child is different, and thus the strategy for sleep training should differ as per their personality and adaptability to the approach.
- It is not necessary to follow the whole approach, but you can as well put your common sense in place to see what suits your baby better.
- Don’t blame your baby’s entire irritation and weird behavior on sleep regression. Check if there is any other problem that the baby is facing a stomach problem or is suffering from any illness.
- Cry it out method can be tried only on your first child unless you want your second child to awaken with the little one crying.
- The sleep training process is time-consuming process. Do not be impatient and over-ambitious to expect the outcome right on the second day of the training. Give time to yourself and the baby to adapt.
- Even after the sleep training process is over, expect your child to regress occasionally. Especially, when they get sick or are travelling and have a change in their daily routine, the sleep pattern is bound to be disturbed.
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