Learn How to Manage the Cry It Out Method for Best Results
What are the advantages of sleep training?
When it comes to training of any kind, there’s usually a goal to achieve. Athletes, in particular, come to mind, as they are always in training - to win! Similarly, sleep training your baby means you’re setting her up to win – and a good night’s sleep is the prize! The idea is that once your baby is between 4-6 months old, they are likely ready to self-soothe and sleep for longer stretches of time. With sleep training, you’re giving your baby the tools to not just fall asleep, but also to fall back asleep on her own… which hopefully means that you, too, can sleep longer and better than when she was more dependent on you to help her get to sleep.
Is sleep training something every parent has to do? Absolutely not. But the importance of a good nights is essential to everyone, especially babies as they grow and develop. With so many sleep training options available, it’s definitely worth keeping an eye on the prize!
What are the disadvantages of sleep training?
Keep in mind that the subject of sleep training has been studied for decades and contrary to some belief, research shows that there are no emotional disorders or bonding issues that occur later in life due to poor sleep training. When it comes to sleep training, some parents find it helpful to consult with a sleep expert or their pediatrician.
Sleep training, like anything that seems challenging at first, takes persistence and patience. These are things that new parents are sometimes in short supply of! While some critics may claim that sleep training can cause baby undo distress, the benefits of a good night’s sleep can’t be denied, and this really does take some practice.
Some sleep training methods have a gentler approach than others, and seem to encourage healthy parental bonding and independence. But every family has to decide what works best for them – thankfully, there are plenty of options out there to choose from.
What night is the hardest when sleep training?
Depending which method you use to sleep train your baby, the first, second or even third night could be the most difficult. That said, every baby is different and will respond differently to even the most tried and true methods of sleep training. By the middle of the first week, the new routine should be in place and healthy training should be underway!
Is there a way to sleep train without crying?
When it comes to sleep training, there are a lot of options that don’t involve letting baby cry it out. These three are fairly similar in their gentle approach:
The Chair Method: this helps your infant feel safe and secure because even though you’re not holding him, he knows that you are close by… in a chair… or on the floor… or couch… reassuring him with your presence and occasional touch as needed, as he drifts off to sweet slumber.
Pick up/Put Down: similar to the chair method, the idea behind “pick up / put down” is that you are there to provide comfort while baby settles in to sleep. You’re close enough to pick up your baby to comfort him, and then put (him) down for sleep.
Fade It Out: This approach encourages that you stick to your nighttime routine and then fade out the need to rock or feed your baby, gradually, over a few days. This encourages the idea that baby will fall asleep independently.
When does sleep training get easier?
When done correctly, sleep training can be done over a 3-4 night period on average. For some families, however, sleep training takes weeks and changes again as new milestones are reached. Typically, the first few nights of sleep training can be difficult as baby learns to self soothe, fall asleep, and/or stay asleep independently. But once your little one understands that quality sleep is possible without the additional feeding, snuggling, and rocking they’ve become so accustomed to, it’s time for everyone under the same roof to enjoy the benefits of better sleep!
Is it too late to start sleep training?
Parenting is a marathon, not a sprint, so when it comes to sleep training, it’s never too late to develop healthy sleep habits. There may be a variety of factors at play regarding why or why not your baby sleeps well through the night. Try not to compare your baby to another, or even to their sibling. With the exception of typical baby milestones, each baby grows and develops at their own pace, and if your baby is still struggling with sleep well into her toddler years, don’t despair, you can try sleep training at any age.
Remember, too, that establishing healthy “getting ready for sleep” routines is part of sleep training. These cues may change as baby grows older, but they should essentially stay the same…. Bath, books, food, snuggle time, soft music, lower lights… eventually these things will become routine, all of which signals it’s time for bed!
If nothing seems to work however, and you feel that you need the help, by all means, talk to your pediatrician or a sleep consultant.
Do pediatricians recommend sleep training?
Sleep is an important part of maintaining healthy brain development for babies, kids, and adults alike, so when it comes to recommending sleep training by pediatricians, it seems like a win/win! Of course, consult with your pediatrician if you have concerns but keep in mind that healthy sleep can improve quality of life, as well as both physical and mental health. This means that the sooner one establishes healthy sleep patterns in life, the better. Of course, babies’ brains grow and develop well into their adult years, and sleep habits change with growth spurts, hormones, even nutrition. According to Sleep Foundation, “sleep plays a crucial role in the development of young minds. In addition to having a direct effect on happiness, research shows that sleep impacts alertness, attention, cognitive performance, mood, resiliency, vocabulary and learning acquisition. Sleep also has important effects on growth, especially in early infancy.” Again, it’s never too late to sleep train so don’t worry if you feel behind.
A great tool to help with sleep training is Dreamland Baby’s line of products, all designed with better sleep in mind. Whether it’s your newborn who loves our weighted sleep swaddle, or your toddler who prefers to sleep in our weighted sleep sack, our products are designed to help baby feel calm, fall asleep faster, and stay asleep longer. The gentle weight naturally reduces stress and increases relaxation through deep-pressure stimulation to give baby feelings of security and comfort - just like a hug! This typically results in longer stretches of quality sleep for baby… which means everyone gets a good night’s sleep, too!