The traditional “Cry-it-out” approach to getting your little one to sleep may be effective, but for many parents, it’s just not something they’re comfortable with.
On the other hand, constantly rocking, shushing, or nursing your baby to sleep every time they wake up can create associations that make it harder for baby to fall asleep independently and can result in frequent nighttime wake-ups.
Luckily, there are several options in between these two far ends of the sleep training spectrum. I’ll tell you all about them and help you evaluate which one is right for your family in today’s video.Rather read than watch? Click here.
One of the things that holds a lot of parents back from making change around their child’s sleep habits is the idea of leaving their child alone to figure this out. I would call that a cry it out approach, or most people would label that a cry it out approach, that you put your baby down without their prop and hope that they fall asleep independently without you being present.
That can work really well for a lot of people, but for some parents, the idea of doing that holds them back. It’s just something they’re not comfortable doing. They just don’t feel right about.
My program, The Sleep Sense Program, has an option where you can stay in the room with your child, because this is a skill set. That’s it. There’s nothing magic going on here. It’s just a skill. You have gotta learn to sleep well and independently. So it doesn’t really matter if a parent is there or a parent isn’t there. It doesn’t have a lot to do with the parent, period.
And that’s the important piece of the puzzle, that you get yourself out of this relationship with sleep and you help your child develop skills that are independent of you or anything else. And once they figure that out, then they become great and beautiful sleepers. But the process of learning this is the hard part, right? Just like learning anything new is a challenge for all of us.
So, if it makes you feel more comfortable to be there with your child, offering encouragement, offering a little bit of comfort with your voice and some touch, then absolutely that should be the way you start the program is with the stay in the room method.
Now, that sounds lovely, and for a lot of families it works beautifully. Within a few nights, the child is sleeping well. The protest is minimum. By the end of the week, the child’s happily going into the crib. So, I would say for 80% of the families who try the stay in the room method, it works just fine. I mean, of course it’s not, again, magic. There’s going to be a rough few nights as your child learns the process, but it does go well.
However, for some babies, you being there is causing more problems than solutions. Your presence is not helping. They’re getting more upset, or they’re super agitated with the fact that you’re sitting there, but you’re not doing anything. And in those cases, you need to ask yourself, is it worth me feeling better by being here and making it harder on my child, or would it be better to make this a little easier on the child and me be more uncomfortable? I’m guessing most of you are saying you wanna make, actually, I’m guessing all of you are saying that you would like to make this easier on your child.
So if by the fourth night, I say give it a good try for the first three nights at least, just so that we’re not confusing your child with all kinds of changes. Stick to a plan for three nights. If on the fourth night, though, you’re just finding that there’s no reduction in the protest or the child is increasingly more upset each night or you just don’t feel or see any signs that things are moving in the right direction, then you need to ask yourself if you being there is helpful. And if the answer feels like no, then move to leave and check. Move to leave and check.
You will find within the next couple of nights that things do start to click into place and get easier with you leaving and checking. And there’s nothing wrong with that. You’ve not gone anywhere. You’re coming back every 10 minutes to give a little reassurance. And if it makes this whole process of learning easier for your child, then I would suggest you go for it.
Thanks so much for watching today. Sleep well.
If your baby, infant or toddler is having trouble sleeping through the night, help is just a click away! The Sleep Sense Program has helped over 57,00 parents to get their kids sleeping 11-12 hours through the night AND taking long, restful naps during the day. If you’re ready to get started today – I’m looking forward to helping you!