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When parents reach out to enquire about sleep training, there is one question I am often asked - "What is your sleep training approach", "will you adopt the Cry-it-Out approach for my baby". My method, as those who have worked with me know, depends on the situation and the age of the baby among many other factors. Today let’s address that question - Is Cry-it-Out really the only way to sleep train?
Well the short answer is "No". Cry-It-Out is NOT the only way to sleep train. :-)
The Cry-it-Out method can be an effective method in sleep training some babies. But for many reasons some parents find that this approach may totally not work on their child or the CIO approach may just not suit their parenting style. But that said as a parent you may also not be happy with the idea of rocking or nursing your baby multiple times at night or mid naps disturbing his sleep and yours. This often leads to a cranky baby and understandably, a cranky and tired parent!
There are many other effective options and methods to sleep train your baby. In the Sleep Right Program I try to develop the most effective approach based on the case assessment and conversation I have with you. Often the method I develop for the baby is actually be a combination of different methods that are implemented at strategic phases in the training, as opposed to just one method.
So does an alternate to cry-it-out mean there will be no crying at all??
Frankly that is not the case. Cry- it-Out is a specific method of sleep training. When you take your baby out of his/her comfort zone and try to change certain unhealthy sleep habits or associations that he/she has in place, you will most likely meet some level of resistance or protest or crying. How you handle this protest is the basic difference between the methods. We really cannot control the baby’s reaction but we can manage and choose ours such that it will help our baby develop healthy sleep habits and associations in the long run.
There are several fantastic approaches and sleep training methods – some involve you staying in the room while others may need you to step out of the room- but the goal always is to help your baby inculcate healthy sleep habits, age appropriate hours of night sleep and naps, and teach them to fall asleep and stay asleep without unhealthy associations ie. independently.
In my practice I rarely use the Cry-it-Out approach as the way to sleep train a baby. Partly because a.) Most parents are not too thrilled to use this method and mostly because b.) I find there are gentler approaches to get to the same goal.
Sleeping independently and sleeping well are skills like walking, cycling etc. which you can help your baby learn! If your baby is having trouble falling sleeping or staying asleep get in touch with me 🤙 and let me guide you with the Sleep Right Program on how to help your child learn this important life skill!