You can try several different sleep training methods to help your baby get to sleep, especially if your attempts to establish a normal bedtime routine have not been that effective. The methods that you end up trying simply depend on what you feel the most comfortable with and what works the best, but you should speak to your pediatrician before trying any sleep training methods and only use methods that have been studied as being effective. The methods described below have been published in the Sleep and other journals and have proven to work when applied the correct way. The important thing is to pick a sleep training method that you feel the most comfortable with and natural using, and there is a good chance that it will work for you.
The “No Tears” Method
This is a method that involves a gradual approach to sleep training, where the baby is taken care of as soon as she starts crying. “No tears” methods are the alternative to “cry it out” methods where you let your baby cry alone for a short period of time while supervising them and let her fall back to sleep on her own. No tears sleep training methods are a good choice for parents who don’t like the idea of cry it out sleep training methods or who have tried them without much luck.
The no-tears sleep training method involves a child centered approach which may include nursing a baby to sleep, rocking to sleep, and physical closeness as a way to create positive sleep associations. Some proponents recommend rocking and feeding your baby until she is tired and then putting her to bed once the point of drowsiness has been reached. If your baby wakes up you would immediately respond to her. Other variations of the no tears method can include picking your baby up when she cries and putting her back to sleep, but not using the rocking and feeding method.
The “Cry it Out” Method
The “cry it out” method is the alternative to the no-tears method and this does not involve letting your baby cry for an extended period of time as some might think. These methods suggest that a baby does not need to be attended to every time she wakes up in the middle of the night and cries, and that you can let your baby cry for a short specified period of time with the hope that she can fall back to sleep without your intervention.
The idea behind this method is that if your baby depends on you to rock her to sleep every night that she will never be able to fall asleep on her own, and this can create extra dependence. When your baby wakes at night she might cry for your more often and won’t stop crying until you arrive, but if she learns how to calm down without your help then you won’t have to get up every time.