Baby Sleep Training – Two Different Approaches

newborn baby asleep on towels

Two Baby Sleep Training Methods Compared

Can’t get your baby to sleep? Finding it difficult to manage his sleeping pattern?  Should you use a sleep training method?  Here we look at two broad schools of thoughts, both pertinent to putting your baby to sleep:

Self-Soothing Method or ‘Cry It Out’

The self-soothing method requires  the baby to  develop the  habit of going to sleep on his/her own, without much help from the parents. Usually, the baby is left on his own and struggles to go to sleep, without establishing an association with a mother’s hug or daily massages. This can prove to be really difficult for the baby, since it is close to pushing a young bird and letting it fly on its own. Therefore, this method is frowned upon by various parents and experts, due to its many disadvantages:

  • Parents have to become ignorant, each time the baby cries.  This is very difficult for most parents and causes distress to both parents and baby.
  • It is an easy way out for parents, who do not want to put in an effort to nurture their children.  
  • It might lead to trust issues, especially when the baby grows up. This method basically teaches you baby that when he communicates he is ignored and that his  world does not respond to his needs.
  • It ignores the possibility that your baby has a medical problem, due to which he cannot sleep
  • Some babies require and demand a lot of attention and leaving them on their own is a perfect recipe for psychological disaster in later life

The advent of technology has evolved the way parents nurture their kids. These technological remedies are nothing but another of the many ways of freeing the parents of their roles and responsibilities towards their babies. Sleep trainers are methods and gadgets, which help a baby to sleep, alone and unattended by their parents. Ask yourself, do  you want your baby to cry till a crib vibrator or an oscillating cradle lulls your baby to sleep? Do you really want that for your baby? The ‘cry it out ‘ sleep training is  based on the self-soothing method of parenting, thus, the same set of disadvantages can be applied to them.

 

Baby in parents hands

Parent-Soothing Method

This method belongs to a more traditional school of thought and involves the full participation of parents in the sleeping and waking patterns of a baby. Parents can either rock, cuddle, massage or feed the baby to sleep. Since the parent takes up full responsibility of up bringing their children, this method has quite a few advantages:

  • Creates pleasant and cherished childhood memories, which can have a great impact on the personality of your baby, especially when they grow up
  • Your baby feels safe and secure, since they feel that they can rely on their parents and will forever be protected by them
  • Therefore, it creates a strong bond of trust and love between you and your baby

Following the simple steps here will help to set a Happy Baby Bedtime:-

Determine the Best Sleeping Place For Baby

There is no hard and fast rule which states that babies sleep better, in their cribs and bassinets. You need to find out the right place, where your baby feels safe and comfortable. Many a times, the ideal place for your baby is usually cuddled around their mothers. It is up to you to decide where your baby feels most comfortable, therefore, as parents, you can be the best judge.  Bath, snuggle and feed your baby before bedtime and take time to enjoy the nightly ritual.

Make a Daytime Routine

If your baby has had a peaceful and relaxing day, when you tend to his/her every need, he/she is bound to have an untroubled night. Moreover, try to involve your baby in various acts of child play, such as playing with a rattle; this would eventually exhaust them and put your baby to sleep, at night.

Make Sure You Set Nap Routines

Babies do not only need a good night’s sleep, they needs to have a well regulated and monitored sleeping routine during the daytime, so that they can sleep for at least eight hours at night. Set up nap routines and make sure you lie down with your baby, so that you can get your fair share of rest, during the day, as well as night.

 

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Our Experts

Our Expert

Jane Cooke - Baby Sleep Expert