Most babies are able to sleep through the night around the fourth month with a somewhat regular sleep/wake pattern. If your baby doesn’t, most likely she is ready for some sleep training at this point.
Remember that it is always important to discuss with your doctor any sleep problems you or your baby may have. It is also wise to discuss the method(s) you may want to explore in dealing with these problems.
You may adopt any one of the two basic sleep training approaches with your child, depending on your own comfort level. Remember that consistency trumps method. Anything done consistently and often enough will work eventually. Each child is wonderfully unique and what works for one baby may not work for yours. Patience is always important in the success of any approach.
“Cry It Out” (CIO) Approach This approach lets a baby cry for a designated time before the parent gives any kind of comfort. It works on the assumption that a baby can master the skill of self soothing at bedtime and even at times when she wakes up in the middle of the night if she is given the opportunity to do so.
While there are others that advocate this approach, probably the most popular among them is Pediatrician Dr. Richard Ferber, author of Solve Your Child’s Sleep Problems, who invented the Ferberization technique used on four-to-six-month old babies for sleep training. Crying is not the ultimate goal, but is inevitable at times during training.
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“No Tears” Approach If you’re not comfortable with the CIO Approach, or you’ve tried it and it doesn’t work for you, the “No Tears” Approach could be the solution you are looking for.
This approach works on the assumption that your baby develops trust in you and her environment as you bond with her at bedtime and address her needs as quickly and efficiently as possible. This is a gentler approach to sleep training your baby.
Popular proponents of this approach are:
Pediatrician, author of “The Baby Sleep Book,” and also a great advocate of attachment parenting, Dr. William Sears.
Elizabeth Pantley, author of “The No-Cry Sleep Solution.”
Registered nurse, lactation educator, newborn consultant, and author of “Secrets of the Baby Whisperer,” Tracy Hogg.
Photography by Christian Halili, David Hanson Ong and Jun Pinzon
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