If you have been researching on how to get your baby to sleep, you may be wondering about all of the different “sleep training” or as we prefer to say…”sleep coaching” methods out there. How do they compare? Which sleep coaching method is best for your family?
Here is a little rundown of some of the different options out there:
Weissbluth Extinction Method:
This is the true definition of the “Cry It Out” method (CIO). You leave baby in bed and don’t return until morning or nap is over. This method is definitely not our go-to method but if you did choose to do this, you will want to make sure that nap timings are good and that your child is set up for success in all avenues of their day so that it makes the process a little easier on them.
The Ferber method suggest that you leave the room and check on your child at timed intervals. The common times are after 5 minutes, then you don’t go back until 10 minutes, third and any subsequent checks are at 15 minutes I believe. Until baby is asleep. Each day, the times between checks increase. When you go in, you are not doing much as far as intervention.
The methods above work well for some families but they do not work for all baby’s temperaments. Pam and I prefer to take a different approach based on the individual child to incorporate different nuances such as separation anxiety, parenting styles, fears and anxieties, etc.
Sleep Sense Program:
One of the methods in the sleep sense program is similar to the above Ferber method.
>Pick up put down: This method might work well for some younger babies. However, it can be extremely stimulating as you are essentially standing by the crib picking your child up and putting your child down constantly. Highly stimulated babies would not do well with this and it can be strenuous on parents.
>Sleep Lady shuffle: You are in the room with your child and you move your position every few days until you are eventually out of the room. You can use a little intervention to help your child at the beginning. For some babies, being in the room can be a little stimulating but it works quite well for others.
>The no cry sleep solution: This is not really sleep coaching but it is more working on the foundations for healthy sleep to help instill some healthy sleep habits. You may not have the full success that you would while sleep coaching (teaching your child how to fall asleep independently) as that step is most often what solves all sleep challenges.
The Restful Parenting program:
We have created a sleep program with a few methods based on but different than some of the methods listed above. We have a staying in the room method- similar to the Sleep Lady Shuffle but a little different, a timed method with shorter increments and lots of support when you go in (if your baby needs it) as well as a check in method that allows you to check in when you feel that your child needs it and not based on the clock.
With whichever method you decide to use when working with us, we slow it down or speed it up based on your comfort level as well as how your child is doing. We add extra steps and more intervention when needed or we have you work a little faster if you are comfortable. We encourage you to offer a lot of support to your child when you begin and when all of this is so new to them. Then as they build up more and more confidence in their new ability, we have you ease off of the amount of intervention that you are giving.
Of course, for some families who do not want to do any sleep coaching methods, we work on all of the other factors that may be affecting your child’s sleep and make small changes that can help improve your child’s overall sleep! Regardless of the method you choose, the true benefit is having the support that Restful Parenting offers. When you are at your wits end with your child’s sleep, support can be most beneficial.
We can ensure that what you are doing will work (because we tweak things that are not working and modify the plan based on how your child is responding to the changes and handling everything.) We are there with you every step of the way as you make these changes and our focus is to help your child sleep of course, but also to help you build your confidence to tackle your child’s sleep not only now but also in the future!
We hope that this has helped give you a quick comparison of the different sleep training methods so you can decide what method may be best for you and your family to help you get the sleep you all need!