Is sleep training without cry it out method even possible?
It sounds like sleep training without cry it out method is a dream, but it can work! If you’ve been looking for an extremely gentle way to encourage sleep in your baby without the tears, this one’s for you.
(FYI. Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning that at no additional cost to you, I make a small commission if you click through and make a purchase.)
Let’s start this just be recognizing one thing. Most of the time, babies are not the ones with a problem. It’s the parents who have a problem.
Waking frequently at night is not only extremely common and biologically normal for babies and even toddlers or kids, but it can actually be what is healthiest for them.
Being able to sleep through the night is a skill that babies acquire as they develop, just like talking and walking. While there might be gentle things you can do to encourage them to get those skills under their belt, you certainly can’t force them.
It is the same with sleep. You can’t literally force a baby to fall asleep. All you can do is create the best environment for that baby to fall asleep.
Sure you can let your baby cry and exhaust themselves to fall asleep, but if you’ve landed here my guess is that isn’t your style and instead are looking for tips for sleep training without cry it out.
However, with both parents working outside the home in many families leading to total exhaustion if babies wake often in the night, plus societal pressure, many parents seek out advice for how to get their baby to sleep at some point.
I must admit that although I am about as crunchy of a mama as you can get who bedshares with my kids and also nurses on demand throughout the night, I still have sought out all the sleep tips I can that still align with my parenting style. (For how to bedshare in the safest way possible, read this.)
Before I go into any tips for helping babies with sleep training with cry it out, I MUST recommend the No Cry Sleep Solution by Elizabeth Pantley.
The No Cry Sleep Solution has been so helpful for me with helping my twins learn to sleep independently during their nap times. My daughter (who is now 4 and sleeps through the night just fine now) had to be held for all of her naps as a baby and toddler.
Seriously. She woke up almost ever time we tried to let her sleep on her own. Since we not willing to let her cry it out, we just went with it.
When I had my twins I knew I wasn’t going to be able to hold them both for every nap and deal with my daughter who was 2-years-old when they were born. So I turned to the No Cry Sleep Solution to help me get them to nap independently, and with what I learned in the book, I was successful!
If you are serious about figuring out some methods to get your baby to sleep without crying, definitely check out the book.
Help them keep their days and nights straight.
When it is nap time during the day, try to keep the room light. Then when it is bedtime make sure that the lights are dimmed as you approach bedtime and the room is very dark.
This will help signal to them that it’s night time and time to sleep for a longer stretch.
But be warned that this one is a bit of a trial by error tip. Some babies really resist sleep if there is any light and prefer dark rooms. So see what works.
Have a bedtime routine.
You’re routine could be as elaborate as bathtime before a baby massage with lavender cream followed by a bedtime story then milk and being rocked to sleep.
Or you can keep it as simple as just diaper change, pajamas, and being rocked to sleep.
The key here is to do something that signals to the baby that bedtime is approaching and they should be winding down.
Try to keep the TV’s off, any music or noise should be soothing and relaxing, and while some play helps babies burn off a little extra energy, it can also wind some up. Pay attention and see what works for your kids.
But keep it noisy at nap time
One of the best tips for helping babies nap during the day is to not change your environment too much. So if you have a preschooler or toddler who is going to be running around making noise, then just let them!
For a lot of babies and kids, they will adapt to whatever is happening around them. Chances are they were already getting used to the noisy sibling while in the womb. Instead of making a boisterous older child chill out, just let your tiny one get used to the daily noises around the house.
Again, this is something that you do just have to try and see how it works out because there are some babies who will be sensitive to noise no matter what you do.
Keep in mind their development
I honestly just want to scream at the computer screen when a new mom posts in a Facebook group whether their one-month-old is old enough to sleep train.
While there are gentler methods of sleep training without cry it out that can be used as babies get older, and you can also create the best sleep environments to promote sleep from the beginning, be reasonable. Many babies, toddlers, and even older children just aren’t developmentally ready to sleep through the night, but this is especially true for tiny babies.
According to this study, only 16% of babies were sleeping through the night by 6 months old. If such a low percentage of babies sleep through the night by that age, then it surely can’t be developmentally normal for a baby to be able to sleep through the night. So, when making decisions regarding any sleep training method used, keep this in mind and act accordingly.
Go outside for better sleep
In some countries like Sweden or Finland, it is common practice for babies to sleep outside, even if freezing temperatures. Some evidence seems to show that this helps babies nap for longer periods of time during the day. Of course, use common sense about ensuring babies are warm and safe when going outside.
Spending more time outside during the day can also help children sleep better at night. The additional light helps the baby’s circadian rhythm get in sync.
The most important thing that all mamas who sleep train without cry it out swear by is consistency. So see what works best for your family, and then do your best to stick to it. It is possible to help your baby learn to sleep for longer periods of time more independently in a gentle way if you are patient and follow the baby’s lead.
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