The “No Tears “gradual approach
The supporters believe in soothing the baby to sleep and allowing parents to respond and comfort it right away when he cries. It is a slower strategy and means fewer tears.
“No Tears” approach followers believe that you should use the opportunity that bedtime presents to connect with your child. Introducing quiet, cozy nighttime rituals, you can quickly respond to your baby’s needs for food and comfort.
Some experts believe that the “Cry it out” methods are not suitable for children at all. Mr. William Sears dedicates an entire chapter of “The Baby Sleep Book” where he critiques all aspects of cry it out methods.
Sears, along with Mrs. Elizabeth Pantley (“The No-Cry Sleep Solution”), believes that this technique can lead to children negative associations with sleep and bedtime, which could last a lifetime.
The “Cry it out” approach supporters, as well as many pediatricians strongly disagree. In their view, it isn’t traumatic for babies to cry alone for relatively short periods, with the frequent check-ins by parents. The re-sult, in their opinion, is a happier and a well-rested child.
They say, that “No Tears” sleep strategies may cause children to become over dependent on warmth from a mother or father at bedtime, making it more difficult for them to learn to calm themselves alone to sleep.
Practical tips for “No Tears“ solution:
✓Establish a consistent nap schedule and a sleep routine during the day, which will regulate the sleep during nighttime.
✓Put your baby to bed as early as 6:30 or 7 o’clock. It is wrong to believe that getting more tired will help with sleep during the night. With a tired baby, you can actually have a difficult time getting her to sleep. Some experts say, that kids who go to bed earlier sleep much longer.
✓Do transitions slowly. If your baby is on a schedule from 9.30, don’t move bedtime to 7 o’clock. Introduce bedtime changes a little earlier every night until you reach the time that appears to suit your baby the best.
✓Find a calming and comforting bedtime routine and stick to it. The right one could be a bath followed by a book, then a lullaby, then you could put the child to bed at the same time.
✓Develop some “key words” to signal to your child that it’s time for sleep. It could be a simple “sssh shhh” sound or a softly spoken phrase like “It’s your sleepy time.” Repeat it every night, so he’ll associate it with bedtime.
✓Don’t respond to every sound your baby makes. Try to learn and distinguish between a real cry and a sleepy whimper. It’s better to wait for a minute outside the door, so you won’tdisturb him if he’s asleep.
The “Cry it out“ strategy
The supporters accept that it is Ok for the child to cry when he is in bed alone in the room. They don’t give you the advice to let a baby cry too long. You need to put your child to bed when he’s still awake and to allow short periods of crying, while comforting without picking him up.
Richard Ferber in “Solve Your Child’s Sleep Problems” introduced the system of getting babies to sleep that has become practically known as “Cry it out.” Ferber is the only one of sleep experts who says that crying for some children is an unavoidable part of sleep training. Most pediatricians agree that crying is healthy and normal and “Cry it Out” methods work well for many families over the world.
How do I give the Ferber method a try?
First of all, your baby should be between four and six months old. He must be ready both physically and emotionally to sleep all night long. The implementations of this technique can vary so much depending on the child. You can always give it a try, or discuss it with your doctor. If you encounter serious resistance, you should wait for a few weeks before trying again.
1.Put your baby in his crib, still awake but sleepy.
2.Say goodnight and confidently leave the room. If the baby starts to cry while you are going, let him cry for a decided amount of time.
3.Go back for no more than a few minutes only to pat and encourage your baby. Don’t turn on the light, and keep your voice calm and comforting. Please, do not pick your child up. Leave the room again while he’s still awake, even if the baby is crying.
4.Stay out of the baby’s room for a little bit longer now and follow the same method, staying out for increasingly longer periods of time. Each time returning for only a minute or two to pat and reassure him, and leaving long he’s still awake.
5.Follow this routine as many times as necessary until your child falls asleep when you’re out of the room. Think of this as a game! Try to be a winner!
6.Keep following the same routine if your child wakes up later. Start with the smallest waiting time for that night. Gradually increase the intervals between visits until you reach the maximum for that evening.
7.Steadily increase the time between visits to the child’s room every night.
8.By the third or fourth night (a week at the most), according to Ferber, your baby will adapt and will start to sleep on his own.
9.If your child is very resistant after several nights of trying, wait a few weeks and then try again.