Babies: Sleep Methods

. 10/18/08

There are many different methods from the “experts” on dealing with sleep problems in your developing baby and child. Again, do what works best for you and what you feel comfortable with.

The Ferber method involves letting the baby cry herself to sleep, on the theory that if you’re firm about bed time, she’ll learn to comfort herself to sleep. This doesn’t mean just plunking the baby down in her crib and walking away. It differs from what you may already be doing in that it encourages you to put the baby in her crib while she’s still awake, so she gets used to falling asleep without you. But this might also mean letting her cry it out for a few weeks. This can be stressful for everyone in the household.

Another method is the controlled crying method. Again, this involves your usual bedtime rituals of a bath, perhaps a snack and a story, rocking and cuddling. Put your baby in her crib and kiss her goodnight. If she starts to cry, wait 10 to 15 minutes before going in to comfort her. Try to resist picking her up, just shush her quietly and pat her on the back. Some experts suggest not talking, as this can reinforce the waking and crying behavior. You want to reassure your baby that you’re there, but you still want to encourage sleeping.

After the first half hour of crying, increase the intervals before you check on the baby by a few minutes each time, up to about 15 to 20 minutes between checking. This can take some time, and can be trying on your nerves, but in time, your baby will learn that you’re not going away and that you’re nearby. This teaches your baby self-comforting, but also gives her the confidence and security that you’re there for her.


Tuanh said...

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