The number one question I hear from parents that want to work with me is, “is this the cry it out method”? Surprisingly, many parents believe that any type of sleep training is requiring their child to cry without comfort and thus saying “see you later, figure it out” to their baby when bedtime comes around. Although this method does work for some families and arguably, this method may even be effective, it’s not right for many parents out there (in my experience).
A little history on where “cry it out” comes from…..
Dr. Richard Ferber invented the Ferber method also known as Ferberization. It consists of training children to self-soothe to sleep and allowing the child to cry for a predetermined amount of time before receiving any comfort. He outlines a wide range of practices parents should use to get their child sleeping including implementing a bedtime routine, leaving the child in bed and then exiting the room right away, and when offering comfort to your child, quickly returning to their room and leaving again with little to no interaction.
Let me share with you how the Sleep Sense™ program is different and how I utilize methods that parents ARE comfortable with.
After conducting a preliminary questionnaire of your child’s current sleep habits, health history, and family history, I build a completely custom sleep plan for your child. This involves nearly EVERYTHING you’ll run into – bedtime, naps, night time waking, and tips on improving your child’s bedroom/nursery. I also educate on what safe sleep practices are.
You’ll also see that on my preliminary questionnaire, I ask parents what their comfort level is with crying – can you not even handle one minute of crying? Are you able to tolerate a lot of crying? This information helps me to honor the comfort level of all my parents.
Most important of all is that I will NEVER ask parents to do something they are not comfortable with. That’s the beauty of working with a sleep consultant and going custom with your child’s sleep needs. There’s no “one size fits all” advice that forces you into a scenario you aren’t comfortable with. You are in control!
I do want to be clear that most children DO protest changes to their sleep routines and this is in the form of crying. This is a baby’s only way to communicate and if they could talk they’d be saying, “hey, I liked nursing to sleep” or “I liked that pacifier, give it back”. I’m always sure to tell parents that my program will most likely involve at least some amount of protest on the child’s part. I wish I had a magic wand to take this away.
So what is the difference between your method and “crying it out”?
Great question! I will never ask you to do anything outside of your comfort level. I encourage parents to be there for their child during this process and be in the room providing comfort, if they choose. This may look like comforting pats on the back, saying a key phrase such as “it’s night night time”, a bit of “sshhhing”, or even for younger babies, picking them up and taking a break.
Consistency is key and although this process can be very hard for parents and the child, the reward is SO worth it! You are giving your child the ultimate gift which is restful #sleep for the rest of their life. Your kiddo will not only feel better but have increased energy and be HAPPIER! Your mama friends will be SO jealous!