Alternatives to Cry It Out Method
The cry it out method, also known as extinction or Ferberization, is a popular sleep training technique that involves letting babies cry for extended periods until they fall asleep on their own. However, some parents are apprehensive about this method and seek alternatives that do not involve leaving their babies to cry alone. In this article, we will discuss some of the alternatives to cry it out.
1. The Pick-Up, Put-Down Method
The pick-up, put-down method is a gentler alternative to the cry it out method. It involves picking up your baby when they start crying and putting them back down when they stop. This process is repeated until the baby falls asleep. This method can be time-consuming, but it allows parents to comfort their babies without leaving them to cry alone.
2. The Chair Method
The chair method involves placing a chair next to your baby’s crib and sitting in it until they fall asleep. The parent can offer verbal reassurance or gentle hand patting to soothe the baby. Over time, the chair can be moved farther away from the crib until the baby can fall asleep without the parent present. This method can be effective for soothing babies who are hesitant to sleep alone.
3. The Bedtime Fading Method
The bedtime fading method involves gradually delaying your baby’s bedtime until they are tired enough to fall asleep quickly. For example, if your baby typically goes to bed at 7 pm, you might delay their bedtime by fifteen minutes each night until they are going to bed at 8 pm. This method works well for babies who have trouble falling asleep quickly or who resist going to bed.
4. The Sush-Pat Method
The Sush-Pat method involves offering verbal reassurance and gentle touch to soothe a crying baby. The parent says “shh” while patting the baby’s back or gently rubbing their tummy. This method is effective for calming fussy babies and promoting sleep.
5. The Sleep Wave Method
The Sleep Wave method involves checking on your baby at increasing intervals until they fall asleep. For example, parents might check on their baby after one minute of crying, then two minutes, and so on until the baby falls asleep. This method can be effective for babies who need reassurance but do not want to be picked up or held.
6. The Baby-Led Sleep Approach
The baby-led sleep approach involves following your baby’s cues and responding to their needs rather than imposing a strict sleep schedule. This method promotes a healthy sleep relationship between parent and child since it emphasizes the importance of responsiveness and attachment.
While the cry it out method may work for some families, it is not the only approach to promote healthy sleep for babies. Parents can choose from many alternatives that prioritize their baby’s comfort and needs. The pick-up, put-down method, chair method, bedtime fading method, Sush-Pat method, sleep wave method, and baby-led sleep approach are among the alternatives to cry it out. Parents can experiment with these methods and find the one that works best for their family. Remember, every baby is unique and deserves a responsive sleep approach that meets their individual needs.