Hello friend! If you are reading this, chances are you stumbled upon this article because you are thinking about sleep training for your baby and were searching for sleep training methods. Google is crowded with information, so I am here to the rescue! Here is a simple guide to the different techniques. The way we classify the methods is based on the amount of intervention and response from parents and caregivers.
Also known as CIO, it encourages parents to lay their baby awake in their crib and leave the room. Parents are asked to not return to the room if the baby cries and to let the baby cry until he or she falls asleep.
Graduated Extinction Methods
The most known graduated extinction methods are the Ferber method and the Estivil method. Also known as controlled crying, these methods also include laying your baby awake and leaving the room. They encourage parents to go back to the room to briefly reassure their child verbally, without holding them, in timed intervals, making the time intervals longer after each visit. For example, you will return to the room the first time after five minutes, after 10 minutes the next time, 15 minutes the third time, etc.
Camp out Methods
These are the gentle sleep training methods, preferred by most families. They allow intervention and response from parents and caregivers at all times. The idea is to stay in the room with your child until they have fallen asleep, and to slowly fade the parent’s presence and intervention throughout the nights, as the baby needs less support. A good example are the chair method, and pick up / put down. At Not A Peep, we use gentle solutions.
What does the research say about the different sleep training methods?
All research points to extinction and graduated extinction methods being the fastest and most effective, with less relapse. Research also suggests that gentle methods are the most successful with babies going through separation anxiety. Most importantly, none of the methods have been shown to cause short or long-term harm to children and do not interfere with the mother-infant bond.
All of the sleep training methods mentioned have one thing in common: they will ask you to establish a routine and a schedule for your baby. It is also worth noting that no sleep training method is tear-free; please be weary of services that offer you a no-cry solution. Babies cry! It is the only way they have to tell you that they don’t like a situation.
Part of our job as baby sleep consultants is to design a plan that is appropriate for each individual family and child. If you have made the decision to sleep train your little one and don’t know where to start, let us guide you! Book an intro call and find out how we can help.