Sleeping and falling back asleep after waking up in the middle of the night are skills that babies need to learn. To help, pediatric sleep consultant Brooke Nalle of Sleepy On Hudson details the various sleep training methods and encourages parents to choose the one that fits their lifestyle the best.
You should only start when you are ready to truly carry out your plan from start to finish. Consistency on your part minimizes crying and reduces anxiety for your sleeper.
Here is a quick look at sleep teaching or training methods that are presently out there. Please keep in mind that there are variations on all of these.
1. Full Extinction, aka, cry it out.
Some pediatricians say you should start at 14 pounds, 4 months; it’s ok, some say, to wait until 6 months. This method is best done when a baby is younger, preferably not able to stand in the crib. It is also best done when a baby is learning cause and effect (from 4 to 7 months). This method tends to get pretty tough to implement after 7 to 8 months.
2. Time Checks, a.k.a., Ferber or Ferberize.
3. Gradual Extinction or Fading.
You follow the same plan during night wake-ups and eventually for naps. This is great for any age, especially for toddlers who sleep in beds.
4. Gentle methods
Ultimately, the best method for you is the one that you can carry out with confidence and consistency.
Brooke Nalle, mother of three, is the founder and pediatric sleep consultant at Sleepy On Hudson. She has a master’s in education and has advanced training in sleep training 4- and 5-month-olds. Nalle has worked with parents in New York City, Westchester County, Connecticut, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, among others.