Sleep Training: A Look at Both Sides of the Argument

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Caring for a newborn can be exhausting. Tired parents often struggle to find ways to get their newborns to sleep through the night. There is fierce debate over whether you should sleep train your baby or let him learn to sleep on his own.

The Ferber Sleep Training Methods

With this method, parents allow the baby (always three months or older) to “cry it out,” and only provide comfort to the crying baby throughout the night. This method instructs parents to respond to the baby in increasing intervals—first after 5 minutes of crying, then after 10 minutes and so on. Ultimately the baby will simply fall asleep from exhaustion. Some psychologists disagree with this method because they believe that allowing the baby to cry teaches him that he cannot trust that his parents will meet his needs. They also believe that an interruption in this training—an ill baby, an unexpected overnight trip—can mean having to start the process again, further frustrating the baby.

Sleep Training Your Baby

Some parents swear by sleep training, arguing that allowing the baby to cry it out gives them the skills they need to self-soothe and get to sleep on their own. These parents often find that after just a few nights, the baby will stop crying through the night and simply fall asleep on his own. The method, which includes lengthening the intervals at which you attend to the baby, allows the baby to get used to sleeping without being comforted. Sleep training often works best with babies who are independent and content with being alone. Babies that need constant reassurance and physical touch may find this method challenging.

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Most parents are either firmly on one side or the other. The method you choose depends on your philosophy and your level of comfort. Some parents are comfortable letting their babies cry it out, while for some it is unbearable.

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While the jury is still out about which method is best, the most important thing is that you do what is best for your family. Follow us at Successful Parenting Today for more helpful parenting articles.

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One response to “Sleep Training: A Look at Both Sides of the Argument”

  1. maamaabear says :

    I agree about doing what’s best for your family. My LO is almost 9 months old and I never had the heart to let her cry it out. I tried one night and after an hour, I gave in as I was close to tears as well.

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