Baby Gesture

The 5 Best Sleep Training Methods (Plus Tips From Parents)

January 17, 2024 | by Carlene Kuntz

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Introduction

Sleep training is a hot topic among parents who are looking for ways to help their babies and toddlers develop healthy sleep habits. With so many different methods available, it can be overwhelming to know where to start. In this article, we will explore the five best sleep training methods, as well as provide tips from experienced parents who have successfully used these methods with their own children.

1. The Ferber Method

The Ferber Method, also known as progressive waiting or graduated extinction, involves gradually increasing the amount of time you wait before responding to your baby’s cries. This method aims to teach your baby to self-soothe and fall asleep independently. Many parents have found success with this method, but it’s important to note that it may not be suitable for every child.

Tips from parents:

  • Start with short intervals and gradually increase the time between checks.
  • Stay consistent and stick to the plan, even if it’s difficult at first.
  • Provide comfort and reassurance during check-ins, but avoid picking up your baby.

2. The Weissbluth Method

The Weissbluth Method, developed by Dr. Marc Weissbluth, focuses on establishing a consistent sleep schedule and routine. This method emphasizes the importance of creating a sleep-friendly environment and ensuring that your baby is well-rested during the day. By following a strict schedule, your baby will learn to associate certain cues with sleep and develop healthy sleep patterns.

Tips from parents:

  • Stick to the schedule, even on weekends or during vacations.
  • Create a calm and soothing bedtime routine to signal to your baby that it’s time to sleep.
  • Make sure your baby is getting enough daytime sleep to avoid overtiredness.

3. The Pick-Up-Put-Down Method

The Pick-Up-Put-Down Method, popularized by Tracy Hogg, involves picking up your baby when they cry and putting them back down once they have calmed down. This method focuses on providing comfort and reassurance while gradually teaching your baby to fall asleep on their own. It requires patience and consistency, but many parents have found success with this gentle approach.

Tips from parents:

  • Use a soothing voice and gentle touch to comfort your baby.
  • Be prepared for multiple pick-ups and put-downs in the beginning.
  • Stay calm and patient, even if it takes some time for your baby to settle.

4. The Chair Method

The Chair Method involves sitting in a chair next to your baby’s crib while they fall asleep. Over time, you gradually move the chair farther away from the crib until your baby can fall asleep without your presence. This method provides comfort and reassurance while also teaching your baby to self-soothe and sleep independently.

Tips from parents:

  • Start by sitting close to the crib and gradually move the chair farther away each night.
  • Use a soothing voice and gentle touch to comfort your baby, but avoid picking them up.
  • Be consistent and patient, as it may take some time for your baby to adjust to falling asleep without you in the room.

5. The Bedtime Fading Method

The Bedtime Fading Method involves gradually shifting your baby’s bedtime later in small increments. This method aims to align your baby’s natural sleep patterns with your desired bedtime. By gradually adjusting the bedtime, your baby will be more tired and more likely to fall asleep quickly and stay asleep throughout the night.

Tips from parents:

  • Make small adjustments to the bedtime, around 15 minutes at a time.
  • Observe your baby’s sleep cues and adjust the bedtime accordingly.
  • Be patient, as it may take a few weeks for your baby’s sleep schedule to fully adjust.

Conclusion

When it comes to sleep training, every child is different, and what works for one may not work for another. It’s important to choose a method that aligns with your parenting style and feels right for you and your baby. Remember to be patient, consistent, and always prioritize your baby’s comfort and well-being. By using one of these five best sleep training methods and incorporating tips from experienced parents, you’ll be on your way to establishing healthy sleep habits for your little one.

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