“Surprising News About Sleep Training Solutions”
Ah, yes, the elusive and yet much talked about full night’s sleep.
My goodness, well I had better click right away–perhaps Martha Sears and Dr. Sears are correct and allowing your baby to cry at night will result in an anti-social little monster. Or maybe Ferber and his gang have it right when they say that you are dooming your child to a lifetime of sleep disorders if you do not suck it up and sleep train your baby.
So, what is the groundbreaking news, you ask? It turns out that all of the methods work, as long as you are consistent. Mamanista is less than shocked.
If you continue reading, Mamanista will share what worked for Baby Diva and recommend some books (Pantley and Weissbluth) for more detail.
According to Baby Center:
Thankfully, researchers from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine have just concluded a groundbreaking review of five different sleep-training strategies. Their surprising conclusion: There’s no single “best” approach for teaching your baby to sleep well. All the methods work, provided parents follow one simple rule — consistency.
So, I’ve developed my own sleep plan for Baby Diva based on the advice that best matches my family’s lifestyle.
First, I would recommend, Healthy Sleep, Healthy Child, by Weisbluth, for learning about age appropriate naps. He actually shares a tidbit of advice that was not instinctual for me: past the first few weeks of life, babies do not always nap when they need to nap. His book contains detailed information about sleep research as well as some information about age-appropriate nap schedules. Once I started following his advice and putting Baby Diva down for naps, she became the happy baby she is today. Baby Diva is 7 months, so most days she has a nap at around 9:30 am and one at around 1 pm. If her afternoon nap is early, short, or otherwise disrupted, she sometimes needs a short nap at around 4 pm. Bedtime is at 7-7:30 pm.
I couldn’t allow Baby Diva to cry it out when she was younger because she had a heart condition at the time (now repaired!). So, when it was time for a nap or bedtime, I had to find a calm way to ease her to sleep. I found that in Pantley’s No Cry Sleep Solution. Baby Diva’s routine is: Bath, Massage, PJ’s, Nurse, Big Red Barn (Book), Goodnight Moon (Book), start “Nighty-Night Mozart” (CD), hand her her baby-safe stuffed animal, lights out, kiss goodnight.
If she wakes up at times that are not feeding times, at first we would rock her to sleep. Now, we just shush her and sometimes put on one of her white noise CDs.
Consistency is a day to day issue–you may have to change up your routine as your baby moves through different life stages. Now that Baby Diva is older (and heart healthy), I do allow her to fuss a little (but not actually full-out cry and scream) and she often finds her way to sleep. Occasionally she will actually cry, and then I will go to her, soothe her without picking her up, and she’ll return to slumber land.
As with all things parenting, your mileage may vary. And of course, celebrities are spending tens of thousands of dollars hiring “expert” consultants (source: NYTimes and Mamapop) to make their little star-suckers perfect. Most of us can’t afford even an hour with these consultants so we’ll have to muddle through on our own. Now you have Mamanista’s method free of charge–though you may want to purchase some books for more details and encouragement.
Sleep Advice Books Recommended by Mamanista:
Healthy Sleep Habits, Healthy Child, by Marc Weissbluth. Available at: Amazon.com $10.17; Barnes and Noble $13.45
No Cry Sleep Solution, by Elizabeth Pantley. Available at: Amazon.com $9.17; Barnes and Noble $13.45
Happiest Baby on the Block, by Harvey Karp. This book offers helpful, if largely intuitive advice, that aided me in keeping Baby Diva calm from 0-8 weeks. Available at: Barnes and Noble $12.60.
How to Get Your Baby to Sleep, by Martha Sears. Available at: Barnes and Noble $4.99; Amazon.com $4.99.
Solve Your Child’s Sleep Problems, by Richard Ferber. Available at: Amazon.com $10.05; Barnes and Noble $12.76
Big Red Barn (Board Book). Available at: Barnes and Noble $7.99; Amazon.com $7.99
Goodnight Moon (Board Book). Available at: Barnes and Noble $7.99; Amazon.com $7.99
Mozart Effect: Nighty Night (CD). Available at: Amazon.com $6.48; Barnes and Noble $6.98
Echoes of Nature: Ocean Waves (Baby Diva’s fave white noise CD). Available at: Barnes and Noble $5.49; Amazon.com $5.49