When you hear the words “sleep training”, do you start to panic? You're not alone. Let's dive into a few approaches before we explain why we avoid the term and opt for an approach that's suited to the unique needs of your little one.
Sleep Training: Crying It Out
As Sleep and Parenting Consultants, we often have people tell us that they are hesitant to start sleep training their little one. And it’s no wonder. When parents hear the term sleep training, the image that it immediately evokes is one of a baby left alone in a dark room to cry for hours. As parents, this negative association puts us on high alert. Much of this negative association with sleep training comes from how people have interpreted Richard Ferber’s book Solve Your Child’s Sleep, written in 1985. In this book, Ferber talks about getting children to self-soothe and it is what people commonly associate with the "Crying It Out" method.
Sleep Training: No Cry Sleep Solution
As a result of this negative association, there has been much talk in the past few years of using a "no cry approach" to sleep training. Much of this talk stems from ideas taken from Elizabeth Pantry's book The No Cry Sleep Solution. While Pantry's methods work for a small number of children, the book often points parents right back where they started. Check out our blog post on this method if you'd like to learn more.
Cheekychops: Sleep Shaping
At Cheekychops, we avoid using the term Sleep Training when making changes to your child's sleep. Instead, we believe that it is the role of our consultants to help guide parents and support their children through the transition of learning to sleep better. As a result, we don’t offer a one step approach to sleep. In fact, we recommend different approaches based on your child’s unique needs. As sleep and parenting consultants, we would never ask you to leave your child alone to cry in a room to cry for hours. Shaping your child’s sleep a process that does not need to involve a level of crying that makes everyone involved anxious, nor does it mean that you can’t be in the room to comfort your child through the process.