When it comes to getting your baby to sleep through the night, there comes a time where you're willing to try just about anything. Even methods like crying it out, which can be hard to cope with as a parent. But don't worry, there are plenty of tools to help with crying it out. Because, let's be honest, it's rarely easy. Comforting your crying baby is a natural instinct, which often makes the crying it out method difficult for parents. But if you can make it through the initial phases of crying it out, you and your baby will be better for it.
Crying it out, or the Ferber method, is a sleep training method where you let your child cry themselves to sleep in order to get them to sleep through the night, and fall asleep without any help. Though crying it out may seem controversial to some parents, and may prove difficult for some parents — studies have shown that there are no adverse effects to the crying it out method. So, put together your arsenal of tools, so you and your partner will be able to successfully make your way through crying it out, and enjoy full nights of sleep in no time at all.
1. A Bedtime Routine
According to BabyCenter, one of the most important things you can do for yourself and your child to prepare for sleep training is to establishing a bedtime routine. Whether it's a bath followed by a book, a lullaby and a snuggle, or some other combination, following the same routine every night will help your child know what to expect.
2. A Plan With Your Partner
According to WebMD, having a bedtime plan with your partner no matter what age your children are is a great idea. Talk it over with your partner and decide who's going to do what, how to proceed if you have visitors, if only one of you his home, etcetera. Also making sure your partner is on the same page as you, so that you can keep each other in check when it comes to consistency, is key.
3. Time To Adjust
Don't start the cry it out method on a night where you need a certain amount of sleep. Plan to begin the method on an evening where it's OK if you lose some sleep, so your shuteye won't be too disturbed by the inevitable crying from your baby.
4. Coping Methods
Be ready for the first few nights to be especially difficult. Hearing your baby cry can be difficult, so you should fill your waiting periods with activities with your partner. Whether you listen to music, or play a game of cards, or take a walk while your partner sticks it out. Take turns, and you'll both be more likely to survive with your sanity in tact.
5. A Backup Plan
According to What To Expect, you should see results after about three nights of crying it out. But in case the first few nights prove to be too much for you, have a back up plan that includes a more gradual approach that fits your style a bit better. If it's too hard for you to dive right in to crying it out, that doesn't mean you have to give up on it completely. Having an alternative plan of action, with less waiting time, or a longer introductory period, will help you from having to start all over again if you or your partner don't think you can make it through the initial plan.