There comes a point when every groggy parent who can't seem to get their baby to sleep feels like they've reached a dead end. You're exhausted, frustrated, and feel like you're practically mainlining coffee just to keep your eyes open. The good news is there is more than one way to help guide your baby to dreamland. But sorting through all the different methods can be daunting, so learning about one at a time gives you time to consider which one will be right for your family. For example, what is the extinction sleep training method and could it work for you?
When it comes to sleep training, the extinction method is not for everyone. That is because extinction means crying it out to the fullest extent and not returning to the baby no matter how long her crying continues, as the Baby Sleep Site explained. There are some variations of crying it out where the parent only allows the baby to cry for a limited amount of time, but with extinction, a parent must be comfortable and committed to letting their baby cry until she stops on her own with no rescuing, or becomes so tired from crying that she eventually falls asleep.
The extinction method can be hard on a family for different reasons. Most commonly, parents just can't bare the sound of their little one crying for an extended period of time, which are the type of iron nerves required to make this method successful. Additionally, excessive and extended periods of crying can disrupt the sleep of other children in the house, causing even more problems for tired parents, as the website for Baby Center pointed out. Which proves just how delicate a decision sleep training can be for a family.
But aside from the emotional strain and possible household disruptions, extinction has received the most pushback from the belief that it puts the baby under psychological stress. To put this theory to the test, researchers in Australia monitored the stress hormone cortisol in babies who cried it out and compared those levels to those of babies whose parents used no form of sleep training. The surprising finding was that those babies who had been sleep trained had lower levels of cortisol than the babies who did not cry it out, as the website for CNN reported.
The decision to sleep train your baby and which method to use, is a very personal one. Extinction isn't right for everyone, so if it feels wrong, don't do it. There are plenty of other routes to takes. But if you do feel like this is the answer to your sleepy prayers, than follow your instincts and don't worry about what other people might say.