Sleep training can be a touchy subject for plenty of parents. After all, there are many different ways to approach your baby's bedtime routine, and what works like a charm for one child may only lead to long, sleepless nights for another. With this in mind, it's a good idea for caregivers to at least have a passing familiarity with the many sleep training methods available. For instance, what is the Jodi Mindell method, and how can it help your little one rest easy?
As the associate director of the Sleep Center at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Mindell is one of the country's leading experts on infant and toddler sleep issues. She has written a number of books on her findings, including Sleeping Through The Night and Take Charge of Your Child's Sleep. These books outline her approach to sleep training.
In general, the Jodi Mindell sleep method relies on one particularly interesting finding: a child who is able to initially fall asleep without any help from parents is generally able to then sleep through the night, as noted by the American Psychological Association (APA). With this in mind, part of the sleep training method Mindell advocates does include the cry-it-out method, as further explained by the APA. Allowing your infant to cry at night is proposed as a method of self-soothing by many experts, including Mindell, but it's important to note that not all parents are a fan of this idea. At the very least, the cry-it-out idea inspires mixed feelings for many caretakers.
Does the Jodi Mindell method sounds familiar? It is a variation of the Richard Ferber sleep training method, as noted by Baby Center. However, as further noted by Baby Center, her method is considered the "kinder, gentler" version of the Ferber method. If parents still feel wary about the idea, Mindell encourages them to consider the long-term benefits of healthy sleep habits. For instance, once you're over the initial difficulty of getting a child to sleep independently, both parents and children will likely benefit from the improved sleep hygiene that is to come, as noted by The New York Times. A few tears today may mean months of easier rest in the future.
Of course, no one sleep method is going to work for every family. And when you're trying to decide among all of the dizzying choices, from the Ferber method to the Mindell method or something else entirely, it can feel like you're the one who needs time to cry it out. Hopefully you and your family will find the sleep technique that works best for your needs, whatever that may be, and everyone can rest a little easier each night.