What Is The Weissbluth Method? It's A Bit Controversial

When it comes to sleep training, every parent has their own technique. Each method is aimed at getting your child to sleep through the night, regardless of whether you co-sleep, room share, or your baby has their own room. One method in particular, the Weissbluth method, has a lot of negative associations with it, for it's association to "crying it out." But what is the Weissbluth method exactly? If you're considering sleep training for your child, you will definitely want to check out each method before choosing which one works best for your family and parenting style.

According to Education, the Weissbluth method is named after it's founder Dr. Marc Weissbluth, who is also the author of Healthy Sleep Habits, Healthy Child. Weissbluth believes that sleep is a key indicator in a child's overall quality of life, and a good night's sleep is essential to their health.

The Weissbluth method is a sleep training method that uses "extinction" as a tool to help teach your baby to sleep longer and sooth themselves to sleep. According to the Baby Sleep Site, it should never be used on children who are too young — at least five to six months and may be considered a "last resort" approach to sleep training.

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How does it work? According to Education, Weissbluth claimed the key to being successful at this method is learning to read your child's cues. You would lay your child down as soon as you notice signs that they're tired, such as eye rubbing, yawning, or fussiness. After going through a relaxing bedtime routine, and giving your child a comforting item like a blanket, lovey, or pacifier, you'd leave the room and let your baby fuss or cry themselves to sleep.

Unlike the Ferber method, which instructs parents to to "timed check ins" and comfort their baby regularly, the Weissbluth method tells parents to stay out of the room altogether, since seeing the parent will only get the baby more worked up.

The method is supposed to work quickly — about two or three nights — as opposed to other methods which may take weeks or months.

Regardless of how you feel about crying it out, the thought of a full night sleep is very tempting. Some of the cons of the method are worth pointing out as well though. Namely, it can be heartbreaking for parents to listen to their child cry themselves to sleep. Furthermore, the method doesn't account for nights that your child may need extra comfort, like when they're sick, teething, or frightened. If you can't bring yourself to implement the method, trying a more gentle approach may work better for you.