This is of course one parenting subject where there will always be some disagreement amongst experts and parents alike. Every parent wants to help their little baby sleep through the night but there are many different thoughts on which techniques are best for the child.
Here is some of the latest research…
Few parenting decisions are as fraught or as controversial as the choice parents make about how to get their baby to fall — and stay — asleep.
But a new Australian study may provide some reassurance to those who are trying to sleep train an infant. The study finds that there are no long-term emotional harms linked to two popular behavioral sleep interventions.
“Parents can feel confident using, and health professionals can feel confident offering, behavior techniques, such as ‘controlled comforting’ and ‘camping out’ for managing infant sleep,” claims the study, published online in the journal Pediatrics on Monday.
Researchers tracked 225 children who were enrolled in the study when they were 7 months old and experiencing sleep problems, through age 6. Half underwent some form of sleep training, either “controlled comforting” (often called “graduated extinction”) or so-called “camping out.”
Graduated extinction is essentially a modified cry-it-out method, in which parents let their babies cry and respond to them at increasing intervals in order to teach them to self-soothe. In camping out, parents sit or lay in their babies’ room and may pat or stroke them while they are in their crib, but do not feed or cuddle them to sleep. Gradually, parents move back from the crib and eventually out of the room.
Whereas a mom-blogger recently had this to say…
All parents have limits. Even the most patient, connected, attached parents can reach the point when they are ready to hurl themselves out of the window from sheer sleep-deprivation-induced insanity. Anybody who has me on their facebook friends list will know that recently I have been dealing with some serious nightwaking, and I admit that at times (always at 3am after the 6273647626th waking of the night) I have wondered whether I could continue in my efforts to never let my baby cry it out.
I know that our sleep issues will soon resolve themselves – in the meantime I am doing all I can to ensure I get enough rest to be able to cope with Squishy’s night time needs. I am so very glad that we stuck to our principles and refused to train him. My oldest son, Monkey, was also seemingly allergic to sleep in the first year of his life, and I am proud to say that he also was never left to cry himself to sleep, no matter how many times he awoke (it was a lot, by the way).
This difficult stage in our lives has really made me think about why I make the parenting choices that I make. During the recent height of Squishy’s sleepless stage (try saying that at speed when you’re sleep deprived) I read lots of books and online articles about babies and sleep, the majority of them by people who hold the same parenting philosophy as I do. However, it was the articles and books written by the CIO/Controlled Crying advocates that really cemented my belief that sleep-training babies is wrong
Of course, most of the complaints about baby sleep training techniques are for when there is use of the cry-it-out method in some form or another to help a baby sleep through the night. In The Baby Sleep Solution there are four major techniques that do not include any form of controlled crying and so parents are free to use the method that they think best suits them and their baby.