Let’s be clear: there is no such thing as “no-cry” sleep coaching. Methods that claim to be “no cry” just mean that before your baby has a chance to cry, you intervene, which may work for some families, but it can be a frustratingly long process.
That being said, the gentle sleep coaching methods presented in Gentle Baby Solutions are as close to no-cry as you can get while still gently sleep coaching. Because your baby is not quite 6 months old (soon!), we’ve chosen methods that allow a slower start to sleep training.
If you’ve been putting the sleep shaping tips into practice as you’ve gone through the course, you’re already ahead of the game.
Know that if your baby tends to cry regardless of being in your arms or not, then you should probably prepare for some crying. We are not recommending that you leave your baby to cry in their bed, especially at this age.
The aim of sleep coaching is to help babies learn to fall asleep without parental assistance, so that they can easily fall back to sleep in the night when they awake.
Be Aware Of Your Baby’s Sleep Onset Association
Babies who are comforted or fed to sleep (or to a very drowsy state), will usually need that same support in the middle of the night to get back to sleep. If you are comforting your baby to sleep and this is working for you, then you don’t need to worry about changing things if you don’t want to.
However, if your baby is getting up multiple times during the night and your doctor has said that your baby does not need to get up that frequently to feed then this is where you can start to make some improvements ?major changes.
Wake Then Sleep
This technique was made popular by Dr. Harvey Karp, of Happiest Baby On The Block .
While this is not a sleep coaching method, this will help to prepare you (and your baby) for gentle sleep coaching in just a few short weeks. Think of this as really good practice.
How To Use Wake Then Sleep, Step By Step:
- Put your baby down to bed already asleep. This means that you can use whatever soothing methods you’ve been using (feeding, shushing, patting, etc.) to help your baby get there.
- Once you lay your baby down in their bed, gently jostle them.
- This will cause your baby to wake a little, and hopefully understand where they are (in bed) and learn the feeling of falling asleep from this state on their own.
- If your baby wakes fully or becomes upset, then you will need to pick them up and comfort back to sleep.
- Go back to number 2 and try again.
As your baby gets comfortable with falling asleep in their own bed, you can reduce the support. If your baby cries or doesn’t settle quickly, it’s okay to take a break and try again tomorrow night, or even next week.
3 Benefits Of Falling Asleep Independently
- Eventually your baby won’t need parental comfort in night to fall back to sleep.
- Creates a familiar location (this helps your baby feel safe in middle of night).
- Helps your baby learn good sleep skills early on.