We all know that the biggest topic of conversation between new mums is generally connected to how well your baby is sleeping. It quickly becomes an obsession for many parents and once your baby finally does sleep through the night you analyse everything that you did the previous day and try to replicate it (and then become baffled as to why it doesn’t happen again!).
There are many different schools of thought as to how you can get your little one to sleep through the night so we have summarised a few of the well known techniques below for you.
1. The Contented Little Baby
Gina ford is renowned for her strict eating and sleeping routine that ensures that your baby is satisfied and therefore will start sleeping for longer stretches at night. She reinforces that a good diet, not letting your baby sleep too long during the day or get over tired and avoiding over stimulation are key. She also believes that sleep associations are important from an early age and emphasises the importance of letting your baby settle themselves.
2. The Cry It Out Method
Dr. spock believed that you should put your child to bed at a reasonable time and say goodnight; if they are crying you shouldn't go back into their room. the method suggests that although your child may cry for half an hour before they fall asleep, they will soon learn that nothing happens. Usually by the 3rd night they will no longer get upset, and will just fall asleep. Modern technology such as video baby monitors make it easy for parents to follow this technique knowing that they can see that their little one hasn't managed to come to any harm!
3. Controlled Crying
Controlled crying is when you leave you baby to cry for increasingly extended periods of time (starting with a few minutes). Each time you go into the room you mustn't touch or cuddle them and must have as little interaction as possible. This can be tough for parents to do as natural instinct makes you want to soothe your crying baby when they are really upset. Theoretically it shouldn't last more than an hour and you should see improvements after approximately 3 nights.
4. The No Tears Method
The no tears method is a stark contrast to the above methods and suggests that it is unnatural to leave your baby crying. Instead bedtime should be a calm time where you quickly respond to your baby’s demands.
5. The Gradual Withdrawal Method
The gradual withdrawal method is where you slowly get your baby used to going to sleep without you being in the same room. You start by being sat next to them on a chair/cushion. If they cry, you put your hand on them but avoid eye contact and repeat if necessary. If they wake through the night you continue to do the same. Each night you move the chair/cushion slightly further away from the cot. If your child gets upset you move it back to the same place as the previous night. This method suggests that once your chair is outside the bedroom, your child should be ready to go to sleep by themselves.
Here at kub, we believe that every baby and every parent is different. What works for one family may not be suitable for another. If you are finding sleep a challenge, there is no harm in trying a different method but try not to change your approach too frequently. If in doubt, go with your gut feel. At the end of the day, you know your own child better than anyone else!