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Can You Do "No Cry" Sleep Training?

There is a book called "The No Cry Sleep Solution". I've looked through it but never tried it myself because I've never needed to as I've always used my own methods. However, I have worked with many families who have tried it, but it hasn't brought them the results they were looking for. The idea behind it is lovely but the idea of "no cry" anything for babies is unrealistic. (No cry nappy changes/ getting dressed/ immunisations/ starting nursery etc.)

The reason for this is that crying is a baby's only way of communicating any negative feelings, even mild ones, because they don't have words. Toddlers who can talk will still cry if they can't find the words to tell you have they are feeling. And it is pretty much guaranteed that when you decide to do "sleep training", you aren't happy with your child's current sleeping habits so you are going to have to make some changes, which they aren't going to like and they are going to want to tell you about it. So they will cry when you start to make the changes.

If you don't want them to cry, don't make any changes. But also be aware that crying is a safe and healthy way of communicating and releasing emotions, and stopping your baby from expressing their emotions isn't healthy or safe.

If you don't want to leave them to cry, this a different story, so it is helpful to understand what sleep training really is, because it isn't always about "leaving your baby to cry it out". This is just one method and not something we recommend.

Sleep training is a way of helping babies and young children to develop healthy sleep habits. There are several different approaches to sleep training, and the "no leaving to cry" approach is one of them. It is also known as the gradual retreat as well as a lot of other names. This method is based on the idea that it is possible to teach a child to sleep through the night without leaving them crying or fussing.

To use this method, you can follow these steps:

  1. Establish a consistent bedtime routine: This may include giving your child a bath, reading a story, and singing a lullaby.

  2. Put your child to bed when they are tired, but not yet asleep: This will help them learn to fall asleep on their own.

  3. If they cry or fuss stay close to them and talk to them or stroke them. Cuddle them and soothe them if their crying escalates so that you can help them to learn to self-soothe.

  4. If your child wakes up during the night, wait a few minutes before going in to check on them: This will give them a chance to try to fall back asleep on their own if they are going to.

  5. If your child is still awake after a few minutes, gently reassure them that everything is okay and that you are there for them. You can pat their back or stroke their hair to help them feel calm and secure. Once again give them a cuddle if they need more reassurance.

  6. Gradually reduce what you do to help them to soothe so that they can learn to self-soothe.

  7. Gradually increase the amount of time you wait before going in to check on them. As your child becomes more comfortable with self-soothing, you can gradually increase the amount of time you wait before going in to check on them as they will get used to being in their own bed, and won't be as upset by being put in it or waking in it during the night.

It's important to be patient and consistent when using the no leaving to cry sleep training method. It may take some time for your child to learn to fall asleep on their own, but with time and practice, they will develop healthy sleep habits.

The idea and theory of this method is pretty simple and straightforward but putting into practices isn't always easy. This is because you're probably already feeling exhausted and listening to your little one crying, even for a minute or so, is really difficult. There are also lots of other reasons why your baby's sleep could be disturbed, such as reflux, allergies, hunger or their routine.

If you want some support to do this or a more bespoke method, please fill in the contact form below and we will give you a call to book you in for a session where we will look at all aspects of your baby's life that could be affecting how they sleep.

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