Do you know the saying ‘I slept like a baby’? If you are the proud parent of a newborn, first of all, you never ‘slept like a baby’. And, what’s even more surprising, it is most likely that your baby did not either. Where does that saying come from? Who made it up? Certainly not a parent who had to cope with baby sleep problems! Most parents actually encounter them and there are a variety of different ways of coping with such problems. Every baby and every parent is different, so you may want to try out what works for you. Unfortunately, THE way of dealing with baby sleep problems that will work for everyone has not been found yet. While you may be too exhausted to feel like making much of an effort in order to change your situation, doing nothing is always the worst approach. Below are a number of different ways that could possibly improve your baby sleep problems and their sleeping patterns too, and consequently your own.
The Ferber method. Of all the methods of dealing with baby sleep problems, this one is probably the most contested. The pediatrician Richard Ferber postulates that falling asleep on their own is actually a skill, which those babies who are always cradled and rocked to sleep fail to learn.
In order to teach your baby this vital skill, he proposes that you let your baby cry itself to sleep. This approach may sound utterly cruel, but if you look up more information on it you will see that Ferber does by no means provide lazy parents with an excuse to neglect their babies. Instead, he offers a step-by-step guide on how to deal with crying babies. Especially at the beginning, this may actually require a lot of effort – going back into the baby’s room time after time, stroking your baby’s head, just no rocking. He even gives detailed information on how long baby’s should be left crying. While its opponents worry that the baby’s trust in its environment may be considerably harmed, followed properly, the Ferber methods is a safe way of dealing with baby sleep problems. Now if you as a parent can deal with hearing your baby crying is a different matter.
The ‘No Tears’ method. If you cannot bear the thought of giving the Ferber method a try, don’t worry, there are other ways of putting your baby to sleep. The ‘No Tears’-method, as proposed by pediatrician William Sears
relies on parents’ quick response to their baby’s crying as well as cozy night-time rituals. Many young parents make the mistake of believing that a reliable bed-time routine only becomes important once their child has grown into a toddler. This, however, is not true. On the contrary, calming bed-time routines can be a very effective way of dealing with baby sleep problems. While this method’s opponents worry that it may make a baby reliant on a parent and thus will prevent it from going to sleep on its own, those in favor stress the positive associations with sleep which are created.
The “Happiest Baby” method. Both methods are extreme opposites and maybe what works for you is an approach that is somewhere in the middle. Apart from that, trying out something different and unusual, such as the pediatrics professor Harvey Karp’s ‘Happiest Baby’ method, can’t hurt.
Karp suggests that in order to make your baby feel safe enough to go to sleep, you should recreate the secure feeling of being in the mother’s womb. This can be achieved by wrapping your baby in a soft blanket, making soothing noises or rocking it in a way that resembles what the baby feels in the mothers womb when she moves. While some people think this may be a waste of time, there are no worries that this method of dealing with baby sleep problems may actually harm the infant. So give it a try, it may actually work for you and your baby.
Your own method? No matter which strategy you go for, remember that each baby and each parent is different. It may take a while to figure out what works for you and your family. Don’t give up, there is a wide variety of different ways of dealing with baby sleep problems out there and the best way is probably to get a little tip from each one and create your very own custom-made way of putting your baby to sleep.