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Controlled Crying vs No Crying

Controlled Crying vs No Crying

When you have a new baby, sleep controls your life in a totally new way. And achieving the holy grail on new motherhood- a sleeping baby- becomes the number one goal of your day. Some babies just sleep! Some do not! For those families who have one of those babies the dilemma is how do you get this child to sleep.

Controlled crying is a sleep training method advocated by Gina Ford, and involves letting baby cry herself to sleep. Some parents swear by it. I tried it, and found it did not work for us.

This is the problem it simply does not work for every child. Some parents find after many nights of a crying baby, eventually they see results, but the smallest change, e.g. illness, going on holiday, undoes all that hard work. Others find it leads to baby being more fractious in the morning. Some studies have shown that controlled crying leaves the baby stressed (personally it leaves mummy stressed!)

I found the No Cry Sleep Solution more helpful- although not 100% successful either.

No Cry Sleep Solution

If you do have a baby who finds it difficult to sleep here are some tips from the No Cry Sleep Solution, which have helped with us, and some I have found have helped with my own children:

    Establish a routine. Babies thrive on routine. This does not mean baby controls every aspect of family life. Babies will find their own routine that fits around family life. Once nap times are established try and keep them.
    Babies who have good naps through the day sleep better at night. When a baby is overtired they are more unsettled at night.
    Establish a night time routine. Have a bedtime ritual for the baby: bath/massage/feed/story etc- whatever that means to you and the baby. Try and keep the evenings quiet and relaxing (not easy with older siblings!)
    Try playing gentle lullaby music in the bedroom. Keep the music the same each night.
    Put a toy or blanket in with the baby which has your smell on it.
    Swaddling: ask a midwife how to swaddle a baby properly. I use a cot sheet to swaddle with, so baby doesn’t get too hot. There are also wonderful swaddling blankets available for infants.
    Be aware of young babies suffering colic, or older babies teething.
    Be patient. Some babies just take longer.

So many aspects of parenting are divisive, and sleep solutions are no different. It’s about finding the right answer for you and your baby.

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