Yes, the no cry sleep training method works and is possible. To tell you the truth, I have been an exhausted and sleep deprived mom, not once, but several times. I have spent 30 minutes rocking my babies to sleep, only for them to sleep for 20 minutes or sometimes less!
And during those times when I asked for sleep training tips, I was given lots of conflicting advice on how to sleep train my babies from both family members and friends.
I realized most of the sleep training advise I got, especially with my first baby, was mainly the cry-it out method (CIO).
Well, I could never let my baby cry themselves to sleep to be honest. I had to figure out another a gentler sleep training method.
I know there are parents out there who find that this method works best for them, and that is okay.
One thing I have realized as a parent is that there is no right or wrong way to raise babies; and what works for you may not work for me. So, for me, the cry-it out method was completely out of question.
On those many days and nights I played a “sleep prop” for my babies, I was on a constant search for a gentle sleep training method.
I spent so many hours researching on the internet about a no tears sleep training method. Then I came across this book. “The No-Cry Sleep Solution: Gentle Ways to Help Your Baby Sleep Through the Night,” by Elizabeth Pantley.
This was my turning point and I finally settled down on sleep training my baby without crying it out. For every parent that would love to sleep train their little one, this is a book I highly recommend. But first things first.
What is sleep training?
Sleep training is teaching your baby to fall asleep on their own. For this to be achieved, there are several methods that can be used.
Some methods will involve a lot of crying (CIO) for the baby and sometimes you! You will also need to show some level of tough love so that you finally achieve your goal of sleep training.
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A lot of people think that the only way to sleep training a baby is through the cry it out method. But this is further from the truth!
There are other methods that will not involve any amount of tears and will eventually help your baby fall asleep independently and soothe themselves back to sleep when they wake up in the middle of the night.
What age should you start sleep training?
Between 4- 6 months, babies can go without night feeds. One thing though, every baby is unique and some babies may not be ready for sleep training even at 6 months.
Other babies will simply not require any sleep training because they started sleeping longer at an early age.
I would recommend you talk to your pediatrician if you are not sure about the right time to start the no cry sleep training method for your baby.
TIP: I realized that if i washed my baby right before he slept, he would sleep longer. So, I scheduled his bathe time towards his sleeping time. You may want to try this.
The no cry sleep training method
I want to state that this is the only sleep training method that worked for both my boys. I will share with you exactly what I did and I can assure you if you consistently follow the steps outlined below, you will be glad you did!
Here’s a quick guide;
- Watch out for baby’s sleep cues. You need to catch them when they are just starting so that its not too late for sleep training.
- Establish a bed time ritual. Your baby needs to associate certain activities with sleep. There is no two-way about this.
- Put the baby in bed while they are half-awake. Really? Oh yes!
- Consistency, Consistency, Consistency! I can never insist on this enough. For you to achieve your desired results, be consistent.
Now, let me go into detail about the no cry sleep training method.
Watch out for your baby’s sleep cues
As you get to bond with your baby, you learn their sleep cues. Both my babies would pull their hair, suck their fingers or yawn when they were starting to get sleepy.
If I started to notice any of those signs, I would drop what I was doing and start getting ready for their bedtime routine. Other baby sleep cues may include;
Irritable and fussy
Scratching or tugging ears
Minimal movement, somehow calm
Crying (a very late sleep cue that may interfere with no cry sleep training)
The most common mistake new parents often make is missing their baby’s sleep cues which ultimately sabotages the no cry sleep training method. Its important that you pick up your baby’s sleep cues before they start crying.
Establish a bed time ritual
No matter your baby’s age, it is essential to set a bed time ritual for them from a young age. Since you have already established his sleep cues, now you need to get your baby ready to sleep.
Babies are different, so you will need to find out what works for your little one.
You can read a book for him a book, sing a slow lullaby, show them around their room as you slowly talk to them and while at it, draw the curtains and switch off the lights.
Some babies won’t sleep with lights totally out, so you may need to dim them.
Depending on your baby, the bedtime routine may take between 10-15 minutes. Other babies will take longer, but do not give up with this step.
Don’t imagine you can simply put the baby into their crib and they will instantly fall asleep because they exhibited signs of sleep.
No mommy! This is your first day sleep training so get ready for the journey that awaits you.
If you are consistent, with time, your little one will learn to associate this step with sleep and you may cut down the bed time routine to about 5 minutes.
Put the baby in bed while they are half-awake.
Now, you will need to put your baby in their baby crib to sleep while they are not yet asleep. I know you are wondering how you are going to achieve this baby sleep training no tears method, but this is totally doable.
If you followed the above methods, this will be so easy for you and baby. By now, the baby is usually calm and ready to sleep.
Simply put him into the crib and hang around for a few minutes. And no-tip toeing out of the room immediately you put him in bed!
If he cries, try patting him on the back as you calm him. If this doesn’t work and the cries continue to increase, pick him and soothe him until he calms down.
Then once he peaceful and is no longer crying, put him back in his crib. If he cries again, repeat the above until you calmly put him to sleep. DO NOT GIVE UP!
I know this can be quite frustrating, but the end results will be well worth all the effort and time you put in.
Do not expect instant results with the no crying sleep method. It took me about 4 weeks to start seeing consistent results with my babies.
Remember you have to move slowly, focusing on one step at a time as you give yourself and the baby time to get into this new routine.
I have realized catching my babies sleep cues early helps with the rest of the steps. My baby also loves to sleep in a very quiet environment, so I try to minimize noise in the house and that has worked.
How long does the no cry sleep training method take?
Well, there is no definitive answer for this. For us, it took exactly 7 days, for others, it may take a little less or longer time for the baby to learn to sleep independently.
However, I started seeing a lot of improvement from the fourth day.
Therefore, I would recommend that you stick to the no cry it out sleep training method for at least 2 weeks before you can finally give up and try another method.
But before you give up, ask yourself, “have I been consistent enough?”
I’d love to hear your experiences on gentle sleep training your little ones.
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4 thoughts on “The No Cry Sleep Training Method: Does It Really Work?”
I co slept with my first born who’s now 2 years and 4 months. We didn’t move him to his room until he had just turned 2 and his little brother was born. I was breastfeeding so just wanted to keep things easy for as long as I could. It was a hard transition, but after a week it got easier. We have a bed time routine and my husband lays in his room until he falls asleep. I’m definitely going to start training my younger son much sooner, I just know I can’t let him cry it out. It breaks my heart to listen to the crying for so long.
I totally understand you on the co-sleeping bit. It makes it a lot easier especially if you are breastfeeding.
I was so lucky that I didn’t need to resort to sleep training but we established a really good bedtime routine which even at 11 years old, I can always get him to bed with no bother.
But this is a great post as so many feel that CIO is the only option but this proves their are so many more ways to help with sleeping and settling your baby x x
Wow! You were extremely lucky. I found that gentle sleep training was the only method i could use for my babies as I couldn’t stand them crying without my attention. Now we never fight about sleep times. Thanks for stopping by btwei xx