Let’s start with a clear confirmation that answers the question in the title. Yes. There are friendly sleep training methods, and, luckily, not all parents want to ferberize their children. Other methods may be more exhausting, complicated or difficult to implement, yet we have some suggestions for you to try to sleep train your baby without letting him cry his soul out – a horrible process for both baby and parents.
Here are a few tips and tricks you need to try.
- Impose a clear routine. It’s not that hard – for example you could feed him at 8 PM, bathe him at 8:20, massage the child at 8:40 and snuggle with him in a warm embrace by 9 PM. The bathroom and the massage will have him all worn out, ready to sleep for hours, while holding him close in your arms will help him fall asleep quickly. Use these technique night by night for at least 10 days in a row and go on if you see the desired results appear.
- Slowly fade from the nursery. Another great idea is to keep the baby company by sitting next to him once you put him in him crib ready for bed. Slowly caress him and speak to him in a gently tone until he’s asleep – this should happen in the first evening. In the next, sit a bit further from his crib, skip the touching part and only talk to him in a hush voice – telling him a story would be a good idea. In the third night, you should move your chair even further and try to shorten the story. Each night you should move further and further away from the baby until the baby associates the bed directly with sleep, without further interaction.
- Drowsy baby, sleepy baby. If you don’t follow a certain bedtime routine, you cannot escape noticing when your baby is getting cranky and sleepy by nighttime. That’s the best moment to pick him up and take him straight to bed, without further notice. He’ll be too sleepy to protest and he may roll a bit from one side to the other, yet fall asleep in almost no time. And this could be your actual sleep training and routine, as he will at some point, associate tiredness with a good bed rest.
- Breastfeeding the baby to sleep. Mom’s the child’s whole universe, so breastfeeding the baby to sleep will give the baby a sense of comfort he cannot experience in any other situation. An extra argument? He will probably nurse better in the evening, when he is tired, than at any other hour of the day, when he is distracted and still seeks for entertainment. So don’t be afraid to keep him close and gently tell him goodnight while he is falling asleep close to his mommy’s breast.
Yes, all these may take more time than the (in)famous CIO, but these will make both your and the baby feel better, and why not admit it… happier! Raising a child is not an experience with results obtained on the spot, but an adventurous journey, which may even include sleepless nights.