‘No-cry’ sleep training is becoming a popular approach among parents who are terrified by the more often-practiced ‘cry it out’ method. The latter was popularized in Dr. Richard Ferber’s book written in 1985, Solve Your Child’s Sleep Problems.
‘Cry It Out’ vs. ‘No-Cry’ Sleep Training
Ferber’s sleep training method is quite difficult to accept for many new parents. Letting your child cry it out is a noisy and tormenting process for parents. It also leads to most parents searching for a gentler method. The ‘no-cry’ sleep training solution is just that, on the surface. However, the gap between this method and the ‘cry it out’ one is not as big as might be expected.
According to clinical sleep psychologist Lynelle Schneeberg, Psy.D., of Yale School of Medicine, ‘no-cry’ sleep training doesn’t differ all that much from ‘cry it out.’ The ‘no-cry’ method just takes a more gradual approach.
‘No-cry’ sleep training is based on the premise that tears aren’t the only way to turn a baby into a self-soother. ‘No-cry’ sleep training fans suggest the creation of a cozy and comforting bedtime routine and sticking to it. In this respect, the method is similar to the ‘cry it out’ approach. From there, the ‘no-cry’ sleep solution steps divides into a multitude of techniques, each of which has its book and set of faithful followers.
Examples of How the Two Methods Work
Secrets of the Baby Whisperer is a book by registered nurse Tracy Hogg who recommends going in when your baby cries, picking them up for a quick reassurance, and then placing them back in the crib and going out of the room. This must be repeated as often as necessary. It doesn’t mean an end to tears, just “fewer tears.”
The Ferber method does not always result in crying, either. Tears occur when a child dependent on external soothing in the shape of rocking, lullabies, comfort-feeding, cuddling, bouncing, or others is in the process of becoming a child capable of falling asleep and staying asleep on their own.
Every sleep training method teaches the baby to be an independent sleeper, capable of falling asleep without parental assistance. Each version of each sleep training method has its benefits and drawbacks. Teaching babies to self-soothe their way back to sleep is difficult and rarely quick, but when it’s successful, everybody’s happier.