Does A No Cry Sleep Solution Really Exist?
There comes a point in every sleep-deprived parent’s life where they wish, hope, and maybe even pray for a no-cry sleep solution.
This is usually in the wee hours of the morning when most lucky people are asleep!
Does this mythical solution really exist?
Well, I have bad news and good news on that front.
The bad news is that every baby is more than likely going to fuss and cry during a phase of sleep coaching or adjustment. But, the good news is that there are ways to make the process less stressful for you and your baby.
If you would like to know more about a minimalist crying sleep solution, then read on.
Crying = Communication
You don’t have to be a baby whisperer to successfully navigate sleep training, but it does help to empathise with what your little one is going through.
When you begin adjusting your baby’s sleep habits and unlearn some of those unwanted and ingrained behaviours, it may be confusing, uncomfortable, or just plain right annoying for them! They are used to things being a certain way and any change to routine can be upsetting for a little while.
And there’s only one way for a baby to communicate these feelings of upset – by crying!
For example, if you are in the habit of rocking your baby to sleep and decide it’s time to wind that down, your baby will miss it. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t start to eliminate the rocking. Only that you should be prepared for a little bit of resistance and complaining from your little one.
However simply going from rocking to no rocking in a instant isn't going to be fair either. Your baby needs to gradually replace those associations and learn a new way of falling asleep.
Crying Doesn’t Mean ‘Cry It Out’
Just to clarify, a bit of grizzling and crying when adapting to change is not the same thing as the ‘cry it out’ method. I don’t advocate for leaving your baby alone in the cot to cry for extended periods.
Personally, my approaches follows a different philosophy and I encourage my clients to use gentler, more gradual methods. However, even these gentler methods will cause a few tears here and there.
So, how can you master these gentler methods?
Set Your Baby Up For Success
Many factors work together to create the right environment for successful sleep coaching. You will need to look at the entire 24-hour schedule to make sure that your baby is primed for sleep. An overtired or under tired baby is more likely to struggle at sleep time. To counteract that, make sure they have been awake long enough to be ready for a decent stretch of sleep at the right time.
This is the fundamental key to optimising your chances of success. A baby who is under tired is far more likely to protest and resist the changes and cause unnecessary tears.
Check that the environment is conducive to sleep too. Is it dark enough, cool enough, free of distractions and nice and calm? A darkened room will help stimulate your baby's melatonin production and ease them into deeper more restorative sleep. Check out our awesome blackout blinds here.
It’s hard to sleep with a rumbling tummy, so make sure they are not hungry at sleep time either. Plus, consider if your baby needs to be swaddled or un-swaddled, or perhaps they are ready to move into a sleep sack. Once all these factors are considered, it significantly optimises your chances of success.
Take It Step By Step
The best methods for sleep training are not those that involve baby going “cold turkey” from previous routines, props, or behaviours. If your baby is being rocked and fed to sleep, you need to reduce the level of support you offer gradually.
You can do this by supporting your baby 80 percent of the way there and the remaining 20 percent done with your support at the side of the cot.
Over time, you can gradually reduce the level of support you offer and increase their independence. If you rip the band-aid off straight away without warning, of course they are going to cry – I would too!
Those Sleepy Grizzles
Remember, it's perfectly normal for babies to grizzle and grumble before falling asleep. It's their way of sensing their sleepiness and grumpiness. Don't confuse this with inconsolable crying. Try and put yourself in your baby's shoes (or booties). Be patient, set them up for success, and you will all be sleeping peacefully before too long.
If you need any support and guidance regarding a gentle sleep solution that works for your family, then I am more than happy to help you here at Serene Sleep. It is my goal to allow parents, babies and other family members get the quality sleep they deserve.
I have a range of sleep packages available, ranging from in-person home consultations to phone sessions. I support gentle sleep solutions that subscribe as closely to a no-cry method as possible! Drop me a line today to see if my solutions might be a good fit for your family.