Wait It Out Method of Sleep Training

Babies need to be close to their parents.

Babies need to be close to their parents.

I’ve heard of tons of different ways to train your infant to sleep, but none are as good as the one I read about: Wait It Out.

It suggests that instead of becoming upset that your infant won’t sleep when you want her or him to, perhaps you should listen to your baby telling you that they need you to hold them and wait out the crying until they feel comfortable, safe and relaxed. After all, this is a brief period in time (though it feels like forever after your 93rd day of sleeping in three hour increments! Ugh!) when you look at the span of their whole life. The author says it better than I can:

Maybe you have reflux that makes laying down painful. Maybe you have a belly ache. Maybe you are anxious because of a noise, or afraid of the dark. Maybe you simply do wish to be held because my arms are the safest and warmest place in your world. Maybe your instincts speak loudly to you in ways that you do not understand and you simply know that right now you need to be held in order to be calm.

The next time your baby is crying at 2am and you just want to lie them down in their bassinet or crib and sleep for a few hours, take a deep breath and try the Wait It Out Method. In a few years, you’ll be begging your little one to give you hugs and kisses. Appreciate them wanting you while you can.

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4 thoughts on “Wait It Out Method of Sleep Training

  1. At 4 months, “wait it out” works. It’s most likely developmentally correct. But as babies get older, they do learn that crying gets them attention, even when they do not, strictly speaking need attention. Even when attention is actually the exact thing they do not need. For example, my son would cry and cry at nap time. We’d try to soothe him to sleep. Turns out, he was a kid who had to have NO external distractions to sleep. He also had to be on a very exact schedule. Because for him, the difference between tired and overtired meant napping or spending 2 hours crying. And he would cry whether we were with him or not. He was just so overtired, so overstimulated, that all he could do was cry. I read every sleep book there was, but the one that worked – both for him and for my daughter – was Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child. Awesome book.
    Every baby is different. Every baby needs to learn to sleep. Sleep isn’t something they just know how to do. Think about how many insomnia aids there are for adults. If adults can’t figure it out, how are babies supposed to, without any guidance at all?

    • My partner learned the hard way about overtiring the baby. Lol

      Good points. Parents have to learn their babies and support them in the way that best fits. I see if the library has Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child. Thanks! =)

  2. I agree with Robyn. Six months is when letting a baby “cry it out” becomes appropriate. Even then you dont let them cry forever- start with 3 minutes, work up to 5, then 10. Its really harder on you then them. The “wait it out” method works for so many behaviors and I think I learned a lot as a parent by learning that she wasn’t going to die or hate me if I let her cry for 5 minutes (again after 6 months of age). When we switched from the crib to the bed I had to re do the “cry it out” method because we tried the I’ll sit and here and watch you until you so you dont get out of bed and her bedtime routine turned into a 2 hour battle in which we both were exhausted at the end of. I finally put up a gate. The first week she cried 15 minutes, then 10. A month later she now goes to sleep again with no tears. Its SO hard to hear them cry!! Like Robyn said though- you know your guy better then anyone.

    • Good points. Determining when to let them cry for a bit and when to rush in depends on the situation and the baby. When they are older, that’s a whole different ball of wax. Kids start figuring out how to get what they want, but if he wants me …. I’m okay with that. =)

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