No Cry Sleep Method
For many parents the idea of letting their baby cry themselves to sleep is unthinkable, and many sleep method experts agree. Dr William Sears developed the first No Tears / No Cry sleep method of establishing a good baby sleep pattern, and there are now many different No Cry sleep methods for parents to try. In this article we’ll take a look at the work of Dr Sears as well as some of the other No Tears / No Cry sleep method experts.
Dr William Sears
Dr Sears is best known for advocating attachment parenting, where the goal is the development of a strong and secure bond between parent and child. In Sears’ No Cry method you rock or nurse your baby to sleep and put them down, still asleep, in your bed. As soon as baby wakes you soothe, rock or feed them back to sleep again, giving both you and your baby the best chance of a good night’s sleep.
In 1999 a study by the Consumer Products Safety Commission warned against babies sleeping in the same bed as parents, as they felt there was a high risk of infant suffocation. The study was criticised for not taking all the factors into account, but Dr Sears has since advised that babies sleep either in a cot alongside the parents’ bed, or in a co-sleeper bassinet which can be attached to the bed, giving parents and baby their own sleeping areas but keeping them close to each other.
Elizabeth Pantley is the mother of four children and she developed her own No Cry method after being frustrated by the “all or nothing” choices of Cry It Out or attachment parenting. Her “No Cry Sleep Solution” is a gentle ten step programme that includes working out your baby’s sleep barriers and keeping a log to discover your baby’s natural sleep pattern. Pantley recommends you never leave your baby to cry, instead returning to their room and picking them up every time the tears begin.
American paediatrician Harvey Karp says most baby sleep problems occur because of a difficult transition from the womb to the world. He has a No Cry method suitable for young babies that encourages good sleep patterns through the Five S’s: Swaddling, Side or stomach position, Sshhhing, Swinging and Sucking (nursing/dummy). By replicating the atmosphere of the womb he believes babies will be more calm, more content and thus more able to settle into a good sleep pattern.
Tracy Hogg was known as “the baby whisperer” and she advocated a structured routine of feeding, activity and sleeping, known as EASY. Her “pick up – put down” method starts with a consistent bedtime routine that includes a period of quiet time, perhaps in a rocking chair. Baby is put to bed awake but picked up straight away upon crying and then held and patted on the back while the parent makes a loud Shhh sound. Once the baby is calm you place them back in the bed, and repeat if they cry again until they are asleep.
Many parents prefer No Cry sleep method instead of Cry It Out techniques as it is less stressful, both for parent and child. However, you need to be consistent with whichever method you try, as your baby will become confused and more unsettled if you switch methods frequently.