My personal view on what sleep training is according to Babywise has been that you need to figure it out for yourself. You know from reading On Becoming Baby Wise that you want your baby to be able to fall asleep on his own. You also know that it says it might take some crying to achieve this. But there is no step-by-step program in Babywise about how to teach to self-soothe.
With Brayden, I read no books to help me know how to teach him to self-soothe. I created a program myself based on what I knew about him. With Kaitlyn, I used a similar method but modified it for her personality. With McKenna, I had read The Baby Whisperer Solves All Your Problems and decided to try out her four S's idea to help McKenna self-soothe (see Sleep Training: The Four S's ). She slept for over two months without ever crying at all. At three months, we started CIO but it was very short lived, I believe because she already had the self-soothing skills.
There is nothing wrong with reading other books to help guide you through the CIO process or to help you teach your child to self-soothe without CIO. There is the method by Ferber in Solve Your Child's Sleep Problems, the method by Weissbluth in Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child, and the method by Hogg in The Baby Whisperer Solves All Your Problems. I know there are many more books out there. I, myself, have written guides on how to do CIO successfully on this blog (see related posts below). I hope that as you read these books and blog posts, you will take them as good information and not solid doctrine. You really do need to apply what is best for your individual child. All three of my children have taken three different paths toward self-soothing. The end result is the same. How you get there is not what is important. Figure out what works for your child.
Is it hard? Yes! It is hard to get to know this new little person. There are many important variables to cover. For example, McKenna likes to wear socks for naps. She sleeps better if she has them on. Kaitlyn slept better without socks. Figuring this out will not happen in two different naps sessions. There are too many other factors to consider to be able to just do one nap with socks ad one without to see which your baby prefers. This is something you figure out over time. It will take a lot of thought and effort on your part.
Finally, my friend Rachel did a summary of what Babywise says about sleep training called Sleep Training- BabyWise. I encourage you to read it so you can see at a glance what sleep training is according to Babywise. The method is very ambiguous. This is a common theme among the books. The books focus more on "why" than "how." I know that is frustrating for some, but understand that it really is best in the long run. There are plenty of books out there that can offer you good ideas on how to accomplish your goals, such as The Baby Whisperer. I try to offer them here, also. But if you don't understand why, you won't ever be able to be consistent on your own. Remember that as you are sleep training, you need to design the best course of action for your individual child.
Related Posts/Blog Labels:
- CIO Bootcamp: http://babywisemom.blogspot.com/2007/11/cio-bootcamp.html
- CIO Responsibly: http://babywisemom.blogspot.com/2009/01/cio-responsibly.html
- Nap Cues : http://babywisemom.blogspot.com/2008/03/nap-cues.html target="_blank"
- Optimal Waketime Lengths : http://babywisemom.blogspot.com/2008/07/optimal-waketime-lengths.html
- Waking Early From Naps/Won't Fall Asleep For Naps: http://babywisemom.blogspot.com/2008/01/waking-early-from-napswont-fall-asleep.html
- Sleep Training: The Four S's : http://babywisemom.blogspot.com/2009/04/sleep-training-four-ss.html
- Using Babywise Without Doing CIO : http://babywisemom.blogspot.com/2008/12/using-babywise-without-doing-cio.html
- In Action: Cry It Out
- Sleep Training and Trust
- CIO (blog label)