What are the top 4 sleep training myths?
1) If you sleep train, you have to let your baby cry it out
There are many ways to approach helping a baby learn to sleep through the night, and the specific techniques we recommend depend on the age of the child and parent or family preferences. There are many options that are based on the same behavioral approach. I don’t know of any sleep professional who would recommend letting a baby cry all night long.
2) Waking through the night is abnormal
We all have sleep cycles, and at the end of each one, our brains wake up. That means that we all wake several times per night, and we don’t even know it! Your baby might be signaling you that they are awake because they are used to settling down a different way (rocking, nursing, etc.) and might need some help to return to sleep.
3) Sleep training is easy
Sleep training is hard to do, even if it’s what you do for a living. Reach out to friends and family and even supportive social media (avoid anything that makes you feel guilty). It helps to keep your eye on the prize: better sleep for the baby and for you.
4) Sleep training has to take place at bedtime and all through the night
No way! I hardly ever recommend doing sleep training all at once. I usually suggest implementing behavioral changes only at bedtime, especially at first. During night wakings (which are likely) just do whatever it takes for everyone to get as much sleep as possible. If your baby can’t fall asleep independently (go from being wide awake to asleep on his or her own, without having an adult in the room) at bedtime, it’s highly likely your baby will keep signaling you when he or she is awake throughout the night.