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Baby Sleep Training: The Weissbluth Method (page 2)

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Updated on Jul 6, 2012

Implementation

If you're interested in giving the Weissbluth method a go, consult with your pediatrician first. For one, the method should never be used on a child younger than 6 months, who still wakes in the night for changing and feeding. Your doc will need to check for underlying conditions that could be keeping your baby up before you attempt to let her sleep alone. Once you get the OK, here's how to put the Weissbluth method into practice:

  1. Place your baby in her crib as soon as you sense the signs of sleepiness, like rubbing her eyes, crankiness, or a lack of alertness. Dr. Weissbluth's method relies heavily on parents being in tune with their little one's tired cues.
  2. Allow your baby to fuss in her bed. Never rock or feed your baby to sleep, opting for a regular routine and a comfort item to do the job. Weissbluth believes that using "crutches" to get your child to sleep sets her up for wakefulness at night.
  3. Leave the room and don't re-enter, even if your baby's sobbing. Listen outside the door, but don't offer comfort. Eventually, your child will cry herself to sleep.
  4. Follow a predictable nap schedule the following day, but don't sacrifice night sleep for day sleep. If your baby seems alert before her morning nap, cut it out wait for an afternoon rest instead.
  5. Be consistent with the routine. The Weissbluth method works quickly as long as your baby is mature enough, so crying should be eliminated after just a few nights. If you relent and go to comfort your baby, try again another night or select a sleep training method that is more compatible with your parenting philosophy.

Weissbluth believes that sleep is the cornerstone of health and should be obtained at all costs. While zombie-like fatigue might make you agree, this method definitely isn't for every baby. Just remember that it won't last forever; a 2011 issue of Archives of Disease in Childhood found that even "problem" babies who cried through the night at five to six weeks of age eventually slept through the night at 12 weeks onward.

See that? It's a light at the end of the tunnel. Even if you're uncomfortable with such a strict method or it doesn't seem to work, most sleep problems are short-lived in the grand scheme of parenting. Soon, you'll reclaim your pillow for the shut-eye you crave.

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