Baby Sleep Solutions: Compromise
There are many "baby sleep solutions" out there. Some work, some don't and many simply vary from child to child. Many methods are created out of last ditch efforts to make some "technique" work on your own terms. You compromise - and that can be the best technique of all.
Our "compromise" method came about when our oldest had a hard time getting to sleep. I think I even saw the method (or something like it) on Supernanny a couple of times too. (You can check out her book too -- Supernanny: How to Get the Best from Your Children by Jo Frost) Our daughter was on an established (but flexible!) schedule and would sleep through the night. Getting her to sleep was the hard part.
We knew she could do it on her own, but we didn't want to make her cry it out to get there. So here's what we did:
After you go through your normal bedtime routine, if your child is still fussy about going to bed, sit in the room. Don't hold or rock or play with your child. Just sit there. You can read a book or do some quiet activity while you wait. Let them know you are there and that you'll stay there if they settle down. We actually "negotiated" with our oldest when she was 18 months old. When she wouldn't settle down, we'd tell her we were going to leave the room. We'd leave and come back a few minutes later. We'd tell her again. Usually she would settle down and we would stay.
Do not become a fixture in your child's bedroom though! Be sure to gradually ease out of the room and do it more and more quickly. With my youngest, I started out sitting beside her crib. After a few minutes I'd move over by the door - letting her know that I was there. Then I'd move outside the door. Eventually she was either asleep or too tired to notice I was gone. We did this for 3 or 4 nights and then she didn't need it anymore. My baby got to sleep and stayed asleep through the night on her own!
Be patient and don’t expect too much at first. Some children take to this really quickly, for others it may take a while. It took us a few weeks before my oldest daughter was ok without us in the room. Just stick with it - or with whatever method you choose - and make adjustments for your child and your family.
There are a lot of different methods for how to get your baby to sleep through the night. But remember -- what works for one family, or even one child, will not work for all children. Talk to other parents, your pediatrician, read what you can or want to on the subject, but in the end -- find what works best for you and know that it may never work again for anyone else! So try out a few different methods (be consistent with each one for a decent amount of time) and make modifications to suit your family and your child.
Here's to you and your baby sleeping through the night!