Are you starting to think about sleep training your little one? From a lot of experience, I can tell you that different methods are appropriate for different babies and families. While one approach is gentle and kind for one family, a different approach will be the most gentle and kind for another.
There are three sleep training methods with Lovebug - all with the same goal, to help your baby connect their sleep cycles independently so that their total sleep is in range for their developmental age.
The Lovebug Limited Crying Program is a program in the Lovebug app that gives you daily step-by-step guidance to creating good sleep habits from an early age. Our Limited Crying Program will help you establish good sleep habits early on to prepare baby for independent sleep. While your baby will not be developmentally ready for the 3 sleep training methods I address below until they are 4+ months old, there are things we can do to teach baby to sleep independently from the time your baby shows signs of social smiling (usually around 8 weeks). This program is ideal for those families hoping to avoid sleep training all together!
With the Chair Method, you are available during their drowsiness sleep phases. You put a chair in your baby’s room next to their crib. At the end of your baby’s routine, you will put them in their crib, sit in the chair, and comfort them as they fall asleep. It has high time demands on parents and can take up to a month to work. This is for you if your baby is more dependent, insensitive, introverted, calm, or has reliant sleep habits. But if you cannot commit to the time demand, this approach can be a lot, and the Interval approach is better for you.
The Extinction Method is commonly referred to as the “Cry-it-out” approach. In this approach, once you end your routines, you put your baby to bed and do not go to them unless there is a safety emergency. Independent babies or very sensitive babies really love this approach because the rules are very clear. Extroverted babies usually do better with this approach because they get distracted by their favorite person in the room. If you are short on time, this method can be a better fit for you. Since the rules are clear, your baby can figure out how to connect their sleep cycles in a few days.
With the Interval Approach, you check in on your baby after set intervals. Your intervals increase night after night so that your baby gets an increasing opportunity to put themselves down independently. If your baby has personality traits that place them in both buckets or in the middle, then I recommend the interval approach for you. Also, if you are in one of the ends of the spectrum but don’t like your approach, change it to one you *do* like. All approaches work. It depends on what will work for you.
I cover each of these 3 approaches in detail in the video lessons in the Lovebug app. To watch these video lessons and decide which method is best for your family, start your free trial, and watch our video lesson series on sleep training/connecting sleep cycles here.