Two Popular Methods of Toddler Sleep Training

Sleep training during your child’s early years sets the stage for good lifelong sleep habits. Once your baby is able to sleep through the night (typically between 4 and 6 months), parents can introduce sleep training. As your child moves into his toddler years, toddler sleep training ensures that your child receives the sleep necessary for healthy growth and development.

There are two primary methods of toddler sleep training:

The Ferber Method, or Cry-it-out method, has fallen out of favor recently but is not as cruel as parents think. The method is based on the belief that children can learn to self-comfort and fall asleep if given the opportunity.

Here’s how the method works: After following the established bedtime routine and tucking their child in at night, parents are encouraged to ignore their child’s crying. The common misconception is that parents should allow their child to cry until he cries himself to sleep no matter how long it takes.

Actually, the Ferber Method recommends that parents tuck their child in, tell him it is time for sleep and leave the room. If the child cries, parents should return at regular intervals to reassure their child, again tell the child that it is time for sleep and leave the room. As toddler sleep training progresses, the length of the return intervals is gradually increased.

To work effectively, parents must be able to discern the difference between cries for attention and cries of distress, to which parents should immediately respond.

Next time: Sleep Lady Shuffle

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