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  Baby Sleep – Teaching baby to sleep:
 
I can’t bear to leave my baby crying, so I am never going to manage controlled crying. What other options are there?

It is not impossible to teach a baby to sleep without controlled crying. It just takes a long time and can be completely exhausting for the parents. Still, its probably less exhausting than a baby who is not a good sleeper!

Before you embark on it, think carefully about anything that may be unsettling your baby or causing her to wake up. Set up a nice bedtime routine, and stick to it rigidly. Make sure it is a gentle and happy time, so that baby is calm and content when she goes to bed. Make sure she is warm enough, but not too warm. Make sure her room is dark and quiet. Give her a good feed before bedtime, and experiment with nappies until you find a night time arrangement that suits her. Even if you are in favour of cloth nappies, it may be worth investigating the superabsorbent night time disposables, to see if having her dry for longer aids her sleep.

Make sure that baby is sleepy before you put her in her cot. Try not to wait too long, as she may get grumpy from tiredness, and that will make the task of getting her to sleep that much harder. What this means is that you will have to keep a close eye on her during the bedtime routine to make sure that you catch her as she gets sleepy, and put her down then. When she cries, go back in, pick her up, cuddle her and make a shushing noise. Do not talk to baby or make eye contact. Just some gentle cuddling and rocking until she is calm. Then put baby down again. Do not let baby go to sleep in your arms. You are trying to teach her to fall asleep herself. You will have to keep going back in when she cries, picking her up and shushing her, and putting her down again. Your poor back is probably going to take strain! But this is a gentle way of teaching baby that she must go to sleep. Eventually she will associate the shushing noise with bed time and it will make her sleepy.

See also:

Baby Sleep - Compromise

Baby Sleep - Controlled Crying

Baby Sleep - Cot in parents’ room

Baby Sleep - Doing it your way

Baby Sleep - Overtiredness

Baby Sleep - Own Room

Baby Sleep - Position

Baby Sleep - Sharing Mother’s Bed
 
   
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