Does “sleep training” mean Cry It Out?


But let me explain.

For starters, I am not a big fan of the term “sleep training”. No wonder it polarises parents (as if there wasn’t enough in store for us!). I prefer to say “learning independent sleep skills and growing confidence in them” but we’d all lose the plot if I was pasting it in every second sentence.

Cry It Out (CIO), otherwise called “the extinction method”, means you kiss your baby goodnight and leave until the morning or next feeding time – you don’t come back at all until the baby is asleep. As you can easily guess, almost all parents coming to me say: “I don’t want the CIO!“. “That’s perfect!” I then say, because there’s a whole range of methods to choose from. They are all graded by the level of parental involvement and we’ll take into account your feelings, family situation, values, parenting style and goals. So to sum up, WHEN IT COMES TO THE METHOD, WE’LL CHOOSE THE BEST ONE FOR YOU.

It is really important to know that SLEEP TRAINING IS NOT JUST THE METHOD. When I meet the families, I talk about six elements of the healthy sleep foundations – and independent sleep skills, along with the teaching method, is just one of them! The other five are absolutely necessary to ensure we make the learning process as easy as possible for our kids and to set the whole family for success. Going for any method, without putting all the other elements in place is going to be extremely hard and simply not fair.