If you have ever been the parent of a baby that seems to cry incessantly while going to sleep, you know how much harder it can make everyday life. Babies cry for a variety of reasons, but one of the biggest things that leads them to cry while they are going to sleep is for comfort. They are essentially trying to signal to their mother that they want to be comforted. The mother or father giving attention to a crying baby is going to provide them with the comfort that they are looking for, which should end the crying. However, there are some fundamental problems that are associated with comforting a crying baby every single time.
One of the issues with attending to a crying baby to soothe them each time they cry while going to sleep is the fact that this creates a learned behavior. The baby is going to realize that all they have to do is cry and they will get the attention they are looking for. In essence, this prevents the baby from learning to self-soothe. If the baby learns that they get a response when they cry, it is essentially guaranteed that they will continue this behavior. This will almost inevitably create problems for the parents, as they are likely going to start losing quite a bit of sleep. However, there are some things that can be done that will change this behavior in a short period of time.
The Ferber Method is one of the best tools for eradicating this type of behavior. The process involves slowly pulling back the time a parent takes to soothe a crying baby. When the baby starts crying on the first night, the parent is to keep the lights off and give attention to the baby for about a minute. On the second night, the mother or father will let the baby cry for several minutes before checking on them. Each night the time is increased, which gives the baby time to reflect on their situation. The baby starts to realize that their mother and father are not going to come every single time they start crying, which in turn leads them to develop self-soothing strategies. As time goes on, the baby will start to figure out ways to curb their own crying.
Not only does this relieve the burden on parents, but this is an extremely important tool that is being taught to the baby. We will all eventually be dependent on ourselves at some point in life, so learning this at a young age is incredibly valuable. One of the best parts about this method is the fact that it winds up being successful in almost every single instance. Each baby will learn that they are going to have to deal with the fact that their parents are not going to come running when they start crying. Taking this action will improve the lives of everyone involved, so this is a great strategy to utilize if you have a baby that won’t stop crying at night.