What is sleep training?! It’s training to get your kids to sleep the night. Recommended by several friends, I followed the suggestions outlined in the book On Becoming BabyWise, by Gary Ezzo. It basically describes how to train your infant by doing specific things to sleep the night by 6 to 9 weeks of age. And no, it doesn’t matter if your baby is breast-fed or formula-fed! First bugaboo slept the night at 7 weeks, and the second, at 8 weeks. It was a TOTAL LIFESAVER for us! We had enough stuff to deal with; at least we didn’t have to worry about sleep!
The goal of this system is not necessarily to get the infant to sleep so that she can be better rested (and the parents too!), although that is very important. It’s about providing security to the child by shaping their eating and sleeping patterns. Psychologically, the child is released from the burden of directing it’s own life, having to decide when to eat or sleep. Within the routine shaped by the parents, the child is free to feel secure and loved.
This shaping of sleep has to be done by following the book closely, observing the infant even more closely to tailor the sleep cycles to her, and requires much wisdom. It involved sleeping and eating at certain intervals, and at the same time every day (i.e. a routine). Shaping sleep is child-focused, but parent directed. This is a controversial issue for many people. I am not saying that it will work for everyone, or that it is the only way to do things, but it worked for us and I recommend it.