A friend from a moms' group told me she found a new French method for getting her baby to sleep through the night. Everyone in the parenting group paused from their conversations to hear what she had to say.
Pretty hot topic in a room full of worn-out moms desperate for some frozen coffee with a shot of something stronger.
We were all wondering to ourselves: Did she let her baby cry it out? Doesn't she know that closing the nursery door on a crying baby can damage the child's brain or leave the baby emotionally insecure?
Turns out my friend read about the French method for getting babies to "do their nights," in "Bringing Up Bebe," a book by Pamela Druckerman. I had never heard of the book before.
Crying it out
Instead of letting a baby "cry it out" all night, the idea is to simply pause before responding to a baby's cries in the middle of the night. Now, I know I did this without even having to think about it. It takes me a while to wake up even with the jarring sound of an infant's screams. Oftentimes, by the time I made my way to my son's nursery, he was already fast asleep again.
Ignoring small peeps
Many babies toss and turn or cry briefly simply because he or she is transitioning between sleep cycles. Experts say sleep cycles for babies an article on AskDrSears, babies have short sleep cycles. He says a baby's sleep cycle can be as short as 50 to 60 minutes compared to an adult sleep cycle which lasts 90 minutes. It's completely normal for a baby to squirm, toss and flutter his or her eye lids and make grimaces.
Responding to real distress
I always felt like I had a pretty good grasp on when my son really was distressed. I would respond when he needed to be changed or fed. He just seemed to have a higher pitch cry. I think it's incredibly important to respond to babies when they need to be changed, fed or held. However, sometimes it takes being super quiet and waiting a moment so as not to jar a baby completely out of the half-slumber state.
Making baby less dependent
My friend said she is no longer losing sleep since Brianna sleeps through the night like a princess. Her strategy is to sit quietly by the crib and pause. This "Le Pause," makes all the difference in the world. Her baby self soothes for just 1 or 2 minutes before falling asleep again because she hasn't interfered. Of course, when Brianna belts out her high-pitch alarm, my friend intervenes with feedings and diaper changes.
A few people in the parenting group had doubts, but I know everyone with a baby in the house had secret plans to try "Le Pause" at home.
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