According to 'The Three Day Nanny', who I must stress only became a mother herself last year, appeared on national television and caused outrage with her advice on leaving a baby to cry themselves to sleep.
Do I agree? NO
I do however, agree with a form of controlled crying. Walking out of the room and not going back while a baby cries, potentially for hours, I feel is damaging to both baby and parents. Routine is everything and my Babyopathy programme helps you to create this in a number of ways and in particular using sensory and biophilia influences.
However, you can have a perfect routine and your baby can suddenly throw that routine right out of the window either because they have been poorly or just because they can. Using the correct form of controlled crying can help:
1. No matter what has happened, why the routine has stopped or where you are, always try and keep some of the elements of the routine you want your baby to have or go back to in place. The familiarity will help to re-settle them or establish a new routine.
2. The Babyopathy way uses sensory influences to encourage the routine:
Sound - I recommend nature sounds and my personal favourite is whale songs or sounds of the sea. Only use this music at sleep times so your baby will associate it with bedtime.
Smell - baby's airways are sensitive (one reason why you should avoid air fresheners!) but the beautiful essential oil of lavender can be diffused in baby's room 10-15 mins before their bedtime to set the scene for sleeping.
Sight - always try and keep the room as dark as possible - especially if baby wakes in the night as it sends those 'sleep time' messages to their brain.
3. Now for the actual controlled crying - with all of your routine in place and you know your baby is ready for sleep, lay them down, tell them it is bed time and that you love them and leave the room. Wait a few minutes and if your baby is still crying, go back (without picking them up if possible), soothe them by patting or rocking and when the crying has settled walk away again. You may find you do this two or three times (try and leave it a little longer each time) but each night with the same routine your baby will settle quicker and quicker.
As always, I make it very clear that every baby is UNIQUE and therefore you have to use every tool you have in your armoury to find what works for your baby. Those experts that only give you 'my way or the highway' are in my opinion contributing to the rise in post-natal depression in both mums and dads and also stress and separation anxiety in babies.
Do what is best for you and your baby, not what someone tells you you have to do.