Review chapter 8, "When Your Baby Cries," and be prepared for some crying. You are moving from a high-comfort style of sleep manipulation to basic training in sleep skills. Initially your baby will not like this change, but it is necessary. In moments of parental stress, be comforted in knowing your baby won't feel abandoned because you have decided that the best thing for him is learning how to fall asleep on his own."
Don't feel the necessity to check on your baby every five minutes while he or she is crying. If you go into your baby's room, try to do so without being seen. If necessary, move the crib so you can see the baby but the baby can't see you. If you feel you must soothe the child, go in briefly and pat him or her on the back. With a soft voice, say, "It's all right," then quietly leave. As a result, your baby will do one of two things; be comforted and fall asleep or roar even louder.
If your baby chooses the latter, don't be discouraged! The crying only means he or she has not developed the ability to settle himself or herself. That goal is precisely what you are working toward.
Be patient and consistent. For some parents, success comes after one night; for others, it comes after two weeks. The norm, however, is three to five days. [Emphasis added]
- Helping your baby fall asleep is labelled "sleep manipulation"
- Baby's distress is portrayed as a positive thing: "Crying proves that his ability to settle himself is developing!"
- He claims that your baby won't feel abandoned. This is a ridiculous statement. How could a baby NOT feel abandoned when he cries and nobody comes? He tells you - twice -to make sure the baby can't even see you. But what is even more bizarre is the reason he claims your baby won't feel abandoned: "because you have decided that the best thing for him is learning how to fall asleep." How does the parent's decision nullify the baby's feelings?
- The only comfort offered is to the distressed parent: "If you feel you must soothe the child..." but the "soothing" is only a brief pat on the back and quick exit... not something most of us would find particularly soothing if we've been abandoned during a stressful time, crying for hours.
The book infers that the goal you are trying to achieve is working! Three to five days of this persistent crying and you have attained the goal! And if it takes over two weeks of sleepless nights while you try to NOT hear the crying,why that's perfectly normal too, in Ezzo's view.
Parents who love their babies give them what they need; young children need a good night's sleep. (2)
Moms who have made the transition from sleepless nights to peaceful sleep report that their children not only gain the advantage of continuous nighttime sleep, but their daytime disposition also changes. They appear happier, more content, and definitely more manageable.
(1) Sleeping is not a "fundamental skill" to be taught. All mammals will sleep when they are tired; they don't need to be trained to do so. Ezzo's training will teach them not to cry, because they soon learn crying is ineffective. Sleep will come, of course, but not because the child has learned a "skill," but because the baby is resigned to sleep from exhaustion, boredom or despair.
(2) Parents with common sense who love their babies give them what they need. Young children need the security they get from having parents with the compassion, empathy, and patience it takes to care for them, day AND NIGHT, in those early years to establish life-long relationships.