We're thinking of starting some sort of sleep training for our four month old. I know, she's young, but the "magical thinking" we have in getting her to sleep (hours of nursing, rocking, squats, singing, nursing) as well as the hourly (or even half-hourly) wake ups are not good for us, and they're not good for her. She really needs to sleep, and I can tell she really wants to. The question is, how?
We have Ferber's book, and I am keen on his idea of gradual sleep training -- i.e., checking in at set intervals. But then there's the Bringing Up Bebe doctor Michel Cohen who says just let them cry it out
. I.e., put the baby in the crib at 7:30 pm, close the door, come back the next morning.
Friends, etc. differ on these approaches. The Ferber method sounds kinder, but we've heard from some people that it just extends the process (all the check-ins just get the baby upset you aren't picking her up.) But the Cohen method just sounds mean -- but is it cruel to be kind? I've seen other sleep training questions on mefi, but I'm most interested in evaluating these different approaches.
Other key facts -- she's huge for her age (95th percentile height, weight and head), so I'm not too worried about her really needing the night nutrition. (Exclusively breastfed). And she was over 41 weeks and 9lbs when she was born, and I think she's been a bit ahead of her development according to her birthdate because of it. I'm very happy to keep one or two night wakeups for food, but not ten. She naps ok during the day with a lot of work putting her down. And, also, until the last week or so she's been sleeping exclusively in the Rock n Play (an inclined sleeper) and she really does not like the flat surface of her crib. Now she sleeps in our room, but we're thinking of moving her soon.
I know this is a minefield, and that all kids are different, but I can take it. Tell me about which method of sleep training worked for you, and if you think that there's an alternative, let me know.