Beyond this, there is no one rule of thumb for getting your baby sleep through the night. What works for one child can have the opposite effect on another.
"It is important for parents to know that there is not one right way for children to sleep that will fit for every family, or even for every child in one family," cautions Janis Keyser, coauthor of Becoming the Parent You Want to Be. "Rather, most families explore different solutions until they find one that works best for all involved," she says.
The best thing frazzled parents can do is take a systematic approach to reviewing each of the following popular methods, combine the recommendations with their own good judgment, and hope for the best.
A side note: The following counsel will likely not help at all if your child is sick or teething. On those nights, consider any sleep a bonus.
The Attachment Parenting Approach
Dr. William Sears, MD, an advocate of attachment parenting, is a well-known and well-respected pediatrician and author of numerous parenting books, including Nighttime Parenting.
Dr. Sears doesn't teach you how to make your child sleep but rather helps you accept that your child will sleep through the night when he or she is biologically capable of doing so.
Part of treating your child with respect, kindness, and understanding, according to Dr. Sears, is not allowing your child to "cry it out." He supports parents sleeping with their children and asserts that they are biologically designed to do so. He does not suggest that putting a child to sleep with his or her parents will solve sleep problems, but rather says that infants that sleep with their parents because they are following a natural process by doing so tend to develop better sleeping patterns in the first place.