My understanding is that there are a number of forms of sleeping training that range from minimal crying to the Ferber method of leaving the baby alone to cry it out. The attachment parenting model encourages co-sleeping. That leaves everything in between. We all must choose for ourselves what works for us.
Our little man certainly wakes up a lot! We try all different things, including trading off nights occasionally so one of us can get a decent night’s rest. We have discussed the possibility of sleep training. The form that entails dad sitting next to him and not picking him up when he cries, but rather reassuring him that it is okay verbally and by patting his belly or back, until he falls asleep. So many people I know and respect have done it and are now sleeping much better.
For awhile he was sleeping a lot of the night in the co-sleeper. Lately, it seems he is waking up and seeming wide awake in the middle of the night, and we can bounce him for an hour, and when we put him down he wakes up. I had this brilliant (desperate) idea the other day when this happened to put him down in between us and shut the lights, and it WORKED. He fell asleep. Will it ever work again? Who knows. We must accept that as we grow accustomed to any rhythm, we can trust that it will change. As these babies are changing and growing so fast!
I am having a hard time bringing myself to the place of sleep training. This sacred time of nursing and snuggling is finite. It will end before I know it. I feel torn between thinking, if he is well fed, and dry and dad is next to him loving him and reassuring him, that his needs are met, and this will help us all get better sleep, and then thinking, if he’s crying like that, then his need for physical closeness is unmet, and that is so important. My thought, as inspired by the The Continuum Concept, is that giving babies as much of this nurturance as they need at this time in their lives, paves the way for secure, self-reliant individuals. As they receive all the comfort they need as infants, they feel safe to explore and express, as children and adults. This could go on to be a longer commentary on the state of the world in relation to birthing practices and infant care, but I will leave it here for now. Ultimately, I do not know the “right” answer.