Sleep training

NCSA Statement - v08.01.2022

A NCSA Certified Newborn Care Specialist will not practice any method of sleep training involving controlled crying or non-responsive care until a child is older than 16 weeks adjusted age. An NCSA Certified Newborn Care Specialist will practice responsive care, never leaving a newborn to fuss or cry without support as a method to encourage self-soothing.

Sleep training is defined as graduated or full extinction involving controlled crying, where a caregiver responds to a newborn’s cry at increasing time intervals to allow independent settling.

Sleep training is developmentally inappropriate before 4-6 months adjusted age.

Responsive care is the process of watching baby’s cues, assessing their physical and mental needs, and then responding to those needs. Responsive care builds trust and healthy attachment.

A NCSA Certified Newborn Care Specialist should be familiar with and practice developmentally appropriate techniques in establishing healthy sleep hygiene.

These practices may include: 

  • creating a sleep environment conducive to infant sleep
  • educating parents on developmentally normal infant sleep patterns
  • use of sleep tools
  • helping parents decide on age-appropriate goals and methods
  • responsive care
  • flexible rhythms and routines

The act of creating these healthy building blocks to newborn sleep, often referred to as sleep conditioning or sleep shaping, is encouraged while always responding to a newborn’s physical and emotional needs.