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Picking A Sleep Training Method For Your Baby

sleep training methods for baby

When we are chatting with a family during an intro call, we get the same question a lot…

“What sleep training methods do you use?”

Great question!

We are not one-size-fits-all sleep coaches and look at each family individually.  During our 250+ hour certification training program, we were trained on multiple effective sleep training methods. Our methods range from high parental involvement to limited parental involvement.  

Below is insight into picking a sleep training method for your baby.

Pick Up & Put Down Method

This method has the most parental presence and reassurance for baby. It is considered a gradual method. This method is best for babies 7 months and under.

Parental Involvement: Maximum

What to do:

After your bedtime routine, you will give hugs and kisses. Then put your little one down awake in the crib with a big smile and leave the room.  If your baby starts crying, you go back into the room, pick your baby up, calm them down and then put them back down in the crib.  Rinse and repeat until your baby puts themselves to sleep.

Key to success:

Patience – this is a marathon method and takes consistency and patience to be successful

Hanging Out Method

This method is also known as the chair method.

Parental Involvement: Continual, but fading

What to do:

After your bedtime routine, you will give hugs and kisses. Then put your little one down awake in the crib with a big smile and leave the room.

If your little one starts to cry, you will take a kitchen chair into the room and sit next to the crib.

While sitting in the chair, use a sleep mantra like “sleepytime sweetheart” and shushing. You can do some patting at first, but try to keep your baby in the crib.

In time, your baby will fall asleep with you in the room, but they will put themselves to sleep independently! 

Once baby is asleep, quietly leave the room.

If your baby wakes, return to your chair position and repeat the steps above.

Every 2-3 days, move the chair farther away from the crib so you will be soothing more with your voice and less with touch.  Continually moving the chair also ensure that you have an exit strategy, so you don’t get stuck in the room forever!

Within 14 days, you are out of the room and your baby should have the skills they need to put themselves to sleep and to have more consolidated night sleep.

Key to success:

Patience, keeping baby in the crib and continually moving the chair.

Timed Intervals Method

This method is also known as the Ferber method or check and console.

Parental Involvement: Intermittent

What to do:

After your bedtime routine, you will give hugs and kisses. Then put your little one down awake in the crib with a big smile and leave the room.

If your child starts crying, the timer starts.

You want to pick an interval timeframe you are comfortable waiting before going into the room.  Once you reach the interval timeframe, you go into the room, do a quick check, reassuring your little one, but not taking them out of the crib. After no more than one minute, you leave the room and wait another interval before doing the same thing until your little one falls asleep.  Do the same thing for night wakings. 

Key to success:

Remembering that the goal of the check is to reassure and not calm your baby down.  That is now your little one’s job. 

Time & Space Method

This method is also known as cry-it-out, CIO or extinction. 

Parental Involvement: None/Limited

With this method, you are giving your little one time and space to learn how to put themselves to sleep and return to sleep without any parental involvement. This sends a very clear message so babies tend to begin sleeping through the night quickly.

This method is the most controversial, but has been proven safe to be safe.  This method is not for every family. For families that are comfortable with this choice, it is the quickest method.

What to do:

After your bedtime routine, you give hugs and kisses and then don’t return to the room until the morning, unless your little one needs a feed. At bedtime and for each wake up in the night, you would give your little one time and space to put themselves to sleep.

Side note: you always want to follow your parenting instincts and use common sense with any sleep training method for your baby.  If your little one is sick, stuck or the cry changes to a pain cry, you would always go in to make sure your little one is ok. Keeping that in mind, if your little one is just mad or sad, you would continue to give them time and space while they learn to put themselves to sleep. 

Key to success:

Consistency – you don’t want to send mixed messages to your baby

What sleep training method is best?

The key to choosing a sleep training method for your baby is to find a method that you feel like you can stay consistent with.  Consistency is the #1 predictor of sleep training success!

Need help?

Too exhausted to try to figure out a sleep training method for your baby on your own?

Feel like you need a cheerleader and an accountability buddy to support you and answer all your questions?

We’ve worked with over 1,000 families to help their families to be happy, healthy, and well-rested.  If you need help, we’ve love to be your guide on this journey.  The first step is to book a free intro call so we can learn more and we can talk about working together to achieve your goals.

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