Grab a cup of coffee, if you have a sleepless baby I know you need it, sit down and lets chat!
This method was taught to me by a doctor who was visiting my sons pediatrician. She has been featured on Oprah so she is obviously brilliant! I decided to give it a try and it worked for both of my kids within 2-3 nights. I hope it will also work for your little one!
You start off with your normal night, bath/lotion/story, whatever it might be. Try to stay away from routines because they are unrealistic! Life happens, you travel, have a babysitter, working late, etc. and its hard to consistently follow the same pattern. So just do get ready for bed in whatever order it might work best for that evening.
step 1. Lay your baby down awake, tuck them in, say goodnight, walk out the door. They will cry, so let them. After 15 minutes go in, grab whatever blanket, paci, toy they threw out of their bed and hand it back to them, DO NOT PICK THE CHILD UP!. Tuck them back in, say I Love You, cover them up, walk out the door.
step 2. They are probably still crying. wait 20 minutes go in, grab whatever blanket, paci, toy they threw out of their bed and hand it back to them, DO NOT PICK THE CHILD UP! Tuck them back in, say I Love You, cover them up, walk out the door.
step 3. They have probably given up and fallen asleep. However children are very unpredictable and its possible they are still fussy. If you still have tears after 30 minutes of leaving after step 2 then go back in, grab their toys, DO NOT PICK THE CHILD UP! Tuck them back in, say I Love You, cover them up, walk out the door.
You will notice a few trends, extending the time between entering the room, picking up their efforts of a tantrum off the floor and NOT PICKING UP THE CHILD.
The reasoning for entering the room all together is to let the child know that you are still in the house, you have not left them there alone, lengthening the time in between entering the room creates boredom for the child, they don’t want to cry even longer than they did the first time so they eventually get bored and just go to sleep. Kids have some sort of genius internal alarm clock, if you were to go in every 5 minutes they would wait that out!
By picking up their failed efforts at a tantrum (throwing toys, blankets, pacifiers..) you are helping to create a positive experience. Bed time tears should not be punished, they just want to spend more time with you and they are mad. By giving their stuff back you are eliminating the possibility of creating hostility toward their crib, they are stuck in it but that shouldnt mean when toys accidentally fall out and tumble completely across the room that they should be separated from the object until morning. –unless you want morning to come early .. and I’m sure you do not or you would have already stopped reading this.
Not Picking Up your Child… The most important part of this process!!! If you cave and pick them up you might as well restart the clock because you are starting over. They are crying because they want you to hold them. They want you to rock them to sleep.. The point of this entire method is to create independent children who can self soothe themselves back to sleep without your help. You can rub their back for a few seconds (don’t let them fall asleep) you can kiss them, you can be soothing. You cannot pick them up. There are the obvious times when you need to change a diaper but you take care of the diaper and put them back to bed.
This method should be used for not only bed time but nap time and when they wake up in the middle of the night. I taught my kids that they would not be picked up until the sun was up and guess what.. they sleep anywhere from 10-12 hours a night. There are surely circumstances to which this method will not work for everyone. I suggest starting it after you have introduced baby food and before you take the railing off of their crib. With both of my boys we practiced this method of sleep training around 6 months old and within the most of 3 nights they were sleeping all night.
I am here to help in anyway I can! Please let me know if you have some questions!