Check Up Method
The “Check up” method of sleep training was a good medium for me. I didn’t feel like I was ‘abandoning him in his time of need’ like most moms feel when they let their baby cry. I was also able to get small tasks done in between! Two birds – One stone! Here’s what I did:
Go through your bed time routine, and like all sleep training methods, put him down drowsy, just on the verge of drifting off to sleep. (If you haven’t read about creating a bedtime routine, check out my “I NEED SLEEP!” post.)
Once down, leave the room and stay strong because he may cry. Wait 5 minutes, (you can wait by the door if it makes you feel better!) then you can go and check on him, but DO NOT pick him up. You can shush, pat, sing or use any hands free method to calm baby that works for you, but remember, he needs space to figure out what HE likes to do to self sooth. After 1 minute, LEAVE THE ROOM! Don’t linger, and don’t worry, you will have a chance to go back and check on him in 5 more minutes. After the second check you will increase the wait time to 10 minutes and then 15 minutes after that. Any checks done after that will have a wait time of 15 minutes.
Here is what one of my nights looked like:
6pm – Laid him in his crib and left the room
6:05pm – First check up
6:06pm – Leave the room
6:11pm – Second check
6:12pm – Leave the room
6:22pm – Third check
6:23pm – Leave the room
6:38pm – Fourth check
6:39pm – Leave the room
6:54pm – Fifth check
And then… He fell asleep!!!
After about a week of this routine, I would only have to check on him once or twice and he would be asleep. It is now at the point where I decided to transition to the Cry It Out Method because I found that me entering the room was actually frustrating him more than helping him, and it only takes him 10 minutes max to fall asleep!
Cry It Out Method
This one was the toughest to do, but can be the most effective in terms of time it takes for baby to learn how to self sooth. I will say this, using this method does not hurt your baby, it does not mean you don’t care and you will not lose your baby’s trust. (Fears I know most moms have).
There isn’t much to this method. Go through your bedtime routine and lay baby down drowsy. Leave the room and DO NOT return. Your baby will figure out how to self sooth and fall asleep on their own eventually.
For a more in depth look at these and other training methods check out the Baby Sleep Site.
Did you choose to use either of these methods? Have you read about the gentle sleep training method? Leave a comment, let me know how they worked for you!