• Cue Based Methods

These involve offering support to your child and gradually and gently changing the interaction to facilitate a lower soothing process however the child is always responded to.

Trading Down Sleep associations:

This method comes from Isis parenting. With this technique parents are able to offer comfort and support to their child during the whole process. They gradually trade strong associations like feeding or rocking to sleep, for lighter associations such as verbal reassurance or singing. This method may take a while to implement.

You start by putting your baby to sleep with the soothing technique that works best such as nursing. This is your high soothing spot. Then the next step is to go from your high soothing spot and switch to something that is lower soothing, rocking for example. If your baby fusses in the low soothing spot then you can move back to high soothing to calm baby down and then go back to the low soothing spot. Try to make sure that your baby falls asleep in the low soothing spot. Eventually this lower soothing spot is your new starting point and you try to swap that up with a lower soothing technique. An example of trades is Nursing to rocking to patting to sleep in the crib to rubbing, resting hand, singing, shushing by the door.

Fading Method

Gradually reducing support from strong to weak, while keeping the response mostly constant. Eventually parents wean off the support all together.

Kinder Method – Light:

The light version of the Kinder Method starts off very gentle and is more gradually however it can result in less crying or fussing or none at all depending on the child. Instead of comforting your baby to sleep or very drowsy and then putting her in bed, you put your baby down in the crib awake and then comfort her to sleep. This can be done with patting, gently rocking verbal reassurance or whatever works. The key is that your baby falls asleep in the crib on night one even if that means you have your upper body in the crib with her. Each night the support is reduced so you don’t get stuck in any one position. The physical support is gradually faded to verbal only and then the verbal support is reduced so that baby can sleep without it. You can work just on bedtime or you can carry through the night with whatever support is offered at bedtime.

Night 1:  Patting/touch, Key words, shushing to sleep at bedtime

Night 2:  Patting/touch to calm only, key words, shushing

Night 3:  Less patting/touch, key words, shushing

Night 4.  Key words and shushing only (1-3 nights) by this time move to a place where baby cannot see you

Night 5:  Shushing only (1-3 nights)

Night 6:  wait 1 minutes then shush to sleep

Night 5:  wait 2 minutes then shush to sleep

Gradually the wait time is increased until the person is waiting 10 minutes. By this time many children will settle themselves before the 10 minute mark.

You can use the pick up to calm tool at any time. See #12 (What if my baby cries)


Posted in: Month 4: Sleep Coaching Methods