I met many expecting and new parents in my 6 years of teaching. I can remember how they would complain about their baby’s sleep. I would listen and engage, but I couldn’t help but think, “Is it really that hard? Doesn’t a baby just sleep, well like a baby?” Boy, was I naive. Little did I know that I was their complaints would soon become my complaints once my daughter arrived. There were many times when she would sleep like a dream in my arms only to become a human alarm clock when I transferred her to the crib. Or let’s not forget how she needed to be rocked, nursed, swaddled, swayed and shushed for 45 minutes to get to sleep only for her to wake up 20 minutes later. The worst was that she would sleep most of the day and be awake most of the night. She was awake and demanding my attention/food when I was at my most tired. Not exactly ideal. I did the best I could with the information I had, but man was I struggling! I wish I knew then what I know now and am about to share with you.
My favorite and most gentle sleep training method for your newborn is called the Pick Up/Put Down (PUPD) method. Now I know what you’re thinking, “Sleep training for a newborn?! That is CRAZY! This woman is a monster! Sleep training a very young baby is simply cruel!” I can understand your thinking, but it really isn’t cruel because…
1. You are attending to your baby throughout the ENTIRE process. In fact, you are right next to your baby the whole time they are learning their way to sleep!
2. There is some crying, but not lots, and certainly not for hours on end.
So just how does this method work? The PUPD method works best for babies 3 months of age and younger and is very straight forward. First you will place your baby in his/her crib or bassinet on his/her back whilst he/she is awake, but sleepy. Then you wait. You wait by baby’s crib until baby cries. Once baby cries, you pick him/her up and calm him/her down. Once calm, but still awake, you will return baby to its crib. You would then repeat this process until baby doesn’t cry and drifts off to sleep. And thats it! This method works for almost all babies, however, if your baby is high energy or very sensitive to stimulation, then the constant picking up and putting down can be rather upsetting. This process can take 2-3 weeks until you see a complete change and improvement. It’s best to start slow. Try the PUPD method for ONLY the first nap of the day. Once you achieve success, then add on the second nap. Once you have success with that nap, then tag on the next one. Keep going until babe gets to sleep independently for ALL naps and bedtime.
See? Much more gentle than you were thinking, right? PUPD will help your little one to feel supported whilst giving them the opportunity to find their own well to sleep. I sincerely hope this helps you! Sleep Well!
-Pick Up Put Down is for babies 0-3 months of age
-Takes 2-3 weeks to work
-Not much crying
-Start with first nap of the day, then add on other naps, then add on bedtime