For the most part, the first few months of a baby's life consists solely of eating, pooping, and sleeping. Consequently, that means most parents are on a merry-go-round of feeding, changing, and desperately trying to lull their little one to sleep. If you're anything like me, you'd gladly deal with thousands of dirty diapers in exchange for a peaceful night. Maybe that's why so many parents are eager to find a bedtime routine, like bed-sharing or the Pick Up Put Down method, that will live up to its promise. But how does the Pick Up, Put Down method work? Like several baby sleep trends, I had heard of it, but wasn't entirely clear on the actual details.
Before I go any further, you might be asking, "what is the Pick Up, Put Down method anyways?" Basically, it's exactly what it sounds like. Once you've officially put your little one to bed, the Baby Sleep Site noted that you pick your baby up when they start fussing, and put them down once they're falling asleep again. Seems simple enough, right? Still, you're probably left wondering how this whole thing is supposed to work and if the effort you put into this routine will be worth it in the long run.
On sleep consultant Dr. Heidi Holvoet's website, Baby Sleep Advice, Holvoet noted that the Pick Up, Put Down method, "is how you put baby to sleep in her crib and teach her how to sleep alone." But every baby is different and what works for one family may not work for another. In a way, the Pick Up, Put Down method circumvents this pitfall since it can be modified. "The main aim is to teach parents to learn about their own child and to adjust to her individual needs," Holovet explained. So the frequency or length of your own Pick Up, Put Down routine may vary — and that's OK, too.
The key element to how the Pick Up, Put Down method works depends a lot on whether or not you, as a parent, prefer an involved, gentler routine or not. According to Healthline, the Pick Up, Put Down method, "continues until your baby eventually goes to sleep, which means that this is a sleep training method that requires lots of patience." Again, there's not a one-size-fits-all bedtime routine, so don't feel pressured to stick with a certain method if it's not the right fit for you and your little one.