Although it was years ago, I can still feel the worry rise in my chest when I think back to the start of sleep training my first baby. I was so unsure of myself, and continued to question if the method would work. At the root of my worry was the lingering fear that I was somehow putting my baby at risk for harm (both physically and emotionally). I wanted a clear answer to the question, "is the Pick Up, Put Down method safe?" because I believed that insight would give me the motivation and confidence I needed to keep going.
It's not uncommon for parents to stress out over sleep training. Even though you really want the method to work, you also want to make sure it's an experience both you and your little one can make it through without too much strife. And the Pick Up, Put Down method is a gentle way for parents to encourage their baby to sleep. According to the website Baby Sleep Advise, Tracy Hogg, better known as The Baby Whisperer, created the Pick Up, Put Down method as way to teach babies to sleep in their crib alone, but also feel comforted in the process.
To achieve this, parents go through a series of steps each night at baby's bedtime until the child eventually learns to self-sooth to dreamland on their own. As Healthline explained, after putting your baby to sleep in her crib, hang close by to listen for fussing, crying, and calling out. If your little doesn't settle herself in a minute or so, return to the crib and pick her up. Once she calms down — but is still awake — place her back in the crib. Repeat this process of picking up and putting down until your dumpling is happily snoozing.
It's important to keep in mind the role personality plays in the success of Pick Up, Put Down. As Baby Sleep Site noted, "some babies find being picked up and put down so often overstimulating, and they gradually become worked up, instead of relaxed." This is more a sign of temperament and you shouldn't worry that you're child will be scarred for life by this approach. There are plenty of other methods to meet the needs of each child's personality type.
Although there are no noted harmful effects to using the Pick Up, Put Down method, you want to be sure that in addition to following the guidelines of this approach, you are putting your baby to sleep in a safe environment. As the website Healthy Children, from the American Academy of Pediatrics recommended, babies should be put to sleep on their back, on a firm surface clear of any loose objects. Sticking to the protocol for both Pick Up, Put Down and a safe sleep environment should keep your little one safely slumbering throughout the night.