Need more sleep? Join the club. Becoming a parent pretty much guarantees several sleepless nights, and days spent in total zombie-mode. If you feel like a character from The Walking Dead, you may be looking at different sleep training techniques. There are several sleep training methods that claim to work. One method that has recently gained attention is the Pick Up, Put Down method. If you're just delving into sleep training, you may wonder when to start the Pick Up, Put Down method with your baby.
There's no hard fast rule about when you can start the Pick Up, Put Down method, but there are some guidelines to help you. Generally speaking, babies are not ready to sleep train until 4 months old, according to The Baby Center. As explained on the site, babies are typically on a fairly regular sleep-and-wake cycle and have presumably dropped most of their night feedings by this age. No one is saying you can't try before the 4 month mark, but the indication is that it simply won't be effective as most babies aren't ready for it before then.
Once you've determined that your baby is ready for sleep training, you can start using the Pick Up, Put Down method age guidelines. According to the My Baby Sleep Guide website, you start by holding 4 to 6 month olds no longer than a few minutes and then place them all the way down in their crib. You do this repeatedly until they stop crying. Once the baby gets to the 6 to 8 month range, you approach it a little differently. The method instructs parents or caregivers to wait for their baby to reach out to them before picking them up. Additionally, parents are encouraged to say comforting words to their baby while picking them up and putting them down. You continually do this until your baby stops crying.
Once you've reached the 8 to 12 months range for Pick Up, Put Down method, less picking up is encouraged. But it's still recommended that the parent be near the baby and offer comforting words and pats. It's important to note, that no matter how old your baby is when you practice the Pick Up, Put Down method, the whole process could take up to an hour.
In regards to whether the Pick Up, Put Down method or any sleep training method will be the answer to your sleepy dreams, author, speaker, and psychoanalyst Claudia Luiz suggests not putting all of your eggs in one basket.
"We want to get away from black and white approaches that don't take into consideration the nuances of both the baby and the parents emotional states," Luiz tells Romper. "Given that we are in an era of simultaneously great emotional awareness with increased mental illness, it's time for us to start focusing more deeply on approaches that focus on and integrate our deepest emotions." Basically, when it comes to sleep training, your gut is also a good guide.
In the end, you will know what's best for you and your baby when it comes to sleep. If and when you choose to do sleep training with your baby is largely personal. Being open, listening to your intuition, and trying an integrative approach may be the overall solution to your sleep woes.