Baby Sleep Training: The Elizabeth Pantley Method (page 2)

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Updated on Jul 19, 2012


Does gentle sleep training sound like the ticket for you? Here's how you can try it for your baby.

Step 1: Arrange for regular naps throughout the day. Pantley advises against several cat naps in the daytime, suggesting that instead you opt for one or two longer siestas. She believes you have a limited window of time for that nap, so put your baby down the moment she seems less interested, cranky and sleepy.

Step 2: Begin to taper off any negative sleep associations that your baby might have. These are crutches like the breast, bottle or a binky that your babe uses to fall asleep. Instead of removing it altogether, just offer the association for a shorter amount of time. For instance, if your baby usually falls asleep on the breast, nurse for only five minutes before bed and then pull your little one off before settling her in her crib.

Step 3: Reduce the amount of time you spend on associations incrementally. For a couple of days, nurse for five minutes. After two or three days, switch to nursing for only four minutes. After that, you can reduce the time to three minutes and so on.

Step 4: Soothe your little one with a back rub, lullaby or just by staying in the room while she drifts off. You are not to let her cry it out. Instead, if she starts to cry, try the limited sleep association again, continuing to pull her off or remove the item to allow her to settle on her own.

Step 5: Continue the process until negative sleep associations are removed and your baby learns to fall asleep automatically on her own.

Just like any other sleep method, the Pantley training isn't for everyone. Of course as parents, we all rely on little "crutches" to get little ones to bed. The trick is to stop relying on a pacifier or bottle and start trusting your own instincts as a parent. Soon, you and your little one will be sleeping like, well, babies!

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