If you have not read the other parts of this sleep training series, I suggest you start at Part 1.
In part 3 of my sleep training series, I went over the Fading method, a no-cry (or limited crying) sleep training method. Today, I will discuss “The Chair Method”. This is the first of what I would call a “crying method”, however, you don’t leave your baby unattended in the room at all. The idea is that you start by doing your normal bedtime routine and putting the chair very near the crib and sit on it while your baby falls asleep. The goal is not to help your child fall asleep, nor help him/her calm down or anything like that. You are generally not supposed to give your child any attention. The reason you are in the chair is only to reassure them that you are there with them. If you have successfully implemented a bedtime routine, your child will very well know what he/she is supposed to do at this moment. Each night you move the chair further and further away from the crib until you are right outside the door, and eventually, when you no longer need the chair, at all.
As you might suspect, this method can be very difficult, depending on temperament, and can take many days or weeks. It can be difficult to avoid engaging with your child and it will likely be a little confusing to the child (particularly younger ones) when you don’t. However, with time and consistency, this can be a good option for parents who do not want to leave their child alone to cry but other methods have not worked, either. As with any sleep training method, it’s important to commit to it 100% for at least one or two weeks before you decide it isn’t working. Consistency is still key!
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Continue to Part 5 of this Sleep Training series.
2 thoughts on “Sleep Training (From No Cry to Cry) Series – Part 4 – The Chair Method”
How early can I implement this method? She’s 3.5 months. She falls asleep during her naps alone now. Just some gentle and short rocking at the beginning. At night She falls asleep right away during nursing. I have to give her milk because she’d wake up 1 hour after hungry. However is it the normal way to keep her alert during the last feed? Lights on and some noise? Her ruitime is low lights, massage with her fav night song followed by a story. Then nursing and finally I put her in her swaddle me and then in the crib.
Hi @Ania – Thank you for writing to us! We feel that it is never too soon to start teaching good sleeping habits, and it sounds like you’re well on your way! It is great to hear that your little one is falling asleep on her own for naps, and it sounds like you are ready to start working towards the same for bedtime too. : ) Since she is still young, we would recommend moving as gently as you can, so she can have to time master falling sleep on her own. You may want to consider moving her feed a little earlier in her bedtime routine and see if that helps?
For more specific help, I would recommend that you consider our e-Book, The 3 Step System to Help Your Baby Sleep.
You can find and order the book directly online here: https://www.babysleepsite.com/3-step-system
Good luck Ania!!
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