This is the most 'brutal' of all the methods for teaching your child to send herself to sleep. It probably also gets the quickest results: you should expect to see a huge improvement within about three days.

Method: Simply put your child to bed and leave her to get on with it! Once you have said goodnight, you do not go back to her.

Whether you have a newborn baby or an older child, you can expect her to cry when you leave her. The idea is that if she gets no response from you, she will eventually give up and go to sleep. However, the crying could last for anything from ten minutes to over an hour. This makes it a tough option for both her and you.

Tips for success

  • - As you are not going back in to check on her, it is vital that you know your baby can come to no harm in her room before you begin. If you cannot see her bed from the door, position a mirror so that you can check on her in the reflection.
  • Left Cold turkey means not going back in to your child once you have said goodnight.
  • - You need a lot of resolve to see this through, so make sure you have it, and that you have any necessary back-up already in place.
  • - Warn your neighbors that your child might cry for some time over the next few nights, and explain why.
  • - Stick to your guns. If you give up after half an hour, or two nights into this method, your child is going to be even more determined to wear you down next time.

Possible pitfalls

  • - Babies and small children can 'breath hold' in temper. However, they usually only do this if there is an audience, and if you don't go back in to your baby she won't have one. If she does hold her breath she may eventually faint, but this always causes breathing to resume and your child will be back to normal within a few seconds.
  • - Your child may scream herself sick. If this happens, go in armed with two towels - one to wipe up the vomit, the other to put over the damp patch. Clear it up wordlessly, without looking at her. Say your normal goodnight phrase and leave the room.