This is an excellent alternative if you cannot bear to leave your baby crying at all. You should see a significant improvement within a week.
Method: Repeatedly reassure your baby that you are to hand, while at the same time insisting that it is time for her to go to sleep. Settle your child in her bed, say your special bedtime phrase and head confidently towards the door. She will probably try to kick off the bedclothes or cry out for you. As soon as she does, return to her, resettle her, tuck her firmly back in, repeat your special bedtime phrase and go to leave once more. Repeat this for as long as it takes for her to go to sleep.
Tips for success
- - Follow the cardinal rules for settling your baby every time you have to resettle her.
- - Do not 'reward' your child at any point when you go back to resettle her: do not make eye contact or allow your voice to become varied and engaging. The idea is that she should become bored with this before you do.
- - This method can take a long time on the first couple of nights - you may not get as far as the door for the first hour! No matter how frustrating it is for you, you must remain calm and unruffled. If you begin to become stressed by the situation, your baby will pick up on it and will find it even more difficult to have the confidence she needs to go to sleep.
- - This method also requires a lot of stamina if you have to resettle your baby during the night, so make sure you plan opportunities to catch up on sleep during the day.
- - This method can take a long time initially, which means less sleep than ever for you. Get as much back-up as possible and try to agree night shifts with your partner, so that you can both have some unbroken sleep during the night.
- - Repetitive reassurance is not as quick as the cold turkey or controlled crying methods: you need to allow at least a week before judging the results.