What is PU/PD?
P.U./P.D. (pick up/put down) is a strategy used by The Baby Whisperer that she states is the "cornerstone of her middle-of-the-road philosophy" because "your child is neither dependent on you or some kind of prop for going to sleep, nor is he abandoned." This strategy is used after implementing a good routine, "Four S" ritual, shush-pat and possibly wake to sleep. It is only to be used in children 3-4 months or
older, although it may even be too stimulating for some babies until 6 months of age. It is generally used up to a year, although you can do it with an older baby too.

For babies under 3/4 months of age, I suggest my extended pu/pd method which you can learn about in the Newborn Sleep Guide post.

When do I use PU/PD?

How do I use PU/PD?
When your child cries go into him and offer 1) comforting words (or maybe even a song) while 2) placing your hand on his back. If he is under 6 months of age, you can also do shush-pat (note that although TBW suggests this for babies under 6 months, it will work for some past this time so try it out first to see if it will work). If you are unable to comfort your baby in his crib after a short period of time then 3) pick him up. The moment he stops crying say your sleepy phrase ("time to go to sleep" etc), place him back down in his crib and put your hand on his back and offer words of comfort. If he starts to cry again (which he probably will do) then pick him back up again and repeat the process as needed. As soon as he falls into a deep sleep remove your hand from his back and leave the room. Over time you will want to remove your hand sooner so the pressure of your hand doesn't become a sleep prop.

Instead of keeping your hand on baby until he falls into a deep sleep, you may also want to try removing your hands from baby when he starts to settle to sleep and take a step back and see if he can put himself to sleep the rest of the way. You can gradually move farther from the crib during this stage (either during the first attempt or over days) until you are out the door. This approach will help lessen the chance that your hand turns into a new sleep prop for him.

Trouble shooting tips:
  • If baby starts to cry as you are placing him back into his crib, continue placing him into his crib all the way and then pick him back up again.
  • If baby arches his back, hits you or is in any other way aggressive while you are holding him, place him back down into his bed. Then start over from the beginning with comforting words with your hand on his back.
  • If baby is acting out in his crib (flopping around etc) then offer comforting words and maybe a hand on his back to help calm him down physically before you pick him up (or you may end up with a black eye).
  • Don't be surprised if baby protests P.U./P.D. if he is not used to sleeping by himself. This method does not prevent crying, but it does do it in a secure environment.
  • Since P.U./P.D. is often a lot of works, you may want to recruit your spouse and/or other people to help you do this technique.
  • The Baby Whisperer says that P.U./P.D. takes an average of 20 minutes, although it can take over an hour (or more!) with some babies.
  • Remember to be consistent, stay calm and keep a calm, comforting voice.
  • Don't make eye contact, smile or do any other distracting or fun thing with your child at this time.
  • Inserting pacifiers, feeding to sooth and rocking are no nos when doing P.U./P.D. You should not be continuing a sleep prop likes these (or starting one) when you are doing P.U./P.D. to get rid of sleep props. Even a lovey shouldn't be handed to baby when put back in bed. Baby should reach for it just like she will have to do when you are not there.
  • If baby will not stop crying during the P.U. part then P.D., offer some comforting words followed by (or at the same time as) a comforting touch or shush/pat if needed. If he is still upset then continue with P.U. again. Using this method you are reassuring baby you are there for him although you are not helping him calm down in your arms. The reassurance is the most important part.
  • Many people when doing P.U./P.D. will start with comforting words, if this doesn't work move onto a comforting touch or shush/pat and if this doesn't work pick up baby. The Baby Whisperer suggests touch and words at the same time in her book. I prefer starting with words and moving to touch if needed because it is better if you can put baby to sleep with only your vice compared to your voice and touch.
  • You might want to consider wearing ear plugs during the process. You will still hear baby, but it won't be as loud.
  • If baby starts to play when she sees you look down at the discussion below in the comments between me (Rachel) and Michelle for some pointers.
  • Another variation of this method involves incorporating a bit of the disappearing chair method. You will do pu/pd as explained above, but you will move a bit farther from baby (about every 3 days) as you do this.

PU/PD by Age:
  • For 4-6 month olds: Do not hold them longer than 2-3 minutes at a time. Just put them down (all the way down) after this much time has passed then pick them back up again if they are still crying. Holding a baby too long at this age can lead to mom and/or dad turning into a prop.
  • For 6-8 month olds: If your baby gets more upset when you pick him up first hold out your hands to him and wait until he holds out his hands to you before picking him up. Once you have picked up your baby, put him in a horizontal position while saying comforting words then place him right back down in his crib again. You may need to walk away from his crib while he is settling/calming down because your appearance may be distracting and make him more upset.
  • For 8-12 month olds and up: Babies this age usually settle better outside your arms so don't pick him up unless he gets very upset. Instead, do the put down part of P.U./P.D. when your baby completely stands or sits by taking him in your arms and laying him back down with his face facing away from you. When he is lying in his bed continue to offer words of comfort and place your hand on his back.

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  1. Hi Rachel!

    Great Blog Rachel ... thank you so much! I'm working with my 17 week old with early nap due to transitioning issues. At first I tried to use the swing during the second half of his nap after his early awakening, to try to get him used to sleeping a longer stretch. this worked and kept him from getting overtired, but don't want the swing to be a prop. I'm trying the pu/pd method but not sure how long I'm supposed to keep it up before waiting till the next cycle the last try was an hour! He just gets sooo worked up and inconsolable at a certain point. He's so overtired he's likely delusional, but won't let himself so to sleep. In fact he won't stop screaming even while i'm holding him for a long time. If he does go to sleep he will only sleep for like 5 minutes while I shhh pat and then back to sqaure one. Would you mind sharing any thoughts? I've tried going to babywhisperer.com however i havnt been able to access the site for several days ... Thanks!

  2. Ashlee

    From what I understand, the baby whisperer says to continue P.U./P.D. for as long as needed--that is until nap time is over/baby is hungry. It can get pretty intense and tiring so she suggests getting some outside help if needed.

    If he is taking a really long time to calm down when you hold him with P.U./P.D. (my son was like this--he would get more upset. I was more of an upsetting influence rather than a calming influence) then it might not be the best method for your son in my opinion although I think the baby whisperer would probably say that if you continued doing it long enough and are consistent your son will eventually get it. I've found that a lot of her methods assume that your child is soothed by your presence when in fact there are children that are not at all soothed to sleep by a parent's presence. Over time if you continued her methods your child may be more likely to be soothed by your presence but to what extent I'm not sure. Anyway, that's my soapbox moment :)So...the baby whisperer may be right and if you do it long enough your son will eventually get it and be more quickly soothed. Or you may have more luck doing another method likely simply soothing him to sleep when he wakes (by holding him, with a swing etc.) or by doing a mini-pre-nap ritual again.

    About the swing. As long as you are having your baby go to sleep by himself and he isn't having other wake up problems besides the transition time I don't see too much of a problem witht he swing. It is a bit of a prop, but often as babies get older they learn to sleep through the transition themselves if they have good sleep habits. But you certainly don't have to use it if you feel uncomfortable with it. It's up to you.

  3. Thanks Rachel!

    So are you saying that as long as he can put himself to sleep the first time then the props are not too bad after he wakes at the 45 minutes? he can mostly get himself to sleep and has since coming home from the hospital at bed time. We struggle a little more at naps, but It's the transition then the overtired that follows which I believe to be the main problem. he will sleep all day in his swing I just worry about being dependent on it.

    My son also seems to be agitated most days with any patting and the pu/pd today was terrible! So I really appreciated your "soapbox moment" he just got all worked up and super angry and then overtired and then couldn't sleep and then it was time to eat and then start all over again. So I'm not sure if I should try it for a couple more days. I don't want to CIO with him because he just gets so worked up and angry and then can't settle down. He seemed to respond today best with a firm hand on his back while he was on his side and then I leaned really close to him in almost a cuddle and then talked to him then shhhed. But only when he was all worn out from the PU/PD. Thanks again!!!

  4. No sleep prop would be ideal, but if you are having to use a sleep prop as long as it is not the majority of the time I don't think it is too big of a deal. Sometimes you have to bend the rules for certain situations and wakings during nap time is one of these in my opinion. Look over these two posts if you haven't already: http://mybabysleepguide.blogspot.com/2009/02/waking-early-from-naps.html

    I think that it would probably be a good idea to continue the P.U./P.D. for a few more days to see if it gets any better. Even though he seems to be getting more aggitated by it I think I would want to try it a bit longer to make sure it didn't start getting better because sometimes things get worse before they get better and sometimes baby reacts differently than we expected.

    It's funny. My son was a bit different when he was a newborn but when he got older, especially now, there is no way he will ever fall asleep in my arms. So many books say to hold your child in your arms until he stops crying/falls asleep/gets sleepy but what all they fail to mentioned is that some babies do not fall asleep or calm down in arms. Some get more hysterical. Like with P.U./P.D. my son would cry less in his crib and more in my arms :) Now he'll calm down in my arms in the middle of the night or a nap but this only started a few months ago.

  5. my guy seemed like a "textbook" baby until I tried to get him on a schedule and sleep past 45 minutes. =)

    I decided to try to help with transitions for a week because I think that's the main problem right now. That and the subsequent overtired that follows. I had some success so far today going in and shhhing him at about 35 minutes (before his transition) and then thru 55 minutes (after his transition). Once he got thru that he slept for a total of 2 hours and 15 minutes! When he's not overtired he gets himself to sleep with little or no assistance

    Thanks for posting about the swing. I think I've just been a bit frightened about it becoming a prop, but hearing that it's not that bad helps me feel like I can resort to it for a while more while helping him learn to transition. I can start fresh with the next nap that way =)

    I'm pretty sure I've read all the posts regarding naps, however I will re-read =)

    Do you have any idea how long it takes babies with this issue to grow out of it. Or if what I did today works, how long I should expect it to take him to do it on his own? THANKS!!!!

  6. Ashlee

    It sounds pretty contradicting for me to say the swing is ok when you read some of my other posts, but I think this is an exception (when done appropriately at least--e.g. baby is at least falling asleep by himself at the beginning of the nap). At least this is my opinion right now :)

    As for when these short naps will end, HSHHC says that they will end by 21 months if not before. I have always heard much sooner than this. I'm really not sure what the exact age would be that babies naturally transition through this. That's a hard one. I think that it is often between 5-8 months of age with some babies stopping sooner and some later. Also, often trying sleep training again at this time will work when it didn't work before.

  7. Great Rachel! Thanks so much for sharing your time with me. It's been very encouraging.

  8. Ashlee

    I'm glad I was helpful. Good luck!

  9. Hi...I'm so glad I got to see some insight on PUPD now that the sight is down =(. I have a 4 month old and, like most babies, she wakes up exactly after 45 minutes...like clockwork for her 2 naps. Funny thing is..her first nap...she is able to sleep for 2+ hours and she can easily put herself back to sleep. However, as if it's a habit, her second nap, she always wakes after 45 minutes no matter what time I put her down. I tried tweaking her activity time--putting her down after 1 hour, an hour and ten, an hour and a half but it doesn't matter. I find that to be odd that she is able to put herself back to sleep without any problem in the morning, but her second nap is always short without fail. Has anyone else had any experience with this? We, also have been doing PU/PD for about 3-4 days now...has anyone had success with this? In her book, it mentions that it should take less and less time for the baby to go back down, however, ours is sporadic. Some days, it will take my husband 30 minutes of doing it, and other days an hour....Thanks for sharing your thoughts =). It's helpful to know that other moms have tried it...

  10. Anonymous,

    I have heard of quite a few babies taking a good long morning nap but not long naps durng the rest of the day. If it is not due to overtiredness or a too long of nap in the morning causing short naps later on (more of a problem with older children) I think it may be due in part to the fact that often babies are more tired in the mornings and are therefore able to make it through the sleep transition better. This is just an idea though. I'm really not sure why. I'll let you know if I find out.

    It's too bad that babywhisperer.com is down. Do you know if they plan on putting it back up again? It was such a good resource for people.

    I do know of some people that have had success with P.U./P.D. Do be careful to not hold too long though since this can create other problems. Also, it is pretty common for there to be ups and downs with how long it takes. The hope is that over time there will be an overall trend that shows a decreasing time for it to work.

    Good luck. Let us (by "us" I mean visitors to this blog:) know how it goes!

  11. Rachel,

    Your blog is a godsend! I just have to leave a message praising you for the incredible job you've done in researching and sharing all this useful sleep training info. As I was reading your "About Me" section, I was thinking I could have written the exact same myself. I've been obsessively researching and reading to help my 6 month old sleep better (especially naps) and now I feel like I could have just read your blogs and saved the time and trouble. I LOVE that someone (you!) read all those books and created a comprehensive guide that can help many parents out. In fact, I've read many of the books and I actually like YOUR blog better because it compares all the different approaches and theories. Kudos to you, really! You're absolutely awesome and deserve so much credit for putting this together!!!!

  12. Angela,
    I'm so glad this blog has been helpful! Hopefully as time goes by I'll be able to organize it a lot better to make it more user friendly.

  13. My son is almost 6 month old (adjusted age... his actual age is almost 8 months, but we follow everything by adjusted age) and has been waking at ~30 minutes ON THE DOT for all 3 of his naps since he was just over 3 months old! Its been awful! He sleeps fine at night (usually 12 hours) but during the day, he fights naps like a mad man and then wakes up SCREAMING and crying hard after 30 minutes. That is what tipped me off that it was a transition problem. In the early days I would sit in the dark by his bassinet and could WATCH the moment it happened, 30 minutes in to his nap, he would wake with a start and begin crying hard. Incredible.

    Sometimes I will get lucky and he will take 1 good nap a day (good being over an hour) but its completely random when his naps are good. Ive been keeping a log since he was born and added nap details in the log when I noticed he started having problems. I cannot for the life of me figure out why sometimes he naps well, but more often he cannot transition.

    His wake time is about 2 hours max, maybe a little less. Once he rubs his eyes 3 times I start trying to put him down. I think I might need to back it up to one eye-rub, because he seems to go into overtired mode very easily and then it takes longer to put him down. When he was 4-5 months or so I spent some time trying a 90 minute wake time to no avail. Still 30 minute naps.

    He is formula fed (recently weaned from breast milk, but not breast fed--I EPed) and we try solids every so often but he isnt very interested. He is on Prevacid for reflux. We have a pretty good schedule and I am very good about sticking to it (I myself need a schedule to function, and he just kind of fell into one). He goes to bed pretty easily at night--can usually be put down partially awake--and sleeps for 11 or 12 hours straight unless he is having tummy troubles.

    I have tried shush/pat but we both hated it and now he is getting too old for it. We do PUPD sometimes but he is one of those kids that gets more upset in my arms. Its like he knows that I am trying to put him back to sleep by holding/swaying/shushing him, and he gets upset because he doesnt WANT to sleep (I know this isnt the case... the poor kid is exhausted!). I usually just give in and try to rock him back to sleep. This makes him more upset (the rocking) and eventually I either give up and just accept that the nap was only 30 minutes long, or he passes back out from crying so hard. Then if I put him down, he usually wakes up again almost right away. So I sometimes rock him for like an hour until he wakes up naturally and in a good mood! Usually though I give up.

    The short naps are wearing heavy on me. I am going to try wake-to-sleep starting tomorrow. Maybe a firm hand on his back will help him transition. I will let you know how it works out!

  14. My son is almost 6 month old (adjusted age... his actual age is almost 8 months, but we follow everything by adjusted age) and has been waking at ~30 minutes ON THE DOT for all 3 of his naps since he was just over 3 months old! Its been awful! He sleeps fine at night (usually 12 hours) but during the day, he fights naps like a mad man and then wakes up SCREAMING and crying hard after 30 minutes. That is what tipped me off that it was a transition problem. In the early days I would sit in the dark by his bassinet and could WATCH the moment it happened, 30 minutes in to his nap, he would wake with a start and begin crying hard. Incredible.

    Sometimes I will get lucky and he will take 1 good nap a day (good being over an hour) but its completely random when his naps are good. Ive been keeping a log since he was born and added nap details in the log when I noticed he started having problems. I cannot for the life of me figure out why sometimes he naps well, but more often he cannot transition.

    His wake time is about 2 hours max, maybe a little less. Once he rubs his eyes 3 times I start trying to put him down. I think I might need to back it up to one eye-rub, because he seems to go into overtired mode very easily and then it takes longer to put him down. When he was 4-5 months or so I spent some time trying a 90 minute wake time to no avail. Still 30 minute naps.

  15. (continued from above)

    He is formula fed (recently weaned from breast milk, but not breast fed--I EPed) and we try solids every so often but he isnt very interested. He is on Prevacid for reflux. We have a pretty good schedule and I am very good about sticking to it (I myself need a schedule to function, and he just kind of fell into one). He goes to bed pretty easily at night--can usually be put down partially awake--and sleeps for 11 or 12 hours straight unless he is having tummy troubles.

    I have tried shush/pat but we both hated it and now he is getting too old for it. We do PUPD sometimes but he is one of those kids that gets more upset in my arms. Its like he knows that I am trying to put him back to sleep by holding/swaying/shushing him, and he gets upset because he doesnt WANT to sleep (I know this isnt the case... the poor kid is exhausted!). I usually just give in and try to rock him back to sleep. This makes him more upset (the rocking) and eventually I either give up and just accept that the nap was only 30 minutes long, or he passes back out from crying so hard. Then if I put him down, he usually wakes up again almost right away. So I sometimes rock him for like an hour until he wakes up naturally and in a good mood! Usually though I give up.

    The short naps are wearing heavy on me. I am going to try wake-to-sleep starting tomorrow. Maybe a firm hand on his back will help him transition. I will let you know how it works out!

  16. ooops, double post! Sheesh it told me there was an error. Sorry!

  17. Anonymous,
    Short naps are a pretty common issue, even with kids that know how to put themselves initially to sleep. My kids have had issues with them, though at different times. Make sure to look over the short nap post and extending nap post if you haven't already. Unfortunately, there seems to be not tons you can do with some kids besides wait it out or work around it by either helping them go back to sleep, wake to sleep or adding in more naps throughout the day with shorter wake times. And the tough thing is that kids will sometimes have good and bad days for no apparent reason so don't drive yourself crazy trying to figure out what was different because you may not ever find anything. It is good to analyze a bit though like you have done.

    Have you tried helping him go back to sleep the second he wakes up, or even started to soothe him before he wakes?

    I understand how the shush/pat can drive you crazy. It was not very effective with my first and about drove me insane! P.U./P.D. also wasn't effect for him either. He also hated sleep. Sounds like we had some similar boys :) I found that I eventually just had to leave him alone to go to sleep. No fun, but it worked pretty quick for him. If it hadn't have worked, I might have tried something else. The wake to sleep is a good idea. Whatever you do, I would try to be consistent and look at your end goal.It sounds like holding him to sleep isn't working since he ends up waking up when you put him down. I think that pu/pd might work, but you will probably end up holding a screaming child for a long time for many days. But, he won't be alone crying which may be a plus for you. Sorry I don't have tons of additional advice to add (make sure to look at the two posts I mentioned too). I will say that I would try to relax more about it and have the mindset that bad naps will not ruin your day. I know this is hard to do! Pick a method and stick to it. Have your family/friends give you encouragement bc it will probably be hard whatever you do. You'll want to cave in. But if you do, you'll probably not see any changes. Good luck!

  18. Hi there,
    I've been doing pupd on my 6 and a half month old daughter for 2days. The first day it worked really well (almost too well). Today it's a bit more difficult but part of the problem is that there are a couple of scenarios where I'm not sure what to do. Basically, I settle her for a nap by holding her and patting her back then I lay her down awake and leave the room. If she starts crying, I go in and put my hands on her back and chest. The problem is that often at this point she starts getting excited and waving her arms and legs around to try to get me to play. What do I do here? Do I stay with my hands on her til she (hopefully) falls asleep? Or leave the room? I have been leaving the room and returning to put my hands on her when she cries - once she starts playing I leave again but I don't think this is right as aren't you supposed to stay with them? Today I left the room a few times when she started playing and then eventually stayed with my hands on her chest and back - eventually she got frustrated and started crying so I then did pupd which worked fine. It just seems that I can't get her to sleep when she's laying there playing - I have to make her cry so I can do the pick up bit as that's the part that actually works!!! (And yes, she's definitely tired!)

  19. Michelle,
    I've had the same issues as you before with one method or another as baby gets older and more social. Makes sleep training with you in baby's presence a bit difficult, more so with some babies than others. I would first try to darken the room. Then I would try to stand to the side or even with your head below the crib mattress so baby can't see you. This might not help if baby can move around well. At least keep a straight face and I'd probably even avoid eye contact. you might want to try some words like, it's time to go to sleep, which you should also say when you initially put baby down to signal what is going on.

    As for what to do next, you probably won't love this response, but I think either one of the things you have done is a good option. You want to be with baby when she cries, but if she is happy, that is something else. It would be nice if she just went to sleep with your hand on her without any crying, but many, and probably most, babies won't. Unless they love to sleep or are used to sleeping next to mom, they'll probably get upset if mom won't play with them or if mom leaves their side (you've noticed both things happen). You just have to keep up what you are doing and let baby know that 1) it is not time to play and 2) it is time to sleep all by herself in her own bed. Baby will likely protest both things. Even now my 7 month old that sleeps well by himself will try to start playing with me if I ever go into his room when he is in his bed. If i leave he'll just go back to sleep bc he's got the going to sleep by himself stuff down, but he still tries to see if he can get away with playing. Likely if I stayed by his side he would start crying bc I wasn't playing.

    If she starts to play one thing you might want to try to do is back up so she can't see you, but so you are still in the room. She'll probably get upset, then you can go and comfort her. With some babies being able to see mom by the crib helps them nod off,but I'm guessing this won't be the case with you, at least not at first.

    Part of the P.U./P.D. is picking up baby when she cries, and putting her down when she stops. So it is going to involve crying :( It is just the next step past the four s routine. No crying is ideal and you try to work toward that, but once you get to a certain point, some babies are going to cry with the method you are using. Other sleep training strategies will use methods to prevent all crying, but what they often involve is something that turns out to be a sleep prop (nursing, holding etc) that you have to work to wean from later on. Good luck! Sorry to not be more help!

  20. Thanks Rachel. I've basically been doing what you say - when I put her down, if she plays, I leave the room. She'll then cry and I'll return and calm her in her cot and she'll start playing again. This goes on for a while with me in and out and then she'll start properly crying and I have to pick up/put down. I just hope that the going in and out of the room when she's doing the playing doesn't give her the wrong message in some way.

    It's been going well so far apart from the nap she just had - she took a while to get to sleep and woke after half an hour. She seemed quite upset and wouldn't resettle. I suspected teething pain so got her up and gave her some pain relief. I'm hoping it was just teeth pain and not her being unsettled because the going in and out of the room while she plays hasn't messed everything up in some way!

  21. ...sorry, just to check, if she starts to play, I should leave the room and return if/when she starts to cry (after a few minutes) and try to settle her in her cot unless she won't stop crying and then I should pupd?
    I just want to check as the last two naps, she's cried the minute I've left the room and then started playing when I return. Up til now, she's been pretty much settling herself when I leave the room and I'm worried I'm confusing her or doing something wrong!!

  22. ...sorry to keep posting but I'm in real danger of messing this up and creating another prop for her!!! Just put her to bed - got her calm, put her in cot, left room and she cried. Second I enter room she starts waving arms and legs to play so I put hands on her and then I've been doing a mixture of staying with her to calm her down or leaving immediately and returning when she cries - because I don't know which is best?!?! Every time I put my hands on her she wants to play - unless I leave the room enough times to make her get herself into a state - then I either end up settling her to sleep with my hands on her or she ends up crying enough that I have to pupd. I thought the idea was that you settle them in their cot if you can, not provoke them into crying so that you have to pupd? Does this make sense?!! Sorry again but this worked so well until this playing business- if I mess it up now, I'll be devastated!

  23. Michelle,
    Yeah, if you can settle them in their bed without crying that is definitely better. But with older babies this can get harder, especially if they are ones that just want to play with mom when they see her rather than be comforted to sleep by her presence. Honestly, this is why I usually change things up when baby gets a bit older. Many of the techniques I use on a newborn are tougher to do with an older baby, but that doesn't mean they won't work. It will just be little different. I'll finish up the rest of this soon...baby just woke up.

  24. Michelle,
    Make sure your wake time is long enough. This could be why she wants to play instead of sleep. That said, my boys have ALWAYS wanted to play regardless of how tired they are. But they are very social guys. Sleep is the last thing on their to do list!

    You really have to tweek things dependong on what works for you and your daughter. With my 7 month old, if he starts to play when I go in I touch him tummy, tell him it is time to go to sleep and then leave. He mgiht let out a cry for about two seconds, but then he usually goes right back to sleep. If this happens most of the time to you, you might want to do something similar, but if it doesn't, staying in the room *might* work out better. Just remember the no eye contact. And keep in mind that you are not suppose to interfere if baby is not crying. So if you walk in and she starts to play, do not make eye contact and stand near her and see if she'll fall asleep on her own. Some babies will bc they just want mom's presence. But some babies (most likely yours and certainly mine) will cry bc they want to hang out with mom. Then you move onto the p.u./p.d. I know it is no fun bc you sit there pretty much waiting for baby to cry. But I can't really think of another way to do it without causing other issues to develop. Eventually she'll get the idea of what is going to happen and stop calling for you with the intent of playing with you.

    Hope this helps. It is a bit tricky to figure out! Good luck!

  25. Hi Rachel,
    Thank you so much for your advice, I don't know what I'd do without you, you're my only source of advice!! I was at the end of my tether last night because she was crying and I didn't know what to do - go in the room, stay in there, go in and out etc.2 days into pupd, she was a dream - napping for ages, falling asleep alone and then just one episode with this 'playing' business which I didn't know how to deal with and it all went wrong which is so soul-destroying. Thing is, I don't mind how long the method takes etc as long as I know I'm doing it right and not teaching different bad habits.

    Anyway, I just put her down for a nap now, left the room and she started to cry. As I re-entered the room, she started to play so I put my hands on her, said 'sleepytime' and sat by the cot looking at the floor. Every time she started to cry, I put my hands on her and said sleepytime which calmed her- if she started to get excited, I took my hands off. I kept doing this. Eventually, I had my hands on her and she calmed but then started to cry so I picked her up and as I put her down her eyes closed. I put my hand on her chest til she seemed to be in a deep sleep. Does any of this sound like I'm creating a further prop for her? Is it ok for her to fall asleep with my hands on her?

  26. Michelle,
    Sounds like you found out what works for you guys which is great. And it isn't uncommon for this sleep to get better with this method and then worse for a while followed by better again.

    The baby whisperer does mention to keep your hands on baby until she is in a deep sleep with this method and with p.u./p.d. I think mainly because so often after a lot of work people get their baby to a sleepy state and then they remove their hand or presence and baby wakes up and they have to do the routine all over again and again and again. But this can turn into a sleep prop for some babies so I would either 1) do it but slowly decrease how long you keep your hands on baby's chest or 2) only keep your hand there just after baby calms down like you initially did. It may take longer at first for her to fall asleep this way but once she gets it down she'll fall asleep easier for you compared to if she normally has the pressure of your hand on her chest.

    What you are doing sounds great.


  27. Hi Rachel,
    Thank you so, so much for your advice. I've been sticking at it and fingers' crossed, it's going really well at the moment - the odd glitch here or there but that's to be expected.

    Thanks again - your site is a God-send!

  28. Michelle,
    Glad things are going well! And happy this site has been helpful.

  29. I'm back again :(
    The reason I started pupd was because my baby couldn't get to sleep without being bounced, plus her naps were only 45 mins long AND she'd just started habitually waking several times a night. PUPD has solved the bouncing. I also thought it had solved the nap length time but this is very hit and miss - yesterday she slept in the morning for 45 mins, lunchtime for 1.30hr and late afternoon for 30mins. She was still tired after the shorter naps.
    The habitual waking stopped except at 5.30am when she is waking up crying (I'm used to her waking up happy).I had been doing pupd to get her back to sleep when she first started doing this and it would take about 1hr 10 and she'd go back to sleep - but I understand wake to sleep is advised to break the habit. So I've started doing that (although I'm not sure I'm 'waking' her enough!)- first day she still roused at 5.30 but went back to sleep. This morning she woke crying at 6am instead (normal wake up is 6.30-7am). I was going to pupd but it was so close to her feed time, it seemed pointless. To be fair, once she'd fed, she was fine and happy.
    So basically - am I doing the right thing? Will it work?!! As for the naps - when she wakes up early from a nap, she's miserable but not crying. If I put my hand on her chest, she just lays there looking at me. For PUPD to work, I'd have to get her upset and crying (which seems silly!) Should I just give in and get her up??

    So sorry for the long post. I'm feeling very down about the whole thing and just seem to cry and feel angry all day. It feels like every day is a battle. Instead of enjoying my daughter, I'm starting to feel resentful and it always feels like just as I've solved one problem, there's another to work on. My brain just cannot ever switch off.

  30. Michelle,
    Oh, Michelle, sorry you are having such a rough time. You sound a lot like I was with my first. Bad naps would ruin my day and make me so stressed. It was hard not let them make or break my day. My sister would always tell me to expect bad naps and be happily surprised when you had good ones. Easier said than done or course. But you really need to try to have a change of perspective on stuff so you can enjoy life more and especially your little girl. Try to work toward goals but at the same time go with the flow when needed. Throw in an extra nap if there have been short naps that day etc. And remember that there are always up and down days. This is especially important to remember when you have a down day :)

    Short naps can be hit and miss for a while (well, even my 3 year old will have a random, rare day when he doesn't fall asleep for one). I would work on getting her wake time down. This will make some of the biggest difference. Maybe keep a log of them and how naps go. Look at the short nap post.

    I think either pu/pd or wake to sleep will work for the early morning wake ups. It will probably depend on the baby which is more effective. Wake to sleep is a bit easier and can have quicker results so I'd probably do that first. Once a baby wakes a little before normal wake time it can be tough to get them back to sleep no matter what method you do.

    For short naps look at the nap extension post. At her age I would probably leave her for a bit to see if she goes to sleep on her own. She might do some kind of mantra cry for a couple minutes then go to sleep. If she doesn't then you could go in and try pu/pd. I would not get her up unless you have tried things and nothing seems to work otherwise she'll get into the habit of short naps and might not get out of it on her own, or at least not for a very long time. But, if you are feeling overwhelmed I would get her up. Doing pu/pd at the beginning of a nap then in the middle can be a little too much to handle. You might want to try rushing in the second she wakes to sooth her back to sleep. Kind of what we were saying not to do before though huh! Said to not sooth unless baby cries, but in the middle of naps I think you've got to do things a bit differently sometimes. I know it isn't fun to hear her cry but try to think of it as more of a way of communication. She's saying "mom, I'm still super tired but playing sounds like fun still" or "mom, I have a weird wet feeling down there and I don't like it". I hate to hear kids cry too but I personally think that blocking out all crying (especially as they get to toddler years) will just result in a little diva and a worn out mom who has no control over anything. You try to minimize it for sure, but sometimes crying will take place while you are teaching (and disciplining) and it is just what needs to happen while babies/children talk and vent their frustrations etc.

  31. Hi Rachel,
    Thanks so much for your kind words. I know you're right, I have to try to be rational and not let bad naps ruin my day, as they have been. I think it's just I was so elated when I started this whole sleep training thing, as it worked really quickly, so when I started getting the odd hiccup here and there, it made me feel really down. Just got to get a grip!

    Somedays I wonder, how on earth did our mothers cope without the internet and all these different sleep methods?! Puts things into perspective a little!

    Thank you again.

  32. Michelle,
    you are welcome and good luck!

  33. Hi Rachel,
    I think you are a saint for answering everyone's questions with the crazy busy life you lead. Thank you for gathering all this information and sharing! I've been dreading sleep training since my son was born. He is 6 months old and I started pu/pd yesterday. First night was 2 hours and 15 minutes, tonight was 1 hour! Yay! I'm not doing it for naps or for night wakings after midnight. I wanted to ask you think that is ok and if that is confusing for my son? And will it work anyways? it seems to. Thanks again so much for what you've done with this blog!

  34. Tanya,
    Remember that sleep training can go up and down so if you have a rough day, keep it up. The fifth day is often a rough one for many babies so especially keep that in mind.

    It will probably be more effective if you do both naps and night or all naps or all night, but just doing it when going to bed might be ok. Once some babies get the going to sleep initially down they stop having most or all night wakings, but this is not the case for all babies. You will have to feel things out. But I would do it for just going to bed, not until midnight. That can be a bit tricky for you baby to understand. Maybe if he wakes after a short time consider it still going to bed, but if he sleeps for a good chunk and you don't plan on doing it for the whole night, I wouldn't do it after this point.

    And I have been considering turning comments off for awhile so I can get some time to put up new posts and get over illness myself. But now you are making me feel even worse than I already was for contemplating doing that :)

    Good luck!

  35. Oh god noooo don't let me make you feel bad! I would have turned comments off a long time ago. I can barely get dinner on the table each night. Thank you for your advice, I'm glad I didn't confuse baby already, he woke within 45 minutes and I did another hour of pu/pd. I will try with just bedtime for now. I can't imagine the 5th night being worse than 2 hrs,and 15 minutes, yikes! Rachel I hope you feel better soon, you've helped a lot of peiple already. Now go and focus on yourself :)

  36. Hi there! great site, thank you!
    Maybe a silly question - but one thing I do not understand about PU/PD: when baby (6 month in my case) is put down, how long do you wait before you pick him up if he starts crying right away? I know that with my guy I would need to give him 10 seconds or so to start to settle himself... I tried this last night and realized I did not know what I was doing! I got through it ok but it was hard! baby slept very well afterwards though :) Sigh. But I think I sort of shocked him and he seemed a bit resentful this morning. Makes me sad. He probably would have put himself back to sleep faster without the pu/pd if I had let him CIO. But the CIO is just not in my DNA. I can't do it. Plus, I needed a LONG-term sustainable solution that allows me to come into the room and check on him and have him still be able to fall asleep - without me giving him a feeding, you know? Would very much appreciate your insite. Thank you!

  37. Erika,

    There are a couple ways to do this depending on where you look:

    1)If he cries when you put him down or start to put him down lay him completely then pick him back up and repeat as needed.

    2)If you feel he would benefit from a couple moments to settle himself then do that. Feel it out. Listen for the mantra cry. He may be doing this, in which case you would leave him to do that since it is a form of settling, not a crying out to mom.

    3) You may want to try some shush/pat or something similar after you lay him back down if he starts to cry again. If this doesn't work then start over with the picking up again.

    Some babies will be a bit resentful, as you put it, the next morning. Or maybe sometimes it is just in our head! Or maybe they are just overtired. Either way, it is way sad! I am a sucker for a sad child. But he'll forget all about it soon I promise. And you'll both be happier and more rested. Plus, keep in mind that you are by his side during Pu/pd helping him through it.

    He may have gone to sleep quicker with cio, but I totally agree to not do it if it isn't for you. Sometimes we plan on doing something pre-children (or even post-children) and find out later that there is no way we can do it! I've been there.

    Good luck! Hope I answered your questions.

  38. Hi,
    I'm back! PUPD has been going really well for me. I can put my baby down to sleep without rocking and she goes off on her own. Also she naps for a good length of time. She's 8 months now.

    Anytime she stirs in the night,I can just sssh through her baby monitor and she goes back to sleep- until a couple of nights ago. She woke at 10.30 and wouldn't calm with the shh-ing. Gave her some pain relief(as I thought it might be teething) and got her to sleep after an hour and a half by putting my hand on her chest and shh-ing. Then she woke again at 2am. I did pupd and eventually gave her some pain relief (had to wait so as to leave a safe time between doses) - she finally went to sleep after 2 hours of this. Then her first nap that day was awful - took an hour and a half to get her to sleep.

    Last night she woke at 10 again and started to be playful. I put my hand on her chest to ssh her - she turned away to play with the side of her cot so I ducked out of view and when she started to moan, I shhed and she went to sleep. She woke at 3am, I went in and put my hand on her chest and she got really playful this time- clapping her hands and saying "mum mum mum". I didn't know what to do so did a bit of ssh-ing, pupd and hand on the chest etc. As she was not distressed, I eventually left the room. She started crying so I shhed her through her monitor which didn't work and then just collapsed on my bed. She actually cried herself to sleep in the end. She then woke up crying at 6am so I got her up for the day.

    So basically, I'm not convinced this is all down to teething. I think she's waking for attention and to play. What do I do because it seems that going into her and putting my hand on her chest etc is exactly the sort of attention she wants. I feel like all my sleep training which has worked so amazingly well is falling apart!!!

  39. Michelle,
    Sorry things are getting tough again! Sleep is often an up and down thing which gets better over time. I would expect it to get worse on and off and maybe that will make it not so frustrating. Easier said than done though! When there are periods of regression you make sure things are ok like you did then continue on with our sleep training methods like you did in the past, adjusting them slightly for age if needed. I would give her no attention unless she cries since she likes the attention. Maybe walking in and telling her it is time to sleep then leaving would work? Really depends so much on the baby and their age. Maybe you'll have to go in, when she calms, take a step back (making sure to not look at her) and slowly leave the room if she stays calm and go to her side if she gets really upset. Oh, and make sure you give her a minute to see if she's going to go back to sleep on her own when she wakes.

    Sorry you are tired mommy. I feel for you, I've got two sick kids over here!

  40. Thanks, Rachel. Last night she woke a million times but the first time, I let her cry for about 5minutes (as she didn't sound really distressed, just a bit miserable) and she went back to sleep. She did this every time she woke. So I didn't have to get out of bed or do anything but I still didn't get much sleep.

    I know you're right about sleep being up and down. Plus she has been teething a bit and is getting over her first ever cold so I suspect this must have some kind of affect. I will stick to the training methods, as you suggest, and hopefully we'll get back on track again.

    Thanks so much and I hope your two get well soon!

  41. Michelle,
    So glad to hear that she went back to sleep by herself last night! Hope things get back on track soon. I'm here if you need me :)

  42. Thank you.
    At the moment, she's been in bed for 2 hours and just started moaning for a few minutes and went back to sleep so I'm expecting to have a night of her waking up a lot again.

    I know I said I doubted it was teething but could that be the problem?? She had a really bad day of teething yesterday - lots of crying, really red cheeks - but I thought if she woke at night with teething pain, she would be screaming rather than just doing the kind of moaning she's doing at the moment. And if she was waking in pain, I would've thought she wouldn't be able to self-settle like she has been without some attention or pain relief?

    I'm taking the approach that even if she's waking a lot in the night, if she's settling herself back to sleep, I should just leave her to it. It's just really hard as we're getting no sleep!!

  43. Michelle,
    I've noticed with both my kids that if they don't feel good they may not sleep great, even if they are not crying in bed. I know because of the pattern that goes on. For example, my 3 year old sleeps good 99.9% of the time. He woke up crying 3 times last week. Then he woke up whining the next day. then I didn't hear him wake up the next night but he was tired the next morning meaning he probably didn't sleep good. My 8 month old has been sick too (we have been sick here for like 2 months!!!) and I was giving him ibuprofen and tylenol because he was a miserable reck and wouldn't sleep at all without it. He started to act better during the day so I decided he didn't need the medicine. But then he didn't sleep. I gave the medicine and he slept again. A couple days later he acted even better in the day so I didn't give him medicine before sleep and he was finally able to sleep without it. That was a lot to say, but i'm just showing you some patterns I've seen with illness and sleep. It can have interesting effects that vary from kid to kid.

    I think your approach is good. I try not to give meds unless my child is really miserable. A little sickness feeling or pain won't kill them (although I don't like it!) if that is what is going on. If she is crying and sick/in pain then that is different. She may simply be going through a phase and she'll get over it before you know it. Either way, she's getting better at self soothing.

  44. Hi Rachel,
    Thank you, everything you've said makes sense. But I think I've figured out the problem (if not the solution!). She used to take 3 naps a day but recently she's been resisting the 3rd one and is really tired by bed time. I think this is making her really restless in the night. The other day, in the midst of this night waking period, I actually got her to take the 3rd one at 5.20pm. She slept until 6.40pm, got up had a bottle and a bedtime story, then went to bed at 7pm and slept soundly until 6.30am.
    So yesterday, she wouldn't have her 3rd nap so I put her to bed really early (6pm) as she was so tired. I didn't have to get up to her in the night but I could hear she was restless and woke up a lot for fairly long periods. She finally woke for the day at 6am , which is normal for her but she was crying, which isn't normal for her.

    So clearly, that late nap is the key...but if she's trying to drop it, I'm not quite sure what to do to ensure a good night other than keep putting her to bed early and riding it out, I suppose!!

  45. ...oh, and I hope you all get well soon!!

  46. Michelle,
    If morning wake time is at 6, you probably need to do bedtime earlier than 6pm. hopefully you can shift the whole routine back eventually though.

    Often a nap that close to bedtime causes issues, but not always. My son jacob went to bed 1 hour after a mini nap for a while. We worked with different things but this is what worked with him. But watch to see if it causes issues if you keep doing it. IT is possible that she is so overtired it helped her right now but might backfire when she is less overtired.

  47. I hope we get better soon too! Never ending sickness is starting to drive me a bit crazy!

  48. Hi Rachel,
    Sorry if I've misunderstood or confused - I'm saying that she used to have a nap close to bedtime and would always sleep through the night. But now she's dropping that nap and her bedtime sleep seems affected so I'm putting her to bed earlier to make up for the lack of nap. I'd gladly add that 3rd nap back in but she won't have it!! Is that what you mean?

    Also, what's the reason you suggest putting her to bed earlier than 6pm? (I'm not doubting you - just seems a really early bedtime!! - does she need more than 12 hours night sleep? Or is it that her day is too long?)

    Lastly, although I do think the nap dropping is affecting her night sleep she is also getting over a cold and when I have to go into her into the night she's really snuffly. I think these things combined with possible teething are all creating the problem - especially as last night it took 2 hours to get her back to sleep and she finally settled after having some pain relief. When will the teething end?!! She hasn't got any sign of teeth yet!!!

  49. Michelle,
    Unfortunately, with some babies that are more sensitive to sleep changes you end up having a tough transitional period whenever nap changes etc occur.

    When you drop a nap, many babies do need more than the usual 12 hours (or whatever they often get) for a while as they get used to being up for longer periods of time. So if you normally had a 7-7 routine, you might end up with a 6-7 routine for a while that slowly move back to a 7-7 routine.

    You could always try making the 3rd nap a little bit later to see if she'll take it. It might night sleep less than 12 hours, but if it works better then you might want to do it for a while before dropping the 3rd nap.

    Teething is no fun! Sorry.

  50. Michelle,
    Also, it is fine to doubt me (and certainly a good idea to question my advice), I'm just giving the best suggestions I can. There is always more than one way to do something, and every child is so different :)

    Also Also, make sure you do not too easily consider teething as the route of all fussiness, bad sleep etc. This is a common thing for parents to do, from what I've heard. Things like increased saliva production, periods of fussiness with bad sleep, putting everything in the mouth, sucking on the hands, are all natural things that babies start to do as they get older. Sure, they can be related to teething, but they often aren't too. Of course, it might actually be teething, I just wanted to throw this thought out!

  51. Hi Rachel,
    Thanks for your advice again - makes perfect sense.
    Just to update - I completely agree about the teething thing - lots of people put everything down to it. I was trying not to assume teething but it seems to be the best explanation. Throughout this whole poor sleeping episode, she's been crying a lot with her tongue pushed up against her gums, her cheeks have been alternately flushing and all that settles her is pain relief. I even took her to the doc just to check she didn't have an ear infection or something else (she didn't). Anyway, things seem to have settled now - the 3rd nap seems to have gone and she's sleeping 6-6/6.30 (which fits what you said - she's now sleeping 12 hours where as previously, she was sleeping 11). I'm sure I'll be posting again in the future but for now, thanks again for your help!!

  52. As expected, I'm back again - sorry! My baby is now 9 months old. Everything was going well - she'd settle to sleep on my shoulder til drowsy, I'd put her in her cot awake but sleepy and leave the room.

    She still has good naps and sleeps 12 hours at night but the problem is she has started to fight when I'm settling her on my shoulder and if I leave the room, she cries. She might start off calm but will then start pushing, squirming, trying to climb down my body and crying. At first I took this to mean "put me down!" so I either put her down in her cot and left the room, at which point she'd cry, or put her down and stay with her/try to calm her in her cot, at which point she'll either start playing or crying. If I keep holding her, she just works herself up into a frenzy.

    I've tried to stick to the principles of PUPD but once in her cot, she doesn't really cry hard enough for the pick up bit and if I just try to use a hand on her chest, she'll get excited/start crying eventually.

    I don't know what I've done wrong. The only thing that's changed is that she spends one day a week with my mum so I can work and she's fine with her. The only thing I can think is that my mum says when she puts her down in her cot to nap, if her eyes open, she puts her hand on her chest til she falls asleep (where as I always used to just leave the room). Could this slight difference have totally changed her behaviour? Even if it does, it doesn't explain why she's fighting me... As always, any suggestions you have are very welcome!! Thank you.

  53. ...just had a thought - could she be trying to transition to 1 nap a day?? She only dropped to 2 about a month ago. But this morning, she's been up for nearly 4 hours now and not yet showing sleepy signs....

  54. ..or maybe she's just ready for longer awake periods?? She went down for her nap after just over 4 hours awake time. She woke after 1min 10 crying so I shh-ed her via her baby monitor and now she's been asleep 2 and a half hours! I'm a bit worried that's too long....?

  55. Hi Rachel,
    I was hoping for a little advice. My daughter is 3 months (14 weeks) and has basically had no real routine. We just started the baby whisperer but I have some questions. In regards to the PU/PD, she starts to scream as soon as she is swaddled (should we skip swaddling?) and does not settle on my shoulder with the shush/pat. At this point I usually put her down, she continues to scream, I pick her up she continues to scream, etc. I have found she tends to settle better with the shush/pat in the cot but she can really squirm and arch, making it quite difficult to pat. Also, we have been using a dummy which I don't think is a prop as she doesn't wake when it falls out and usually can resettle herself without it being put back, but it is hard to keep her dummy in when she is screaming and I am trying to do PU/PD and shush/pat. When she settles a bit more she will keep it in herself and can usually go off to sleep with it. Do you think I should leave it out or keep attempting to put it back in to help her settle herself. Finally (and I know this is a lot) should I be aiming for a 3 hour routine or transitioning to 4 hours already? Prior to starting this she was eating every 2.5-3 hours, and sometimes every 2. Thanks so much for any insight you can give me on any of these questions. I really like the philosophy behind Baby Whisperer but I want to get it right so I can be consistent and see results!

  56. Michelle,
    she is definitely not ready for just one nap. She might need more waketime though. Some babies will act fine until you put them to sleep and then you know they are ovetired. My son jacob is like this. So don't let the lack of sleep cues fool you. Likely she needs between 2-3.5 hours waketime right now varying throughout the day. waketime is usually shorter first thing in the morning, and gets longer as the day goes one. That is not always the case though.

    Some kids are very sensitive to change. Her one day away from you migth be the problem. I remember my sister saying that she held her 12 month old to sleep once, and then she cried for a couple weeks after that while going to sleep when she hadn't done it for months. One sensitive girl! I think this is less likely the problem though. Likely it is some sort of phase. My kids have both gone througth these. My son jacob, almost 10 months, just finished going through one of these. For several days he cried when I put him down. Usually the crying didn't last for more than 1-2 seconds once I left the room. a couple times it lasted a couple minutes. It disappeared as quickly as it started. He is fine now. I think it often has to do with different things they are learning in their world---separation etc. With my boys I have found that it is best to act confident and put them down and leave. They have done well with this. If they stay upset for more than a couple minutes I will check on them (only happend very rarely). They once again get upset when I leave but then go right to sleep. It is always a good idea to make sure illness or something else isn't going on--but that likely wouldn't be so long term.

  57. Hi Rachel,
    Thanks so much for your advice. Yes, it does seem to be some kind of weird phase. And you're right, as she's getting older, weirdly, I'm finding it harder to read her sleep cues.

    Do you think walk in/walk out might be appropriate to use at this age? I've resisted it so far as I'm reluctant to use anything that involves leaving her crying (and I know the BW doesn't recommend leaving them to cry). But if she cries when I leave the room, and I return and stay, it usually turns into playing and then it takes aaaages to get her to sleep.

  58. Nicole,
    It isn't uncommon for a baby to get upset when swaddled if she knows it means sleep and she is fighting sleep and wants to play instead.

    Since you are just starting the routine, I would probably keep to the 3 hours routine right now (especially since you did 2 hours at times before) and worry about extending things once stuff gets more stable.

    Both my kids got to an age where they resisted settling on my shoulder at sleep time. I think they wanted to either get put in the crib or they were just fighting sleep. With some babies they just need to scream for a few minutes on your shoulder to settle. And with the pacifier, I think the baby whisperer would say to drop it since it is sort of a prop with pu/pd. But I mgiht let baby cry a bit and put it in (I found that sometimes after a few minutes of crying baby will suddenly accept it happily and be calmed) since it doesn't seem to be a problem outside of this. But if you do this, be careful of what is happening and make sure it doesn't seem to get causing more problems.

    And doing shush-pat first is a good idea. I would do pu/pd only if this doesn't work, especially at this age.

    Hope that helped and didn't make you feel more confused!

  59. Michelle,
    I think allowing your child to cry is a very personal decision. It isn't one I can make for you. I will say that I don't agree with the baby whisperer (and others) that it will break your child's trust among other things. I am ok with letting my children cry some. I do very little (if any) during the newborn time and will increase it when they are older and I feel more comfortable with it. Honestly, the methods I use during the newborn time (much of which are baby whisperer ones) haven't work as great when my kids have gotten older (although they really do work great for other kids) and I move to other methods which might involve a little crying. With Jacob, almost no crying. He was used to how things went, it was rarely more than a few secons after I left the room. We started off with good habits and went from there. he is more easier going than my first, but I think experience really helps too. It is hard to say how I knew, but I would just know if I should leave the room, or stay a moment, or double check on him etc so that I didn't end up giving more attention than needed which could have resulted in sleep issues. anyway, I totally went off subject! Ok, if you decide to do some crying, then you might want to do the ferber checks (see link) or what the book 12 horus by twelve weeks suggest--pretty much with this one you check on baby every 5 minutes of crying (start time over if they stop crying) and you go in and soothe, when they stop crying you leave again.

  60. Thank you so much for replying!
    I do think the pacifier is becoming a bit of a prop but I am changing so many other things at once... When i started this I thought I must be doing something wrong because there was so much intense crying around nap time, but now she is settling much easier. I still need to do shush/pat or at least have a firm hand on her to get her to sleep but its only been 4 days and it beats rocking her for 30 minutes.
    I have been doing a 3 hour routine but she doesn't always seem hungry before I feed her, which makes me think I should be transitioning. But I have been feeding on demand so its strange to feed her without her crying for it first.
    The hardest part has been trying to extend the naps. Yesterday I spent 40 minutes after her first sleep cycle trying to get her back to sleep. There was a lot of really intense crying whether I picked her up or did the shush/pat. When I finally did get her to settle, she never got past light sleep and woke up and started screaming again. Its those times that I think surely this isn't what Tracy means?
    Anyway, I am just venting now.
    Thank you so much for this site. It is so helpful and you are a saint for replying to all of us!!!

  61. Hi,
    Thanks so much again for your advice. Since I posted this, I've been putting her in her cot , leaving the room and she starts to cry so I leave her a minute, if she doesn't calm, I've been shushing outside her door. So I'm kind of leaving her to cry a little bit - I think you're right, a little doesn't hurt. I'm trying to peak through the door while I do it so when she starts settling, I can reduce/stop the shushing (don't want it to become a prop). It seems to be anything that involves me going back into her room is a bit disastrous as she gets too stimulated by my presence so I'm trying to avoid that!

    On the whole, her nap routine's a bit all over the place - some days she's having 2 long naps, others one long one and one short. Or, like today, a decent one in the morning (1hr 15) and then just 20mins in her pram in the pm. So bedtime is varying wildly between 6.30 - 7.30pm. I suppose I've just got to ride with it! Strangely enough, she always wakes between about 5.45/6am no matter when she goes to bed.

  62. Nicole,
    I agree, dropping the pacifier would add to the changes right now. But if it ends up making success difficult then you might want to consider it. Just watch to see how much it hurts/helps. It will be tough at first, but probably tons better in a few days, sometimes even a couple nap periods.

    It is possible she might be able to go longer than 3 hours between feeds, but I would hold off on extending right now until other thigns get a bit under control. If it becomes more of an issue, then you can always try some 3.5 periods and see what happens. She may also just be more preoccupied with her environment which comes with age. And, like you said, it is different when baby gets fed when she is starting to get hungry instead of crying for food.
    Extending naps is a VERY hard thing to do. I'd keep it up and if there are no improvments after several days consider holding off on it for a while like suggested in my extending nap post. Some babies just need more time for this to work. Good luck,

  63. Michelle,
    Sounds like you found something that works for the two of you which is great!

    Her daily routine will probably get more consistent as you get used to reading her and she gets used to going to sleep and staying asleep well by herself. It can take longer for some babies to get into a routine and mom needs to help them more.

    Remember (and you may be doing this) to keep as many variables as consistent as possible when sleep training. Or probably for a couple weeks. Same place to sleep, sleep routine etc. Good luck!

  64. Hi Rachel,
    Thank you - yes, I'm trying to keep things consistent. Things have improved greatly - I had to do the shushing outside the door for a coule of days, gradually reducing it. Now I'm back to putting her down awake and she's going off to sleep by herself, which is great.
    Once more, thank you so much!!

  65. Hi Rachel,
    I don't know if you can help us but we feel a bit like we're trapped in a hellish cycle at the mo. My daughter will be one in two weeks time. She's never been the best sleeper but she used to go down awake and get herself to sleep within maybe 5-10mins of chattering/gentle moaning, then wake once for a bottle during the night, again going down afterwards just fine. Throughout the winter she had one illness after another, followed by several bouts of severe teething and bottom line we've all slipped into bad habits...culminating with where we are today: she will only go to sleep at night cuddled on my lap and I then put her down into her cot once she's sound asleep. During the evening/night she may now wake as many as 3 or 4 times and I generally repeat the process to get her back to sleep. I am exhausted. I'm also at work half the week - I work as a nanny and she comes with me those days.
    Oddly, she usually goes down for daytime naps without a problem - a little snuggle on my alp and then I put her down sleepy but awake and she drifts off to sleep without upset.
    We tried the PU/PD technique last night for the first time. It took about 1 3/4 hrs with us standing over her cot, one hand on her, but never picking her up, and she went back to sleep. Today's sleep has been horrendous, now including naps...she's not gone down happily at all and has taken hours at every nap and bedtime, too. Tonight I did the worst thing and gave in and picked her up and cuddle her to sleep as an hour in she was just getting more and more hysterical.
    I just don't know what to do now. Should it have this kind of effect? Are we doing it all wrong? Is it normal for it to make all sleep worse to begin with? I feel so guilty now for messing with her head and I'm sure she's so confused now. She was so upset tonight.

  66. Charlotte,
    Sorry or what you are going through. Sleep training can be so tough, as can a super tired mommy!

    I don't think it is unusual for her o act the way he is ctin. She my also get clingy while awake for a Few day. Every baby varies, but she will likely have some success within a couple days as well as some days where she does worse.

    As for pu/pd, it often works well when you walk all the way out of th room at this age, wait a very short time( listen o what rise are going on) then return nd repeat as needed. See what works best or you guys. Good luck!

  67. I don't think it is unusual for her to act the way she is acting. She my also get clingy while awake for a few day. Every baby varies, but she will likely have some success within a couple days as well as some days/nights where she does worse.

    Sorry for the typos!

  68. Hi,
    I'm back again - although nowhere near as stressed out as when I've previously posted!

    I have a nap question.

    My baby is 10.5months now. She's started taking really long morning naps (anything up to 2.75 hours). She has them quite early so will have another one in the afternoon but never seems to really have more than 3 hours daytime sleep in total. This was great and she was going to bed as normal and sleeping 11/12 hours.

    The problem now is that she's increasingly waking at 5.30am and the other night she wouldn't go to bed and one night she woke at around 12am - all of which I take as meaning she's getting too much daytime sleep.

    So typically she's been waking at around 5.30am, napping from 8.30 - 11ish, then another nap 2.30 for between 30mins/1 hr. Then bed between 6pm-7.30pm.

    Yesterday, I woke her in the morning after 1hr45 and then in the afternoon woke her after 45 mins (which she wasn't happy about) but she went to bed at 7.15 and woke at 6.30am.

    Today she had a nap at 9.30 I woke her in the morning after 1hr45 and she was grumpy and then she crashed this afternoon in the car and napped for 30mins.

    Do you think I should be waking her from naps? Or should I let her sleep as long as she likes for the morning nap and just limit the afternoon nap? OR is it just a case of putting her to bed late when she's had lots of day sleep and early if she's just had the one long nap??

  69. Michelle,
    Although I don't especially like to do it, I do think waking from naps is often necessary to keep a good bedtime hour and night time sleep. As you have pointed out, too much day sleep will cause night wakings and will also make it hard for many kids to initially go to sleep, regardless of waketime length.

    I would be surprised if 3 hours total was too much day sleep at this age, but it is possible.

    It is always a bit tricky for me to figure out sleep when the morning nap is super long and there is a short afternoon nap. I'm not saying that it can't work, it can just be a bit harder to trouble shoot and some kids have issues with overtiredness in the evening with this and difficulty taking the evening nap at all. Just something to watch for and it is possible it is causing some of the issues. I wonder what would happen if you limited the morning nap to 1.5 hours and did an afternooon nap a few hours after that for 1.5-2 hours-ish. (do you like my made up word :)

    THe night waking could also be from overtiredness or sleep organization that doesn't work well for her. Sometimes the early waking (make sure to look at the early morning waking post) can happen from too early of a nap. You might want to aim for a morning nap time and put her to bed a little early if she wakes early, but not extremely early.

  70. Yes, I think I will try what you say about the 1.5 hrs in the morning and then another 1.5-2hrs in the afternoon.

    With your last point, do you mean try to keep her up as long as possible in the morning before letting her nap (and then wake her after 1.5hrs)? On a good day, when she wakes at 6.30am, she doesn't go down for a nap until 9.30 - does that sound about right?

  71. Michelle,
    No, certainly don't keep her up as long as possible. That'll cause issues in itself. I mean to not work solely by waketime since that might make a really early nap which could be causing the early waketimes (note, COULD--it's hard to tell for sure). So I would work on keeping both things in mind. I would put baby to bed a little early for her nap if she wakes a little early, a bit earlier than that if she wakes really early in the morning. Like maybe between 15-30 minutes early. It really depends on how sensitive baby is to overtiredness. Sometimes you can let them sleep a bit longer if they wake early in the morning, but for some babies it backfires.

    You might want to go with 6:30 being your 'normal' start time for the day and working to make it later once your day gets figured out. It will likely be easier to get things figured out this way so you aren't having to introduce other factors into the mix. I can't say for sure if 3 hours is a good morning waketime. Is that what she's normally done? I would think it would be around that, give or take half an hour.

    With the second nap, you will probably have a wakeitme that is slightly less than previously since the first nap is going to be shorter than it used to be.

  72. Hi,

    Yes, her normal waketime in the morning is around 3 hours and she seems to stick to this no matter what time she gets up. I try to go by her sleepy cues rather than fixate too much on wake time. Yesterday, she was up at 6.00 and had a nap at 9. I intended to wake her after 1.5hrs but she woke herself after that time (which was great!)

    Then she got sleepy again 3.75hrs later. She fought against this nap a little. I woke her after 1.5hrs - I'm sure she would've gone longer but it was 3.45pm so I didn't want her to sleep too late and I thought longer than 1.5hrs might be too much?? She went to bed at 7.15pm and woke at 6am.

    It's a really tricky one, isn't it because it feels so unnatural to wake them from sleep. And it's so tempting when she's having one of her really long morning naps (2-2.75 hours) to just let her sleep!!

  73. Michelle,
    I bet the 3.75 hours was too long for her with a 1.5 hour nap prior. Likely that caused the fighting of the nap. Try to drop it in length a bit and see what happens.

    Yeah, I hate waking babies up. But sometimes it really is the way to get babies to sleep well. It is nice if you can go with babies natural flow, but sometimes what they do naturally results in caos so you have to push them a little bit more than you might do otherwise. I even have to wake my 3.5 year up EVERY day from his nap. If I don't he'll sleep for 3-4 hours then won't fall asleep until an insanely late hour and wakes up cranky in the morning. It's annoying to always feel like I'm disrupting his sleep, but really, if I don't, he is a miserably cranky boy. The key now is to find out when to wake him so I get him at a good time in his sleep cycle.

  74. Hi Rachel,
    It's just so hard to read her at the moment. YOu're probably right about 3.75 A time being too long but today for example, she was at her gran's and she woke at 6am and didn't nap until 10am! Gran woke her at 11.30 am after 1.5hrs (as this is what I'd told her to do although I didn't imagine she would be awake for 4 hours beforehand!) Then she seemed sleepy about 3 hours later, went down for a nap and woke 2mins later chatting. So Gran tried again and finally got her down at 3.50pm and she slept for 30mins - so that was a really long A time!

    I totally see your point about having to wake them - it's just hard to be consistent as she differs so much day to day. I'm keeping a sleep log so it's just trial and error I guess!

  75. Michelle,
    I don't think it is uncommon for kids to lose their sleepy cues as they get older, or at least not have them until they are overtired. Good luck. It can be so tricky to figure out, especially with some kids.

  76. Dear Rachel,
    Not sure what's in it for you, all this help you're giving sleep deprived mums, but you're doing a very noble thing. I wonder if you can help me... I have just decided to use pu/pd with my four month old as I am concerned that she has become a little dependent on her dummy. She is on 4hr easy and I have used TBW book since day one. She has slept from 11 - 7 a number of times, but it's not consistent and this week has been waking at 2,3,4 etc. most nights. I have been able to settle her with the dummy but my concern is that she is no longer able to sleep without it - hence trying pu/pd. By the way, have had mixed success with pu/pd so far. V good last night for going to sleep, but wind down ritual and routine is fairly secure. Fed her when she woke at 4.30 as she wouldn't stop crying, even on me. Used pu/pd for morning nap (took 15 mins) but she woke after half an hour and although I did pu/pd for a further hour (thus eating into all of the remaining nap time!) she did not sleep. I abandoned the nap and changed her and fed her at 11. She's now chillin' happily in her chair; she doesn't seem too bothered but is quiet. Am planning to try for the afternoon nap at about 12.45 using pu/pd again and hoping for more success... I hope this is the right approach. Anyway, my question is: what do you do when out and about (in town, in the car) around nap times. I can't do pu/pd when driving! So, can I use the dummy do you think or would this negate all the hard work at home, trying to wean her off the dummy? Many thanks if you are able to help. Apologies for very long post!

  77. AliceK,
    Sorry for the late reply as I was out of town.
    Hopefully things with pu/pd are going well. I do wonder if she is waking from hunger at night since there might be a growth spurt going on. Make sure she is getting good daily food. I wouldn't think this was the case if she woke at 2 though, that it likely too soon for her to need to eat even with a growth spurt.

    That is tricky to know what to do when you are out and about for naps. If I was in a public place I would use a dummy to get her to go to sleep with as little crying as possible. I would probably use a dummy in the car too because I would go a bit crazy with tons of screaming while I'm driving. Hopefully it won't cause too many problems with sleep at home since the sleep out and about is so different from that at home. If you notice it makes things worse, you might have to change things up. Either way, I would try to make sure she isn't screaming in public because that isn't fair to other people. Maybe trying snuggling her really closely, putting her in a baby carrier, walking her around in a pram etc to get her to go to sleep if the dummy isn't working out.

    I hope you get some good sleep soon!

  78. Hi, my little girl is 19 weeks and is exclusively breast fed. She feeds 3 hrly round the clock, but recently has started waking at night in between her feeds during the early hours (so she'll feed at say 9, 12, 3, 6, but will also wake at 2 and 4!) When she wakes at 2 and 4, we've been using PU/PD, which is working really well to get her back to sleep within a few minutes - but - will it ever stop her actually waking in the first place? We've been doing it a week, so happy to continue if it'll stop the waking, but if not, what else can we try? Sharon.

  79. Sharon,
    PU/PD usually does stop them from waking eventually, or they wake and put themselves right back to sleep. "Wake to sleep" might also be a good idea to try.


  80. Dear Rachel,

    I've been reading your site for the last few days and I think I've probably read every word. It's been so helpful! I started implementing your advice on PU/PD, dreamfeed and extending short naps about a week ago and last evening my (almost) 5 month old son went off to sleep on his own after I put him in his cot AND slept the whole night through. He did wake up twice but went back to sleep within 5 seconds. Earlier, I was having to rock / feed him to sleep and he used to get up many times (upto 10 times) at night! So, thank you!! I've recommended your site to all the new parents I know!

    I haven't had too much luck with extending short naps though. He's always taken really short naps - started with 10mins a nap when he was new born and is up to 30 mins a nap, thrice a day now. Wake to sleep extends the nap to 45 mins sometimes but usually he wakes up in 30 mins. The difference that I've noticed is that he now doesn't wake up crying usually. But I was wondering if you had any suggestions on what else I can do or perhaps he's ok with 30 min naps?


    1. Avantika,
      Yeah! It is so good to hear success stories and know that I am helping to make some people's lives a little easier--and some babies a lot less tired!

      With naps that short, my guess is that he is overtired. And with only three 30 minute naps a day he likely would be. I would 1) have an early bedtime to make up for the short naps 2) watch the wake time closely 3) consider going in before he wakes to help him through the sleep transition by shh/pat or something similar, consider helping him fall back asleep for naps even if you are a sleep prop (assuming if it doesn't cause issues in other areas--usually it does't if he goes to sleep fine otherwise). There are a couple more things on the short nap and extending a short nap posts so I'd look over those for a first (or maybe second?) time.

      Good luck! Congrats on the improvement with sleep!


    2. Rachel,

      Thanks for your reply!

      His schedule is as follows: Sleep at 6:45pm, Dreamfeed at 10:30pm, Wake time at 6:45am. Naps at 9, 12 and 3 for 30 - 45mins each. He usually feeds in 2 to 2.5 hours until bedtime. I had a few further questions:

      1. What would you recommend I move his bedtime to considering the short naps?

      2. Sometimes (like today) he doesn't feel sleepy by the bedtime, should I still put him in bed and do PU/PD since he cries then. Or should I do other things like rock/sing etc until he feels sleepy and then put him down?

      3. He usually wakes up between 5:30 - 6:45am once and cries - I can't tell if he's hungry or not for sure so I feed him and then he goes back to sleep if it's before his wake up time. Do you think I should not do this and do PU/PD instead?


    3. The interviewer,

      1) Try moving the bedtime earlier a bit every few days and see how he does. Most of the time you stop moving it when your child starts to wake up early, but this is if your child isn't really overtired to begin with. You can probably move it 30-60 minutes earlier without a problem. You will just have to see how he does with it.

      2) If he will rock until sleepy and still doesn't know how to go to sleep on how own without getting upset, I would do that and then slowly wean him from that. You will always do the pre-sleep routine later on, but most of the time it will be a relaxing time rather than a time you will help your child get sleepy.

      3)Well, if you think he is hungry at this time I'd feed him. If you are not sure, you can try to soothe him in other ways. It maybe be easier if someone besides you tries to soothe him back to sleep. Either way, you can work on trying to move the feeding closer to wake time until it is at waketime. Do this by holding him off a little bit of time. If he seems starving and won't hold off on the feed, then you might want to wait until he seems more ready to go longer at night. You can try wake to sleep at this time too. Maybe at 4:30 or 5. It may or may not work but you might consider it worth a shot.

      Good luck!

    4. Thanks Rachel. (Not sure why it shows 'the interviewer' instead of my name!) I'll definitely try out these suggestions.

      I also wanted to let you know that I live in Bombay, India. So you're helping babies across nations! :)


    5. Hi Rachel

      It's me again. Unfortunately, my baby's gone back to pre sleep training habits! He cries when I put him down in his cot and takes 30 mins of PU/PD to go to sleep. He's also started getting up in the night and sometimes staying awake for a long time. I'm so disappointed that I've almost given up and fed him to sleep today. Do you have any suggestions for me?


    6. AvanTika,
      Wonder week?

      Normal sleep regression? Remember that sleep training is a spiral.
      Evaluate wake times and sleep cues

  81. Hi Rachel -
    How long do you shush/pat before you try pu/pd? We are taking away the pacifier from my 4.5 month old because she wakes multiple times a night for it. I was planning on only focusing on that. She is also a short napper but I thought one thing at a time! She went to sleep ok without the paci (with some shush/pat) but woke after about 30 minutes so I tried to extend the nap. She became hysterical after about 15 minutes.


  82. Leah,
    It will vary with each child and how they react how long you will do it. Usually if they are getting more upset with shush/pat give it a few moments longer and if things still escalate move onto pupd.

  83. Kristy says (moved from habitual wakings post),
    Wow, so awesome you take time to answer everyone's posts- thank you!
    My son is 9 months old and has never been a good sleeper at night, but it's been even worse lately. He learned to crawl and pull up a few weeks ago and now when we put him down to sleep, he just pulls up and stands crying. We tried letting him CIO but only lasted 20 minutes because he was completely hysterical. So, we bounce him to sleep and put him down, he wakes up 30 minutes later and we repeat until we've had enough and we strap him in his carseat and rock him and then he'll sleep anywhere from 2-5 hours. We need a new strategy! Does P.U./P.D. work? What do we do about the standing?

    Rachel says...
    Pupd definiantly works much of the time. With your situation I'd work on practicing getting up and down from a standing position. Sounds like he is standing then protest crying more than just standing and crying for help to get down. Either way, I would PD when he is sitting or standing and crying. If he isn't crying but standing, give him as little attention as possible so he doesn't seek for additional attention and possibly even turn things into a game.

  84. hi Rachel
    thanks for a great blog! I tried to read as many posts and responses, so hopefully i'm not too redundant.
    my 4 1/2 month old has been following the BabyWise and BabyWhisperer Eat, play, sleep routine since day 1 and has worked well for us for the most part. She progressed quickly and was sleeping 6 hrs by 2 months. After that, things went downhill and we were waking up every 40 minutes. We think it was a combination of her being aware of her surroundings and accidental parenting. We started PU/PD this week with some success. Couple of questions we'd love to get your perspective on:

    4S wind down: sitting, how does this work? When i sit with her she seems to get more stimulated (looking around, making raspberry noises, pushing off of me if i try to hold her so she can't see more). For naps, i can usually put her down and stay with her for a minute and then leave and she'll go to sleep without assistance (1-2/3 naps a day, but not all of them). But I'd like to set her up for success as we are sleep training. Any thoughts here? Seems even more important as the day goes on and naps get more difficult.

    extending naps or wake-to-sleep: this is particularly an issue for us extending naps. She has a 40-min. sleep cycle and RARELY sleeps past this for naps-- sometimes at night too. We have been using PU/PD to extend naps and it's worked, but for how long do we need to do this? 4 days so far and she has only transitioned on her own for two morning naps after PU/PD gets her through the first transition. She will not take a pacifier or sh-pat anymore so not sure how to do wake-to-sleep.

    sh-pat: we put her on her back to sleep due to SIDS, do you know why BW says pat the back?

    in general, we are just wondering when she will not need our help to transition or go to sleep? probably not a magic answer here :)

    She is a breast-fed baby on a 4 hr schedule-- eats at 7, 11, 3, 7 (always starts and 7 and 11 and then may adjust if we can't get her naps to extend or she seems hungry early or sleeps a bit later)

    thank you so much in advance for your insight, this is such a great resource!


    1. utdana,
      If naps get more difficult as the day goes on, consider that the waketime needs to be shortened (especially if there have been previous bad naps). This excludes the morning nap time. If she goes down better than other naps here, it may simply be bc this often happens with the nap and is normal.

      If she fights you while doing soothing for the pre-sleep routine, that usually means she needs less soothing. So read and sing a song(or whatever) then put her in her bed. Many kids get like this as they get older. Maybe walk around with her in your arms for a couple minutes to calm her down.

      When you do wake to sleep you don't actually wake up babies (hopefully). They will just stir in their sleep and hopefully start their sleep cycle over. It is only so so effective for extending naps though.

      PUPD is somewhat effective for naps, but some kids simply will not extend them until they get older, and sometime pupd just doesn't work the best at nap time compared to the middle of the night. So I'd try it out for a few more days at least and evaluate if you should continue it from there. If she will go back to sleep with a moment of rocking or the swing you may want to try this for now. They often grow out of the habit with age. You may want to go in before or right as she wakes to try to soothe her back to sleep.

      The baby whisperer was doing shush-pat before the sids recommendations came. So that is part of the reason she did it. The other is that babies seem to be more soothed on their back than their belly or butt. But, every baby is different...

      Sorry, can't say for sure when she will not longer need your help to transition with sleep. Try the suggestions above. Consider leaving her for a few minutes to see if she will transition on her own. Many babies improve a lot at 6 months. Some will not, no matter what you do (it seems to be somewhat genetic) take a long nap until they are closer to 2 years.

      Hope that helped!

  85. Rachel - please help!
    We are on an eat, play and sleep routine and my 7 1/2 month old daughter Daphne has always been either nursed or walked/rocked to sleep. I am no longer nursing and the last 2 months we've always had to walk her around to get to sleep for up to 40 min and cries half the time! Well this past month she has started to physically push off of us and fights us while she is screaming and I just cant do it anymore. I dont know what she wants when she does this, i put her down and she cries, i pick her up and she cries :( so we started the Baby Whisperer sleep routine. Today is our 3rd day and I have many questions.

    1. Since she screams, fights and doesnt stop crying when I pick her up its hard to do PU/PD. So If she gets really hysterical ill pick her up and hold her horizontally then put her down. she is still hysterical - should i still do this?

    2. Ive noticed she wants to play sometimes and starts rolling all over her crib. So what do I do if she stops crying and starts playing?

    3. Ive done the hand on back and saying words to her, but when she cries she rolls on to her tummy and I put my hand on her tummy and she pulls it off? Should I do shush/pat with her even though she's older?

    4. When she finally does calm down and settling (no more crying) should I leave or still be shush/patting or have my hand on her? or do I let her settle by herself?

    sorry - im desperate - ive shed too many tears and so has she. I wish I knew better from the beginning to sleep train her earlier however im a first tome mama :)

    Thanks in advance - Rebecca

    1. Rebecca91,
      1) sometimes holding baby for awhile will result in her calming down and she'll calm sooner with practice. But often it works better to pick up for a short while then just put her down after a couple minutes then try to calm again in the crib then repeat pu//pd as needed.

      2) try to not give her attention if she is playing. Maybe a short pat and a "time to sleep" will help. Keep the room dark and avoid eye contact and engaging behavior at this time.

      3) Shush pat doesn't always work with older kids. If she is pulling your arm off then I'd probably not put it back on or she'll likely turn it into a game.

      4) if she'll settle by herself that is best as you are going to work towards this. For now leaving her alone mayn't work. Maybe you'll be able to just stay in her presence and she'll be happy but maybe you will need to keep your hand on nerd or comfort. Do what she needs but not more and you will likely be able to wean the attention over time.

      You are doing great mommy. Remind yourself of this when you get up each day :)

    2. Sorry Rebecca, but looking at her age again you'll likely want to keep the pu to a short time. If she is sitting, lay her back down. Focus more on comforting With your words and any kind of touch that comforts her--experiment to see what she likes if you are unsure. You may end up being only a slight comfort to her as she struggles to settle to sleep but it will get better with time.

  86. also she has 2 naps and sleeps from 9ish to 7-7:30 am with usually no wake ups. She will never sleep more than 10ish hours per night straight - is this ok?

    1. If she will not sleep more than 10 hours at night and you have tried an earlier bedtime and she Isn't sleeping a crazy amount during the day that is all you can do so just keep working with it. You may need to drop naps later.

  87. oh and also I try putting her down early and then she plays for 1/2 hour in her crib? to i stay in there with her while she plays? or do I start the techniques when she starts crying?

    1. Rebecca91,
      If she is playing, either leave and give her the chance to fall asleep on her own or stay by her without giving her attention until she needs it.

  88. Hi Rachel,

    I'd be so grateful for any advice you could give on breaking my 4 month old's habit of ONLY napping in his car seat for his first afternoon nap. He always falls sleeps alone without props, and sleeps fine for most of his sleeps/naps EXCEPT for that first afternoon nap.

    He got used to sleeping in the car seat during midday because that has been when I'd go out. I did that to join mommy/baby events for my sanity - we'd moved to a new city and I was feeling isolated and lonely with very few friends. I was also ignorant about baby sleep until about 3.5 months, when I finally realized that the best place for my baby to nap is in his crib (not just night sleep!). I know I'm "behind", but I'd really like to the right thing going forward.

    For the midday nap, he'd fall asleep on his own no problem in the crib, but he'd wake up screaming in 20-30 minutes. I can't even get one sleep cycle out of him. I've tried wake to sleep, shush pat, nursing him back to sleep, and recently started PU/PD since he's 4 months, but nothing works. He cries harder and harder. I've stayed home at this hour to get him to nap in the crib for about 4-5 days now and am just seeing no progress at all. I'm at a loss now.

    Today, again, he wouldn't stop crying. In order that his day doesn't snowball into a nightmare by late afternoon, I had to make sure that he gets sleep rather than none at all, and I did it by putting him in his car seat. As soon he went in, he calmed down. He just patiently waited for me to buckle him up, cover him, and within seconds he fell asleep. To him, that's the normal routine and midday napping place.

    Please, any advice on how to break this habit would be so appreciated. Thank you so much in advance!


    1. Tina,
      Interesting, I've never heard of a baby falling asleep well at all times but one of his naps!

      I'd wonder if the waketime is too long prior and that is why you are only getting a short little nap. Maybe you could try moving the car seat into his bedroom for this nap then try it without the cover then move him to his bed. Car seat in bed would be the easier transition, but you aren't suppose to do that for safety. Make sure to have a similar sleep routine for this nap that you have for all other naps so he sees the connection. You could always have him start the nap in his bed and move him into his car seat but I have a feeling that this could make things worse. He may just get upset as you make this transition and will need time to adjust to it before he'll go to sleep happily.

    2. Rachel,

      Thanks soooo much for your response.

      I have been logging his wake times and sleepy cues like a stalker for a couple weeks, and I feel like I'm maybe 80% getting it, since he goes to sleep on his own for his other sleeps with zero or minimal protest. I'm finding that, at 4 months, he's still only awake at most 50-60 minutes for this nap, sometimes sooner, and this is after 10-12 hr night sleeps (waking at night to eat usually due to growth spurt or if he didn't get good feedings in during the day because he's a super distracted and curious baby, otherwise sleeping through, PLUS 1+ hour morning nap!!). This wake time feels so short, I don't know if that's normal. His total sleep in a 24-hour span is usually 14-16 hours. That said, I will continue to monitor his wake time for this nap and see if that helps.

      I think your transitioning solution sounds brilliant, and will definitely try it. However, I realized yesterday, after reading your article about Wonder Weeks and reading more about it, that he's right smack in the middle of his 19th week leap. I have no idea if that explains some of his fussiness to my "nap training" attempts. He also got his 4 month shots today and is extremely irritable. So, if he shows more resistance, I'll likely back off for maybe a few days or week until he gets better, before starting another round of war of attrition. I will keep you posted!

      Thanks so much again!


    3. Tina,
      Good idea about holding off on chaining things until things settle down. And good catch on the wonder weeks.

      If he is only awake for 1 hour and getting a short nap, the short nap may also be causing the short nap. Usually it is longer when this is the case, but not always.


  89. This site has been very helpful as I have just started pupd with my eight month old (today was day two). Last night my daughter slept through the night for the first time in over two months! Naps are a little tricky yet and I might have to do "wake to sleep" as she wakes up 45 minutes into her naps and needs help to go back to sleep. Also, last night she went to bed at 6:45pm (I did a dream feed at 9:45pm) but was up at 5:30am so I did pupd to try to extend her morning sleep. In retrospect, since it took an hour to get her back to sleep (she was acting sleepy however, but fought it) I should have tried nursing her and laying her back down. If she does the same thing tomorrow morning I might start trying to get her to take a catnap between 5 and 6 and aim for a 7:30pm bedtime...my only hesitance with that is currently it takes 20 min to settle her for a nap and I don't know if that would give her enough time for a cat nap. I would ideally like her to sleep 7:30pm - 7:00am-ish. Do you think the cat nap idea would enable that to happen? It's really the only part of the EASY four hour plan that I haven't tried yet. Thanks for any thoughts you might have!

    1. I apologize for the late reply Emily!

      The cat nap might help, but it may also backfire as many children do much better with sleep (sleep in later and wake less at night) when they go to sleep earlier. Night sleep is superior to day sleep (though day sleep is still very necessary) and an earlier bedtime is usually superior to a later one. BUT, it doesn't always work this way, especially if a child won't sleep 12 hours at night or for various other reasons. So, my point is go ahead and try it, but watch closely with what happens. And maybe consider trying to extend out that morning waketime first with either pupd, a feed or wake to sleep. Good luck. Luckily the issue has already passed;)


  90. Help! Ok my dd is 12 months and we co sleep. I just need her to sleep on her own for naps. I'm trying this pu pd method, but what do I do if as soon as I start to bend, she starts crying, then I lay her down but she immediately stands up? We ce been doing this for an hour, she's now overly tired (wasn't when we started) and I want to pull my hair out! I don't have anyone that can help.

    1. My Walk,
      Look over the bottom of the post above for the 8-12 month child. It should answer your questions there. Also, reading through some of the above comments may help you trouble shoot some other issues that may pop up. They cover various things with older babies. I would also try shush/pat or something similar when applicable. It is super tough to do on your own but it does get better with time. Don't feel bad if you put ear plugs in or something. You can still hear your little girl but it won't make things as overwhelming. If you feel too overwhelmed with this method, maybe consider an even more milder one like the no cry sleep solution. IT may take longer but it may be easier on your nerves. You can find references to the things I mentioned in the index. Good luck!


  91. Rachel,

    I love your blog! I've been obsessively researching sleep guides to help my seven month old sleep better. She has never been able to soothe herself to sleep and relies heavily on me rocking her to sleep and pacifier. We tried two weeks of cry-it-out, but the length of time (15-20 minutes) has not decreased and she still cries hysterically to the point of exhaustion. I would like to try the PUPD method, but everytime I put her down, she wakes up and starts crying. The only way I can get her to calm down is by placing a pacifier in her mouth. It's a battle every time to get her to fall asleep - even at 1 AM in the morning. Is there any advice you can offer me?

    Annie (Tired, Sleep Deprived, Worried First Time Mom)

    1. babyseal,
      The key with this method is to put down before she falls asleep. At this age you should even put down before she gets sleepy. The post above (the bottom mentions age differences) goes over some of this stuff.

      With this method if she is used to being held to sleep she is going to cry quite a bit. But you will be with her. So you need to be ready for that and you need to be ready for it to take several days. If you use a pacifier, I'd only use it if she put it in her own mouth otherwise it will be a proper and make this method not work well for you. Yes, she will want it but it will continue the sleep problems. All of this is a big change to her and she is just protesting all of this. Give her a lovey if she doesn't have one and have a confident attitude when you do this. don't let her know you are unsure about what you are doing because she'll pick up on this.


  92. Dear Rachel,

    I started doing PU/PD 4 days ago with my 4 month old (adjusted age), tonight wil be the 5th night. I know I should keep doing it for a week to see improvements, but I started getting worried if my method is consistent enough. I decided to only do it at night, because she is a terrible napper already and I didnt want her to get sleep deprived while ST. plus I sometimes bring her to the office during the day. So for naps I still use props; pacifier, rocking, nursing, both to help her go to sleep initially, if she wakes up 5 min later, and when she wakes up after her usual 40 min- although I will usually have no luck extending her naps.
    At night I do PU/PD (if soothing in the crib doesnt work), I do it in intervals of 3, 5, 10, 15 min, or just when her crying peaks.
    Also bedtime is 7pm, we have a solid routine established and I try getting her down for naps as soon as I see a sleep cue (she will usually not be awake for more than 1.5 hour). She wakes for the day at 7, unless P bring her to my bed just to get a few hours extra sleep. (this might be bad)

    My questions are

    1)will the ST at night work, when I'm doing everything I am not supposed to do during the day? The crying lasted 50 min every night the past four nights.

    2) She is not on a fixed eating schedule, although it usually adds up to every 2.5 hour. At night she always wakes at 2.30 and 5-6 am. I always just fed her, until I started trying dreamfeeds and realised that it doesnt change anything. Does this mean that she is not actually hungry at 2.30 but just waking out of habit?

    3) one additional question: Even though baby now sleeps til 2.30, I still wake up every 1.5-2 hours and will have a hard time getting back to sleep. I assume my system has become used to the sleep deprivation and I have developed bad sleep habits too, but I don't know what to do..do you have any advice on this?

    Thank you so much for writing this blog, I appreciate any advice you can give me.


    1. Candice,
      1) it depends a lot on the baby. Some kids separate naps and nights pretty well, but some don't. Trial and error will tell you here what is the case with your little one.

      2) She probably is waking a bit out of habit at 2:30 and 6. Many kids will kind of wake out of habit to eat at night around when they usually get hungry for quite some time. Some will phase out when they no longer feel hungry, other will keep waking to eat. She may still need some food around this time though (but I highly doubt she needs it twice a night now).

      3) Usually mom's sleep improves over time as baby starts to sleep longer. It can take a couple weeks for some moms. Sometimes overtiredness, anxiety, depression, messed hormones can make sleep problems continue though. You may want to talk to your doctor about the situation right now, or in the least work on some sort or relaxation technique before going to sleep at night and upon waking. This post may be helpful:

      4) A late bedtime, inconsistent methods (like bringing her to bed in the am) can definitely cause issues with sleep, as can too long of a waketime and a routine that changes from day to day. Keep that in mind as you work toward better sleep and evaluate what your goals are and what kind of sacrifices you can and want to make to achieve better sleep. Also take a look at the top sleep tips post in the index if you haven't already.

      best of luck,

  93. I have to say that I ran across your blog earlier when my sweet little angle had turned into a screaming mad woman. I was at my witts end with her screaming which has happened for several weeks every evening at bed time. Ive tried nursing her to sleep, Ive tried a warm bath, and I've tried the cry it out method with only tore me up worse. Finally tonight I ran across your method and I have instantly fallen in love!! I never believed in the Cry It Out method knowing how much damage it could cause. However, my husband and I have been so frustrated with her consistent crying for hours straight when I know shes full, dry, and nothing else is wrong. Of course this is just the first night, but I haven't heard a sound out of her since I tried the method earlier!! I cannot thank you enough for posting your information, and hope you don't mind that I have given you credit by sharing this blog via Pinterest for my friends to see!!

    1. Whitney,
      I'm so happy you've found some helpful stuff here! I hope you continue to have success and remember that it isn't unusual to have sleep training regressions, particularly around day 5. Just keep up the consistency and things should improve over time.


  94. Rachel,

    I started my daughter with shush pat around 5 months to help get her off of using a bottle/breast to go to sleep. It worked great until about a weeks ago (she is 6 months as of a week ago). It still works for everyone but me (mom, sister, husband).

    I took the week off to get her sleep under control - she takes hours to go to bed and wakes up 2-3 times a night. Last night I did pu pd and shush pat for 4 hours until I left the room to eat for 20 min and went back. She fell asleep about ten minutes later.

    Today I did pupd for both naps, no success on the am, 30 min nap to start on the pm and pupd for 1.5 hours after with no success. The thing is, that physically she is in the 8-12 month category since she pulls herself to stand and can sit by herself. So if I let her do that and just put her down she doesn't cry. I think she thinks it's a game.

    What am I doing wrong? What should I do?

    1. Stacy b,
      The sudden change may have to do with her age--around 5.5-6 months children learn to purposely protest things, and they can get really good at it really quickly.

      Look over the top sleep post to review things like wake time etc

      Read over the moments under this post.

      Give attention only when it s needed. Otherwise stand to the side or leave the room. Don't rush in. If you don't give her attention while playing the fun will go away. Eventually shell get the point and either go to sleep, cry or be contented by herself awake.

      Good luck. It is a lot of work!


  95. This is such a great blog. Thanks so much. I've been struggling with getting my 7 month girl to sleep lately and was wondering if you have any suggestions. She's never been the most natural sleeper (kind of a sleep fighter actually), but we had actually managed to establish a bit of a routine by the time she was 4/5 months and she's mostly been a pretty good nighttime sleeper since she was around 3.5 months, when she started to sleep 8 hours or so by night.
    But then we moved 2 months ago and everything changed. I've been trying to be consistent, but I'm sure I've missed the mark here, especially since in the last 6 weeks we've had a lot of physical change too. She has learned to crawl and sit up, and did most of this learning in the crib. And now she's figured out how to stand up, she seems to keep standing up and getting herself more wired as she sleeps. Just for a short nap, in will take over an hour to put her to sleep. Oh, and did I mention that she's teething too? :)
    So I have two questions:
    1) Since I've been struggling with routine for so long now, I feel like I might be out of touch with her sleep signals and might be putting her to sleep too early. For instance, today I tried putting her down for her second nap, struggled for 1.5 hours with her climbing to stand and putting her back downbefore giving up on the nap - but then she seemed fine and was able to play independently for another 45 min-1hour afterwards. She had been up for 1.5 hours (she used to be up for 2 hours and then nap) when I started her wind down and was showing signs of being tired like fussing and did some ear tugging so I assumed she was tired. So how do I figure out when the right time to put her to sleep is?
    2) What is the best way to manage the standing up instead of sleeping issue? Do I stay in the room and put her down right away, as she usually starts moving to start sitting and standing as soon as I put her down (though there is no crying for a while as she is content to play with the rails for a while). Or do I leave the room and let her play with the crib rails standing until she is crying. The thing with the latter option is that she seems to be getting wired from doing this.

    If you have any suggestions, it would be soooo appreciated. I'm really struggling here and my husband's going away for two weeks and I'm starting to freak out!

    1. 1) Remember those second winds and third and fourth winds. Some kids (I've got one of them) are really good at seeming like they don't need some sleep but then something will happen, like a broken toy, and it will cause them to go nuts and you'll see the overtiredness. The best thing I know of to do is to compare waketimes to averages, watch for sleep cues (if any), and keep a sleep log to see what waketimes work best.
      2)I would give baby as little attention as needed during sleep. So I do not put baby down if she stands. With many many babies the extra attention makes things worse and they turn it into a game. Sure, they often get over playing but it can take a while and I figure you might as well avoid it if possible. So help baby if she's upset, but leave her if she's fine. Yes, she'll get overtired. Yes, she's get wired. But if you keep going in this likely will happen anyway and you may create some new not so fun habits too. The novelty of standing will go away eventually.


    2. Thanks for your help Rachel. I've been working on this for the last few weeks. Falling asleep has gotten easier and sometimes I even get Emma to fall asleep the first time I put her down.

      However, I still have a pretty big problem with transitioning between sleep cycles. I don't know if this is because we're trying to figure out the new schedule and she may be over/undertired or if it's the result of accidental parenting.

      You see, my husband was away and I didn't have the stamina to walk in and out of the room as often as was necessary so sometimes I stayed in the room to the side of the crib where I was mostly out of eyeshot and convinced myself it was okay. But in all honesty, I think she knew that I was there half the time as she understands doors now. And while she's initially falling asleep fine and even sees me leave the room when I put her down, she keeps waking up every 1-2 hours in the night. And when I go in to put her back down, she often starts to cry when I leave the room. In addition, she typically needs extra consoling at this time (mostly through a combination of words and touch though I PU if she gets very very upset). Overall, it takes a lot longer to get her back to sleep at these transitions than the start of her sleep. And often when I think she's asleep and have finally gone back to bed, 5 minutes later she will wake up. It can take over an hour to get her back to sleep. And then 1-2 hours later, it happens again (though usually it's only one time a night that it takes an extra long time to put her back to sleep and the other times are pretty fast).

      I've started to try a little bit of controlled crying where I count to 30 when she cries before entering her room, even when she cries just when I leave and I'm right outside the door, but I'm not sure if this is the right way to go about this. I've also tried PD silently (before I used to say "You have to lie down for sleepytime") and only talk/touch if she continues to cry after being put down.

      Any advice? I'm struggling here as I'm starting to feel a lot of pressure from others to make Emma CIO but I really never wanted to do that. But I'm getting pretty exhausted here and the problem is isolating me as I don't want to talk about it with anyone because they will just tell me to sleep train with CIO.

  96. Hello, we started doing the PU/PD 8 nights ago with 23 week old DD - she woke up every hour before and I always breastfed her for 4 weeks to calm her down. For two nights, it was extremely difficult, but the 3rd night was much better and then she slept from 23am to 6am. But all of a sudden, on night 7 she woke up again every hour and last night up to every 20 mins after she fell asleep. Is this relapse normal (for several nights) or might this be a sign that I am doing sth wrong, i.e. leave her on my arm for too long before putting her in her cot (sometimes I count to 15 after she calmed down)? I am a little desperate right now, so will be happy about any advice. Thank you!

    1. Eva Raue,
      Regression around 5/6 days is very normal. I doubt she'd suddenly have issues with how long your holding her when you were doing the same the night before with no problems.

      Keep reducing how long you hold after she is calm and work on calming her in the crib first before your arms.


  97. Hello. What a wonderful blog! I'm hoping you might help us too...

    Our 3-month old daughter is lovely most of the time, but ALWAYS fights going to sleep. Once she's asleep she sleeps well (naps of 30min or 1.5 hours or even 2 hours; at night she'll sleep for 4-7 hours in one shot, and goes back to sleep very easily after a night feed). But getting her to go to sleep in the first place is a battle! After a few nights of it taking us 3 hours to settle her, we started taking the Baby Whisperer's advice.

    In the evenings, around 7pm she starts to yawn etc, so we give her a bath, sit in bed in a dark room and read her 'goodnight moon'. Then hold her for a bit. BUT she gets wound up during this -- almost as if she knows we're about to put her down on her own. She just won't settle being still, or even from 'shh patting'. We put her down and picked her up over and over again the first night, but she cried/screamed through it all (2 hours!!), with tears and everything. In desperation we left the room, and miraculously she fell asleep after a 3 min crying jag.

    After a few nights we started leaving her sooner... and yes she'll fall asleep after 5 min of crying or so.

    This is okay... but it feels like I'm traumatizing her. Will she ever go to sleep without crying herself to sleep????

    2nd question: if she falls asleep feeding during an evening feed, should we really wake her up to put her to bed??? Or just put her down carefully and hope for the best? The latter seems kinder, but perhaps we're "undoing our training" if we do that???

    1. "she gets wound up during this -- almost as if she knows we're about to put her down" This isn't uncommon for kids to do. Consider putting her to bed sooner. By the time she yawns she may be overtired or ready to go to sleep that second. Keep a sleep log to monitor how she does with different waketimes.

      "This is okay... but it feels like I'm traumatizing her. Will she ever go to sleep without crying herself to sleep????" So this is going to be my opinion because you will hear the opposite opinion (and very strong opinons in either direction with sleep and children!). I think she is fine. I do not think a few minutes of a child crying before falling asleep will traumatize them, just like I do not think a child throwing a fit or being in time out will traumatize them. They are displaying their protest. Yes, you are out of the room, but I don't think not being with them while they throw a fit will ruin them. I think it teaches them that throwing a fit does not mean they get what they want. And yes, she will go to sleep without crying eventually. Some kids do this in a matter of days...but some kids will crying for a couple minutes before falling asleep for a couple years (not the norm but it definitely happens). They seem to need it to settle themselves or it is their two minute period of protest and stubbornness before they fall asleep.

      And I do think being there to help some kids fall asleep ends up making it way harder for the child to fall asleep and they end up getting waaaay more overtired in the long run. yes, that might mean you leave them to settle themselves for a couple minutes which some people aren't ok with. Remember the mantra cry the baby whisperer talks about. It is the one that babies do to settle themselves to sleep.

      When my kids fell asleep during a feeding at night I just put them down. But they weren't in the process of learning sleep training. You might want to put her down if she is asleep and see if it seems to make things worse. What would be better if you would keep her awake during that feed. If she is falling asleep, she is possibly is sucking for comfort near the end of the feed and not eating much so I'd watch for that and try to end the feed then. You can also keep the room bright during the feed and only turn it down once she is almost done with it.

    2. Oh, and as your little one is only 3 months, the fits, protests etc aren't purposely going on right now says The First Three Years, but kids are learning associations and habits right now which comes into play with things.


  98. Hi Rachel,

    I have a 4 month old son, and my husband and I realized that we have made several accidental parenting mistakes. We have made me the prop for soothing and the prop for sleeping. He only soothes with me using bouncing, walking and shushing all at the same time. He also only sleeps on me. I always try to put him in his crib after he falls asleep in my arms and if I do it very smoothly and quietly, he continues to sleep in his crib, otherwise he wakes up and I have to start the soothing/putting to sleep over again.

    We have read the Baby Whisperer books and are trying to transition the soothing to something simple like pat-shush. This is going well. We also have a good E.A.S.Y. routine for him (we always did), except for the S part because he sleeps on me and I get no Y. Mind you his naps are only 45 minutes if I get him in his crib, or 2 hours if he sleeps on me or in the car and I manage to help extend his nap at around the 45minute mark. He also doesn't sleep that well through the night (we're guessing because of bad napping) in that he goes to bed at 6pm and wakes up a couple of time at 8 or 9 or 10pm, then midnight/1am, then 4/5am, and then he's up for the morning at 6am. He's pretty tired looking at 6am but doesn't want to go back to sleep.

    I'd appreciate if you shed some light on this: do we jump into the PUPD method since the EASY routine isn't helping my son? My concern with the PUPD is that I will not be able to calm him when I pick him up because I have to bounce/walk/shush at the same time. How do I try to calm him when I pick him up?

    Wouldn't the PUPD become the "cry it out" method if I can't calm him down when I pick him up?

    Also, Tracy Hogg mentioned in one her books that she did the PUPD 126 times once. I'd imagine there was lots of crying for the duration of 126 times. Is this normal? Is it ok?

    Thanks... Kossy

    1. Kossy,
      Yes, there can be lots of crying during pupd but you are with baby so it is different than cio in that sense. It is known as a middle ground approach-- isn't no-cry but isn't straight cio.

      I do not believe the crying will hurt baby, but you will hear lots of things from different people on that. As far as I can see, no research says that cio short term during sleep training is harmful (all the reports I've ever found involve inaccurate conclusions or bad research methods or are just opinion). Yes, it can increase cortisol and some other things, but so does colic (and those babies aren't messed up forever!!!) and so does not having enough sleep!

  99. Thanks... Do you put him down when he stops screaming but is still whimpering, or do you wait until he stops all noises?

    1. kossy panbeh,
      It depends. I'd start off waiting until he calms down all the way (but hasn't gotten too sleepy). If he doesn't improve as expected with self soothing, then you can try putting him down a little earlier.

  100. Thanks again... one more question: do my husband and I alternate doing the PUPD so he gets used to both of us? Or do I just do it?

    1. Good question Kossy pangeh.The baby whisperer encourages you to switch off so you get a break (she suggests you do two nights at a time) but it could also be helpful so baby doesn't get used to just one person. It could potentially make it take a little bit longer for them to get used to the change of person and how they do it, but in the long run you may be better off. Once again, it will depend upon the child. My children were both pretty happy with whoever even though I put them to bed most of the time so I wouldn't worry if about me just doing pupd with them, but some kids get very attached to who puts them to bed and the exact methods that they do.

  101. Rachel, I am so grateful you are here, so patiently answering everyones questions! Your advice and blog have been SO helpful, esp since we are just too tired to go read another book on sleep

    Do you have any advice for nap training a 9 month old? We tried PUPD this morning but she would just get up and stand and cry constantly. After an hour we gave up and just napped her in her ergo carrier. I usually nurse her till drowsy but when I try to put her down she wakes up instantly. Should I be putting her down drowsy or completely awake? Also, is there any point at which we should just stop and get her to nap any way we can so she doesn't get overtired? Or if we persist will she eventually sleep?

    She will calm when I pick her up but cries the moment I put her down, so I feel like there's no opportunity for her to fall asleep cause I'm constantly putting her down or picking her up. Should i let her cry for a few minutes before picking her up?
    Would you mind sharing some challenges specific to sleep training older babies? I feel like I'm going about this all wrong!

    1. Mamakoh,
      At 9 months, you are likely going to have a lot more resistance. You will have to try harder to be even more consistent because she has her habits very ingrained and will want to keep doing whatever she is used to. So with a younger baby I often suggest helping them fall asleep after X amoutn of time, with a 9 month old I'd probably try the ST approach for 1 hour or the nap period, and then get baby up and try again in a little bit. Yes, they will get very overtired, and it might feel like it is a lot worse at first, but it will get easier with time. You just really need to try not to go back to the old methods of falling asleep. If you feel you are about to have a total break down, then do it, but otherwise avoid it or you will take a step back and have to almost be starting all over again with some children.

      What you are describing with pupd is normal for many babies at first. But if you persist, she will start to get the hang of it and will eventually stay calm when you lay her down. I'd try to calm her in her bed (she shush-pat) before picking her up, and you probably want to wait until she is more than just fussing before picking her up. Try to have minimal eye contact and hold her, but don't snuggle too much. You are there for her, but you want to interact as little as you can so she has the least benefit from your presence as possible. I probably wouldn't let her cio while you are standing by her in pupd. If you had left the room I might leave her for a moment before returning-especially with a cry that shows she is settling, but if you are standing there, then it might make her more confused. But like I said, helping to calm while she is in he bed is a good option.

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  103. Hi there, my son has just gone 13 weeks and we have sleep settling issues during the day. I had been using the Ssssh Pat, but this no longer works. I have tried today doing PU/PD, but he just cries continuously whether I hold him or not. What should I do? Thanks a lot for all this useful info!

  104. Ok any advice is appreciated...
    My sweet Charlotte is almost 10 months. I have been rocking her to sleep for naps and she usually went down for bed pretty well with one night waking for nursing. Since I want to wean at a year, I have been trying to get her to fall asleep on her own to help with the night weaning soon. SOOO 5 days ago I began PU/PD (as I had tried cry it out and she is just so stubborn!) It has been very up and down...(literally!) Tonight it took us three hours to get her to sleep!!! My husband wanted to give in and hold her but I stood my ground. Almost lost my marbles. So perhaps I am just venting but would love some advice or support! I am hoping and praying that she was just giving us one last test and that things will get better soon. If not when do I know that this just won't work for her?! So tired and worn out I could not do another night like this! Thanks

    1. Lauren,
      Take a look at the pupd for ages tips above if you haven't already. Older children really have a lot of stamina--which means mom and dad have to have more! The key is to try to reduce how much comfort you give over time. Remember that you are there to support and coach her as she learns to fall asleep, not help her fall asleep--she has to learn to do that on her own.


  105. Ok...I have read everything and I am probably doing too much patting for sure...but it's the only thing that works! I am trying to slowly transition to less/just holding my hand on her and taking it off sooner. We have sitters tonight so I am little worried about a huge regression...(grandparents will probably rock her if she cries!) Anyways we are trying not to lose heart. I know I am helping her fall asleep too much. I think I picked her up and put her down like 30 times in a row last night so I just get so worn out and then I just want her to sleep! She loves having her butt patted and I usually do that until she is in a light sleep. I know this is wrong, but as soon as I stop she sits up and looks around. She is such a good baby it's so hard...she has ME trained for sure!!!

  106. Not sure if I am getting anywhere. Just writing at this point for some venting I guess. Last night we got home at 10, and Char was awake just hanging out with Papa! So I put her down and she did great, she was just sooo ready for bed by then. This morning's nap was bad though, took her an hour to settle and then she only slept about 30 minutes. I am comforting her less and she does seem to be figuring out how to comfort herself a little. wondering how long I should continue this...it is day 7.

    1. Lauren,
      Keep in mind that you are giving her support as she falls asleep, not actually helping her fall asleep. If you keep helping her fall asleep, she is not going to be able to do it on her own. She may get upset during the process because change is hard, but you are there with her. You need to be totally consistent with this to see changes. Helping her fall asleep instead of having her do it on her own (with you you supporting her) will, for many babies, have them continue to need their assistance for a very long time.

  107. HI Rachael,
    I just discovered your blog and I think its really amazing, I'm going to tell all my friends about it!
    My baby is 9 months old and I'm not really sure what I'm doing. I guess I made a big mistake because I have been nursing her to sleep since birth. She has always been a good sleeper, but first her naps started to get cut short, and now she started waking up in the night. She usually wakes up around 3 and stays up for an hour or so unless I nurse her back to sleep.
    Tonight was my second night of sleep training although I'm not sure which approach I'm using. I read a lot of what you wrote and this is what I did: Nursed her at 7 pm (used to go around 8:30) then I did the bath, read a book, had soft music on. Then I tried the "Sit" part of the 4 S's but she just wiggled around like crazy. I put her in her crib and she didn't cry but kept crawling to the side and standing up, I just kept laying her back down and saying comforting words. Then I tried to let her cry a little, so I left the room for about 2-3 minutes and went back in and did the Pu/pd. I sat next to her crib with hand on her back as she tossed and turned. Then I left again and she cried for 2-3 minutes and fell right to sleep! Much easier than last night! Last night she cried like crazy and was not happy at all.
    My question is, am I going to confuse her by mixing the different sleep methods? And, Do you think that routine is ok? I hate letting her cry,but if she REALLY cries I go to comfort her. I just can't let her CIO for more than a few minutes.
    Also, is it ok if she nurses to sleep for a naps or do I need to stop that all together now? I'm not really sure how to stop when she just falls asleep when I'm feeding her.
    Thank you in advance for your time, and I'm sure I will have more questions in the future! I really think it's great what you are doing here, I didn't know where to turn!

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  108. This is so confusing, she only cries when I leave the room really so I'm not sure how to do the pu/pd now. She crawls to the edge and stands up over and over, I just keep laying her back down and saying "its time for sleep now". Is this what I should do, or should I pick her up every time she stands? Sometimes I think she thinks it's a game, she just crawls to the edge to stand over and over again.

  109. Rachael,
    I also wanted to mention that it has been 7 days now, and I'm not seeing much progress. I have stopped nursing her to sleep entirely, but I still bounce her to sleep for her naps, or she just won't nap. (I read that you said it's best to tackle bedtime first and then naps anyway to avoid frustration. I'm just not sure if this is working, or if I am doing the right thing. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
    Thank you,

    1. DanielleY,
      If you don't see much progress, you might want to consider tacking naps and bedtime/night time together. Most kids do ok if you just tackle one, but some need everything at once.

      Also, you probably want to consider giving much less attention with the pupd. Maybe lay her down once and/or tell her it is time to sleep as you do this, but then try to only give her attention if she gets upset. And even then, try to keep her in her crib and offer comforting words and touches. If you leave and she cries, listen to the cry to see what type it is. Is it a mantra cry? If so, give her some time to settle. Regardless of the cry, I would probably wait a short time before going in and repeating the process. If you still don't have tons of progress, the sleep lady's shuffle with less interaction might work better for your girl. This is the only link I have to it so far: Sorry to not get to this sooner!

  110. Great blog! I've enjoyed reading almost all of these comments. Sitting here in the recliner with my 15 month old son who still doesn't sleep through the night. tried CIO. Never again. Very much considering PU/PD. it sounds like a more supervised version of CIO. Think I will start journaling C's sleep routine, and give this a shot. Your blog is encouraging. Thank you. Signed, a sleep deprived haven't slept in 15 months mama.

    1. Amy, yes, it is a bit of a supervised CIO. It's a bit like the sleep lady's method but with lots more touching. That's something else to consider if this method sounds good to you. I have them listed here by methods if that's helpful,

      although maybe you've already done your pu/pd. If so, I hope it was successful!


  111. I've really enjoyed reading your blog. I am planning to start sleep training for my 5 month old. She currently is a decent sleeper, but we, unfortunately, created the habit of rocking her to sleep. Some nights it takes several times of rocking her to sleep for her to sleep for several hours. I also think that it's interfering with her ability to put herself back to sleep during the night or at naptime. We still swaddle her (even though she pretty easily gets out when she wants to). But, she seems to enjoy the swaddling. Of course, that makes it virtually impossible to do the shush-pat technique because I can't pat her on the back. Should I try to eliminate the swaddling first before I start the technique?

    1. Swaddlingmom,
      Not being able to fall asleep initially by herself is definitely going to be a top thing leading to the night wakings. You can try patting her tummy if she's sleeping on her back or starting with her on her side while you pat her back and then lay her flat when you finish. If you just lay her on her tummy to sleep so you can pat when she's used to her back she very well might be much worse off, and it isn't technically recommended until she can get there herself. You probably won't have much success with the process if you don't focus on having her put herself to sleep at bedtime before you/at the same time you address night wakings. You may want to start with rocking less and less (and adding shush-pat as needed) and go from there.

  112. Hello Rachel,
    Thank you for this excellent blog. I am trying to get my 6.5 month old to sleep on his own. He is on an EASY routine and doing well. I do the 4S routine to get him to sleep and that has been working well for naps, but at bedtime it is really tricky to get him to sleep. He usually sleeps while drinking his bottle, and then I put him in his crib - he turns on to his tummy and sleeps. I am trying to get him to sleep on his own, but that is not going well. So this is what I am doing: I use Pantley's gentle removal and then try to get him into the crib drowsy but awake, he fusses a lot! I have tried PU/PD and it is killing my back and wrists :( we did it for 2 hours today.
    I am trying to do it just the way Tracy Hogg suggests: I try to pacify him with words and placing a hand on his back (he is a tummy sleeper), I wait for him to indicate that he wants to PU then turn him in a horizontal position and put him back again. The problem is he does not raise his arms or clearly indicate he wants to be picked up...he hasn't figured that out yet. so I guess at some point he wants to be PU and do it, and put him right down again. He just gets more worked up! today I had to switch to Shh/PAt and that worked...I think he was too tired.
    Am I doing this right? Can I just to Shh/Pat? and not PU/PD? And How do I break the dependance on Shh/PAt and the 4S. I would really like him to sleep on his own at naps and bedtime...Help! I think my baby is hooked to the 4S routine and will not sleep without it.
    Thanks a ton!

  113. ok take two since the internet ate my first comment.

    my 5.5month old boy does this

    naps 3-4 times a day for 30 min on the nose. wakes up happy.
    wakes multiple times between bedtime (8pm) and 11pm.
    wakes at 3am and 6am. up for the day at 8am.

    he naps in his buggy. used to be his basket, then his swing. he would always fall asleep when out for a walk, I didn't want him to start associating the buggy with sleep but that's how it ended up.

    bedtime routine: change, pj's and sleep sack. 'medicine' (vit d drops), a bit of singing, then reading, lights out then nursing and lullaby. we have white noise going too. he's in the big bed with me cause with the night wakings I get more sleep this way.

    I can see what needs changing, but not sure in what order, or even if all at once. I think work on longer naps and easier bedtime first, then transition naps from buggy to cot, but I really don't know.

  114. Hi Rachel,

    I just discovered your blog when I was searching PU/PD on the Internet. I was hoping a little advice because I am struggling with my child. (my English is a second language, I may make mistakes)

    I have an almost 2 year old toddler . He is a very active boy. From the beginning , he sleeps short time (the length of time) , and he falls asleep very difficult. He is easily distracted something around him even though he is very sleepy. We rocked him either by using a chair or my shoulder. I was so tired and decided to do something. We did a sleep training (PU/PD and no cry solution) when he was 11 month old. However, I could not succeed. Then I started rocking him again until three weeks ago.Lately, his sleep issue was getting difficult because even though I used a rocking chair, I was rocking him 1 to 2 hours. During that time, I was reading books to him. He wants me to read a book again and again.

    I started PU/ PD (mostly PD of course) on Dec 10 th. Beforehand, we did a little talk. I said to him that he can sleep by himself and I will stay with him until he is gonna sleep. 3 days he cried alot and I did PD continuously during two hours. The following days, crying decreased, but he finds new strategies to convince me. He protests me, says No , no. He looked like he was stressed and wanted to go out from his crib. So
    I decided to decrease PD little bit. I let him to go out little bit and again PD and say time to sleep. I chose talking and I sit near to his crib. In the mean time I do not eye contact and smile. However, this also does not work. He kicks me, he hits his crib, he laughs, he is playing with his pillow, his crib,etc.I thought I should not force him because he is 2 year old and he easily go in and out from his crib. Again, the length of time for falling asleep remain same which is 1-2 hours. I think the problems are he does not know how to calm (soothe) byhimself and how to shut his eyes.

    Now 17 days passed, I still do PD if necessary, falling asleep time is long. Nap time is worse than night time sleep. During 17 days, sometimes, I cannot handle him.If he still does not sleep in 1 hour and if I am tired, then, I put him in our car and drive (This happens only this training) . After a 5 minutes he sleeps and we return home. (I do this only nap time.) I maybe wrong putting him in a car and drive but otherwise he was laughing and playing. Also if we were outside and if it is his nap time hour, he can fall asleep in the car. Today for example, he did not have a naptime and he slept at 9 pm. Even though he is very sleepy, it takes 1/2 hour for him to settle down and sleep. During that time, he was like fighting with sleep. He is moving constantly from left to right in his crib.

    We had some progress, which are he does not wake up in the middle of the night and he is able to sleep in his crib.

    These are some information regarding my son:

    1. He has own bed. He never sleeps with us. His crib is in our room now. He will have his own room in a month hopefully.

    2. In front of his crib is open, which looks like a toddler bed. He can easily go in and out from his bed.

    3. Now, His bedtime routine includes; drinking milk, brushing teeth, dressing pajamas, reading 4-5 books, making the room dark, saying time to sleep.

    4. his schedule: 7-8 am wake time, 1-2 pm nap time (however it changed very recently and now almost 3 pm), he generally sleeps 2 hour in his nap time. bed time 10-11 pm.

    5. Before the training, If he sleeps 8 or 9 pm , he wakes up in the middle of night and stays 1-3 hours. So ,now I am scared to put him in a bed 8-9 pm.

    My questions:

    1. If he play and laugh in the bed, what do you suggest?
    2. How many days am I should continue PD training? Is there a time limitation doing this training?
    3. When we change his room, what strategy we should follow for him?
    4. He does not want to have nap time. If he does not sleep until 3pm or 4 pm, do you think I should continue or I stop and let him play?
    When you have time, I will be glad to hear your advice



  115. My 5 month old is waking every 90 minutes during the night and at the 30-45 min mark at naps and WILL NOT go back to sleep. I have tried the PU/PD method today along with sh/pat and it seems to be doing ok.. but my big problem is that he and his 2 year old brother share a room so by letting him cry to work it out my 2 year old gets woken up and then is grumpy too. Anything I can do to avoid waking big brother up, shy of putting ear plugs in his ears haha.

  116. Hey Rachel, Hope you can help me. My lo is 8.5 months old. I have been "accidental parenting" since birth with sleep props. I read Tracy Hoggs book, "The baby whisperer" and have decided the PUPD method was right for us. I have been religiously doing the method (with really just the put down part due to her age) for the last 3 days. I am amazed how well she has taken to the new routine at bed time! However, nap time is all together different. Day one/ two/ three her am nap was great! Day one her afternoon nap was great too. Her afternoon nap yesterday and today were a mess! She only slept 20 mins yesterday, so today, I decided to try to get her to sleep longer w the PD method. In the book it says to take them out after they cry or sleep during the time allotted for the nap. So after 1.5 hours of trying today, I brought her downstairs. I feel like she defeated me. Is that true? What would you do in that situation? Was she fighting me or just not tired? I feel lost at nap time.... I want to continue having success and have a happy and rested baby without pulling my hair out! Please help!!! THANKS- Erika

  117. Hi. I have a 23 week daughter who can settle herself for naps and at bedtime but wakes 1-3 times at night and cannot self settle the first being 45 mins after going to sleep. I used to be able to shhh pat but this isn't working so well now. Would you recommend pu/pd for these as currently I have to hold her back to sleep.

    1. Jo,
      That's definitely worth a try as it sound she can't get herself back to sleep on her own. Also double check that your daytime routine seems good and that she isn't going to bed at night asleep or too drowsy--that can add to night wakings too.


  118. Hi Rachel,

    Sorry I am posting on this page, but wasn't working on your early morning waking page. I am going to try wake to sleep for my son’s naps since he can’t go past the 40 min mark on his own. I am unsure how to handle it for his early morning waking’s. He currently is 3 months old, feeds 19-21 oz during the day, and feeds once during the night. He currently has been waking at 11 pm or 1 am and we hold him off till his usual 3 am feed, but I am going to start dream feeding to see if this helps him stretch things out. His early waking’s could be b/c of various things:
    a) Gas (smiles while tossing/turning)
    b) Acid Reflex (not sure if he has this, comes off bottle at times arching his back/crying, or starts choking/gaging while drinking).
    c) Poor naps
    Either way, we’d like to try the wake to sleep method but do we do it once he starts his tossing/turning (this could last up to an hour before he wakes), or do we go in an hour before this point?

    Thanks for your help....I posted here b/c I noticed you were replying

    1. Sorry I wasn't able to get to your comment a while ago. Thank you for letting me know that the early morning waking post wasn't working. I thought it was just a weird day with it, but I just looked at it again and I had comments turned off for some reason. Anyway, I hope you are doing well!

  119. This comment has been removed by the author.

  120. hi rachel,

    you and your website really are a godsend! I've been reading it for days now, trying to gather as much info as i can to help my son sleep better!

    im nandini and i have a 6 1/2 month old son. i started sleep training using pick up put down about 9 days back. it went well on day 1, with him settling in the 2nd nap and not requiring any pick up for further naps.
    but it all quickly changed. he developed a new cry - an angry protest shout like cry. so I'm confused - it isn't mantra crying and it isn't genuine upset crying. he either goes to sleep easily in 5-15 mins with no crying or once he starts his angry cries, he will NOT settle. I've tried pupd, I've tried not responding not looking, I've tried responding, I've tried going out of sight. he continues like this for 45+ mins (i haven't tried letting him go on longer) & i end up having to pick him up from the nap/sleep and try much later. trying in 10-15 mins doesn't work either. what should i do? I'm so confused & as a result I'm not being consistent with him and i think I'm making the problem worse. I'm considering stopping the training till i can figure out what to do. do you think i should put him in the cot and leave him and come in for checks? but isn't that ferber method? also he hates being touched while crying in the cot and will only stop once i pick him up.

    he is a terrible sleeper - short naps, several night wakings. I'm really at my wits end. i just want some sleep!

    also, i was reading that i should first try to sleep train for night sleep. does that include night wakings or just being able to go to sleep at night on his own?

    another question i had was, does a 4 hour EASY really help with night wakings? coz he is a catnapper with 2 only 45 mins naps and the middle one anywhere between 45 mins - 2 hours if I'm lucky. so maintaining a 4 hour eating gap seems quite impossible!

    i hope you will be able to give me some advice!

  121. Hi Rachel, I know this is an old post, but I'm hoping you can help me out. We've been doing PU/PD for the last three days with my 7 month old who does nothing but want to play as soon as his head hits the crib. I've read through your chat with Michelle above, and I can't get him to stop playing. He will literally play for hours, whether I'm in the room or not. I've gotten him to successfully fall asleep on his own, but it takes all day. I'm lucky if I get one nap out of him a day because it takes hours and hours to get there. We rarely even get to the crying part, and when we do, he starts playing again as soon as he goes back down. He is so over-tired, but I don't want to give in. We need a change -- NOW! Overall sleep patterns are as follows: 3-4 30 minute naps a day (can't get him to sleep longer than 30 min during the day no matter what I do), bed at 7, up every 1-2 hours until 5:30-6, then up for the day. Getting him to fall asleep on his own is the first step in our process, once he masters this we plan to move on to weaning him from night feedings. It's just going so poorly, getting him to fall asleep on his own basically means letting him sit in his crib for hours until he finally becomes so exhausted that he can't take it anymore. It feels like neglect and I'm heartbroken over it. What else can I do?

  122. What if my LO doesnt really cry, but just fusses. Do i let him fuss until he starts crying and then start the pu/pd method? Or do I pick him up when he starts fussing?

    Thank you!

    1. Aimee Lopez,
      Generally you are going to want to pick up baby when he cries, not just fusses. If he is just fussing, he is probably calm enough to be able to work on calming and falling asleep and you should give him that chance.


  123. Hi Rachel,
    I have a 4.5 month old who wakes up exactly 2.5-3 hours after an 8pm bed time. I think it's a habitual waking for the dreamfeed but he remains wide awake and even crying when I try to put him down. We end up trying pupd for 2-3 hours before he goes to sleep. Please help.... The sleep deprivation is really getting to me:-(

    1. I meant even after feeding him he doesn't go back to sleep anymore. He used to before he had a cold about a week ago.

  124. Struggling with a 20 month old who has been a fabulous sleeper since 3 months. Approximately two weeks ago he has started waking up every night at 1:45 AM crying. (He typically goes to bed at 8 PM and wakes 7 AM). I am currently going in and rubbing his back, telling him it's dark out and it's night time. I tell him to go back to sleep and mummy and daddy are sleeping. Then I leave the room and let him cry it out. Check back in the room after 15 minutes. Typically no wet/soiled diaper, doesn't want water or food. Any other suggestions? Thanks!

  125. Hi Rachel, I love your site, it has helped me a lot! I am trying PUPD with my 5 month old baby girl. I noticed your original post was from 2009 and you haven't responded to the previous comment, but I'm hoping you're still monitoring this site as I need your help!

    Here is the history: My baby suffered from acid reflux as a newborn and was put on medication - we struggled to find the right dosage as it never seemed to be enough, but within the last month or so, it is finally the right amount. Because of her reflux, I was bouncing her to sleep for naps and night for about 10 minutes, then holding her at an angle for another 10 minutes before putting her down in her crib. For naps, she consistently wakes up after one sleep cycle precisely and then I need to do it all over again to put her back down - but usually have to hold her for longer otherwise she wakes when I put her down. Night is usually better but sometimes she will wake every 40 minutes for a few sleep cycles before settling in for the night.

    Needless to say, we are all tired and looking for an alternative solution!

    I started PUPD yesterday. It took about an hour for her to fall asleep with the exception of her second nap which is always the toughest, where it took about an hour, she only slept for 10 minutes and woke again, then tried PUPD for another 45 minutes before it was time to feed her again. Bedtime took about an hour, she woke up a few times but I was able to put her back down within about 20 minutes.

    Today, it seemed to take shorter and shorter - first nap was 35 minutes, second was 25, third was 20, then bedtime was 30 minutes. My question is that by the end, when I pick her up, she instantly falls asleep on my shoulder...I put her down, and she wakes up crying, I put her back on my shoulder, she falls asleep within seconds and eventually she stays sleeping. I know I am supposed to be putting her down awake, but I don't want to wake her just to put her down! I noticed twice today though that when I put her down, she opened her eyes and started whimpering, then I patted her chest and shushed, and she went promptly to sleep.

    I just want confirmation that I'm doing the technique properly? I have the book but can't find it and am not even sure if my question would be addressed in it. Please help!

    Also, she is still waking but usually about 20 minutes into her naps - I presume this will start to go away as we progress through the sleep training?

    I appreciate your time and advice!

    1. Update: It's been 6 days, and there are times I can put baby down awake and she will fall asleep right away, there are times I put her down awake and she plays in her crib then eventually falls asleep - so it looks like it's working! Some naps are harder than others, and she tends to still wake up 20-40 minutes, but I'm hoping that as we continue through this, her naps will get longer.

      The first few days were really tough but I'm glad I stuck through it!

  126. At 14 months I wish I had found this earlier. I can only gety son to sleep in my arms or in the pram/car. I tried this method tonight and had to gove up. My son was hysterical just being placed on his cot. Anyone else had this problem?

  127. I really really really really want to do this - but the Lee are two key troubleshooting part I'm missing:
    1) how to get to the PD phase. Once my guy starts crying, nothing short of nursing will stop him, except waking him up by smiling and offering "fun" He's just inconsolable. Yesterday I tried for over an hour and never got to the first PD. It was PU and then try to soothe him for over an hour eventually giving up as he was no closer at the end of an hour except he was hoarse and vomiting.
    2) if I can get to the PD part but it doesn't stick and I need to PU again, how long do I cycle? Again I'm anticipating that my guy will PU/PD for hours before actually napping. Do I keep trying or stop at the "end of nap" time?

  128. Hi,

    I am mother to a nearly 6 month (10 days off) old boy. He is EBF.

    I realise I have survived the last 6 months using props which are coming back to bite me.

    My baby takes regular naps but only for 20-30 mins and always on my lap, in his pram or car seat (I know, bad mum).

    Some how he is really good at going to sleep at night on his own. We do our nighttime routine and I lay him in his cot awake and he self settles by 7pm.

    Only problem is he wakes at 12.45, 2.45, 4.45 and tries to get up at 5 but with some coaxing will stay in his cot playing/nappig till 6.30.

    The pattern of nighttime feeds suggests to me it's habitual and not true hunger.

    I don't dream feed, when I tried it made him wake up every hour from there on in.

    The definition of 'sleeping through' is a 6 hour stint and he does that at the beginning of the night so should I really be trying to stamp out the night feeds? Can he go without the WHOLE night 7-7?

    We tried our first night and day with the PUPD routine with some success.

    I guess my problem is two fold - habitual night waking and short naps.

    All advice welcomed!

    Many thanks,


  129. Hi Rachel,
    I just have a quick question about my 4 month old baby. We have been practicing your pu/pd technique for a few weeks now with some occasional success. My baby has bad reflux and needs to sit up after feeds. Over night when I feed her she will fall asleep in my arms does this mean I am undoing all my hard work during the day with the pu/pd technique? Thanks, I look forward to your response.

  130. Hi Rachel my name is Tricia
    First off what a great site.. So helpful and nice to read I'm not the only one struggling with my little one. I have a few questions regarding sleep/ naps.
    My little guy is 6.5 months old has never been a good sleeper. He has battled many colds overs the last few months which throw him off completely and prompted some poor sleep associations.
    I'm currently struggling with getting down for his naps and napping longer then 30 mins. He only wants to nap on me and if I allow it he will sleep for > 1 hr sometimes 2 hrs. I currently rock him to sleep and then put him down asleep as the putting him down drowsy has not worked well in the past and I must say I've tried the pu/pd with little success as my little one seems to not be confronted by me ... I only seem to make him more upset.
    I having been reading Tracey's book and monitoring his schedule the last few days and want to start the pu/pd starting tomorrow. I'm just worried it won't work.
    So napping is a huge issue- should I stop rocking him to sleep and if I do stop what can I do instead? It's getting so hard because he won't go down for anyone but me not even my husband.
    I have a nap and bedtime routine in place that I start 20 mins prior to his nap but then he starts arching his back and moving all over and doesn't seem to settle I'm not sure what I'm doing wrong. Sometimes I stop rocking him and put him in his crib and offer comforting words and touch but that does not work he gets more upset
    Bedtime-his routine has been pretty consistent bedtime varies depending on his last nap. Dinner/bath/play/book/song/bottle/bed
    I rock him to sleep and get him down but he'll wake up 2-3x and need to be rocked to bed before falling asleep for the night.
    He's sleeping 3.5-4 hrs feeding then sleeping until 630-7 but every night is so different
    I guess I'm just wondering should I start pu/pd again and stick with it and hope it works. Previously when I picked him up he wouldn't ever stop crying so I would put him down he would keep crying pick him up keep crying?
    Should I start with his naps and then once those are improved start with his bedtime Using this technique trying to put him down drowsy and do pu/pd until he's sleeping ?

    TIA Trish

  131. Hi Rachel,
    Your site is wonderful. Our daughter was a great sleeper as a younger baby and she slept through the night. We thought we had no sleep issues until 6 months. I was in such disbelief about it I just now at 10 months have decided to sleep train because this is not going to get better.
    We have started the PU PD method and we are on day 10 now. I do see improvement in her falling asleep and in her naps and schedule.
    But she is still waking up twice a night. The first time at 1am my husband goes in and puts her back down in the crib sometimes he will give her water (because she use to have a feeding at this time). Then she wakes at 3 (last night I waited until 3:45 to go in and feed her). I would like to push it until 4 or 5 but that is not happening.

    Is there any suggestions for what we should do so that she can sleep all night like when she was smaller. She is an older baby and I know now I should of done this at 6 months. She has also tried to climb out of the crib when we did try the cry it out method so I'm so scared to leave her in there for a while and the crib is on the lowest level.
    It would be greatly appreciated if you had any tips for us!

    Thank you

    1. Try the "sleep lady shuffle" for an older baby like yours. While PU/PD is best for 4-8 months, the shuffle is best for 6-12 months.

    2. Try the "sleep lady shuffle" for an older baby like yours. While PU/PD is best for 4-8 months, the shuffle is best for 6-12 months.