Pick-Up, Put Down Sleep Training: A Complete Guide

Pick-Up, Put Down Sleep Training: A Complete Guide

In your preparations for becoming a parent, you knew that there would be sleepless nights. You’ve rocked your sweet one back to sleep in the wee hours of the morning, and you’re starting to see a glimmer of a full night’s rest on the horizon.

You recognize the signs that your baby is growing and that they are sleeping longer and longer throughout the night.

What Is Pick-Up, Put Down Sleep Training?

As your baby nears the age of sleeping through the night, you may have started researching different sleep training methods. Let’s chat about one particular method, the pick-up, put down method.

The pick-up, put down method was popularized by Tracy Hogg in her book on methods to communicate with your baby. This method aims to support your baby in their quest to learn how to self-soothe but not feel abandoned.

Does the Pick-Up, Put Down Method Help Babies Sleep?

Of course, every baby is different, and different babies may need to start sleep training at different ages.

Once you see that your baby is able to sleep for long stretches of time, you can start sleep training to help your baby learn to self-soothe so they can get themselves back to sleep if they wake up in the middle of the night.

Learning to self-soothe is an important skill for your baby — it teaches them not to depend on you every time they need to fall back asleep. This means you will not have to get up every time your baby wakes up, which equals a full night’s rest.

What Makes Pick-Up, Put Down Different?

There are various sleep training methods that you can use to help your baby sleep through the night. Each type of method has various amounts of interaction with your baby when they cry. You can choose a completely hands-off method, or you can choose to interact with your baby every time they cry.

Of course, you know your baby the best and can gauge which method would work best for them. If your baby does best with a soothing cuddle and sweet, comforting words from you, the pick-up, put down sleep training method may be best for you and your baby.

This method is gentler when compared to the other sleep training methods, as you can let your baby know that you are there whenever they need you.

This is also a great method if you cannot bear to hear your baby cry without wanting to pick them up. We understand how hard it can be!

How To Do Pick-Up, Put Down Sleep Training

With any sleep training method, you’ll want to stick with it to give it a chance to work. If you try to change sleep methods within a few days, your baby could become confused. Give your baby a chance to get used to self-soothing.

The pick-up, put down method is also more likely to succeed if more than one person can assist. Whether this is your partner, a parent, or a friend, having someone there as support is especially helpful if you are going through multiple cycles of the pick-up, put down method during the evening.

As this method may be a little time-consuming, try to rest before your baby’s bedtime if possible. A quick nap can help you make it through the multiple pick-up, put down cycles before your baby falls asleep. Your partner can help watch the baby until it is time for bed and then hand the reins over to you.

Sleep training can be a lengthy process, and it can be easy to become frustrated. Add sleep deprivation to the mix, and it’s easy to understand how emotions can become frayed. Try to remain positive and don’t get too upset.

Your baby can sense when you feel distressed, and they may have more trouble falling asleep.

Stick With Your Baby’s Normal Bedtime Schedule

Sleep training is implemented most effectively when paired with a consistent bedtime routine. Having a set routine is comforting for your child, and they can relax and unwind for the evening. This time of day can easily become a favorite for you and your child as you get to spend quality time with each other as you bathe your child and read them a story.

Little Yawn Collective supports creating a consistent bedtime routine with our melatonin-free sleep help for your little buddy. Our naturally sourced products are gentle on your little one’s skin and fit effortlessly into your child’s bedtime routine.

Bathtime is good, clean fun with our SnoozeBundle.

Start bathtime with our Soothing Shampoo & Body Wash with Calendula. Infused with our NaturalSnooze fragrance, the gentle scents of chamomile, bergamot, and cedarwood create an environment that can help reduce the time your baby needs to fall asleep and stay asleep throughout the night.

After bathtime, a gentle massage with our Nourishing Body Lotion with Oat & Shea Butter is the perfect way to help your baby feel relaxed and moisturize their skin. Also infused with our NaturalSnooze fragrance, your little one will be sure to feel cozy and snoozy.

As you rock or cuddle your little one to sleep, spritz our Relaxing Pillow Spray around the room. This is the perfect companion to round out the SnoozeBundle. Your little one will feel dreamy and blissful as they start to lull to sleep in your arms.

An important part of sleep training is to put your baby down to sleep while they are drowsy but still awake. This is where the pick-up, put down sleep training method comes into play.

Stay With Your Baby Until They Settle Down

As your baby lays in their sleep space, remain in their room and listen out for any crying. If your baby does become fussy, wait for a few moments before picking up your baby. Listen to their cry.

Are they just being a little fussy and will settle down? If so, allow them to self-soothe. If their crying becomes a little more intense, you may need to comfort them.

Comfort Your Baby When They Cry

Pick up your baby and rock or cuddle them until they are feeling calm again. Once they are feeling calm and cozy again, place them back in their sleep space once they start to lull off again. Put them down in their sleep space so they can try to drift off on their own.

With this, you’ve just completed your first cycle of the pick-up, put down method. You may have to run through a few cycles of this method before your baby can finally fall asleep on their own.

Leave the Room When Your Baby Calms Down

Once your baby has calmed back down, you can leave the room and give them the chance to fall asleep on their own. This is the key part of sleep training, to allow your baby to fall asleep without any additional support.

Come Back If Your Baby Cries Out

If your baby starts to cry out again, come back into their room for some comfort. Your baby will feel secure and safe when they know that you are there for them when they need a little TLC.

Alternatives to the Pick-Up, Put Down Method

Remember, it is okay if the sleep training method you chose doesn’t quite work. Babies respond differently to different methods, and you may have to try a few to find that perfect fit. Staying positive, remaining consistent, and trusting your intuition are the best tools you have to make sleep training a success.

There are several other sleep training methods to help your little one get all the zzzs they need. The Ferber method is popular with parents as it gives your baby some time to learn to self-soothe on their own, but you’ll also be checking in and reassuring your baby that you are still there for them.

If you are reluctant to leave your baby alone while falling asleep on their own, the chair method allows you to remain in the room with your little one while they navigate falling asleep on their own.

Get Your Baby Ready for a Good Night’s Sleep

Here at Little Yawn Collective, we know that bedtime can be hard. As your little one grows and develops, their sleep schedule and routine will certainly change. You are your baby’s best tool in aiding them with the skills they need to be the best snoozers.

With your consistency in setting routines and finding the best ways to get your baby to sleep, you are ensuring that your little one receives the quality rest they need to grow and thrive.

Little Yawn Collective has your back with our sleepy time essentials, which are always melatonin-free and designed carefully for your baby.

Rest easy, and know that happier bedtimes await!


Perfecting Your Child's Bedtime Routine | Sleep Foundation

When and How to Sleep Train Your Baby | Cleveland Clinic

How Babies Learn Self-Control from Birth to 12 Months | ZERO TO THREE


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