Sleep Training my 10 month old

Sleep Training my 10 month old

Sleep Training my 10 month old in 8 days or less

Zay has never been a great sleeper. Think back to his 4 month sleep regression that lasted well over 2 months. Also understand that I have had to physically rock him to sleep every night and for every nap. He has never, and I mean literally never not even one single time, dozed off on his own. It has always required some sort of motion, and work, on my part.

sleep training

Lately though, he has been unbearable at bedtime. We sit in the glider for 2-3 hours nodding in and out of sleep. The second I put him in his crib, no matter how long his eyes had been shut in my arms, he pops up onto all fours (sometimes even to a full stand) and begins screaming his head off. I pick him up and his eyes immediately shut and he goes limp again. We do this for hours. Every. Single. Night.

So finally, after much frustration on my part. I made the decision to sleep train. I’m not a gung-ho supporter for the whole Cry It Out (CIO) thing, but I’ve certainly had my days. I stumbled across a Sleep Training method on Parenting.com with aspects that appealed to me more than the common “plop him and leave him” method. I also utilized some of Super Nanny’s tips in terms of frequency of check-ins, but overall I think this is a unique combination that hopefully works for your family too.

Days 1 – 3: Put him in his crib while I sit within touching distance in the glider. Stay with him as long as he needs to in order to fall asleep. I can pat his bottom or back, hold his hands, sing to him and interact with him, but I can not pick him up.

Day 1 – Asleep in 2 hours / Stayed asleep all night
At 7:30 p.m. we went upstairs. I changed Zay into his jammies and fed him his bottle while we rocked in the glider. He seemed asleep in my arms so I put him down. He popped up to his feet as I described above and began crying. I pat his back until he settled and then sat in the glider singing to him. He kept reaching his hands through the slats while he laid on his back to hold my hand. There were no real screaming fits, but it took two hours for him to give all the way into sleep. He was out by 9:30 and stayed asleep until 8 a.m.

Day 2 – Asleep in 45 minutes / Stayed asleep all night 
7:15 p.m. Zay started to show signs that he was ready for bed. We went through our night time routine and I put him in his crib immediately after. No rocking. He played, reached through the slats to hold my hand, played some more. We had a brief game of “throw the paci across the room and laugh every time mommy picks it up” until I finally left it on the floor. After about thirty minutes he would lay down on his pillow and doze in and out popping up to look for me each time he opened his eyes. I stayed patting his butt for a few minutes. After I thought he was asleep, I left the room. He woke up 5 minutes later and began crying when he realized I wasn’t there any longer. I went back in, pat him on the back and he was back asleep (for the rest of the night) shortly after around 8 p.m.

Day 3 – Asleep in 25 minutes (but then awake and back asleep after 1.5 hours) / Slept until 6:15 a.m. (up 1.25 hours earlier than usual)
This was the biggest milestone for us. At 7:30 p.m. we went up stairs for our bed time routine. After his bottle, I put him in his crib. He immediately laid down on his pillow and began dozing in and out. I could tell each time he opened his eyes it was in search of me so I stood within his gaze. He fell asleep without me ever touching him after only 25 minutes in his crib. Now he did wake up about 15 minutes later and I continued the pat on the butt, hold hands, sing to him routine for another hour and a half before he went back to bed. The fact that he fell asleep on his own the first time though was a really big deal.

Days 4 – 6: The Parenting.com article says that I’m now supposed to move halfway between the door and the crib, but this doesn’t really make sense for me or Zay, so I decided to Sleep Train in true Mommy My Way fashion and try it my way. THE RULES – I can stay with Zay for 5 minutes, as I had done in Days 1-3, but then I would leave him to try to sleep on his own. I would let him go for 15 minutes at first, and if he was still crying or awake I could go back into his room and spend 5 minutes with him. After 5 minutes, I had to leave again for 20 minutes, then 25 minutes, 30 and so on as needed. Each time I could spend 5 minutes with him, but then I would increase the interval of time by 5 minutes before re-entering the room until he was asleep. 

Day 4 – Asleep in 1 hour
7:30 p.m. We began our routine. I put him down wide awake and spent 5 minutes with him. As soon as I shut his bedroom door he began crying. This is the hardest moment of cry it out for me; the actual act of leaving him while he’s upset. I set my timer for 15 minutes, and checked it frequently as I sat on the couch with my eyes glued to the monitor. He was still crying. I visited for 5 minutes and left him, still wide awake. He again cried the second I shut the door. This time I stayed downstairs for 20 minutes while he cried the entire time. Another 5 minute visit and it was time to leave again, but this time he didn’t cry, even though he was still awake. He sat up in his crib quietly for about 10 minutes or so and then put his head down and went to bed.

Day 5 – Asleep in 20 minutes
Yes, you read that right! Asleep in 20 minutes! I didn’t have to check on him even once. I feel like I just won the freaking lottery; the sleep and mommy-free-time lottery!

Day 6 – Asleep in 5 minutes
I’d say we are successfully sleep trained, ya’ll! I am so excited! Yes, the exclamation points are necessary. This is a big freaking deal so I’m yelling.

Days 7 – 8: I will continue to check on Zay every 15/20/25 minutes as needed (although it doesn’t seem like we need it!), but this time it is just to say, “Goodnight, I love you. It is time to go to sleep.” No more touching during interval visits and no staying for 5 minutes as I had done previously. These visits are just to reassure him that I am still here, but that it is bed time. 

We didn’t need days 7-8 of the Mommy My Way sleep training method, but if you do try to stay strong and push through it. Continue with this schedule until your little one sleeps on their own. If you’re still having trouble, try adjusting your bedtime. Maybe 7:30 is to early for your bub, or maybe it’s even too late. Play around with your schedule and your routine to find what works for your family.

Good luck and sweet dreams!

Recommended reading that has helped me with all stages of sleep for my son 

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91 thoughts on “Sleep Training my 10 month old”

      • Did you still rock him for naps? I just found this yesterday and began last night. Seems to be going ok so far, but not sure if I should be following the same steps at nap times or just bed time.

        • I don’t rock him for naps every day, but I do sometimes (just like I do still rock him for bed time) My little guy is just over a year and a half now. I did not follow this method for naps, but we didn’t have a big issue with nap time like we did at the end of the day for bed. Let me know how the rest of the training goes!

  • With #1 who didn’t sleep through the night until 13 months and baby boy number 2 arriving in a few months, oh I really needed to read this! Thank you such a great approach and I can’t wait to try it!

  • Oh yeah, I went through this with my son. He always fell asleep in my arms while breastfeeding. Eventually that was the only way he would go to sleep. However, recently I just had to start putting him down and letting him cry. It broke my heart at first, but it got easier.

    • My baby boy is now 10 months and still breasted. I want to stop though. He eats table food now and I’ve tried regular falling milk and he does just fine but still wants to be breastfed for comfort. He doesn’t sleep through the night. How did that go for you? Did the your baby stop breastfeeding or he/she didn’t wake up for feeding at night? Oh I also co sleep. It’s been hard for me to take to his crib because he cries his heart out but it’s time for him to sleep in his own bed.

    • I’m not at that stage with my little man yet, but I think waiting until your little one shows you they’re ready (as with most milestones) is the best way to start out. I don’t follow the age rules for just about anything. If your little one is hiding in a corner to poo, then they are aware of what they are doing. So you train them at that point to tell you instead of going into a corner. Lots of repeating, “tell mommy” when you see them go to their hiding spot and eventually they will catch on and begin to tell you before or as they go to hide or to their spot. When they tell you, you go to the potty instead. I’m also not a fan of training pots, and think big boy toilets with a step stool and training cushion are the way to go. My thought is they watch you on the regular toilet and will make the correlation easier. I’m also grossed out by having to clean one every time. But that’s a personal preference.

      Obviously, I can speak mounds of advice and not have any evidence or personal experience to back it up! But I was a teacher and a coach to littles 5 and under, so I (might!) have at least a tiny idea on how to communicate with children and to get them to do what I’d like them to. Let me know what works best for you so I can give it a try here in a few months!

  • Awesome tips momma! My toddler co-slept with us until she was 11 months old and then I transitioned her to her crib. It took 4 months of sleep training for me to get her to sleep through the night. 🙂 But no tears though. 🙂

  • I remember sleep training our girls. We have now hit a roadblock with my soon-to-be 3 year old but these tips are definitely helpful for any mom of littles. It’s the sweetest thing when they finally know the routine and go down on their own. =]

  • Such a helpful post for new mama’s. I wish I had came across this when my daughter was an infant. She didn’t sleep through the night until she was a year old and we’re still struggling with getting her to sleep on her own today (and she just turned four)! One of my New Year’s Resolutions is to get her on a better bedtime schedule.

  • I bet your life just got a million times easier! I remember how rough it was rocking them all to sleep, and the utter frustration when they would snap out of it as soon as they barely touched their cribs. Congrats on finding something that worked for both of you! You’re an awesome momma!

  • Wow, amazing !!! So wish I would have done this when I was supposed to !! My son is pretty easy but my daughter is 6 and I still battle with sleep 🙂 Happy New Year !! Laci

  • Glad my babies aren’t the only ones not sleeping! We are still working on our magical formula. My 2 yo is the kicker. She sleeps great for s week and not at all for a month :/ your method will probably work great with my 9 mo

  • Any advice if you don’t have a crib? We don’t have room for a crib so are co-sleeping. I am afraid to leave her on the bed as she will fall/climb off in no time.

    • Hi Samantha, pack and plays are a better alternative to a crib when you are tight on space as they are much smaller and you can also close them up when you’re not using them. This way she has her own place to sleep at night, but you don’t really need a lot of room for a permanent bed. If you still want to cosleep, you can pick her up when you’re ready to go down for the night and sleep the rest of the night together, but during that time when she’s asleep and you’re still up, that’s when the pack & play will truly come in handing during your sleep training! I hope this helps <3

  • I’ve started your method. So far Day 1 was a struggle. She was banging her head against the crib because she was trying to get up. She then threw up on herself so I had no choice but to pick her up or else she would of slept with vomit on her. I placed her back on the crib and the “crying started again”.( no tears whatsoever). Hope Day 2 goes better.

    • Oh no! Rub her back if you need to and talk to her, massage her legs and caress her face. I stayed with my son for 2 and half hours the first night. I would have to pick him up if he had a dirty diaper or something like that, but just put him right back in. We had no tears because I was there with him and touching him almost the whole time. I hope day 2 goes smoother, and stay strong! I am so sorry she is having a hard time. Please keep me updated!

  • Hi my boys 2 and we’re still rocking do you think this would work on him. He’s slept through maybe 5 times since birth am always in varying stages of tired. So over it we want to start trying for a baby and the idea of continuing in this fashion is daunting. Any advise appreciated.

    • Hi Verena, Thank you for reaching out. I do think this will work for a 2 year old, but you may have to stretch out your schedule a bit longer because 2 year olds are resilient! Instead of spending 3 days in the room with him and soothing him, you might need 4 or 5. Use your judgement and don’t move on to the next step until he seems to have grasped the new routine. But don’t let him play instead. My son got used to me being in the room and then wanted to play instead of cry. This is a much harder habit to break so if he starts playing, it means you can move on to step 2. Good luck and let me know how it goes for you <3

    • During this time, my son was taking two naps. He only ever slept for 45 minutes at a time though. So one in the mid mornings 10:30 – 11:15 and another mid afternoon 2:30 – 3:15. Now that he has transitioned to one nap (12:30-2:30) we HAVE to keep it that way or our whole night is thrown off. For instance, if he naps mid morning he will sleep for 1-2 hours and then tak another nap mid afternoon for the same amount of time and be super cranky when it’s time to go back to bed a few hours later and then doesn’t sleep through the night. Very frustrating!

      • Thx yes same here 45minute naps…1 sleep cycle I’ve read…and then wide awake . So for the naps during sleep training how did you handle how you put him down? Do you just do the sleep training at night or also for the daytime naps?? Or if you do this at night, does it just kick in that after he falls asleep on his own, after the @8 days, that then he can for naps too once it’s established?? Thx very interested how you handled this…

        • I rocked to sleep for naps even though he was going through sleep training at night.

          But now that he’s a bit older (14 months) and is fully sleep trained at night, he goes down for naps the same we he does for bedtime: wide awake.

  • do you think this will work for a 6 month old? I work part-time and it is really wearing on me not having a full sleep.

    • 6 months old is the earliest they say to start. Doctors don’t recommend earlier than that because before 6 months old crying indicates a need. After 6 months old, children have learned to cry to get attention. I believe this will work for a 6 month old, but maybe start with a rocking routine first. Rock until your little one indicates he or she is tired and then put them in the crib awake but drowsy. Stay there patting his/her back and singing until he/she is asleep. Do this for 3-4 days and then drop the rocking and start with the routine in the crib.

      I hope that makes sense? Basically: Add a step to the beginning of the sleep training routine I wrote about in the article.

      and p.s. I totally get it! I’m a single mom who works full time, so when my son wouldn’t sleep, I was a complete zombie. Just keep in mind that when they are that young there are a lot of causes for waking up throughout the night: teething, growth spurts, hungry. At 6 months old, your baby is still changing routines every 3-4 weeks, so you may have to re-sleep train again in a month (give or take).

      Good luck and let me know how it goes!

  • Currently, trying to sleep train my 8 month old. She does fine when I put her down for the first time at night but then will not go back to (and stay asleep) unless I nurse her. She ‘s not hungry, I can tell by how she sucks, she just wants the comfort. What would you suggest for those middle of the night wakings? I’ve tried the regular checks and the butt pat, shhh with a pacifier and nothing is working.

    • The most important thing to remember is that babies go through regressions that can last anywhere from a few days to a few weeks. Even with my successfully sleep trained 14 month old, we go through spurts sometimes where we are up at 12 or 1 am every night for weeks at a time. It could be because of a growth spurt or new teeth or just learning a new skill that they are practicing in their sleep (yes, that is a thing!) that wakes them up.

      I’m not a doctor or an expert on the topic, but maybe you could try a bottle and do a dreamfeed right before you go to bed. So catch her before she wakes up and feed her while she’s still asleep. It might be enough to top her off and keep her satisfied through the night.

  • This is great! Our first son slept through the night on his own @ 8 weeks. our 6 month old has only a handful of times. With that being said , I’m not quite ready to start the process yet, but am curious about naps. Like you, I rock him to sleep for naps. How does your nap routine work? Thanks!

    • I still have to rock him for naps (and his daycare teachers do too) He’s the only one in the toddler group who won’t sleep without it. At 6 months old he had 3 45 minute naps every day 1 every 3 hours approximately. My little guy is not a great sleeper in general, so even now his 1 nap is only 1.5 hours not 2.5 like the rest of the kids in his class take.

      Again, I still rock him to sleep for naps so I have zero tips for you there lol! If you develop anything that works… I hope you let me know!

  • We just started this tonight (baby boy fell asleep in 20 minutes!). I’m wondering what to do during the night when he wakes up. He has been waking up every 2 hours for the past two months, so I’m kind of expecting a similar routine tonight! The only way I have been able to get him back to sleep during those times is to nurse him to sleep. Do I skip the nursing and just pat him the way we did putting him to bed at night? What are you thoughts on that?

    Thanks!!

    • How old is your little guy? That will determine my answer!

      If he is 10 months old or older, definitely cut back the nursing sessions. You may not have as easy of a time with that, because weaning is much harder than sleep training in my opinion. But instead of once every two hours, stretch it to three. And once he’s comfortable with three, push it to 4, then 5, then 6 until you can go 8+ hours. My son (15 months old now) gets a bottle at 7:00 p.m. and then when he wakes up at 7:30 a.m. Part of sleep training is understanding they are fully nourished throughout the day and that they don’t NEED to be fed throughout the night.

      There are of course hiccups to that, sometimes we still wake up at midnight and he wants a bottle, but it’s not every night and those bursts only last a few days.

      If your little guy is younger, talk with your pediatrician about how often he needs to nurse throughout the night and use that as your guide. 🙂 SO EXCITING FOR TWENTY MINUTES THOUGH!! WOOHOOO!!!

  • Any tips for nap time? My 10 month old sleeps through the night (7:30-6:30), but refuses to take a nap except in the car. Would this type of training work for naps?

    • It’s worth a try! I can’t say for sure if it will because my son took two 45 minute naps throughout the day at 10 months old, so we didn’t try or feel the need to try this method with him for nap time. I’d love to hear your experience though if you give it a try so I can let other mom’s know when they ask the same!

  • We are trying this with my 10 month old tonight! We previously did the ferber method at 5 months and then moved across the world to Germany and we have been putting it off ever since! Wish us luck!

    • I know! It’s so hard the first few nights. My little man cried so much at first too, but being in the room with him and talking to him, rubbing him, singing to him, made it easier than leaving him to cry alone!

  • This is such a great post. I’ve actually been giving it a try and have had pretty good success helping my son fall asleep in his crib on his own which felt like a HUGE win. My only problem now is that he still wakes up several times to nurse (he’s used to cosleeping and snacking all night). Any tips on reducing the number of night time snackings? I’m also not having the best success getting this method to work for nap time unfortunately…

    • Yes, nap time is a completely different beast that I unfortunately have ZERO advice for. My little guy is still a terrible napper.

      As for weaning those night feeding, you’ll want to talk to your doctor to confirm, but most babies don’t need any middle of the night feedings past a certain age. You can start by just consoling him when he wakes up, but not offering the boob. Maybe offer only every other time or waiting 30 minutes to try to get him back to sleep first before presenting nursing as an option. Right now he most likely associates nursing with pacifying and that is not the same thing as being hungry. If you’re open to it, try a pacifier or a blankie or just snuggling him extra close.

      And can we say YAY! to this method working for you! SO excited you’re seeing success with it.

  • This is Us. Except my son is going to be 2 July 21. I’m tired. i work full time, commute and hour each way, and i get up with him. Not for lack of trying on my husbands part, but bc our son doesn’t want him, he wants me. I’m so DAMN tired…(sorry). I can’t even imagine having another one until we figure this out. We are going to attempt this with our almost 24 month old.

    Sincerely……..
    One broken, sleep deprived for 3 years mama

    • oh you sweet sweet mama! Good luck and let me know how it goes. I totally feel your pain and I hope this works for you!

  • I have a soon to be 2 year old daughter. I still breastfeed her nd she sleeps with me. So no matter how sleepy she is she wont sleep by herself she needs the boob. I want to stop breastfeeding nd her being able to sleep on her own. The thing is that ur method wont work bc i live with my in law nd brother in law nd have a one bed room apartment. So if i try to leave her alone i dont have no where to wait. How can i???

    • Do you have a door to the one bedroom? Just wait in the living room or the kitchen. You just need to find a space that is separate from her. Also, the first part is you wait in the room with her. She just needs her own place to sleep or she will keep getting up instead of staying in the bed. Does she have a pack n play or a crib/bed of some sort for her own? If so, put her in her bed and just stay there with her patting her and singing to her at first. Once she can fall asleep like that, you move on to the next stage of the training method. You may want to wean her from breastfeeding before starting the sleep training though. Trying to do both at the same time may be extra hard on her. So wean first (if that’s what you want to do), then sleep train. It will probably take about a month to do both if not longer. My advice is to just go slow and don’t force her or yourself to do anything before you’re ready to. You’ve got this! Good luck and sweet dreams, mama.

  • Did you do the same with Nap time during the day? Or how was that transition? Did you start first with night and then day?

    • This method worked for night time and helped with naps. As he got older he would tell me when he was tired for a nap and I just put him down. But I wouldn’t say that I used this method to accomplish a naptime routine. Good luck and let me know how it goes!

  • I’m a nanny and we tried this today. Usually we sit in the glider and read to sleep. Trying to get her to fall asleep on her own. I sat outside the crib for 1.5 hrs (reading, singing, interacting) until she was screaming and crying inconsolably, even though I was right there. I gave in. I figure it was a great start. She’s a very smart and strong willed girl. Lol I will keep trying, I’m just wondering if anyone else has a testimony of trying this!

    • Hi Leesa,

      There are about 50 comments on this thread and some are from moms who have tried it and been successful. Because every baby is different (as you know, of course!) the timeline for success can vary. I think 1.5 hours is a great start, and an inconsolable child certainly needs consoling, so this is not a setback. Fortunately you made it through night number 1, which is the hardest. Each step in the process comes with a slight setback since it is a change to the routine, but if you can stick with it every night, I’m certain you will have a sleep trained little one in your care soon.

  • This is awesome! I have to commend you for staying committed that first night for 2 full hours! I would have broken! We just started sleep training last night at 10 months as well and it was not a success. I’ll have to try this tonight!

  • Great post! We’re trying this tonight with our 10 month old! It’s been 30 minutes of her standing up and crying and my partner laying her down again. She stands back up again and my partner lays her back down again. Do you let them stand and pat them until they lay back down on their own? Or do you lay them down?

    • I let my guy do whatever he wanted. He stood, jumped, climbed, kicked and I just touched, never lifted him. Holding him gave him what he wanted so that’s the part you can’t do. Definitely pat her back and coerce her to lay down, but don’t pick her up. Best of luck and let me know how it goes! Happy to answer any other questions you have.

  • I just came across this on Pinterest and seemed like the best fit for my baby. I am not a fan of the CIO method, therefore I have tried ther gentle methods and none have worked so far. This one seems gentle and although I foresee crying, I think it may work (fingers crossed). My LO is just a few days shy of turning 10 months, he has slept on my chest since he was 2 months old. He had severe acid reflux and this was the only way he wouldn’t choke on his spit up, and as you can imagine, we both didn’t get any sleep that way. Once I put him on my chest it was like magic. Forward time and there is no more acid reflux but he won’t sleep any other way. I do rock/sing him to sleep, but once his back touches the mattress his eyes are wide open and all hell breaks loose. Hoping this method will be the one for us!!

    • This is EXACTLY what my life looked like! My little guy slept on my chest almost immediately after I brought him home. There were definitely tears, but it wasn’t as bad because I was there to soothe him. You just have to stay strong and patient because ou have to be there, to console him, for hours the first few nights. It’s rough and tiring, but know it is temporary!

  • I’m SO glad I found this!! We are at 5.5 mo and through the first sleep regression and first teeth. I tried at 3 months using tips from the Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child book, and it only worked on the first night and after that she just screamed and screamed. And so we’re still co sleeping but I feel that now is the right time and I’m having such a hard time deciding what method to go with and I feel it’s so harsh to drop em and leave em. I feel like this method I could do

    • Great! 5.5 months is still a little early to sleep train, so expect some regressions every few weeks even after you get the routine down, but this method is a softer CIO method that helps both mommy and baby adjust. 🙂

  • Thank you thank you thank you! We are on night 6 of using your method (with a few tweaks) and our baby girl is falling asleep on her own within 10 minutes! I’m so grateful to have come across your method on Pinterest!

  • I stumbled on this as I was looking for an option for my 10 month old that wasn’t just cry it out. It usually takes me an hour to get her down at night, and then she usually wakes up at 3am, wants to nurse and then takes an hour to go back down. Occasionally, she will randomly sleep 2 1.5 hr naps during the day, and sleep all the way through the night, but it is rarely the norm. We tried something similar like this, but my daughter gets SOO excited when we are in the room with her, and last time she was so hyper for over an hour since I was in the room with her. Should we continue to try this hoping she’ll be tired after 2 hours?

    • You know your daughter best. If you being in the room is a stimulating activity for her, then it might not be the right option for you. You could try skipping right ahead to the sections where you leave the room for 10-15-20-25 minute increments and can only spend 5 minutes with her to console her if she’s crying. If she isn’t crying and is just awake, then you should just pop your head in to tell her it’s bedtime and then leave again. It’s a slight variation but might be what works for you. good luck!

  • Great postWould definitely like to try this method of sleep training. My lil boy is 10 month old. He wakes up around 6:30 or 7:30am and goes to bed @ 8pm or 9pm after taking a bottle. Wakes once at 4am to nurse. Since birth I Always rocked him to sleep,once fast asleep I place him in crib and he will sleep few hours and wakes up crying and has to be rocked again to sleep or wants to cosleep with me on our bed.. he sleep through the night in our bed but Iam awake watching him to make sure he’s safe which is taking toll on my sleep. His crib is in our room as we don’t have enough space and he so sensitive to sound he wakes up for little sound as we keep moving in n out of that room to visit bathroom when he’s sleeping. So do you think I can sleep train him with us (me n hubby) sleeping in same room ? And did you keep the room dark when you sit beside crib until he falls asleep ?? Would appreciate your thoughts. Thank you

    • Yes you can absolutely sleep train from the same bedroom! Follow the same method, but you may have to wait to go to sleep until your little guy is completely asleep himself. And yes, the room is dark as would be normally for your baby to sleep. If he likes a nightlight, then keep a nightlight, but otherwise, darkness. He has to understand it’s bedtime.

  • Thank you for your blog. When I googled “sleep training 10 month old,” I was desperate. We had a good bedtime routine, but if I wanted my son to sleep in his own crib, he would cry relentlessly. I tried your method and the first night, he cried for an hour while I laid next to his crib and patted his foot. The second night, he fell asleep in 3 minutes. The third night, as soon as his feet touched his mattress, he immediately laid down and didn’t cry!! I then started moving away from the crib and it was very easy since he was falling asleep so quickly. Now it has been 3 weeks. My son loves his bedtime routine and 6/7 nights he lays down and falls asleep on his own with no crying. I lay him down and sing a song, and then I can immediately leave the room. On occasion when he does cry, it is for less than five minutes. He is also waking only 2-3x a night now since he is now able to put himself back to sleep!
    Thank you for your post. It was most helpful for us!!!

    • This makes me so incredibly happy! I am so happy this method worked for you <3 Happy sleeping and sweet dreams to you and your family!

  • This is a great post! We are going to start this method tonight with my almost 10 month old girl. She’s been a fickle sleeper. She slept through the night completely (8pm-7am) from 3-6 months, but since 6 months as been erratic. We’ve only ever rocked her to sleep and she usually goes down pretty easy. In the last 2 months we have rocked her and gave her the rest of her evening bottle as well. Since 6 months, she has been in the habit of waking up twice a night: once around 10/11 and again around 1/2am. The first wake up doesn’t happen all the time and we can usually just put her pacifier back in her mouth and pat her face and back and she goes back down. But the second one, it has been harder to get back down with rocking and we’ve ended up letting her sleep the rest of the night in bed with us. She literally goes right back to sleep the minute we set her down next to us in bed. Then she will wake around 5am for a bottle and then sleep till 630/7. So we really want to keep her in her crib the whole night, even though she’s so sweet when she sleeps with us, we need better sleep lol! Do you have any tips for when they wake up in the middle of the night when you start training them? Should I go back into the room and sit there and console until she goes back to sleep? Or maybe let her CIO 5 minutes before I go in? She’s sensitive and we’ve definitely enabled her with the rocking and co-sleeping which is why I love your approach! Would love to hear your feedback.

    • I actually recommend pushing her bedtime back to avoid the wakeups! It could be that she is just not tired enough to sleep through the night and you’re struggling with that second wakeup because she’s truly rested. Try pushing bedtime back an hour and see if that helps at all. If you find you still have to wakeup with her multiple times then you can come in for visits. I would just pat and rub her back but I wouldn’t speak to her or pick her up. Talking to her tells her it’s ok to be awake and picking her up is ultimately what she’s after. So avoiding those two things will help teach her the at night we stay asleep.

  • Hi! I’m so glad I came across this post!!
    We tried the CIO method with my daughter at 6 months and it broke my heart I couldn’t do it.. then at 9 almost 10 months we tried it again with her and it still killed me but after 4 nights she was sleeping through the night like a pro and is now 2 1/2 years old and sleeps like a champ all night! (Except for the occasional nightmare which we do comfort her and she goes right back to sleep or she’s sick which is not often)
    She was really headstrong and the whole “checking in” at 15,20 and 30 minute intervals only made her mad and she would scream and start all over every time we went in to soothe her for the first few days.. (wish I had done your method!)
    Cue my son who is now 10 months old and I was searching the Internet for a better method and came across your post. I love the idea of staying with him and patting him but not picking him up.
    Night 1 he cried for an hour an a half and I sang and patted him, night 2 he cried for 45 mins (sang and patted) he woke up around be 3am and cried for 15 mins and went back to sleep.
    We are now on night 3 and he went down after 15 minutes. I sang and gently helped him lie down (but not pick up) and he settled right down and started snoring.
    This is going great and I feel confident he will be on his way to self soothe and sleep all night with out me (and not wake his sister!) Thank you so much for your post. It’s a much gentler method and I can do this and less crying and heart ache at my end! ❤️

    • I am so happy this is working for you! I honestly felt the exact same way about the CIO method. It was torture on me and I didn’t want to do it. When I couldn’t find a solution that seemed to work for us, I decided to develop this as a modification to everything I had read on my own. I was surprised how well it worked and just had to share it with all of you. It makes me beyond happy to hear the process is going well for you too. Happy sleeping to you and your family <3

  • I just came across this post and I’m so glad I did. We tried the CIO method with my now 10 month old daughter, and it was awful and never worked. She stands up in her crib when she cries and it was heart-wrenching to see. I’m definitely going to try out your method next week and hope that it works.

    One question, my daughter is also terrible with her naps- I always have to rock her to sleep. Did you find that this sleep training helped for your son’s naps too? Or did you have to train him separately for those? Thanks so much!

    • I definitely recommend doing two separate training periods for bedtime and naptime. What works at bedtime may not work at naptime because they are different times of day and different routines for your little one. Start with bed time and once that one is consistent, move on to nap times. Good luck!

  • I’m on day 3 – and of course last night Secora cut her first tooth. She’s 1 and I’m desperate to get her sleeping through the night. She rarely does more than two hours in a row. Any tips to sleep train while teething? Should i just carry on with the schedule?

    • Yes, just keep on chugging through. There will always be minor set backs, but once you establish a routine it’s so much easier to get back to it! Teaching her how to self-soothe should help with the number of times she gets up as well. It may not eliminate all wake ups throughout the night, but it will definitely help! Good luck mama and keep me updated.

  • I love this method and am about ready to try it out on my almost two year old. The only thing that has me questioning how it will work is that my son is able to get out of his bed an open the door of his room. So if I were to enter the stage of leaving the room for a certain interval and he happens to waltz out of there…..what would my next step be?

    • My son is 2.5 now and I’ve gotta say this method does NOT work on him now. It did when he was a baby and was confined to a crib, but if I leave while he is still awake now, he just comes out into the living room like I didn’t just spend an hour with him in his room. lol The methods all say to just put your toddler back into bed without saying a word. A hundred times over if that’s what it takes. You don’t speak you just waltz them back to their bed and shut the door behind you. I don’t have the stamina or patience for that so I haven’t tried it!

  • Omg let me just say you are amazing for this!! After about two weeks of my almost 10 month old suddenly wanting to nurse for comfort every two hours and sleep deprivation at an all time high, I searched Pinterest and came upon this method that was posted two years ago. My little one also was used to me rocking her until sleep and laying her down with a prayer to God that she stay sleep! I have been following your method to a Tee and IT IS WORKING SOOOOOOO WELL. On day 5 today and she was out in five mins. No patting or rubbing. Barely got the lullaby music turned on before she was out! Its taken less and less time each day for her to doze and she’s sleeping for at least 7 hours before waking up at night. Waaaay better than every two hours!! And she already knows to lay down when I place her in her crib. This is such an amazing method. Thank you for sharing!

  • So I am curious, yes binky or no binky? Will it defeat the purpose of training to allow it? Going to try this method tonight!

  • Thank you so much for your reply
    I know 6 months is the recommended age, but I have a 4 month old who has been going through the sleep regression for over a month. The pediatrician says it’s okay for me to begin sleep training. Now I have modified your method slightly, I want to do a week of me comforting him in his crib before timed checks. He is doing great, but still waking up all night long. I ended up taking away binky for bed time, but continuing g it for naps. Now I’m curious, how do I go about weaning? He is consuming g half of his daily intake at night!! I know he is young, but we were doing g 6-8 hour stretches and now it’s 1-3 =[ I am so tired and I’ve tried my best to wait it out. We began your method three days ago, like I said he fell asleep on his own very easily last night. I love your method. It’s working and I feel good about it. I’m still there helping him but he is doing the work! I love that I’m not abandoning him. You are wonderful for posting this and thanks for your future reply [=

  • Thank you for this article! CIO did not work for my 9 month old and I found this and holy shit it worked!!! I was so happy to be able to sooth my sweet little guy while still helping him learn to fall asleep. Seriously, thank you for giving a great guide and alternative for sleep training that doesn’t include what feels like torture (for him and me)! I will be recommending this to all my mommy friends.

  • After one year, here iam back to this article to say thank you so much.. it work since i read it when my baby just one year old.. i work like magic.. and now i live in peaceful time when it come to sleep time.. your friend from Middle East <3

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