A Guide: How to Train Your Baby to Sleep (Tips and Tricks)

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If you Googled ‘How to train your baby to sleep’ then you’re in the right place. As a parent, if your little one wakes you up at night and demands cuddles or feed – then it’s the ideal time to start sleep training.
But, how do you know your baby is even old enough to sleep on his or her own?

At what age the baby can start sleep training?

Usually, by the age of 3 – 4 months, babies develop a circadian rhythm. They are able to fall asleep for maximum 8 hours without needing a feed. However, some babies cannot fall into this routine easily. So, they need help in it by their parents.

What is sleep training?

Sleep training is teaching your little baby to fall asleep. In other words, it means your baby will fall asleep without your help. Furthermore, you do not have to cuddle, or rock your baby to sleep.

After you sleep train your baby, the little one will fall asleep on his own and wake up either early in the morning depending on when you put them to sleep. In addition to this, if the baby wakes up at night (which is normal), he or she will go back to sleep on his or her own.

How Do I Train My Baby to Sleep on Its Own?

Most parents think that it’s very difficult. However, once your baby gets used to it, you won’t have to struggle to put the baby to sleep anymore. Moreover, sleep training will give your little baby a good night’s sleep as well without constantly waking up every time the diaper gets wet.

Here are some methods to train your baby to fall asleep on his or her own.

Cry It Out (CIO)

Cry it out is also termed as extinction method.  In this method, the baby is put to bed and allowed to cry. The baby cries and screams for a while until he or she falls asleep.

Now this method involves the baby only. How? You leave the baby in the bed or crib and let him or her cry if they can’t fall asleep. Eventually, he or she would get tired and fall asleep. In the CIO, you don’t attend your baby at all.

However, you must feed the baby. Make sure his tummy is full. Then, put him or her in a comfortable crib and leave. The baby will cry for a while but will eventually fall asleep after getting tired. Therefore, CIO trains the baby to fall asleep without cuddling, swaying or feeding.


  • Look for the time when the baby starts getting tired. He will yawn, rub his eyes or act cranky.
  • Don’t overtire your baby.
  • Make sure you feed the baby enough before taking him to bed.
  • You can sing a lullaby to your baby. Read a book or simply stay with him for a while, petting softly.
  • Leave the room before the baby falls asleep. It’s important. This will ensure that the baby doesn’t need your help. Leave the baby half asleep.
  • The baby will cry when left unattended. He will demand your attention. Let the baby do so. That’s the point of CIO method. The baby will cry for a fair amount of time.
  • It’ll take a few days or a week for you and the baby to get used to it. The point is to not attend the baby when he’s crying. Let him fall asleep on his own which he eventually will.

How long should you let the baby cry?

It varies from baby to baby. However, every baby will protest at first. He will cry and demand your full attention. You can let your baby cry for 35 – 45 minutes or even an hour.

This time will keep decreasing as the nights progress. Eventually, the baby will only whine for a minute and then, he will fall asleep on his own.

Check and Console Method

This method involves checking on your baby at regular intervals until he falls asleep. It will take a week or so for the baby to get used to this technique.


  • After the bedtime routine, put the baby in the crib and leave the room.
  • If the baby doesn’t fall asleep, keep checking on him after regular intervals. Do not feed your baby or rock them to sleep.
  • Simply shush or pat the baby, but do not pick them up.
  • Continue checking up on the baby, but increase the interval of time. From 10 minutes go to 15 minutes and then 20.
  • After that, the baby will eventually fall asleep.
  • In case the baby does not fall asleep. Start the check and console method again.
Check baby to sleep

Chair Method

This method involves sitting on the chair next to your baby’s crib and watching him sleep. But, every day, move your chair farther away from the crib. Until you are at the door.


  • Put the baby in his crib and sit next to him on the chair.
  • If the baby cries, don’t pick him up. Pat him only once. Don’t let the baby get used to patting.
  • Afterwards, move your chair a little far. Watch the baby but stay out of reach.
  • Do not touch your baby.
  • Use voice cues but only if necessary. Like shushing him when he cries.
  • Eventually, move your chair out of the room.
  • Don’t respond to your baby until extremely necessary.
  • If you have to, keep looking at the baby from outside the room. Make sure you don’t reveal your presence.

The baby will fall into this routine in two weeks. Hence, this is a gentle way of sleep training. Ultimately, the baby will get used to not having you by his side at night. Moreover, this will make him fall asleep without a lot of attention and crying. Furthermore, the baby will rest well and so will you once the routine is developed.

Pick up, Put down Method

If the baby cries a lot before going to bed, pick him up and comfort him until he stops crying. Put the baby back in his crib when he’s half asleep. If he wakes up, repeat this technique until the baby falls asleep.


  • When it’s your baby’s bedtime, pick him up and put then in the crib.
  • If the baby starts crying, pick him up.
  • Do not rock him or move much. This will make them get used to it. Rather, sing them a lullaby or hum a music tune.
  • When the baby is closing his eyes and dozing off, put him back in his crib.
  • If the baby cries again, repeat the above steps until he calms down.
  • Don’t pick the baby up again rather soothe him gently.
  • Rub his tummy or pat him softly until he falls asleep.

How long does this method take?

This method requires a lot of patience. You have to stay with the baby constantly. Additionally, you have to pick him up and put him down every time he cries. But, the method works effectively each day. Eventually, you will see improvement after a few nights.

Pick up Down

Bedtime Fading Method

Simply look for the time when your child starts to get tired and sleepy. Don’t make them go to bed sooner when they are not sleepy. It will only make them stay awake in bed. Moreover, they will be restless.

Gradually, move the bedtime earlier. Preferably 15 minutes until you reach the desired bedtime for your baby.


  • When your baby starts getting tired or sleepy at night, put him to bed.
  • If your baby starts crying, pick him up and comfort him until he falls asleep.
  • Use this bedtime routine for a few days. Then move the bedtime 15 minutes early.
  • Now take the baby to bed in this new bedtime and repeat the process. The baby will start dozing off early. He will kick off the old bedtime habit.
  • Keep moving the bedtime 15 minutes early each day until you reach your desired bedtime for the baby.

Bedtime fading method is for babies from 18 months to almost 4 years and who have trouble initiating sleep. However, it can work for the babies younger than 18 months as well.