There are so many different baby sleep training methods, sometimes it can be hard to work out which one would work best for you and your baby. If you’re thinking about sleep training your baby, you might want to consider the pick up, put down method. 

What is the pick up put down method? 

This method was first introduced by Tracy Hogg in her book, Secrets of the Baby Whisperer, and the method is pretty much exactly what it says on the tin. It involves putting your baby to bed in their cot as normal. When they start to make a fuss, go back in, pick your baby up for a cuddle until they calm down, then put them back in their cot and leave the room. Repeat again and again until your baby is settled. 

This is a great method if you can’t bear to hear your baby cry on their own without going to check on them. 

  • Pick up – If your baby begins to cry, stop a second to listen. If it sounds like they are just fussing a little and you think they’ll soon calm down, wait. If their crying sounds louder and uncontrollable, that’s the time to go and comfort them. 
  • Put down – Once they’ve calmed down and stopped crying, lay them down again when they’re drowsy but awake and wait for them to fall back to sleep. 

How old should my baby be for pick up put down?  

Sleep training can start when babies begin to sleep through the night without needing a feed which is usually around the 4-6 month mark. If you’re not sure, it’s always best to speak to your midwife or your baby’s GP to check when you can start sleep training. 

Does the pick up put down method work? 

This sleep method can be a rather tiring one for parents and it can become frustrating. It can take a long time for your baby to settle at first, and even longer for them to learn to comfort themselves and understand when it’s time to sleep. 

But with some patience, consistency and help from your partner or family, you’ll get there eventually and they’ll learn to fall asleep without your help. 

Top tips for success 

  • Implement a good bedtime routine – when the time comes for putting them to bed, and you’ve done all the important steps, lay them in their cot (they should be drowsy at this point) and don’t leave the room until they are asleep. 
  • Make sure you’ve had some sleep – we know it can be hard to keep your energy levels up as a mum, especially in the middle of the night, but try where you can to make sure you’re well rested before starting this method of sleep training – especially in the first few weeks. 
  • Get help – it’s very tough to do this on your own without the help and support of your family so it’s a good idea to take it in turns with your partner or even with baby’s grandparents or aunts and uncles to make sure you get the rest you need. 

Other methods of sleep training 

If you’re not sure the pick up put down method is for you but you still want to have a go at sleep training, there are other techniques you can try. From the Ferber method to cry it out, chair method and controlled crying, there are a number of other sleep training methods that parents can try to help their little one get into a good sleeping pattern and we’ve outlined them all here.