All About Gentle and Present Sleep Training (chair method)

mother kissing baby to sleep while using gentle sleep training no tears no crying

Recently, someone from my sleep training mastermind group asked me for more ideas for gentle sleep training methods. But since my family relied on a method that involved crying, I turned to some research to find more tear-free methods that these parents could try.

Considering your best tear-free options when it comes to various sleep methods? The gentle sleep training (chair method) may be perfect for you and your little one. Here is how it’s done – and common questions about it answered by parents who’ve used it successfully.

Gentle Sleep Training (Chair Method)

Being an overly tired parent kind of feels like the norm nowadays. Between lack of sleep because you’re worried about your little one to lack of sleep because they’re constantly keeping you on your toes, that leaves you being literally tired and feeling like you’re trying to catch up all the time.

Let me just reiterate that this doesn’t have to be the norm. There are different sleep methods that you can try to see what works for you and your child. The gentle sleep training (chair method) might be exactly what you need to introduce now to get well-rested for the future!

While there are several options for gentle sleep training methods, you may find that the chair sleep training method is one that works really well for you and your child.

What is the chair method for sleep training?

The chair method for sleep training isn’t difficult, but it will require you to be able to follow the plan strictly – and resist picking up your child. Thankfully, the plan is short. Ready for it?

Here’s the plan:

  • Start by placing a chair next to your baby’s crib.
  • Plan on laying your baby down in the crib when they are drowsy, but not asleep.
  • Once your baby is in the crib, plan to sit in the chair and be present for them until they fall asleep. You’re there for emotional support, but not physically comforting them.

The goal is for them to be able to be comforted enough that they’ll relax into sleep on their own.

However, keep in mind that you need to be moving the chair further and further away from their crib every few days. If you keep your chair next to them all the time, they’ll expect that to be the norm.

After a week or two period, your goal is to be able to then lay your baby down and be able to walk out of the room.

What age is the gentle sleep training chair method good for?

This can vary depending on your child, but most tend to do well once they reach about 6 months of age. Starting any sooner than that and you might have a bit of issue, simply because younger babies rely so much on physical comfort.

If you find that you’ve started and it’s not going well with your child, talk to your pediatrician and see what they recommend. You may want to consider a different sleep training method.

How do you sleep train without crying?

Truth be told, there might be a bit of crying (or at least whimpering) involved no matter what type of sleep method that you try. The key to having little to no tears is to be consistent in your efforts while also meeting your child’s basic needs.

The great thing about this sleep training method is that you’re still there for your baby, so the risk of tears is lowered greatly.

In fact, many parents are able to sleep train without any tears at all. Some of those parents recommend using gentle physical touch and comfort at first – and then slowly adding physical distance to transition from physical comfort to emotional support.

Other Tips to Successful Sleep Training with No Cry Methods

Each of those parents also recommends that you make a schedule and stick to it. It’ll take time for your baby to understand that it’s going to be happening consistently each and every night.

Also, keep in mind that if your child is overly tired, tears will flow. It’s no different for us adults when we’re tired!

But having a scheduled nap during the day is a great lead-in to making certain that they get to bed with minimal issues as well. Having an early afternoon nap and an early bedtime are great ways to enforce gentle sleep training to your child.

Overall, it’s important to remember to remain consistent no matter what type of sleep method you’re using. Your baby is taking cues from you on this sleep training and can and will adjust with consistency. And just remember, most sleep trainings work within just a few short weeks! After that, you can catch up on that rest that you’ve been lacking as well!

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Kimberly C. Starr

I'm a ginger who loves reading, eating, being a nurse, spending time with my family, and writing about it all. I believe humor is the best medicine, followed very closely by chocolate and tacos. To read more about me, click here.

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