A reader recently contacted me to seek further information on gentle sleep techniques that reduce crying. They were really interested in learning more about a remarkably modern and light style, so I looked into the training chair method of sleeping. What is the sleep training chair method?
The sleep training chair method combines parenting and sleep training in a pleasant, no-cry approach. While waiting for the infant to fall asleep, parents support the infant by sitting in a chair next to the bed. The father pulls the chair farther away from the kid's bed each night.
Do you want to determine whether the chair approach is best for you and your child? Here's how it's done, and my research and the parents who have used it effectively provide answers to the frequently asked questions about sleep training chair method.
What Is The Chair Method Of Sleep Training?
A method called "chair sleep training" trains infants to fall asleep on their own without being picked up when they cry.
Every night, until you eventually leave the room, you lay your baby down, sit in a crib chair, comfort him or her as necessary, and then slowly move the chair toward the door.
As babies can learn to comfort themselves at this age, a vital ability for them to master, most babies are ready to start sleeping between the ages of 4 and 6 months. Additionally, you can utilize chair sleep training for naps to enhance your child's daytime napping.
Because it allows them to be present with their child, some parents prefer the chair approach to the Ferber method or the weeping method. Many babies, however, can't go to sleep without a small cry, and they can sleep faster if they fuss and cry a little bit first.
How Do You Do The Chair Method Sleep Training?
Place a chair next to the crib to begin using the Chair-based Sleep Training approach. After that, put your infant to bed following your customary routine. While your infants are still awake, place them in the crib. In order to prevent your infant from becoming overtired or agitated, start the day when she/he has had a nice nap.
After that, sit down next to the crib and maintain as much calm, silence, and quiet as you can. Don't chat or make eye contact with your infant so much that she/he becomes overstimulated. To signal to your infant that it is time to be quiet and go to bed, you can close your eyes, stare at the wall, or even just be still.
If your child cries, you can soothe and comfort them as they try to fall asleep, but after that, you should sit down. Wait in the chair until the infant nods off. You can then leave the room if you want to.
You can return to the room if your child wakes up and cries, console them, and then sit on the chair again gently and silently until they fall asleep. Throughout the night, repeat this procedure as necessary.
Move the chair further away from the crib after the first few nights. As your child settles themselves till they go to sleep, stay in the room with them and console them if necessary. Move the chair halfway to the door a few nights later. Every few evenings, you want to bring the chair a little bit closer to the baby's door until, after approximately two weeks, you have reached the threshold.
You will eventually remove the chair entirely from the space. Your baby will ultimately learn that they can go to sleep on their own, but you can return to the room if necessary to let them know that you are there if they need you.
The Pros And Cons Of The Sleep Training Chair Method
Following are some advantages and disadvantages of sleep training chair method.
Does The Chair Sleep Training Method Work?
Absolutely yes for many babies.
However, it's crucial to remember, though, that no two babies are the same. So, while something might work like magic for one family, it might not be as effective for yours.
Read more: 6 warning signs you need to change your sleep training method.
The chair method has been very effective for many parents, but if it doesn't work as well for you and your little one, just switch gears and try something new.
Even better, think about using some sleep-inducing basics like our Relaxing Pillow & Linen Spray. This snoozy mist is scented with our trademark NaturalSnooze fragrance, which has calming scents that have been shown to promote restful sleep and make it easier to fall asleep and remain asleep.
How Long Does The Chair Method Sleep Training Take?
The chair method is a gradual way of teaching your child to go to sleep on their own, so it could take a little longer than some other sleep training techniques.
However, if you are persistent and patient, you may usually achieve success with this easy sleep training strategy in around two weeks.
Does The Sleep Training Chair Method Involve Crying?
No matter what kind of sleep technique you use, there may be some sobbing (or at least whimpering) involved. Meeting your child's basic requirements while remaining consistent in your efforts is the key to having few to no tears.
This form of sleep training has the advantage that you can still be with your infant, considerably reducing the likelihood of crying. The likelihood of crying keeps declining the slower you progress with sleep training.
So, you have the option to make this a tear-free sleep training technique. Just move slowly, possibly even more slowly than the suggested two-week time frame for this technique.
With this approach, many parents are able to sleep train their children without even a single tear. I polled parents who have employed this strategy. It's not a very popular technique, but it is employed. In order to shift from physical comfort to emotional support, parents advise providing moderate physical touch and comfort at first, and then gradually adding physical distance.
Please refer to the sample period (in the table) earlier in the post to see how I incorporated the recommendations into the two weeks necessary for the chair method of successful sleep training. Just mention that.
Who Should Use The Chair Method Of Sleep Training?
For infants who find their parents' presence at night comforting rather than exciting, the chair approach works well. Parents who can devote at least two weeks to patiently and consistently practicing the approach each night can benefit from it.
It's also beneficial for parents who don't like the thought of letting their children scream it out since they feel safer if they can watch over them as they learn to fall asleep on their own.
Who Shouldn’t Use The Chair Method Of Sleep Training?
ot everyone can use the sleep training chair method. Things can work for others but can be different for you.
You and your child are not fit for the chair method of sleep training if:
- Your child is stimulated by parental presence during sleep training (e.g., children who want to play or interact with parents, children who scream louder to get their attention, or children who scream louder as if to indicate, "I don't want you in here when I'm trying to sleep!")
- You are hesitant to devote their presence to sleep training for at least two weeks (potentially involving hours before bed and during the night).
Tips For Chair Method Success!
There are a few guidelines that, like with any strategy, will guarantee success. Here are a few pointers to help you succeed with this approach.
- Before you bring your kid inside, double-check that everything is ready. Before putting your infant in the crib, you must position the chair correctly.
- If you think it would help, comfort your child physically for a longer period of time. Eventually, though, they will learn to fall asleep on their own.
- There will be some weeping, so if your child wakes up, just sit on the chair and wait for them to drift off.
- This technique is great for kids who need their parents' company to fall asleep since it encourages parental presence in babies.
- Be careful not to doze off while waiting on the chair. Reading a book or listening to several audiobooks will help you stay focused.
- Pick up and snuggle with your infant if they're in need. The following night, start anew by placing them back in their crib.
- It might not take effect right away, so patience is essential. Until it works, keep trying, and don't give up.
- If your infant appears to be experiencing extreme distress almost every day, cease it for a while and resume it after a few days.
Some frequently asked questions about the chair method of sleep training.
What else can I do to help my baby sleep?
Given the variety of sleep training techniques available, it really boils down to taste and comfort. The key is consistency; in fact, having routines in place helps us all perform better. A quick Google search will turn up a plethora of methods for lulling a baby to sleep.
What my friend recommended is the Dreamland Baby sleep sack.
The Dreamland Baby weighted sleep sack is one of the products that can aid a baby's ability to fall asleep, stay asleep, and feel calm.
In order to provide the baby a sense of security and comfort, the soft weight naturally lowers stress and enhances relaxation through deep-pressure stimulation. A baby often experiences longer stretches of high-quality sleep as a result, as do the rest of you.
At What Age Can I Start Using the Chair Method?
At around four to six months old, newborns are often developmentally ready for sleep training with the Chair method or other methods. With babies who require assistance falling asleep or with toddlers who require assistance falling asleep on their own, you can also employ the chair technique of sleep training.
Since every baby is unique, it's always a good idea to see your pediatrician before beginning the sleep-training process if your infant is having trouble falling asleep.
What If the Chair Method Isn’t Working?
For some babies, the chair technique might not be effective. When a child is trying to get to sleep, the presence of a parent may be too distracting or stimulating. Even if a parent isn't talking, being around them might keep some kids awake.
Try a new sleep-training technique if your infant or toddler is still having problems falling or staying asleep after using the Chair approach.
The pick-up put-down approach and the nighttime fading method are two additional sleep training techniques you can use to reduce crying at bedtime.
When Should I Start Sleep Training?
The majority of professionals advise postponing sleep training until your child is around four months old and weighs at least 12 lbs. Why? Young children are ready to master self-soothing skills at this age because that's when it typically occurs.
Even though sleep training teaches babies to value sleep, infants under 12 kg may still require a night feed due to the importance of nourishment (and sleep independently).
If you need assistance figuring out when your infant is ready to start napping, ask your pediatrician for suggestions.
How do I deal with standing, rolling, and crawling?
My usual rule of thumb is to largely ignore it. If occasionally putting them back doesn't matter, go ahead and do it; but this must be done frequently. If they are old enough to grasp this, you can also encourage them to lie down and go to bed by speaking to them and patting the mattress (again, just do this infrequently).
How Much Should I Comfort My Baby During the Chair Method?
Keep in mind that you are altering your child's sleep routine. The goal of gentle sleep training methods like the chair method is to teach your infant to go asleep on their own, without your assistance. While some small tots comply with the process with little opposition, others gripe a little more.
It's acceptable to provide some calming assurance, such as a mild "shhh," if your adorable baby needs it throughout the chair technique. Just try to avoid touching them or looking them in the eye because doing so could be overstimulating and make it harder for them to go asleep.
When To Try Something Else
Have you maintained the bedtime schedule? Observed for signs of sleep? stayed the same? Don't give up on sleep training altogether if your child doesn't seem to enjoy the chair approach or if it simply doesn't seem to be working despite your best efforts.
Try switching to a different strategy, such as the pick-up-put-down method or the fading method, after taking a deep breath and organizing your thoughts.
Training your sleep patterns is effective. Finding the best method for you and your family sometimes only requires a little patience. Additionally, don't be afraid to approach your child's pediatrician for advice if you need it—that is why they are there!
Why Or Why Not This Method?
This approach allows you to be there as your child learns to fall asleep, which should make both of you feel more at ease and less anxious about the process. However, you'll be right there at their side as they work. While you won't actually be putting your child to sleep, you will be there to provide some comfort while they learn to do it.
Some people who prefer incredibly soft ways may not be interested in this technique because it includes sobbing. Some parents who need to take care of other children may find this strategy a little too time consuming because they cannot spend all day sitting in a chair in a child's room working on naps.
A parent may find it more distressing to see their child cry next to them than to use another technique, such as controlled sobbing. Some detractors contend that letting the infant see you while they go off to sleep really makes the infant more distressed since they keep anticipating being lifted up or fed like they usually do.
For parents who want to be in the room with their kids as they develop independent sleeping skills, the chair method is a terrific option. This strategy works best when you have a firm schedule, are consistent, and keep gradually pushing your chair farther away.
The chair method is a mild sleep training technique that may be effective for some people but may be difficult for others. Make sure you commit to the entire two weeks if you want to test it out (and that you invest in a comfortable chair).