It Worked for Me: Must-Try Sleep Training Methods

From snooze-friendly blankets to magic rituals, moms reveal how they got their infants to sleep -- and finally got some shut-eye themselves.

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Comfort him from afar.

Aurelie and Morgan David de Lossy/Getty

Comfort him from afar.

After running through our evening routine -- playtime, supper, bath, toothbrushing, book, prayers -- I put my child down for bed and sat beside him, not touching or talking to him. Then, over the next couple of weeks, I moved my chair progressively further from the crib until I was finally sitting outside a closed door.
-- Ledlow

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Bundle him up.

Fancy Photography/ Veer

Bundle him up.

What saved us during the first couple of months was Tobi's snowsuit! It was very warm and cozy. He could be crying hysterically one minute, then we'd zip him into the suit -- even inside the house -- and he would snuggle in and sleep for hours.
-- Irene

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Choose a technique you can live with.

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Choose a technique you can live with.

Pick a method that you are comfortable with. No matter how perfect the "experts" claim a method to be, if you are not comfortable with it, it won't work.
-- Darcy

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Ilana Wiles: How I Successfully Sleep Trained My Kids

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Give her space.

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Give her space.

We kept our daughter's cradle in our bedroom for the first five months so I could keep an eye on her and nurse her easily. But moving her into her own room was the key to changing her sleep habits for the better and decreasing those nighttime feedings. I wasn't as quick to respond to her, and she didn't try quite as hard to get us up. While it took some time for her to get comfortable being in her own space, she started to sleep longer. As time progressed, all of us were happier for it.
-- Caren

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Keep consistent.

Kathryn Gamble

Keep consistent.

It's all about routine and schedule. Keep the same bedtime every night, regardless of what you have going on. You have to make sacrifices and realize these little ones thrive on routine, consistency, and schedules.
-- Alicia

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Put her down awake.

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Put her down awake.

Our baby is 10 months old and we start her bedtime routine at 8 p.m. We brush her teeth, give her a bath, and then she plays, plays, plays. After that, it's lavender bedtime lotion and a bottle. But the key is putting her down drowsy but awake, and she usually sleeps all night without a peep.
-- April

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Send out bedtime signals.

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Send out bedtime signals.

We play the same lullaby CD every night and put it on before he gets into bed, so he knows it's that time. If he cries, we hold him until he calms. Then we place him in the crib and sit in the room -- without touching him -- until he falls asleep.
-- Pam Schwartz

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Swaddle!

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Swaddle!

I wrapped up my kiddo tightly in "the miracle blanket" every night until she was about 4 months old. She slept great and is still a great sleeper at 3 1/2!
-- Amy

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Let her fuss.

Linda Farwell

Let her fuss.

We tried everything we could think of and our baby still woke every two hours until 8 months. After one week of letting her cry it out, we were all sleeping better -- my toddler now sleeps 13 hours at a stretch. We felt horrible doing it, but in the end it was best for us all.
-- Cat

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Start early.

Start early.

My son is only 6 weeks old, and he naps so irregularly. But even at this young age, I've been able to implement a basic routine. I start with a bottle of formula at bedtime, when he falls asleep in my arms. Then I put him in his crib, turn his vibrating pad on the lowest setting, and wind his mobile. This usually puts him to sleep on the first try. Next up: tackling his middle-of-the-night wakings!
-- Samantha

Copyright © 2010 Meredith Corporation.

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