Pick Up Put Down Method

The pick up put down method is one of the many ways to gently sleep train your baby.

Sleep training is one of the best things that you can do for your baby- and yourself! Believe it or not, quality sleep is possible. If you have a little one, you’re likely familiar with the endless nights, the screaming, the crying- and then having to function like a normal person the next day. (As if your life wasn’t turned upside down last night!) Sleep training can turn your dreams of actually being able to dream into a reality. There are so many sleep training benefits, and the pick up put down sleep training method is one of the many methods that are out there. 

Sleep training introduces quality sleep and lifelong positive sleep habits to your child. There are several different types of sleep training methods, so you can decide which technique works best for you and your family. One of these methods is the pick up put down method, which encourages your baby to learn how to fall asleep more independently. I’m dedicating this post to the pick up put down method and everything you need to know about it! 

Pick Up Put Down Method

Today I’m discussing what the pick up put down method is, how to do it, where it came from, and how it can benefit you and your baby. The pick up put down method can be such a great technique if you’re exploring different sleep training options!

What Is The Pick Up Put Down Method

The pick up put down method (also called PUPD) is as simple as it sounds! It was made popular by Tracy Hogg in her book, Secrets of the Baby Whisperer. It involves putting your baby down in their crib, waiting to see if they cry, going back into their room and holding them for a bit, and then putting them back down once they’re calm again. The best time to start sleep training your baby is around 4 months of age. 

The PUPD method is different from many other sleep training methods because it’s a gentle way of teaching self-soothing. It’s a bit more hands-on and can take longer than some methods, but many parents feel more comfortable with this option than the cry-it-out method. It’s similar to the Ferber method, but is more reactive to your baby’s cries and involves more soothing. It will help your baby grasp the concept of putting themselves to sleep while still providing the comfort of your presence. This sleep method can be beneficial if you want that additional time with your little one while they adjust, and doesn’t create any kind of separation since you’re gently guiding your baby into self-soothing. This is a good in-between option for parents who don’t feel comfortable with the cry-it-out (extinction method) for their little ones.  

Does the Pick Up Put Down Method Work?

The PUPD method has many benefits and can be very effective. As always, you know your child best, and every baby is unique. What works for one child may not work for another. Your baby may respond to this method well, or you may feel inclined to try an alternative technique. Some babies may be too overstimulated by the constant picking up and putting down, making it difficult for them to calm down enough to sleep. It’s also a very demanding technique on your end, so if you’re the type that wants to feel involved, this could be great! But if you’re looking for an approach that’s easier for you, this type of sleep training can be more work depending on how quickly your baby adjusts. Always do whatever feels right for you and your family! 

How To Do Pick Up Put Down Method

Step 1 

Follow your normal bedtime routine. If you don’t already have a nighttime routine, this is a great opportunity to implement one! There are so many benefits to a bedtime routine- the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry says that the best way to minimize sleep problems in children is to have consistent bedtime routines. You want your baby to be calm but not yet asleep. Get in one last cuddle before you start with the PUPD method!

Step 2

Put down your baby while they’re still awake, but tired. Putting them down while they’re still awake will help them to develop the habit of self-soothing. 

Step 3

Tell them “good night” and leave the room right away. Hesitating or lingering near the door may interfere with this method. For best results, leave with confidence and allow your baby to show you what they do next! 

Step 4

Wait and listen outside the door to see how your baby is reacting. If your baby starts to cry, don’t immediately go and soothe them. Set a timer for a minute and see if your baby can self-soothe. 

Step 5

If the crying persists, go back into their room, pick them up, and soothe them until they stop crying.

Step 6

Once your baby has stopped crying, put them back into their crib, and leave the room again. Repeat this process until your baby has fallen asleep on their own. 

Step 7

Once you have started PUPD with your little one, add longer increments in between soothing each night to see if they can self-soothe. How long you decide to wait is up to you- many people recommend adding a minute each night to build their tolerance and develop their self-settling skills. Eventually, they will learn to put themselves to sleep. There are tons of baby sleep products that can help your baby adjust and make the transition easier! 

Be patient! Babies’ sleep habits can require a lot of work, but getting sleep training down is worth it in the end. This method doesn’t work overnight, but will be extremely rewarding once they’ve developed the skills to self-soothe. 

I hope these tips have helped you! For more guidance, check out my newborn sleeping package. It includes a 30-minute consult call, my newborn sleep guide, and 2 15-minute calls for individualized help getting your little one to sleep. 

Please feel free to reach out if you have any specific questions. In addition to my newborn sleep packages, I offer one-on-one sleep support if bedtime is a struggle. Better rest is possible!

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