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Trying the Baby whisperer 4S Winding Down Ritual

December 17, 2010

Baby R is the sort of baby that does not go down for naps well. Lately, we have been trying to introduce a naptime routine to condition her to fall asleep. According to the Baby Whisperer, babies thrive on routines. If you consistently go through the same set of actions before her naptime, the baby will automatically expect to go to sleep and will not resist it that much.

The Baby Whisperer suggests a ritual consisting the 4S:

Step 1: Set the Stage. Once you spot her tired cues, set the stage by drawing the curtains and making the place conducive for a nap.

Step 2: Swaddle. Swaddle her arms so that she feels nice and snuggly.

Step 3: Sit. The Baby Whisperer suggests that we resist the temptation to rock or jiggle her. Instead, we should just quietly sit with the baby to reduce her reliance on the need for movement before sleep.

Step 4: Shush-pat. If the baby starts to cry, we can pat the baby on her back rhythmatically, while saying “Shh shh shh” continuously.

My verdict on trying this method

 I must say the method is not completely effective for me. If we catch her at the exact period of time when she is tired, but not over-tired, then the method works like a charm. Else, we will have to shush-pat for a really long period of time, all the time struggling with a wailing baby. At this stage, it will be terribly hard to resist rocking and jiggling her in an instinctive need to calm her down.

So my conclusion is that, instead of an elaborate ritual, catching the right window of opportunity is THE key to getting the baby to go down for a nap without resistance. Of course, performing a consistent set of actions to condition the baby makes perfect sense as well, since babies thrive on associations. If you always rock her to sleep before bed-time, she will come to associate rocking with sleeping. Over time, she will need to be rocked before she can go to sleep. So it is very important to pick the right (i.e. easy) actions for baby to associate sleeping with. Shush-pat seems to be easy enough!

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. December 27, 2010 4:55 pm

    Don’t forget that shush-pat & swaddling can be sleep-associations too 🙂 There is a forum for other followers of baby whisperers to share 🙂

    • December 27, 2010 5:48 pm

      So you are a fan of baby whisperer? I still haven’t managed to implement the EASY routine. My baby tends to go all over the place…

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