Tracy Hogg, author of "Secrets of the Baby Whisperer," relies on the best features of many different sleep training philosophies to create a method that encourages listening, patience and routine to help your baby develop into a healthy all-night sleeper.
What is EASY method stands for?
The acronym represents the stages of a strictly structured routine, which is the basis of this sleep method.
- E stands for Eat. When a baby first wakes up from a nap or bedtime, the first thing you should do feed the baby. Whether it's a snack or a full blown meal (milk or solids, depending on the age), it's important that this is the first step.
- A stands for Activities. After eating it's time to play, run errands, or do any other activities that are not eating or sleeping. The amount of time spent doing activities will vary depending on the child's age, as very young infants cannot play for long without becoming tired, but older infants and toddlers can often go several hours.
- S stands for Sleep. It's important that sleep directly follows activities, because the child has played until he or she begins to show signs of tiredness, and then transitions directly to sleeping without nursing or having a bottle. According to Hogg, bottles and nursing to sleep provide "props" that a baby relies on to fall asleep, preventing the baby from learning how to self-sooth.
- Y stands for You Time, and it's what you get when you follow the rest of the routine.
How to implemente this method?
The EASY routine provides the structural framework in which the sleep method itself must exist, but perhaps the heart of the method itself is the philosophy behind pu/pd(put up/put down).
- When a baby is placed in her bed for naptime or bedtime, she may quietly "talk" to herself, fall asleep, or cry. If she cries, the caregiver goes to her and picks her up, then practices a number of "Four S" techniques meant to sooth the baby. These include:
- Set the stage: This involves the bedtime routine, and it should be the same for every sleep period and no longer than five minutes total. This is a winding down period that serves as a cue to the baby that it is now time to go to sleep. For example, you might change the baby's diaper, close the curtains, turn off the light, sing a certain song, and say a specific sleepy phrase (for example, "time to go night night").
- Swaddling: Not all babies like to be swaddled, but if yours does, this is one technique that can help sooth her to sleep.
- Sitting quietly with the baby.
- Shush-pat: This method works best for younger infants, and involves a firm pat in the center of the baby's back in the pattern of a heartbeat (pat-pat, pat-pat) accompanied by a "shhhh" sound that is quite loud to distract the baby from its own crying.
- After the baby is calmed (but likely still awake), the caregiver puts her down into her crib and then leaves the room. The caregiver repeats this process (pick up, sooth, put down) as many times as needed to gently encourage sleep.
What do mums say about the method?
“This book is a must for anyone who cares for newborns!
I work as a postpartum doula (aka 'Baby Nurse'). This book is my textbook and I recommend it to all my mommas and have used its principles for the babies with consistent success. In a nutshell, Tracy Hogg's recommend a simple routine that begins with eating, followed by activity (playtime), and then nap. This routine is repeated every 2-4 hrs. You will know what baby is crying for if she is on a routine and you know that since you just fed her, what she is crying for is not more food, but probably sleep!
Tracy's mantra is 'Start as you mean to go on.' If you want your 8 month old baby to sleep only in mommas arms, do it when they're 1 wk old! But if you want to be able to lay baby down in the crib and leave him to peacefully fall asleep for naps and bedtime, you've got to get them used to doing it from the beginning.
There's no crying-it-out or heartless rigid schedules, but neither is there a 'baby's running the show' and momma's surviving on 2 hrs of sleep at night. When it's bedtime for baby, Tracy recommends a simple technique called 'Pick-up-put-down', where whenever baby cries, you pick her up only until she stops crying, then put her back in bed immediately. After doing this enough times, baby gets tired and falls asleep. In just a few days of doing this consistently, baby need less and less of this, until she is contentedly soothing herself to sleep in her own crib.
I will say, not only does this stuff make sense, it works. And for me, it pays! People will pay $200 a day to have me stay in their home and sleep train their baby! (Of course they could just buy the 1 cent book off Amazon and read and follow it themselves... But some people can afford to pay someone to help, and I'm happy they hire me!)
One baby I helped was a 7 month old, breastfeeding baby boy. He was nursing on demand, sleeping only 20 min max at a time during the day. During the night he was up 4-7 times in an 8 hr period of time. His momma was ragged and exhausted as she tried to satisfy his needs while keeping up with a 3 yr old and helping with the family business as well. He was a chubby 21 lb bundle of smiles, so there was not an issue of hunger going on. He just didn't know how to self soothe himself to sleep. He knew only how to nurse himself to sleep. Then the slightest disturbance would wake him back up and he didn't know how to drift back to sleep. Well, using the pick-up-put-down methods to put him back down in bed, combined with a good routine as outlined by Tracy Hogg, by the end of a week, this little guy was taking 1 long nap (2.5 hrs) and 2 shorter 45 min- 1 hr naps during the day and sleeping a solid 11 hrs at night! And he was so much happier--no more fussy, fussy. And he had a rested, happy momma.”
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