Put Down Put Down or PDPD for short, is a sleep training method that can be used with babies who have started to stand up in the cot. It helps teach your baby how to get to sleep independently, day or night, in a supportive way that involves minimal crying. PDPD is about reassuring your baby and instilling trust that you will not abandon him.
How to do it
- After a good wind down routine after your baby has been fed, changed and is ready for sleep, lie baby down in the cot whilst quietly saying ‘shhh’, time for bed now and then sit silently on a cushion on the floor right beside the cot. Keeping your eyes closed will model sleep for your baby and it might help you to relax.
- Allow your baby five minutes or so to get to sleep independently. If baby cries and stands up, go to the cot and lie him back down. Spend one minute using your touch and voice to calm him down. If he’s lying down, you can rub baby’s tummy gently, sing softly or ‘shush’. If baby is moving around the cot, don’t try and restrain him, but allow baby to move. If your baby stands up again, lie him back down.
- Sit back on your cushion and continue to use your voice and touch through the bars of the cot. You can pat or rock the mattress to encourage baby to focus on something other than crying and encourage him to stay lying down. Count to 100 slowly, and stay sitting on the cushion, even if baby stands up.
- After this time, repeat the process if baby has not calmed and stands up again. Put your baby back down, soothe for a minute in the cot, sit back down and count to 100 slowly. Each day, back off the putdowns and the touch a bit more, so that you are leaving more time between each one and giving baby more time to settle independently just with your voice.
- If your baby goes into the cot and doesn’t cry or he cries intermittently or just grizzles a bit, you don’t need to touch him. Just sit by the cot and use your voice with quiet singing or shushing. If baby settles, just close your eyes and model sleep. Wait beside the cot until you are sure baby is asleep and then you can leave the room. Repeat this process at subsequent wakeups.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How long do I continue the process for?
A: For a lunchtime nap, continue for an 45 minutes to an hour and if your baby hasn’t settled, get him up, offer a quick feed and play for 20 minutes, then put baby back into the cot for another 20 to 40 minutes of PDPD. If baby falls asleep but wakes very early from the nap use PDPD for a further 30 to 40 minutes before getting him up and then consider that nap cancelled. At nighttime, use it to resettle your baby after waking until baby falls asleep.
Q: How long will it take until I see results?
A: This technique can take anywhere from two days up to two weeks until you see an improvement in baby’s sleep depending on your commitment, patience and consistency.