How Long Did Sleep Training Take?

Sleep training is a process where parents teach babies and young children to fall asleep without help. They learn to self-soothe through crying for brief periods. Some signs they are ready include being able to soothe themselves for minutes and linking nightsleep with day-sleep patterns.

If you’ve found yourself wondering each night as your little one cries, “How long did sleep training take?” you’re not alone. For most families, consistency is key as it can be a challenging few weeks or months to help babies learn to self soothe and fall asleep on their own. Gentle methods sleep training took an average of 4-6 weeks for independent sleep to be established.

Most experts agree sleep training takes time and effort from the whole family. Babies learn skills like falling asleep alone gradually. Parents should stick to a routine, remain patient and consistent night after night. Improvement comes slowly at first then more quickly until independent sleep is established and everyone can rest. Understanding the process helps parents persevere through early challenges.

Sleep training basics

Sleep training basics

Sleep training helps babies learn to fall asleep on their own. It is something you do with babies usually between 4 to 6 months old when they are developmentally ready. Some signs include baby sleeping for longer stretches at night and taking regular naps during the day. The goal of sleep training is to teach babies how to self-soothe so they can learn to fall asleep without assistance.

There are different sleep training methods to choose from, including the Montessori Sleep Training approach. A common method is called extinction or cry it out. With Montessori Sleep Training, parents put the baby to bed awake and leave the room instead of responding right away if they cry. Baby will cry for a bit but will learn to fall asleep on their own. It is important that parents are consistent with the Montessori Sleep Training approach. Check on the baby if they are very upset but try not to pick them up or soothe them fully. Over time, the baby will cry less and less. You can also explore gradual methods, limiting night feeds, or incorporating calm bedtime routines and songs into the Montessori Sleep Training routine.

Night weaning vs. sleep training

Night weaning and sleep training are both processes to help babies sleep through the night. They address different things. Night weaning focuses on stopping night feedings that may no longer be needed for nourishment. Parents stop feeding the baby when they wake up crying at night by letting them cry it out or give a pacifier instead of the breast or bottle. Sleep training more broadly teaches babies how to fall asleep independently at bedtime and anytime throughout the night without parental intervention like rocking or nursing.

The order of night weaning and sleep training can vary. Some parents night wean first before sleep training so baby isn’t crying to feed in the middle of the night. Others sleep train without night weaning so baby learns to fall back asleep without a feeding. Both take time and consistency. Signs baby is ready for night weaning include sleeping through the night sometimes and having adequate weight gain during the day.

When should you start sleep training

When should you start sleep training

Here are some important points on when to start sleep training:

  • 4-6 months old: This is a typical age range when babies are developmentally ready to learn how to fall asleep on their own.
  • Baby is staying awake longer during the day: They should have 2-3 consistent naps a day and be awake for periods of 2-3 hours at a time.
  • Baby can soothe themselves: They can self-calm for a few minutes if they wake in the night instead of always needing parental intervention.
  • Night wakings are frequent: If your baby is up multiple times and won’t go back to sleep independently, it may be time for sleep training.
  • Baby is showing signs of being tired: Crying, fussing or rubbing eyes are signs they need better sleep hygiene and skills for independent sleep.
  • Whole family is sleep deprived: The lack of continuous sleep is disruptive for everyone’s health and moods. Sleep training can provide relief.
  • Stick to a routine: Be consistent with naps, feeding and bedtimes to set baby up for success before starting any training methods.

How long does sleep training take

Sleep training can take some time as babies learn new sleep skills. Most experts say the average length is around 2-4 weeks, but every baby is different. In the beginning, parents may hear crying for 30 minutes to over an hour as babies get used to falling asleep alone. The crying will get shorter each time though. Babies need chances to practice and succeed at self-soothing. Sticking to a sleep training method every night is important for progress.

Parents should see gradual improvements after a week or two. Babies will likely sleep for longer stretches and rely less on nursing or rocking to fall asleep. Night wakings may reduce in frequency too. While some babies catch on quickly, others need closer to a month or more to fully adjust. Being consistent and patient is key. Remember improvements happen slowly at first before speeds up towards success.

Is sleep training safe

Is sleep training safe

Sleep training can be done safely as long as proper guidelines are followed. Leaving a baby to cry for brief periods is not harmful when done correctly. Experts agree it is alright if crying lasts no more than 5-10 minutes at a time and babies are provided a safe space. Checking on a baby occasionally without picking them up also helps them learn. Sleep training does not cause any long term issues or changes the parent-child bond. Babies might cry or fuss at first as they adjust but are not left distraught. Their needs for food, protection and love continue being met when caregivers are nearby.

The method used must suit each baby’s temperament and development. Gradual approaches that avoid extended crying are most comfortable for some. Parental well-being and creating a peaceful home for all are also important. This helps everyone rest easy knowing routines can be customized safely and effectively for any baby.

Sleep training techniques

Experts recommend several positive techniques for teaching new sleep skills without causing undue stress. Common approaches include…

Cry it out (CIO)

“Cry it out (CIO)” is one of the most divisive sleep training techniques discussed. When done carefully, research shows it helps approximately 80% of babies learn to sleep through the night within a few days or weeks with brief, reducing periods of crying.

Ferber method (also known as “check and console”)

Developed by Dr. Richard Ferber, the gentle “Ferber method (also known as ‘check and console’)” involves checking on baby at gradual intervals if they cry during sleep training, offering comfort without picking them up fully, allowing them to learn to self-soothe over time with parent support nearby.

Pick up, put down

The “pick up, put down” sleep training method can take more time but avoids excessive crying. With this technique, parents pick baby up to soothe them when they cry, then place them back down awake, repeatedly as needed until they fall asleep on their own with minimal tears over consistent weeks of practice.

The chair method

Known as “the chair method,” an easier approach to sleep training involves sitting right next to the crib or bed as baby falls asleep, then moving the chair slightly farther each night until leaving the room, allowing little ones to gradually adjust to independence under parents’ soothing presence.

Bedtime fading

The gradual “bedtime fading” technique advances a baby’s nightly bedtime in small increments of 5-10 minutes every few nights, guiding youngsters gently toward earlier scheduling through repetition and consistency without traumatic changes in routine all at once.

Sleep training tips

Sleep Training TipsHow Long Did Sleep Training Take
Be consistent with your sleep training routine and be patient as it can take time.Most experts say it takes around 2-4 weeks on average for babies to respond to sleep training, but every baby is different.
Stick to the same bedtime and wake up routine every day.The first week may involve more crying as babies adjust, but signs of progress should start being seen.
Make sure your baby is tired but not over-tired before bed.Improvements like less night wakings and shorter crying periods happen gradually at first and then speed up towards the end of the program.
Use calming bedtime rituals like bath, book, then bed.Some pick it up faster within a few days while others may take closer to a month to fully adjust to independent sleep.
Check on your baby periodically if they cry, but don’t pick them up.Being consistent and sticking with the training method all the way through helps babies establish long-term sleep skills.


How long does it usually take to sleep train?

Most experts agree that it takes about 2-4 weeks on average for babies to respond positively to sleep training. Every child is different, but consistency and dedication to the sleep training method sees success within 1-4 weeks for the vast majority.

What is the hardest age to sleep train?

Some infants under 4 months may find it particularly hard due to immaturity, while older babies 18 months or older can be stubborn! Generally between 4-6 months is seen as the ideal window when babies are developmentally ready but not too old to easily change habits.

How long did cry it out take?

With the cry it out method, most babies adjust within 3-10 days but some may take up to 2 weeks. The crying usually reduces each night as little ones learn new sleep skills through self-soothing. Committing fully to the technique is key to seeing results.

Does sleep training take 2 weeks?

While results vary, studies show over 80% of babies adjust to sleep training within 2 weeks when done consistently. Some see improvements in just a few days, but sticking with the process this full 14 days helps ensure new sleep habits fully take hold.

How long do babies cry during sleep training?

During sleep training, babies typically cry for 10-30 minutes at first but crying periods get shorter each night as they learn to self-sooth. Most experts say intermittent crying less than an hour is developmentally normal. Consistency is key for shortening the duration of tears.


The benefits of sleep training are evident in the process where babies learn to fall asleep independently. According to doctors, most babies master this skill within 2-4 weeks, provided parents remain consistent in their approach. The duration for each baby may vary, with some requiring less time and others a bit more. Initially, babies might cry for 30 minutes to over an hour as they adjust to the idea of sleeping alone. As nights progress, the crying duration decreases as infants acquire new sleeping skills. Adhering to a consistent sleep training method each night is crucial, as it accelerates the learning process for babies.

Parents should see babies get better after 1-2 weeks. Babies will sleep for longer at night and need less help to fall asleep. They may also wake up less. While some babies learn quickly, others take closer to a month. Being patient and not changing what parents do is important. Babies improve a little at first and then get much better at the end when they understand. Sleep training is safe when done properly with care for babies needs. It helps families feel more rested too.

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