If you’ve ever had a complimentary call with me, you know one of my first few questions is “what sleep props/crutches does your child require to fall asleep”. Many parents will rhyme off to me 2 – 3 of them; feeding to sleep, rocking, holding and the car….but what is a sleep prop/crutch? Why do they matter?

Sleep props and crutches are something your child needs in order to fall asleep. If your child is using a sleep prop and it is NOT interfering with your child’s sleep (great!) then you probably aren’t going to read this whole post. However, if you, like many parents, are replacing the soother 15 times a night, bouncing or rocking your child for 30+ minutes at every waking, or even going for endless car rides and you’re exhausted then its time to take away those crutches!  The sooner you take away ALL sleep props (because who wants to sleep train more than once?) the faster they will become independent sleepers.

Some props/crutches include:

  • Soothers
  • Breast or bottle
  • Rocking
  • Patting
  • Bouncing
  • Swings
  • Holding
  • Stroller walks
  • Car rides

So the big question is HOW?  HOW do I take it away? Well, there are gentle ways of taking it away, but be warned: do not replace one prop with another. I always suggest the “Rip Off the BandAid” method while being there to support your little one; there is no reason to let your child “cry it out” alone.

This is a big change for them, so let them know you are there for them during this change and that you love and support them.

Ditch. The. Props…… You got this!  If you need help, I’m here for you!