Dr Jay Gordon emphasises that his proposed methods should be used with children at least a year or older. If your child is younger than this, he asks you to come back again later. Please note that this is a partial night weaning method. If you do not wish to night wean, you may prefer a different approach.
He suggests choosing a seven hour ‘block’ which represent the most valuable seven hours of sleep. He gives 11pm-6am as an example.
First three nights
If the child wakes during the hours you have blocked off, Dr Jay suggests comforting him and feeding him, but not to feed him back to sleep. He will fall asleep being comforted (a back rub, for example), but not actually fall asleep feeding.
You only feed the child again once he has fallen asleep, and woken up for a second time. “During these first three nights, repeat this pattern only after he has slept. He might sleep for fifteen minutes or he might sleep for four hours, but he has to go to sleep and reawaken to get cuddled and fed again.”
Dr Jay reminds us that it’s okay to stop and go back to feeding to sleep if the child gets too upset. He says: “You may have decided you’re really not ready to do this. That’s OK. Stop and start over again in a few months if you like. Choosing the right time is crucial.”
Second three nights
After three nights of this (not feeding to sleep), you will stop feeding at night altogether, but comfort him.
Nights seven to ten onwards
After a further three nights, you withdraw more of the comfort.
Dr Jay strongly insists not to go against your instincts: “If, at any point this is feeling “wrong” to you, stop, wait some months and start over. Don’t go against your “gut instincts” which tell you that this is the wrong time to get longer sleep intervals from your baby. Your instincts are better than any sleep-modification program ever written.”
This is only a short summary. Please read in more detail on the website.
Parent reviews: Many of our parents tell us that this method may work, if it is the right time for the child. If it’s the right time, the child will happily night wean, and start sleeping longer stretches. If it’s not the right time, you will have a very unhappy, crying baby. Don’t persist, if that’s the case. From what our parents tell us, this method only works if it works.