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We've been working on the Sleep Lady Shuffle with our 15-month old. We're on night three which means we're still next to the crib.

We put our son down almost asleep. He's calm and relaxed. As soon as he goes in the crib though he treats it like playtime. He tries to sit or stand up and I put him down gently but firmly and say "no, goodnight." and he grins and giggles. That goes on for about an hour then he starts finally giving up.

Last night we started at 730pm and he fell asleep at close to 9pm. He woke up at 4am and wouldn't fall back asleep and we got up at 6am.

I try to be boring and dull but he enjoys it. What can I do?

Edit: the last two nights have gone better. He's begun sleeping longer through the night, and only waking up closer to the morning. Typically now he will sleep straight past 2 am. He's still waking up very early (usually 430), which I suspect is partially due to his diaper being wet.

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    I recently outline a sleep training strategy for another answer. In it, I recommended avoiding eye contact with the child, and even closing your eyes. If the little one can see that you're paying attention, they may be more apt to seek your attention. Anyway, I'd say that this can be typical for only day 3. Keep doing what you're doing. Stay patient, even through the exhaustion. My other, full answer – user11394 Jan 13 '15 at 4:35
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    Today went totally different. He's been screaming for an hour nonstop. This is day 4. Not sure why, and the book I've been referencing doesn't say what to do in that regard. I feel like this method isn't working and we're going to give up. – Foo Barrigno Jan 14 '15 at 4:14
  • Don't give up. The screaming is because the giggling isn't working. He'll try every thing he is capable of doing in order to resist. Playing, crying, screaming, standing, sitting, asking for food or drink. He needs to learn that he can't change what's going to happen and that you are in charge. If you submit to his screams so easily, he'll only learn to escalate to screaming to get his way. That's just how young ones work. – user11394 Jan 14 '15 at 4:31
  • Wow I heard about how this is different in the USA but I just realize it seeing your post. Most babies here (in Belgium) sleep full night from the age of like 3 months without using any technique, just putting him/her to sleep, cuddle a bit, maybe read a book or sing-a-long, and that's it. Good luck anyway :-/ If he wakes up too early, it might be because he's hungry though. When that occured we just fed our girl a bit more in the evening and that did the trick. – Laurent S. Jan 15 '15 at 9:28
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I'm not familiar with the "Sleep Lady Shuffle", but what you describe sounds very normal to me. It's SOP for babies to do that I'm afraid.

Continue to be totally consistent with the routine night after night and he'll get used to it and come to expect it.

In my experience the best way for me to be present in the room but totally boring is to go to sleep myself - or pretend to - but actually going to sleep works best... a sleeping bag and camping mat on the floor may be necessary.

Comforting music (gentle and quiet) and low lighting levels are also helpful. If you can't actually go to sleep then try being deeply absorbed in a newspaper or a book.

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    This is what I do. I have my tablet in the room (such that child can't see the screen) and a dim backlight and I play Candy Crush or read a book on the Kindle app and basically don't interact with them at all. – Vicky Jan 13 '15 at 12:59
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He tries to sit or stand up and I put him down gently but firmly and say "no, goodnight." and he grins and giggles. That goes on for about an hour then he starts finally giving up.

If you're doing this consistently (putting him back down) for an hour, he probably finds it an entertaining and rewarding game. Have you tried just ignoring him when he stands back up?

Also --the level of light in the room may also make a difference. Many children (and adults) need to be in a dark room for an extended period of time before they start to feel sleepy

  • He's always had a somewhat dark room, with a small nightlight on, and hasn't had trouble falling asleep there. The last couple of nights have gone a little better. I've found that he's progressively lessened his giggling fits. He still sits up, but when I go to put him back down he'll do it himself too, and he's not smiled as much. – Foo Barrigno Jan 15 '15 at 21:12

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