What is Gentle Sleep Training?

We spoke with the baby sleep experts over at Happy Mama, Rested Baby to learn more about the Gentle Sleep Training method. Read on to get the full details!

Read Full Article Created by potrace 1.16, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2019

We know how stressful those sleepless nights can be, especially as a first time mom! From the endless information and methods out there, to the worry of making sure your little is getting enough sleep, figuring out the right method for you and your baby can be a daunting journey.

We spoke with our friends over at Rested Mama, Happy Baby, who specialize in their tried and true method of Gentle Sleep Training, to learn more about this method and their successful results. Read more from the founders to learn more!

If you're a mom who's been through the endless cycle of sleepless nights and exhausted days, you're not alone. Many mothers find themselves in the same boat, desperately seeking a solution to help their little ones sleep better and longer. In your journey to solve your sleepless nights, you have likely gotten a list of google results. Predominantly, you will likely find yourself in the world of "sleep training."

Sleep training can seem so intimidating, especially once you read about the possibility of your child crying for extended periods of time, and with some of the most formal and well-known sleep training methods, in their room without your presence. As a mom, you might have found yourself googling 'alternatives' to sleep training, Ferber, and here comes Gentle Sleep Training.

Enter gentle sleep training, a method that promises more responsive and "gentler" forms of sleep training that seems to yield the same results as traditional sleep training. What that does that actually mean?

What IS gentle sleep training?

When you look up gentle sleep training, there are many definitions. Some results claim that gentle sleep training is a method in which there are no tears. It's a response to the rigid, cry-it-out approach that has left many parents feeling uncomfortable and guilty. Instead, gentle sleep training emphasizes the ability to be responsive and have a more gradual approach.

Okay, but still...WHAT IS IT?!

Here is one hard truth that I will breakdown for families, even as it relates to sources such as the Sleep Foundation. Gentle sleep training are methods that allows you to stay responsive and use more gradual approaches to change your sleep situation. It's about response and presence. I will preface, that ANY type of sleep training, whether it's traditional or gentle, in OUR definition is an approach that implements independent sleep routines for a child so they are able to fall asleep independently.

With that definition alone, it's important to understand that no matter what approach you use, you will be changing what your child knew as a routine to something new. This process, regardless of how gradual and responsive, CANNOT guarantee no tears. One of the most significant advantages of gentle sleep training is that it eliminates the guilt many parents feel when using traditional, cry-it-out methods. You can intervene and respond to your baby while teaching them to sleep independently.

Gentle Sleep Training has only 2 main methods.

The Fading Method Explained

The Fading Method, often referred to as "camping out," is a sleep training approach that involves parents staying in their child's room until they fall asleep. There are variations of this method: one where parents stand and the other where they sit in a chair within the child's room, known as the Chair Method.

Here's how it works: Parents start by taking their child through a bedtime routine and then place them in bed while they are still drowsy. Subsequently, parents remain by their child's side until they drift off to sleep. Over the course of several nights, parents gradually increase the distance between themselves and their child while ensuring they remain in the child's line of sight. It's important to note that during this process, parents provide minimal comfort, whether verbal or physical, while maintaining their physical distance.

It's not uncommon for babies to cry during the Fading Method, which can be emotionally challenging for parents. This method typically takes longer to yield results compared to methods like Cry It Out or Ferber, often spanning up to two weeks. However, many parents find solace in the fact that they are not leaving their child alone, as they might feel with other methods.

Research has shown that both the Ferber and Fading methods significantly improve infant sleep, parent sleep, and parental mental health within three months, with sustained improvement two months later. Importantly, there is no evidence of any long-term negative impact on the babies' mental health. Even at a five-year follow-up, there were no discernible adverse effects on the children's well-being.

Exploring the "No Tears" Method

The "No Tears" Method, also known as Gentle Sleep Training, is centered around helping your baby learn to sleep independently without resorting to crying, however, these new routines will still be new and unknown to a child which can still have tears. The quotations around "No Tears" doesn't guarantee that a child will not cry, rather than the child will not cry unassisted and without response. This approach heavily relies on establishing a consistent bedtime routine and doesn't always have the same goals of independent sleep or consolidated sleep. This routine consists of a set of activities performed in the same order each night, signaling to the baby that it's time to transition from day to night and, consequently, time for bedtime.

While this methods can be less emotionally taxing since they involve minimized crying, they typically require more time to achieve success. Consequently, parents may experience more sleep deprivation during this process, without a direct path to consolidated nights.

Association Fading Sleep Approach

At Rested Mama, Happy Baby, we're passionate about helping families achieve restful nights while ensuring the emotional well-being of their babies. Our gentle sleep training approach is rooted in the principles with minimizing time to sleep at night in a gentle approach, without sacrificing time or sleep goals.

Here's how it works: We understand that every family is unique. Our sleep experts work closely with you to create a personalized sleep schedule to align to a child's natural sleep rhythm. This incorporates the benefits of the "no cry" solution of faster to sleep prior to any sleep training. We encourage parental presence during the sleep training process. You're there to offer guidance and reassurance while you are in the room, similar to the Chair Method, but with specific instructions on how long to intervene, when to stop intervening, and how to modify based on a child's response. Our approach involves making gradual adjustments to your baby's sleep routine. This ensures a smooth transition and reduces stress for both you and your little one.


Gentle sleep training is a game-changer for families seeking better sleep while nurturing their baby's emotional well-being. It's a compassionate, personalized, and effective approach that prioritizes both your baby's and your needs.

At Rested Mama, Happy Baby, we're here to support you on this journey. Join our free sleep training program, and let's work together to create a more peaceful, well-rested life for you and your little one. Say goodbye to sleepless nights and hello to a happier, well-rested family.

Join Their Free Sleep Training Program!

If you like what you heard and want to more, check out their Free Sleep Training Program — see more information below!

“Are you ready to embark on your journey to better sleep for both you and your baby? We invite you to join our free sleep training program at Rested Mama, Happy Baby. In just a few days, you'll see remarkable improvements in your baby's sleep patterns and, consequently, in your own quality of life.

Say goodbye to sleepless nights and hello to well-rested mornings. It's time to enjoy the beauty of motherhood without the burden of sleep deprivation. Join us today, and let's begin this incredible journey towards better sleep together.”

Sign Up Here for Our Free Sleep Training Program


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