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The dirty dozen: 12 reasons PU/PD won't work


1.  Parents try PU/PD when their baby is too young.
   PU/PD IS NOT SUITABLE FOR BABIES UNDER THREE MONTHS because it can overstimulate them.  They can't handle the  constant picking up and putting down.  Also they burn up so many calories crying that it gets hard to tell whether they are hungry, overtired or in pain.

   Parents must review their sleep time routine, make sure it is consistent and use the pat/shh to calm their baby rather than a prop.

2.  Parents don't understand WHY they're doing PU/PD-and therefore do it wrong.
   Where pat/shh is a technique to calm your baby, PU/PD is to teach the skills of self soothing when pat/shh isn't enough.

   You are not to start off with PU/PD.  Instead ty to calm your baby in the crib.

    Do your bedtime routine and put baby down.  Then the crying starts, don't rush in. Bend down to the ear and go shh...shh...shhh, cover the eyes to block out the visual stimulation.  If under six months get a rythmic pat going on the back, if older than six months just place a hand on the back.  IF THIS DOESN'T WORK THEN START THE PU/PD.

3.  Parents don't realize that they need to look at and adjust their baby's entire day.
    You need to look at what your child is eating and his/her activities for the day.  All babies are at risk for overstimulation with all the gadgets and toys we as parents use.  The calmer you can keep baby the better they will sleep.

4.  Parents haven't focused on their babies cues and cries or how to watch baby's body language.
    PU/PD has to be tailored to YOUR child.  Take the time to learn to read your childs cues, its okay not to know at first.

5.  Parents don't realize that as the baby develops they have to adapt PU/PD to make it developmentally appropriate.

6.  Parents' own emotions get in the way, especially guilt.

     PU/PD won't work if you are feeling sorry for your child.  Babies will pick up on the emotion and emulate it.  For PU/PD to work parents must exude an air of confidence.

     Parents who feel guilty are more likely to give in because they feel they are hurting their child or depriving them of love.  You must see PU/PD as a teaching tool not a punishment.

7.  The room isn't ready for sleep
     You have to minimize distractions when you do PU/PD.  Lights dim, and quiet.

8.  Parent's don't take their childs temperment into consideration.
     Angel and Textbook babies are relatively easy to put down.

     Grumpy are often more aggressive, they will usually arch and push you away when frustrated.

      Spirited and Touchy babies usually take longer to sleep train.  Both tend to cry alot and get frustrated.

9.  One parent isn't ready.
      Both parents need to be on board.

10.  The parents don't coordinate their efforts.
      Each parent should take two nights in a row so that baby is only dealing with one parents at  a time.  Having both parents in the room is distracting and if you switch off in the middle it is like starting over.

11.  Parents have unrealistic expectations.
      PU/PD is NOT magic.  It does not cure colic or reflux or ease the pain of teething or make an obstinant baby easier to handle.

      Baby will be frustrated when you start, expect a lot of crying, but because you are with baby they will not feel abandoned.

       Allow time for change and EXPECT relapse.

12.  Parents get discouraged and then don't stick with it.
      They cave as early as the first night.

      They try if for a night and then stop.

      They give up after they have had just a little progress.

       They have initial success but when the problem recurs they don't go back to PU/PD

**For elaboration and details on each of these twelve points, see The Babywhisperer Solves All Your Problems by Tracy Hogg and Melinda Blau, Chapter 6: Pick Up/Put Down, the section entitled, "The Dirty Dozen:  Twelve Reasons P.U./P.D. Won't Work" (located near the end of the chapter). 


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