Camping out is a gradual strategy to help children over 6 months of age fall asleep by themselves. It can help with persistent child and baby sleep, settling and waking problems.
Camping out: What is it?
Camping out is a way of dealing with persistent settling and waking problems in babies and young children. It can also help with older children who are having problems getting to sleep, particularly if they feel anxious or frightened.
The idea behind camping out is to help children go to sleep by themselves, rather than needing you to feed, pat, rock or cuddle them to sleep.
Working with a paediatrician on baby sleep problems can increase your chances of success with any child and their baby sleep strategy. You could think about getting this kind of support before you begin using the camping out technique.
Steps for camping out
Here’s how to do camping out:
Your relationship with your baby is unique. You might find it works better for both of you to modify these steps. For example, you might want to include more patting or longer periods between the suggested steps.
Tips for camping out
Here are some tips to help camping out go well:
If your baby isn’t settling any better after 2-3 weeks, talk to your paediatrician. They’ll be able to help you work out an approach suited to your child’s needs.
Will camping out work for me?
Camping out works for some babies and parents, but not all babies are the same.
Some babies just find it harder to settle. Also, there may be times when a happy, healthy baby finds it harder than usual to settle. This can be because of a period of rapid development that means she might need more reassurance from you.
Try not to blame yourself or your baby if camping out doesn’t work for you. There are other options you can try for handling baby sleep problems.
Your relationship with your baby, and your health and well-being, are important for your baby’s development. A good sleep strategy should improve all of these things, as well as helping your baby to settle.