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Effective Sleep Training Methods for Your Baby: The Fading Method

Sleep training baby can be a polarizing issue, there are so many different sleep training methods and everyone has their preferred method that works best for them. Here at Nested Bean we know every baby, and every family, is different. Sleep training is not a one size fits all situation. From the pick-up-put-down method to the cry-it-out method, there’s a reason why the spectrum of sleep training methods is so expansive - not every method works for every child. So, we’ve created  resources to help break down the most popular, healthy sleep training methods. This time, we’re talking about the Fading Method. 


In This Article 


What is the Fading Sleep Training Method?

How Does the Fading Sleep Training Method Work?

Common Questions From New Parents 

Fading sleep training method.

Bedtime with a baby is not always as calm and stress-free as we might like, but by appropriately applying certain sleep training techniques we can help our baby’s get better, more consistent rest. 

According to the National Library of Medicine, in a controlled trial, bedtime fading or the Fading Method provided sleep benefits for babies that were 6 months of age or over. The study also noted that no negative effects on the child’s emotional well-being were seen from the use of the Fading Method. 

This is a safe and effective method of sleep training that can have a positive impact on your  family’s sleep when used properly. But remember, just because the Fading Method is a safe and effective method doesn’t mean it’s right for every baby and every family. There are many sleep training methods to choose from. So, if one doesn’t work for your little one, try a different method!


Used in conjunction with baby sleep training, proper sleepwear (and maybe a good pacifier) can ease your baby’s journey to longer, more restful nights of sleep. Nested Bean’s lightly weighted sleepwear soothes like a parent's touch and comes in a range of product types and sizes to grow with your baby! Zen Sleepwear is a recommended addition to sleep training by leading Sleep Consultants 

What is the Fading Sleep Training Method?

Known as the Bedtime Fading Method, Fading Method, or the Fading Technique of sleep training is considered one of the less aggressive, more gradual methods of infant sleep training. The premise behind this method is that if baby isn’t ready to drift off to sleep they’ll likely resist being put down for bedtime. 

Baby asleep in Nested Bean Zen Footie.

This sleep training method is based around sleep patterns and cues your baby displays when they are ready to sleep. It requires a bit of investigation into your baby’s natural sleep schedule and their sleepy signs. These signs can include falling asleep, rubbing their eyes, yawning, etc.

Step one when trying to implement the Fading Method is to be diligent about keeping track of what time your baby naturally falls asleep. Once a specific bedtime is established you can start to shift bedtime to earlier or later depending on the schedule you want to keep. Those shifts should be gradual until you reach your desired bedtime. 

According to, “Once your baby is falling asleep more quickly, you can move bedtime earlier by 15 to 30 minutes. This process can be repeated until a baby's bedtime is where you want it.”

How does the Fading Sleep Training Method work?

As we mentioned, this sleep training method calls for a bit of an investigation into your little one’s natural habits and cues indicating that they are ready for bed. The best way to get started with the Fading Method is to take some time to track your baby’s natural habits. 

Mom holding baby in.

Step #1:

Write everything down! Keep a notebook or a pad of paper dedicated to keeping track of when your baby falls asleep naturally each night. If it’s helpful, you can also keep track of their sleepy cues in the same journal. What are the tell tale signs that your baby’s ready for bed? Maybe they rub their eyes or turn their head.

Step #2:

Once you’ve nailed down the time your baby is naturally ready for sleep. Start to develop a bedtime routine that you begin every night right before their natural sleep time. 

The bedtime routine can include a bath, bedtime story, rocking in a calm, quiet nursery, and putting on their favorite pajamas. It should be filled with soothing activities that fosters baby’s sleepiness, but most importantly it should happen like clockwork every night. This consistent bedtime routine will work to help cue to your baby that it’s time to start getting sleepy when going through the motions each night.

Step #3:

Now that baby is falling asleep quickly after their nightly routine, you can begin adjusting their bedtime in 15 to 30 minute increments. If you want them to go to bed earlier than their natural sleep time, move the time you put them down to bed up by 15 minutes to start, or vice versa!


Common questions from new parents

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Catherine Iannucci

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