Looking to teach your baby how to fall asleep in their crib? Learn about the Sleep Lady Shuffle and see if it’s a good fit for your baby.

mom holding baby's hand as they fall asleep

The Sleep Lady Shuffle (SLS) is a gentle and effective sleep training method for babies and toddlers that was invented by Kim West.

it allows parents to be more involved as their little one falls asleep. It’s a method I’ve used with many of families and have great success with it.

Learn more about the Sleep Lady Shuffle and how you can use it to help your child get better sleep.

Is your baby struggling with short naps? To help you better, grab my free guide to solving short naps to get practical tips of how to get your baby to take longer naps every single day. Click here to grab it, it’ll be super helpful.

Sleep Lady Shuffle at a glance

What is the Sleep Lady Shuffle Method?

The Sleep Lady Shuffle, also commonly referred to as the Chair Method is a sleep training method that can be used for ages 4 months and up.

The Sleep Lady Shuffle involves sitting in a chair next to your baby’s crib when you put them down to sleep. Over the course of several days you “shuffle” the chair out of the room.

It’s a great option for families who want to stay by their baby’s side during the sleep training process or as a way to keep your toddler in their bed.

This allows you to provide verbal and physical reassurance, while your baby gradually learns how to fall asleep in their crib.

While many people. including Kim West (founder of the Sleep Lady Shuffle), refer to the method as a gentle sleep training method, please note that gentle doesn’t equal no tears.

I’ve helped families do the Sleep Lady Shuffle and there are tears.

Babies will cry to communicate and protest change!

The gentle part means offering your child assistance and presence, while they learn to fall asleep in their crib.

How Long Does the Sleep Lady Shuffle Take?

How long sleep training takes depends on a few factors.

The Sleep Lady Shuffle takes 2–3 weeks to complete. Most parents will see progress within a few days though, especially at bedtime.

Sleep Lady Shuffle Instructions

Here are the steps you can follow to implement the SLS with your child:

Bedtime Routine

Do a consistent bedtime routine with baby and keep your baby awake during the routine.

Make sure that baby’s room is as dark as possible. Since you’ll be in the room, it’s best to use nursery blackout curtains so your presence isn’t too stimulating. This means avoiding eye contact and playfulness as well!

Sit in a chair next to your baby’s bassinet or crib while they are still awake in the crib.

If your baby starts to fuss you can use a short phrase to soothe them. Something short like “Mama’s here” or some light shushing work well.

If necessary, you can also use physical comfort such as patting your baby gently or holding his hand. The first night is usually the toughest!

Once your baby is asleep, leave the room.

When your Child Wakes at Night

For each middle of the night wake-up, sit in the chair again and repeat the process above.

You and your partner can alternate wake ups to sit in the chair, but keep the same parent in the chair per wakeup. Otherwise it could lead to too much stimulation for baby.

Sleep lady shuffle graphic

Fading Out of the Room

After 3 days, move your chair further away. If the chair started next to the crib, move it halfway between the crib and the bedroom door.

Keep using your voice to soothe your baby if needed. Resist moving your chair back to a closer position. These are the baby steps to take to make progress!

Every three days, move your chair further away until it’s out of the room completely.

Video About the Sleep Lady Shuffle

Watch the video below to see how Amy breaks down how to do the Sleep Lady Shuffle Method step-by-step.

Is the Sleep Lady Shuffle Effective?

Yes, the Sleep Lady Shuffle (SLS) is an extremely effective sleep training method for ages 4 months and up.

It works well as a gentle sleep training for both babies and even for toddler sleep training.

I’ve worked with plenty of families who have had success sleep training with the Sleep Lady Shuffle.

I have used this method with babies and with kids up to 5 years old.

What Age Does Well with the Sleep Lady Shuffle?

The best thing about the Sleep Lady Shuffle is its range.

The Sleep Lady Shuffle is good for ages 4 months through 5 years old.

Of all the sleep training methods, it’s the one you can use at almost any age!

Baby D.R.E.A.M Mockup image

Get Better Sleep with The Baby D.R.E.A.M. System

If you want someone to walk you through the process of sleep training, let me help. The Baby D.R.E.A.M. System is for babies 4 months through 2.5 years old. I’ll walk you through how to establish daily routines, sleep schedules, and sleep training techniques to help you break the sleep associations you no longer find beneficial! Check it out here.

If you have any questions about the Sleep Lady Shuffle, leave them in the comments below.

Amy Motroni

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