Sleep Methods Explained: The Sleep Lady Shuffle

Today I’d like to discuss The Sleep Lady Shuffle.  I was trained by The Sleep Lady, Kim West, herself, so this is a method I know a lot about.  It’s also one of my favorite methods, although I often make alterations to it depending on my client’s situation.

The method is based on a fading technique where you gradually lessen the amount of interaction you give to your child.  Basically every 3 days or so, you physically move further away from your child while they are falling asleep at night.  You start off normally sitting right next to their crib or bed and stay in that position until they fall asleep.  If they wake during the night, you return to that position.


  • You are in the room with the child and can talk or sing to them occasionally.
  • You can see if your child is in real distress and can even pick them up to calm them.
  • This is a more gentle method than The Ferber Method or Cry It Out, you stay in the room until your child is totally asleep.
  • Parents get to see how their child soothes themselves to sleep.


  • Since the parent is in the room, they may interact too much with the child, possibly adding new crutches (like singing the child to sleep)
  • Some children become even more frustrated with a parent sitting in the room near them and not picking them up.
  • If parents are stressed, the child may pick up on this and may have more trouble falling asleep.
  • Since it is a gentler method, it can take longer to see results.

Please feel free to share any advantages or disadvantages you see to this method.



2 Thoughts on “Sleep Methods Explained: The Sleep Lady Shuffle

  1. I like your clear listing of disadvantages as well as advantages.

  2. Okay, I like the gentleness of the method. It feels a lot better than just letting the child cry it out. But, it does lead to an obvious question. What if you are a distraction to the child, and he or she just doesn’t fall asleep? What then?

    Yeah, I know. That’s where the parent hires you, right? 🙂

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