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For Parents

Parenting Tips

Sweet Dreams

Dear Janie,

I have a 4-year-old daughter with whom we’ve had a lot of sleep issues (waking up multiple times during the night, sleeping in our bed/on our floor, needing someone to lay with her until she fell asleep, etc). She’s in a good place now, sleeping through the night in her own bed most of the time.

We have your book, The Sleep Fairy, which I certainly think has helped improve our daughter’s sleeping habits. My daughter was really into The Sleep Fairy for a while and then forgot about her but she’s taken an interest again. I’ve changed the regimen slightly so the Sleep Fairy only brings a present at the end of the week if she stays in her bed for the entire week (I’ve made a Sleep Fairy sticker chart to track the progress).

My question is, how do we gracefully bid “adieu” to the Sleep Fairy without resorting back to our former sleep habits?


Dear Mom,

Your fairy wings are taking you down the right path. The Sleep Fairy should become very unpredictable in her visits until she is invisible in your home. She should visit after 3 nights of good rest, then 5 nights the next time, then 10 and so on – with the nights of good rest gradually becoming more and more while remaining unpredictable. You can always use the Sleep Fairy as a surprise visitor if your child needs help to get through any future difficult times. If the Sleep Fairy starts to randomly space out her visits and your daughter starts to struggle again at bedtime, then it could be a sign to slow down the spacing process. Sweet dreams.