The Kissing Game sleep training method

The kissing game sleep training method

Sleep routines are not for everyone and here at Channel Mum there’s no judging. We’ll simply give you the information to help you decide what is right for you and your family. Our Health Visitor and Sleep Expert Maggie features in our helpful video series The Baby Sleep Guide and she is also available along with our trained parent helpers to give you support and personalised help whatever stage of the sleep journey you’re on. Why not ask a sleep question? If you’re struggling Channel Mum is here for you and know you are not alone.

What is the kissing game?

The kissing game is a sleep training method which involves returning frequently to your baby or child to give them a kiss, it is a no cry sleep training technique.

What age can you use the kissing game from?

You can use this method of sleep training from 6 months, however it may be more suited to slightly older children (12 months – 2 years).

How do I use the kissing game?

In order to implement this sleep training method follow the steps below:
1. Ensure you have a consistent bedtime and positive bedtime routine, so that your child is given warning and knows that bedtime is next;
2. Put your child into bed when they are drowsy but still awake;
3. Give your baby or child a kiss goodnight and promise them that your will return in a minute to give him/her another kiss;
4. Return almost immediately to give a kiss;
5. Take a few steps towards the door and then return to give them a kiss;
6. Do something in their bedroom, such as putting bedtime books away, and then return to give them a kiss;
7. Provided your child stays in bed lying down quietly keep returning to give more kisses, lengthening the time between returning but still frequently returning to give kisses until they are asleep.

If you have an older child and they keep getting out of bed tell them to “get back into bed and I’ll give you another kiss”, do not give another kiss until they are back in their bed.

How long will it take for this method to work?

Be prepared for it to take a lot of kisses and perhaps over an hour the first few nights for this method to work, it is very gentle and over time you can increase the time before you come back to give another kiss, promising each time you will return and keeping that promise.

Is there anything else I need to know?

If your baby is in a cot and you can’t easily reach in to give your baby or child a kiss you can substitute kisses for a touch or stroke, and promise you will be back. It is important that you do return frequently so that your baby or child trusts that you will return.

Baby ClinicDon’t forget you can come and chat to Maggie, our team of trained parent supporters and other mums in the Channel Mum support group too if you are struggling.

Health Visitor approved advice

This guide has been checked and approved by our in-house Health Visitor, Maggie Fisher in October 2018.

Other factsheets in this series

Safe sleeping for babies

Your baby’s average sleep needs

Sleep and awake states of your baby

What are your baby’s signs of tiredness?

Your baby’s sleep cycles

The effect food can have on your baby’s sleep

Comforting and soothing your baby to sleep

Sleep aids that might help settle your baby

Swaddling your baby

Bedtime routines

Using the ‘Gradual Retreat’ sleep training method

Using the ‘Controlled Checking’ sleep training method

Using the ‘Pick Up, Put Down’ sleep training method

Using the ‘Wake to Sleep’ sleep training method

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The Channel Mum sleep guide

How to sooth a crying baby

Controlled Crying