The Goulding Method ®

Official Goulding Consultants & Trainers Site

Official Goulding Consultants & Trainers Site

Breaking the Habit of Sleeping in the Parents’ Bed

Dr J and his wife had a 10 ½ year old son, their only child. He had slept with them together since babyhood, then alternated between them, when they later no longer occupied the same bed. When they tried to break him of this habit it always ended up with tantrums, tears and sleepless nights for all, so forcing the issue hadn’t worked for this family. When asked why he didn’t want to sleep by himself, the child he said he got scared – and the parents left it at that.

When the child was approaching secondary school age, they decided to try the Goulding Method process.

We began with the foundation process for 21 days with both parents administering the procedure alternately. It was decided that Dr J not ask his son to sleep in his own bed yet. We observed that at the ten day mark the child was happy, however at that time the child showed a preference for sleeping in his mother’s room.

After completing 21 days, the extended script was added for 1 week, after which Joane suggested Dr J tell his child firmly and lovingly that he was old enough, and that it was time for him to sleep in his own bed. Dr J was very reluctant and expressed fear that his son would react by being wakeful and difficult. He spoke to his son who reluctantly agreed to ‘try’ and sleep on his own. At the same time the next phrase was introduced when he changed beds.

It was decided to follow up with an additional suggestion after 2 weeks and to contact Joane to advise outcome.

Dr J phoned Joane 3 weeks later to say that his son’s change to his own bed was accomplished without a problem, with the only complaint being he was a little cold – so a hot water bottle solved the issue. He was proud of his independence.

Dr J was so impressed with the Goulding Method process that he has the booklet on show in his reception area.


Aged 4 years ‘E’ is still reliant on her dummy/pacifier. The habit does not seem to be easing the older she is getting. She is very good in the morning in terms of not needing it, however later in the afternoon, around bath time and the more tired she becomes the more dependent on the dummy she becomes. She also takes her younger brothers dummy. Other issues that have been raised is specifically around separation anxiety, as she lacks a bit of independence and this comes through in her needing to sleep with Mom in the middle of the night or being fussy when dropped off at school. 

Sleep issues are also a challenge as ‘E’ doesn’t like to sleep in her own bed, not wanting to greet new people and being quite shy. In terms of her eating habits, she can be quite fussy about what she wants to eat. But is quite strong willed and is capable of getting her own food or water or will stick to a singular item to eat like only bacon or only chicken on some days. 

Mom has definitely found the process the most useful and encouraging. She has thoroughly enjoyed implementing this into her household and has called it a very “beautiful process”. ‘E’ has systematically begun to desensitise the dummy habit. Other notable improvements ‘E’ has also begun to sleep in her own bed, has decreased the dependency on Mom, going to bed and falling asleep by herself. Mom has successfully completed The Goulding Method process, with positive results and feedback. 

Accredited Consultant: Tarryn Pickup – Sth Africa


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