Self Settling

(17 Posts)
DessieLou Fri 01-Mar-13 05:30:24

What age did you start working on this? Any tips?
DD is 3 months and will only fall asleep when being held or out in pushchair. When she falls asleep on me I transfer her to the cot & she sleeps fine (mostly!).
Not sure my back can take it anymore so really need her to settle herself!
Thanks in advance :-)

YokoUhOh Fri 01-Mar-13 09:35:30

DS is 16 weeks and falls asleep at the boob or on my shoulder only. I then have to wait until he's properly conked out before transferring him to bed. I'm sure someone will be along to contradict me but I think this is completely normal; little babies need warmth and comfort (if you were in another part of the world, he'd be strapped to you 24/7!). Sorry I don't have advice, just wanted to let you know that I'm in the same boat smile

YokoUhOh Fri 01-Mar-13 09:36:47

Sorry, just noticed it was DD not DS, so she'd be strapped to you, not he smile

ZuleikaD Fri 01-Mar-13 10:17:05

If you let them work at their own pace then you don't need to work on it at all.. Both mine started settling without boob or cuddles at about 9 months.

Andcake Fri 01-Mar-13 12:43:18

At night time 6 mo ds is ok sometimes if put down sleepy but awake- starring at a rather strage fisher price glowing seahorse but for naps is an impossibility- the world is far to exciting.

Tee2072 Fri 01-Mar-13 12:46:00

When he was 2.5 years.

I wish I was exaggerating...

mummytopoppy1 Fri 01-Mar-13 15:14:03

With my first baby (now 10!) I found it really hard to get my DD to self-settle. By the time she was 6 months I was tearing my hair out, and it took me another 6 months to even begin to crack it. I was so exhausted all the time,obsessed with her sleep and didn't really enjoy being a first time mummy as much as I would have liked too.

I now have a 16 week old DD who is a wonderful self-settler. Of course, I rocked her and soothed her at the beginning, but from about 8 weeks we started to help her to learn herself, often through the shush/pat method, and letting her complain (not cry) in her cot for a few minutes before going to her. Having done this she now goes into her cot for naps and nighttime, and rarely complains for more than about 3-4 minutes before going to sleep by herself. She also sleeps 12 hours through the night, as she is able to settle herself back to sleep during the night too.

Everybody is different, and it is completely up to you if and when you want to try and help him to learn to sleep on his own. In my two experiences, however, I am enjoying having a small baby much more this time round as good sleep habits have been encouraged early. Although it is a hard few days/weeks while you help them make this transition, for is it has been completely worth it.

Lilliana Fri 01-Mar-13 15:17:49

Watching this as my dd is 3 months and exactly the same - you are not alone!

mummytopoppy1 Fri 01-Mar-13 15:26:51

Be brave ladies - try and pop them in their cots for a few minutes and see what happens. If they cry in a serious way, then get them out, give them a cuddle until they are calm and put them back in again. repeat until baby sleeps! If you don't want to take the baby from her cot, go in and pat and shush her till she is calm instead. This can take a long time and a lot of persistence (and a bit of support from DH/DP/Mum).

Also, what I learnt from my second baby that I learnt late with my first, was that complaining is different from crying. Some babies need to make a bit of noise/complaint to wind down before they will fall asleep. As long as they are not getting really cross or upset, it is okay to leave them for a few minutes and give them a chance to wind down.

DessieLou Fri 01-Mar-13 19:09:01

Nice to know I'm not alone! She sleeps fine on a night and has started to sleep a solid 12 hours every now & then. She does fall asleep on the boob though & I have to hold her upright for half an hour after her feed as she has reflux so she is used to being held.
At naptimes She cries as soon as I put her down & patting & shushing makes no difference. I think I will try the pick up put down method but if that doesn't work I might give up for a bit! Maybe she's not ready yet.

ZuleikaD can you say more about how your LOs made the transition to self settling? What changed?

FifiTrix71 Fri 01-Mar-13 21:58:22

I'm am in a similar boat with DS of four months. Won't go to sleep at night unless nursing, I can feed him for the first leg and put him into his cot sleepy but not quite asleep and let him cry for a bit, but in order to allow DH to get some sleep before work, anytime he wakes up in the night I feed him til he's asleep, or quickly pop him back on the breast if he starts to complain. He went from waking 3 times a night (not great but manageable) to up to SIX times a night. He may be going through a growth spurt, or taking mum for a mug!! hmm

My DD is 3 months old and I've tried helping her to self settle this week. I'd read everywhere that you should pat and shush until they are calm but this didn't seem to work for us until one of my NCT friends said that her son needed the pat to be more of a rock while he was lying down.

Well, I tried that this week and its been working brilliantly, so I feed her to sleep and when I transfer to her cot she generally stirs and wakes a bit so now I put my hand on her belly and rock her gently from side to side while shushing and this sends her back off to sleep.

I probably have to do this about 7 or 8 times in the first 15 minutes after she goes down, but I was picking her up before and rocking her back to sleep and now she doesn't come out of her cot at all. The last time I do it I find I can just shush without the rock and she'll be back asleep.

You should come and join us on the Nov 12 postnatal thread, there's no shortage of help, support and advice from the lovely ladies there!

AnnaBBad Fri 01-Mar-13 22:18:26

We've really struggled this week as changing from Moses basket to cot and therefore no chance to rock. That always saw DS off to sleep. This week he has literally refused to sleep. No chance of self soothing as he gets so upset when put down. I really don't know what to do! Thankfully once he goes down he sleeps well, only waking once in the night, and going straight down after his feed. I don't understand how he can do that but not go down initially!!
Ah well, no one said it was going to be easy!
confused

ZuleikaD Sat 02-Mar-13 06:25:50

Gail - I used to feed to sleep without fail, then around 8-9 months (ie when babies are finally getting to the end of their 18 month gestation!) start putting them down just this side of awake. Made the gap longer and longer until there was a good 10 minutes between last feed and being put into cot - they'd both just happily settle themselves.

I don't really see the point of shush-pat. It's not a failure to pick them up and just hold them until they sleep, and IME the holding works quicker than the shush-patting.

Fifi - sounds like the classic four month sleep regression/growth spurt. Definitely feed overnight - your DS needs loads of extra calories at the moment.

Thanks Zuleika. Interesting to read and very helpful. I've never been sure how to separate BF and sleep, in the early days they just flowed into each other. Similar to FifiTrix it then becomes a way to settle them during night waking, but then it can be hard to know what is hunger and what is soothing at night. DessieLou I would hang in there a couple more weeks as around 3/4 months things really do change. Lots of good suggestions here so I hope you find what works for you.

DessieLou Sun 03-Mar-13 03:53:08

Thanks everyone! Hopefully things will just naturally progress. smile

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