Encouraging a 3.5 month old to self settle - possible?!!!

(11 Posts)
Ilovecake73 Thu 10-Oct-13 09:29:45

So I've made the mistake of reading some books and websites which tell me I'm building a rod for my own back by rocking, patting, using a dummy and feeding (ebf) my DD to sleep both for naps and bedtime.

Does anyone have any tips? She seems unable being able to self settle - my feeling is she is too young but it seems others are able to! If we leave her she starts to thrash and slowly but surely this ramps up in intensity at her frustration not to be able to fall asleep. She is still feeding 3 times a night too (again not sure if this is always for hunger - but am rarely successful at settling her without feeding her so assume it could be)
and generally falls asleep whilst feeding and I pop her back into her cot but recently she starts thrashing and crying. She generally only sleeps for 45 mins at a time during the day unless in the car.

Do we just roll with it for now or are we missing some good tricks/ tips?!

Thank you!

Herhonesty Thu 10-Oct-13 11:40:28

bump as i have a 6 .5 month old who i am trying to wean off dummy and night feeds..

timeforgin Thu 10-Oct-13 14:17:39

Yep it is possible, I started at about 3 months with my first son (EBF), took a week. I essentially used Jo Tantum's method (spaced soothing, she has a book but I got an e-mail support package / bespoke routine which was slightly diff to the book and suited us despite the fact when I first read it I thought there was NO WAY I would ever get him into it). Some of her stuff is not really geared towards the EBF baby but the stuff about teaching them to self settle is ok for EBF babies. Involves a LOT of patting / going in and out to settle them. At same time I managed to get him to go from 45 min naps to 2hrs using same technique... It was life changing.

#2 son is four weeks old also EBF, will not be starting for a while yet (!!)but plan to use same methods. Also am trying to encourage self settling where poss - putting down drowsy but not quite asleep etc.

Good luck! If you are consistent it works. There can be a bit of crying but really not much and you always go to them so they know you are there.

Liveinthepresent Thu 10-Oct-13 19:43:15

I have a similar age DS and he is getting there. In the last few weeks we have progressed from him only napping in motion or on me to him being able to self settle in the buggy / car seat - he sometimes needs a bit of help initially but often sleeps for up to hours happily. Key thing is catching him before he gets too tired. ( I can go by the clock on this!)
Anyway not sure why I am telling you that other than reassurance that your DD may get the hang of it by herself as I haven't intervened much.
What I really came on to say was to recommend the mumsnet favourite - no cry sleep solution.
I need to tackle bedtime and nights and feel really confident this book will help.
I haven't tried many of the ideas yet as we are away next week and I think it will be easier to wait until after but it has loads of great little tips that you can use to help you feel like you are just gently pointing them in the right direction.

hardboiledpossum Fri 11-Oct-13 11:38:14

Jo tantums method is basically controlled crying. I think 3 months is far too young but not everyone does. my ds self settled from 4 weeks but it wasn't anything we did, just luck. they all get their in the end! their sleep changes so much as babies so I really wouldnt worry.

capecath Sat 12-Oct-13 08:30:45

I think it is a little too young to expect them to self settle... But not too young to get into helpful habits like not feeding to sleep, encouraging use of comforter, sleep without rocking into own cot, establish sleep routines, etc.

Tiggles Sat 12-Oct-13 22:08:49

I think it depends on the baby. DS1 and 2 were way older before they could self settle. DS3 did it pretty much from birth. I didn't do anything differently.

timeforgin Sat 12-Oct-13 22:19:00

Hard boiled - I used her methods with minimal crying. The crying would generally be when he woke up already crying. Then I would go in and out. You don't need to let them cry for long periods of time. Obviously some babies may not react as well to this method / may cry more.

cupcake78 Sat 12-Oct-13 22:19:42

Its possible to help them but some baby's just won't do it at this age.

Ds was rubbish at sleeping during the night for ages.

Dd (15 wks ) does fight sleep but were putting her down just before she falls properly to sleep , shushing and stroking her face till she's settled then sitting in the same room as her for a while. Some times it works other times she's having none of it .

The other thing I have found is don't let them get too upset before intervening! If they are getting unsettled try and settle them before it gets to full on crying. Don't talk and play with them in the night, limited eye contact. During the day make up for this.

I maybe wrong but my gut feeling with my children was leaving them to get upset over sleep at such a young age made them more frightened than able to settle.

Routine and consistency and they do get there.

Splatt34 Sat 12-Oct-13 22:40:11

I think at this age some do some don't. Both of mine have, DD2 found her thumb at 10 weeks, DD1 didn't even need that. At 3 months we suddenly realised that grumpy DD2 didn't want hugs but wanted to go to bed. Minutes later she's asleep. If i knew how we'd done it I could make a fortune!!

bubalou Sat 12-Oct-13 23:17:09

Hi, I haven't read the replies but I did the whole differentiate between 'night time, day time' thing and ds slept through and settled himself by 6weeks.

If he slept during the day I always had a radio on near him so it wasn't quiet & I kept the room light, when he woke at night I kept it as quite and as dark as possible and he would go back to sleep after feed/change etc.

With this came the self soothing. I didn't hug, cradle or rock him to sleep and he always went off on his own. I made sure bed times were naturally in a routine at a certain time very night, after a feed and a bath and some cuddles etc before putting him down for sleep. If he did cry I would do what I called 'the timer'. I would leave him for 3 minutes and go in, never talk or make eye contact (sound silly but they know even at this age). Stroke their face or reposition their blanket to get them comfortable then leave. If they continue to cry go in after 5 minutes and so on.

It worked for me but every baby is different.

wink

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