self settling

(18 Posts)
fluffikins Mon 07-Mar-16 21:11:26

So Sarah ockwell smith talks about babies not being able to self settle for a while and it's something they learn over time like talking, walking etc.

But when is it likely to be? 10 months? 2 years? 5 years?

Gillian1980 Mon 07-Mar-16 22:56:46

I think its a bit of a "how long is a piece of string?" answer really. Some babies are like this from the time they are tiny, others don't do it until well into childhood.

Skiptonlass Tue 08-Mar-16 11:53:46

The 64 million dollar question...

Does your lo have a behaviour they do when they're trying to get to sleep? Mine paws and scratches at stuff so I'm trying to get him to knead a little muslin cloth to see if that works.

cornishglos Tue 08-Mar-16 12:46:57

My 2 year old can't. My four month old can.

mrsmugoo Tue 08-Mar-16 12:55:25

You have to give them the chance to figure it out themselves by putting them down sleepy but awake - bed time routines give them cues so they associate bed with closing eyes and sleeping.

In my experience there will probably be sone frustrated grizzling / crying along the way but you're doing them a big favour by allowing them to learn this skull as they sleep so much better when they can self settle.

Controversial I know.

fluffikins Tue 08-Mar-16 13:02:06

I've tried putting her down drowsy a lot but every time she gets near anything that's not me she screams.

Do they sleep better if they're 'taught' though or do they just not make noise to wake you up?

I'm fine with her not self settling, I was just wondering when it would happen. Worst case I have to hold her to sleep until she's 5 or something then I'm fine with that because she's very cute!

Effiethemonster Tue 08-Mar-16 13:11:36

How old is she? My 4 month old went through a hellish few weeks of needing to be cajoled into every nap and bedtime but all of a sudden she started self settling (with a bit of whinging and a few dummy reinsertions), it was a massive shock to me! She falls asleep a lot quicker when she's not overtired too.

fluffikins Tue 08-Mar-16 13:28:29

She's nearly 9 months. She goes to sleep fine, she just needs to do it in my arms and then I transfer her. I assume she does self settle to a certain extent though as she wakes every 3 hrs at night and I thought sleep cycles were shorter than that

SouthernComforter Tue 08-Mar-16 14:01:10

I was going to ask a similar question about 'what do your babies do when you lie them down?' My 4-month-old occasionally just closes his eyes in the pram (if he's tired when he goes in it) but most other sleep involves grizzling or rage followed by sudden sleep. I never leave him to self settle, he's clean, fed, winded etc and then I watch for the tired signs and lie with him, stroking or sshing, but we mostly have 2-10 minutes of whinging or frustrated crying. Sometimes this builds into a crescendo of rage and then he suddenly goes off. I would be worried about this but his brother did similar (and at 2.5 now settles himself fine). I think it is more common for boys to cry before sleep...?

Troika Tue 08-Mar-16 14:12:20

One of mine was a couple of weeks old. The other was 2 or 3 years old. Even the one that was a couple of weeks old was unable to do it after waking in the night til she was 20 months or so.
No 3 is 2 weeks and doesn't self settle, she's fed or cuddled to sleep

hinkyhonk Sat 12-Mar-16 09:16:45

So I don't really understand self settling. It sounds suspiciously like you wait for them to cry it out before they go to sleep. I just don't quite understand how it works. All the books seem to be rather vague about what happens in the time it takes them to go to sleep. We have a three and a half month old who cries pretty much as soon as he is in the cot and realises we are planning on leaving him in there in the evening. We have been having him downstairs with us until he falls asleep at 9.30/10 on DH who then transfers him up to the cot. After that we have one or two wake ups so the overnight but is pretty good so I'm wary of disrupting that. But we need our evenings back. I don't remember doing this with DS1 or DS2...

DartmoorDoughnut Sat 12-Mar-16 09:22:02

My 18 month old just started this over the last month and he now wants to be put down awake and then holds my hand whilst he goes to sleep, it's massively improved his sleep, he's slept through a couple of times this last week - obvs won't do it again now for ages as I've shared! - but I've always fed him to sleep and then transferred him to the cot in the past so I guess, like everything, it's something they all do in their own time!

Gillian1980 Sat 12-Mar-16 11:36:21

Hinkyhonk - my understanding of self settling isn't leaving them to cry at all!

Its when DD was able to be put down in her cot awake and she would go to sleep on her own. I used to watch her on the monitor and she would be awake for maybe 5 mins, not crying at all. She might suck her thumb, or gurgle to her toy rabbit, or change position a couple of times then close her eyes and go to sleep.

So they are just settling themselves, not relying on you, but not crying themselves to sleep either.

hinkyhonk Sat 12-Mar-16 12:24:46

Ah right but what do I do if he just cries when I put him down in it? Or after a couple of minutes when he realises he's on his own? Ds 2 was just happy to be popped in and left but this dude seems outraged!

Gillian1980 Sat 12-Mar-16 12:33:40

In that case I'd say he isn't ready for it and needs to be held still - can take months or even a couple of years for some babies. Fingers crossed it happens sooner rather than later!

I'd leave it a couple or few weeks then try again, and keep leaving it a while then trying until he's ready.

Personally I'm not convinced its anything we have much control over and they'll just do it when they're ready.

hinkyhonk Sat 12-Mar-16 14:13:31

Good to hear. I guess you just have to keep giving it a go. Bedtimes aren't always the most calm and peaceful of times with DS1 and DS2 hooning around like loons.

mrsmugoo Sat 12-Mar-16 14:45:53

It's true they only do it when they're ready - but also only if you keep giving them the chance.

fluffikins Sat 12-Mar-16 16:11:15

That's fab to hear Dartmoor! Guess I'll just wait grin

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