Need your opinion- Eye rubbing when going to sleep...self settling or waking him up?

(5 Posts)
Ninja12345 Sun 30-Oct-16 08:48:22

Basically DS is 7 months old, he rubs his eyes when going to sleep. I think this wakes him up so gently hold his arm to stop him. But is this a self settling tool that I'm stopping?! I'm using shh/pat to get him to sleep.

FATEdestiny Sun 30-Oct-16 11:28:42

It depends on the child. If you leave him to eye rub, will he go to sleep or wake up? That's your answer.

One of my children used to raise both hands above his head and play with the hair at the back of his neck. He literally did this from birth and has always done it. He was still 'hair twiddling' when tired until being about 4 or 5 years, so without question a self soothing mechanism.

Conversely two of my children have been thrashers. They thrash around when tired, pull at face, lift and thump legs. There were tired signs but not self soithing mechanisms. They'd wake themselves up with all the thrashing. But strugstruggled not to do it when tired. I found a swaddle / tightly tucked in blanket / firm hands all helped to encourage stillness for sleeping.

SpotTheDuck Sun 30-Oct-16 11:30:50

I think that's usually self-soothing - in fact I'm sure I read somewhere that gentle pressure on the eyeballs stimulates some nerve which relaxes the brain, so a lot of babies do it to help themselves calm down.

I'd probably let him get on with it.

Tumtitum Sun 30-Oct-16 15:39:00

DD does this when she's tired and when she's going to sleep. She's a nap fighter so I would say she's not necessarily trying to self settle but I don't stop her and most of the time she goes to sleep. She also does the leg thumping but she's so strong I can't hold her down! confused

Ninja12345 Tue 01-Nov-16 16:44:08

Thanks all. DS now fights me holding his arm so I'm letting him rub his eyes. It does seem to wake him up a bit but then he usually falls alseep soon afterward so must help overal.

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