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self settling - how does one get it to work??

(13 Posts)
working2gally Fri 15-Jul-11 18:02:06

could someone please explain self settling to me - i.e. how one goes about teaching it.
dc is 7mth
I really don't want to have to do any controlled crying though - it stresses me out too much so I just end up cuddling/feeding till he's asleep or stops crying. Does teaching self settling have to involve controlled crying?
Also will self settling one day just happen naturally if I just carry on as I am doing (feeding/ cuddling to sleep)? There must be an age when I can just start reading stories instead surely and then he would just go to sleep then?

MeriNisipPoissons Fri 15-Jul-11 18:12:39

Cuddle until he is sleepy but not asleep and place in cot, if he fusses lift and cuddle until settled and he will drop off in his cot, each time he does it the easier it will come to him, crying is conterproductive as it wakes them up and the trick is to put them down as they are ready to sleep.

It can help to have him in his sleeping bag/wrapped in blanket so less temp differences.

Stories at bedtime probably age 2, i say 2 most have stopped evening bottle of milk by then and can have a cup/sippy of milk on your lap with a story.

WriterofDreams Fri 15-Jul-11 18:50:06

I know it's not very helpful but my DS (6.5 months) just did it spontaneously. Up until 2 weeks ago I had to feed him until he was completely asleep and then about 2 weeks ago he fed, then turned away and I was a bit confused so I put him in the cot to see what would happen. Went off downstairs, could hear him chatting on the monitor for about 10 mins then silence. Went up to check on him and he was conked out! Was a real surprise, and a very nice one at that smile There's no guarantee that it'll happen for your DS but it might.

WriterofDreams Fri 15-Jul-11 18:52:04

BTW self settling isn't essential especially at your DS's age. If you're not sure about controlled crying don't do it, it's very hard and you have to be committed to it. If I'm honest I think it's a bit cruel. Is there a reason why you want him to self settle?

michelleseashell Fri 15-Jul-11 20:30:07

I have the exact same problem! How do you get a baby to sleep by themselves?? I can't figure it out!

michelleseashell Fri 15-Jul-11 20:31:49

Oh but a sleeping bag did help us- a bit.

Trebuchet Fri 15-Jul-11 20:37:40

What meri said. Swaddling helped as he flailed a lot which upset him. Eventually he started saying night night when he saw the swaddling sheet!! I used it til he was 2 blush

bigkidsmademe Fri 15-Jul-11 20:40:45

We did it by gradually reducing the cuddling. I mean really gradually over a month or so - rocking to sleep then cuddling in the cot then pressing my cheek against his then hand on tummy and one on head then just hand on tummy. Then gradual retreat so eventually I was out of the door. I can now put him down, kiss him and go.

Have you tried different sleeping positions? DS likes on his side in the recovery position, cuddling a bear smile

SWLondonmum111 Fri 15-Jul-11 20:48:40

Oh. What kind of swaddling sheet please (sorry for hijack). We are struggling with 7 mo who we need to cuddle ( I think of it as human swaddle as we leave him in the cot but cuddle and hold his arms and legs to stop flailing) so he can relax and fall back to sleep - it usually takes about 30 seconds but means that he relies on us - with obvious consequences. I would love to swaddle but thought you couldn't do it after about four months. If you swaddled up to 2 how did you make it tight enough to avoid escapes?? OP - the holding was our step on from feeding to sleep as cuddling upright meant that he automatically woke up when put down. So it is (generally) quicker. As someone else will inevitably/ has already suggested you should try no cry sleep solution by Elizabeth pantley for non crying methods.

emsyj Fri 15-Jul-11 20:51:17

DD just gradually moved over to going to sleep by herself. She now prefers to be put down and left to get on with it. If you try to cuddle her to sleep she just gets wide awake or cross or both.

i breastfed DD until she was 12 months, but from probably 11 months she stopped feeding to sleep and started to lose interest in the bedtime feed. By the time I gave up bf she would suck half-heartedly for about 5 minutes then bite me or get bored and unlatch. So from 12 months I have been giving her a cup of milk and a piece of toast downstairs at about 6.30pm. Then we go upstairs at about 6.50pm and run a bath and play for a bit while it runs, then bath & teeth and then I read her a story. She often gets wriggly when I'm reading to her, and that is her indication that she wants to go to bed, so I turn the 'big' light out (leave nightlight on) and put the lullabies on the baby monitor then put her in the cot and she will curl herself up mostly - sometimes she stays awake chattering for a while.

We moved on to this over a period of 2 weeks when I gave up bf. DH started out holding DD to sleep, but after a couple of nights she wouldn't go to sleep on him so he put her down in the cot and she was quite happy and went to sleep herself.

I think babies will do it when they're ready to. 7.5 months is a whole world away from 12 months - at 7.5 months I was still waking every 2-3 hours in the night to feed DD. It was hellish! I wish I had worried less about getting her to sleep through and self-settle. It happened in its own time.

AchtungBaby Fri 15-Jul-11 20:52:07

I was going to start this thread! At the moment, DS (10 months) has this routine:
bath
milk
teeth
book
cot
and I sit next to him (and play scrabble on my iPhone), while he faffs around falls asleep. I have to rock his chest a little with my hand if he gets a bit upset.

Actually, this is progress - previously, there was a lot of chest rocking. Reducing the amount of chest rocking over the last week or 2 has led to significantly less night wakings, so I think that he is getting better at self-settling.

I think I need to start leaving the room, and only popping in now and then if he gets a bit upset.

I feel like I need to teach DS to self-settle so that he'll go to sleep when the CM puts him down for his nap. But sometimes I wonder what proportion of babies can really do this confused.

Jojay Fri 15-Jul-11 20:53:02

I still swaddled Ds2 at 7 months. I bought lengths of cotton jersey fabric - like t shirt material - from John Lewis, as he was too big for the commercial swaddling blankets. It worked a treat and we carried on for a good while afterwards.

SmethwickBelle Fri 15-Jul-11 21:35:47

Babies change so frequently just because they needed you to cuddle them to sleep/rub their backs counter clockwise 16 times yesterday doesn't mean they need it today. I still give my 20 month old bottles for his nap to see him off rolls eyes - didn't today, just put him down with his ted and he was fine. Yes I did say out loud "why didn't I do that a year ago?"

Think what you would like bedtime to be like (bath, cuddle, feed and down-leave room) and give it a try - start afresh at THAT point. When your 7 mo old is 16 month old strapper, rocking them could begin to play havoc with your back so its worth easing off on that one in that respect.

Good luck and much sympathy. I have fidgety non sleepers and it is a buggering nuisance.

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