This is a Premium feature
To use this feature subscribe to Mumsnet Premium - get first access to new features see fewer ads, and support Mumsnet.Start using Mumsnet Premium
To ask how the hell you got your child to fall asleep independently?(85 Posts)
As per title... DS is almost 4mo, specifically 16 weeks. We have a predictable schedule but he feeds or bounces (yoga ball) to sleep. It can take up to 20mins, which is not working for me with a 2yo at home as well.
What did you do?!
Please don’t tell me “that’s just how it is”, as usually happens on sleep-related threads
Not an overly helpful answer for your 4 month old but I sleep trained at 10 months with a gradual retreat method. Until then I was stuck bouncing or feeding to sleep
A dummy..l know not everyone agrees with them but I stuck dummy in and put them down awake. Popped it back in a couple times till they fell asleep.
Gradually, mine were fed to sleep. I started by stopping the feed and putting him in the cot and patting. Then reducing the patting. Then slowly moving away. It wasn’t a 3 day solution but it involved almost no tears.
Practice settling for naps by just sitting beside them and shushing/ hand on chest if needed. Much easier to get them used to this at naptime than bedtime. There will be crying and you will have to persevere. I was willing to accept the crying as I knew they knew I hadn't abandoned them.
In a month or two you can start found gradual retreat at bedtimes. Once they're eating well during day, you can stop overnight feeds.
Most important thing is to stop feeding to sleep.
Caught norovirus when he was 8 months old, husband was away and no one could come to help. Had to leave him to cry it out that night and he was great sleeper after that! Sorry that doesn’t help at all.
1 - fed tp sleep til 12 months, then gradual retreat.
2 - dummy.
I would LOVE an answer! DS 21 months still fed to sleep and another baby arriving in 3 months. Squeaky bum time over here
Came around 3/4 years.
Big family bed and co sleeping.
Erm sorry I thought you were going to say a toddler DS1 was about 4, DS2 is 19mo and I still feed him to sleep.
At four months?
Tbh, I wouldn't stress about it. 4 months is tiny. Can you not stick your two year old in front of the TV for twenty minutes? Not ideal, but not going to cause harm, which leaving a four month old to cry would.
4 months is a little early / young to expect totally self settling I think but you can definitely work towards it. I did and think he was self settling during the night by about 6 months and then getting off to sleep himself by a year (that’s the hard bit I think).
The way I did it was slowly withdrawing the comforting, so going from standing and rocking to sitting and rocking then patting and sushing in the bed the just sushing and maybe singing a little bit. I’d let him cry a little bit then pick up and comfort him then put him down and settle again. It takes a little time but it’s an investment.
Also a dummy, white noise, pitch black room, grow bag
Needless to say, the 4yo method won't work on a newborn!
Did sleep training at 4 months as he was waking every 20 mins snd one was getting any sleep! Took a week snd generally he is great now
I did the same nightly routine every time, put them in their Moses basket, and left.
@HuloBeraal how long did your method take?
@user1493986150 That sounds horrific; norovirus practically weaned my eldest from breastfeeding (he was 15mo) because we all got ill and I couldn’t bear him touching me (was also newly pregnant, body just couldn’t cope). Bad, bad times.
@BrooHaHa Mmmm I’m pretty keen on no screen time (he gets enough with his dad!), but may have to resort to it! I’d like to enjoy the time with my toddler though, instead of the endless bouncing...
@Grumpos thanks, very helpful... sounds like the tips in the Precious Little Sleep book I’m reading!
I used to cuddle ds to sleep until he was about 15 months and was able to self settle for his grandparents when they had him at nap time. Took 3 nights of protesting and me going in every few minutes but now if he doesn't go to sleep straight away he chats to his toys and sings until he does. We also have a star projector that plays music that we put in at night time.
Gradual retreat, but not until a lot later (9/10 months). The trouble is at 4 months they have that many growth spurts/ learning spikes that you think you've cracked it and then they learn a new skill and it's back to the drawing board. When I had a 4 month old and a 2 year old I would keep the 4 month old up with us. Do bedtime with the 2 year old, then once the two year old was down keep the 4 month old in a Moses basket in the room with us until bedtime. They're in with you until 6 months anyway. After they get their own room and have settled maybe start gradual withdrawal. It will take a few weeks but worth it.
I got them all happy, clean nappy, full of milk, winded. Then put them down. Night after night. For ages it didn’t work but then it did. I’ve had 4 kids and I did it with all of them. Learning to sleep is like learning any skill. You can’t keep helping them sleep they need to learn to do it. Just keep trying.
Bedtime routine, same every night. Sleep associations, sleeping bag on, white noise on, soft toy to cuddle (I waited until 6 months for a toy due to SIDS risk, an empty cot is a safe cot). He had a dummy until 6 months too but I went cold turkey after that as he was waking hourly for it (that's a whole other thread!). If you feed / rock to sleep when they wake up they wil expect the same as they don't know how to do it on their own. Feeding /rocking to sleep is fine if you don't mind. I used to make sure I knew he didn't want anything else, fed, clean bum right temp etc and then leave. You'll be surprised at what they can do if you don't rush in every time they stir. DS never cried until I took his dummy away, he cried for about 10 minutes one night then that was it. He's now 9 months and stil sleeps through. He slept through from 9 weeks to 5ish months, then dummy shenanigans for 1 month, then slept through from 6 months again. Also, I wouldn't hesitate to use a dummy again but I'd get rid at 6 months again. They can be helpful for younger babies. Sorry if that's jumbled 😂
There is a sleep regression at 4 months so I would just carry on with your routine, it might settle by itself. We did bath, pajamas, bottle everynight starting around 6pm. Sleep begets sleep so sometimes you need to work on baby'p shedule to get them to sleep better at night. I did pick up put down when they're were about 6/7 months old. Both would get way too upset if I dared try cry it out.
I put the 2YO who could fall asleep independently into the cot bed where I knew they couldn't come to harm's way. I then fed the 4 month old and cuddled him to sleep. It took longer than 20 minutes!! It was easier when DH was home at bedtime and he could take one and I got the other to bed!
Sorry, but your eldest is where the issue is with if they still need you at bedtime. Not the baby.
We sleep trained at 6 months, I don't think it will work at 4 months though, their we'd brains aren't developed enough yet. I know sleep training isn't for everyone, but it literally saved our lives, we'd have gone insane after 6 months of not sleeping and a year later DS sleeps well!
You need to look at your expectations of a 4 month old. 4 year old...possibly "self settling" but not a four month old. Poor thing is barely out of the fourth trimester and is probably only just realising you and him are separate beings! Keeping feeding/rocking to sleep your baby needs to feel safe and secure. Not left to cry or 'taught' how to sleep.
Join the discussion
Registering is free, quick, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Get started »
Please login first.