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to have no interest in teaching my DS to self settle?

(126 Posts)
lowrib Tue 14-Jul-09 23:03:55

DP and MIL keep suggesting that it's time to let DS learn to self-settle. DS is 6 months.

I hadn't even considered this as a possibility, and I surprised myself by actually getting quite upset by the suggestion, in fact it has been our first serious disagreement about child rearing.

DS sleeps in a cot by our bed, usually coming into the bed after feeding in the night. I have always fed him to sleep so far, it works and he is usually a good sleeper. We started weaning recently, and I assumed we'd gradually drop milk feeds until just the night time one was left, and carry on with that until we stopped feeding altogether - when that will be I have no idea yet, but maybe in a year? I assumed that by then feeding would be only one part of the night time routine, and he'd (hopefully) slip into going to bed without feeding.

I don't understand the obsession with self-settling. I LIKE feeding my DS to sleep. It works, and he goes to sleep content.
DP says we should do it so he can learn to self-settle, but is there any need while he's so young, and still BF? I really don't get it.

When did you expect your DCs to self settle?


(DP and MIL are both lovely BTW, this isn't meant to be a DP or MIL bashing thread!)

lockets Tue 14-Jul-09 23:08:10

Message withdrawn

lowrib Tue 14-Jul-09 23:11:26

lockets I like that time too smile

Please can I ask - when did you DS start self-settling in the day - is it something you actively decided to do or did it just kind of happen IFKWIM?

FairMidden Tue 14-Jul-09 23:15:57


DS started to self-settle around a year old, reliably at around 18 months and now only very occasionally needs someone sitting with him while he nods off - usually illness or teeth are the trouble.

I fed him to sleep all the time. It doesn't work now - he's nearly 2!

He still comes intou our bed if he wakes in the night but frequently ends up back in his own room where he seems to be more comfortable. But he sleeps through a few nights a week too.

Basically he's turning out quite normal, in spite of all the rods we made grin

lockets Tue 14-Jul-09 23:16:48

Message withdrawn

Satsuma1 Tue 14-Jul-09 23:20:41

DS is 17 months and although he doesn't feed completely to sleep anymore (his own choice!), he does have a feed and is cuddled to sleep.

We still co-sleep and he still has a feed about 4am and another at 6.

He self settles during the day, but I don't see it happening at night for sometime yet.

If it works for you, there's no reason to change just because other people say so. You are doing what feels right for you and your child which is what matters. YOU know best, YOU are the Mother, YOU are in charge. He is obviously getting what he needs and is a content, nurtured child.

Continue as your are and enjoy is what I say!

diddle Tue 14-Jul-09 23:23:16

I don't think you're being unreasonable. If you're happy and your baby is then you carry on. I have a 3 month old son and a friend of mine asked when I was going to get him into a routine. Her daughter is in a strict routine at bedtime and has been since a couple of months old I told her happily that he'll get himself into a routine as he feeds more, sure enough he has. You do it your own way. Your baby is still young and if eventually it becomes a problem, that's the time to change your routine.

hellymelly Tue 14-Jul-09 23:23:27

Well my dd is 26m and she is still in bed with me and still feeds to sleep,although she can self settle sometimes now if she wakes.It's fine,I like her next to me and I am happy to let her go at her own pace.Just go with what you feel for your baby and ignore anyone else!

Dysgu Tue 14-Jul-09 23:23:43

DD1 self-settled from about a year.

DD2 self-settles already in the day and has done since about 2 months. She is now 6 months old. She can self-settle at night (does when I put her to bed) but falls asleep in DP's arms when he does her bedtime.

Since the birth of DD2, DD1 no longer self settles and has returned to so-sleeping with us having moved into her own bed 4 months prior to arrival of DD2.

However, I don't mind this as we have a quiet chat and then I read a few pages of my book and she goes straight to sleep. This is a lovely time of the day [ahh bless emoticon!]

Horton Tue 14-Jul-09 23:24:10

One of these days, feeding your baby to sleep just won't work any more, probably when your baby is ready to self-settle. At least, that's what I found. I always fed my DD to sleep but around a year old she just stopped falling asleep on the breast. I remember feeling quite panicky about it (HOW am I going to get this baby to sleep?!) but as it turned out she just did it herself. I just put her in her cot and it was fine. Do what you feel is right. There is plenty of time later on to change things if you find whatever you're doing isn't working for you.

Meglet Tue 14-Jul-09 23:24:45

YANBU. You need to do whatever you feel most comfortable with.

lowrib Tue 14-Jul-09 23:25:22

Satsuma1 can I ask you the same question - did he start self settling in the day by himself, or did you actively encourage it?

lowrib Tue 14-Jul-09 23:25:46

grin st "Basically he's turning out quite normal, in spite of all the rods we made"

lowrib Tue 14-Jul-09 23:27:44

lockets "More often than not though I still use the pram as I can then just take him along to nursery and school pick up without waking him"

Sounds great to me! Would it help if we renamed your pram "highly adaptable child's day-bed with advanced transport system"? grin

thisweathersajoke Tue 14-Jul-09 23:28:14


Do not feel under pressure to self settle, you will know when the time is right.

My son is 1 and he has only just in the last 4 weeks started to self settle. I previously fed him until he slept and then we had really unsettled nights, resulting in me sleeping in the bed in his room with him, leaving DH in our room! This was not good.

I had tried controlled crying previously when he was about 7mths but listening to him cry for up to 2.5 hrs a night was breaking my heart, then he got a cold, a tooth etc etc - it was not the right time.

Then recently, he was really well and thought i would change the bedtime routine slightly, instead of cuddling him and feeding him his bottle, i sat him up next to me on the bed and let him feed his own bottle, while I read him a story. I then gave him a quick cuddle and put him in the cot. He cried for about 20 mins for two nights and since then he has been fine.

I really believe that it was just the right time for him and no sooner.

Good luck and don't listen to anyone else - trust your own instincts.

MiloMummy Tue 14-Jul-09 23:29:53

YANBU. No way. However I would just add that we encouraged DS2 to self settle much younger as a result of our regrets at not doing it sooner with DS1. But that was just our experience and that is also with the benefit of hindsight.

lockets Tue 14-Jul-09 23:30:38

Message withdrawn

thumbwitch Tue 14-Jul-09 23:32:59

I have just about got DS to self-settle now - he's 19mo. And actually no, he still doesn't really do it - he gets bf before he goes into the cot but a month ago, if he wasn't fully asleep when he went in he would cry his heart out; now, even if he's not quite asleep he just settles down and I can leave him to it. I did have to leave him to cry it out for about 3 nights though - first night was an hour, second night 40 mins, third night 20 mins.

I had tried it before and it had seemed to work, but then he got ill or something else disrupted it and we were back to square one again. I hope this time the change is a permanent one.

You have ages to go - give yourself a break and ignore what anyone else tells you - so long as you and your baby are happy with the arrangement, what business is it of anyone else's anyway?

Satsuma1 Tue 14-Jul-09 23:40:11

lowrib- self settling during the day seemed to happen naturally. When I say he self settles, it's usually in his pram or in the car. It just happens as part of his day, which is variable depending on what I'm doing. He has one nap now of 1-2hrs, which varies from 10.30am to 2pm. I've never been strict about routine, but do try not to let him nap after 3pm, as he finds bedtime hard to take (at 7pm) if he sleeps any later.

I'm very flexible and try to pick up on his cues. He has been known to want a nap fairly early (about 9am) and I just go along with that if he needs it.

It's hard I know, but you must trust in yourself. You know what's best for your child (even if you think you know pretty much nothing!) and try to have faith in your own abilities. From the moment your lo was born (before even) you have been tuned into their needs. Try to have faith in that. I feel like a complete and utter rubbish Mother sometimes, bur try to remind myself that I need to have faith in my decisions.

oohLahLahRaver Tue 14-Jul-09 23:43:48

DS aged 3.6 will still feed to sleep. Tonight he didnt and just said "I've finished now, can we go to my bed"

Oh its such a lovely rod and one I wouldn't miss for the world

elkiedee Wed 15-Jul-09 00:50:55

YANBU, you should do what works for you.

Oddly, I've found that putting ds2 (only 5 months) down sometimes actually works better than feeding him to sleep. But it varies. And if I do that I feed him first, but he's fractious and bitey with teething.

elkiedee Wed 15-Jul-09 00:52:42

lowrib, if you want to talk to others about how they do things with a 6 month old, come and drop by January 2009 postnatal - I'm sure several of us are still feeding to sleep, whether breast or bottle.

sallyjaygorce Wed 15-Jul-09 01:02:04

My son feeds himself to sleep and he's four next month. Settles fine during the night - the best sleeper of all. DD1 (aged 5) settled without milk when she was about 18 months but needed one of us next to her until she was nearly 4. Now no probs except odd bad dream. DD2 (aged 16 months) feeds almost to sleep but then turns away for a bit of hunkering down and sighing. Sometimes comes in to our bed in the night but mostly now settles herself or settles with a quick mumur and stroke of the back. All were different and neve felt I had to do it by age - just by their temperament and our energy levels! Snuggling and feeding to sleep is lovely - in no time they'll be teenagers and we'll wonder where the hell they are sleeping - make the most of it and go with your feelings.

MrsSpringsteen Wed 15-Jul-09 01:20:45

mine all self settle early
i like that they do

ObsidianBlackbirdMcNight Wed 15-Jul-09 07:37:03

Mine was no longer BF at 6 months but that is when I started to encourage him to self settle - by putting him down in pram for naps and jiggling at first, and doing an element of controlled crying (never cried for long - if he really wasn't going to sleep I picked him up) and progressed to putting him down awake in his cot for naps and bedtime. He accepted it very easily.
I think what prompted it was that I had always given him last bottle in bed which would send him to sleep and that stopped working. I expect your DS will stop going to sleep after a feed and that will be the point you will try it. He will tell you when he's ready - why push it before then?

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