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How do I teach DS to self soothe?

(11 Posts)
Kesskisspass Mon 15-Apr-13 11:22:17


My 12 month DS will not sleep without the breast. I breastfeed him, then put him in his own bed. He then wakes up about two to three times a night for I am his dummy.

Thing is, I am a musician. I need to be able to do gigs in the evenings without having to bring him with me. He needs to know how to self soothe.

I have seen him fall asleep on his own twice (last week) which is a huge improvement but not enough. I need to get to the point wher DH can take him to bed.

What should I do?

ClipClapClop Tue 16-Apr-13 01:01:51

Perhaps an obvious suggestion, but have you used an actual dummy? Perhaps your ds just needs to suck something for comfort?

Kiwiinkits Tue 16-Apr-13 03:56:36

12 months! yikes.
I think you need to try controlled crying or the ferber method. Lots of info available online about it.

monkeymamma Tue 16-Apr-13 09:38:51

I was very recently in your position OP. My Ds got to 13months and I couldn't go on feeding him 2-3 times per night. But I didn't feel cc was right for us. So, we did 'disappearing chair' - I b'fed ds then just when he was sleepy, unlatched him, read a short, gentle story, then put him in cot. Shush and pat till he was asleep. Every 3 nights we'd move further away till we were out in corridor. He now settles himself and - magically! - doesn't wake in the night unless very poorly or teething. I nevereverever thought it would work but can't recommend this method enough.

Soupa Tue 16-Apr-13 09:45:36

I always bf mine to sleep...well past 12 months but work evenings too. Dh has to find what works for him and I leave them to it. After a few goes they do fine.

Bumpsadaisie Tue 16-Apr-13 11:24:46

We've just stopped night feeding our DS 17.5 mths. He was on bottles not bf (I stopped bf at about 12 mths) so not quite the same situation as yours, but similar.

When he woke in the night would not go back to sleep without a bottle. If you gave him a bottle he would drink it quickly and go straight back to sleep, so it was so easy. But he was waking 2 or three times and it was too much, plus I think it started to affect his eating in the day.

We just ditched the bottle - he had his bedtime milk in a sippy cup and no bottles if he woke in the night. I would do pick up, put down, cuddles etc to get him back to sleep. It took a week but after that he had forgotten the association with feeding to sleep and now just looks for a quick cuddle if he wakes. But the last three nights he has slept through .... alleluia!

Slightly different in your case as you are bfing and so it might be difficult to cuddle him without him wanting bf. Could your partner do it? Or could you keep him in the cot, sitting by him and patting/shushing/singing to reassure him?

Bumpsadaisie Tue 16-Apr-13 11:26:05

PS there is no need to do controlled crying. The shush pat gradual withdrawal works well in my experience with far less stress all round.

Bumpsadaisie Tue 16-Apr-13 11:27:16

PPS maybe you just need to leave your DH to get on with it? Your DS and he will find a way that works for them. Easier to say than do though - I find it hard to let my DH get on with things where the kids are concerned!

SJisontheway Tue 16-Apr-13 11:34:33

What monkeymama said. The key is not feeding to sleep, and the night wakenings tend to stop. I fed, them popped into bed when sleepy but still awake. Sing, shush, pat, whatever works. No need for CC.

monkeymamma Tue 16-Apr-13 18:09:45

Thanks SJ!

The other thing to add is that you can talk to your health visitor who can set up a sleep specialist to support you with eg the disappearing chair technique. Good luck OP! I am loving life on a full night's sleep, it makes such a difference :-)

Kesskisspass Thu 18-Apr-13 13:00:56

Monkeymamma and SJ have the key to good sleep. I have been using this gentle method for three nights now and he has surprisingly self soothed and slept no problemo. So glad I didn't do controlled crying. It seems vile to leave my baby to cry in the darkness, wondering what's going on. Thank you all for your advice.

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