self settling - how does one get it to work??(4 Posts)
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?
Some children learn to self-settle on their own, but more often it has to be taught.
You can start by placing him in the cot and stroking, patting and comforting him until he goes to sleep, but making sure that he's actually in the cot, not your arms.
You can then begin to withdraw. Firstly by patting and stroking every now and again, but not constantly. Then less and less.
Then you can withdraw from being beside the cot. You're still in the room, but gradually further away. Move your chair away from him.
During this process he knows you're there and are comforting him, but less and less directly.
The next stage is to leave the room and keep returning.
The leaving gets gradually longer and the returns get shorter and less often.
It's a gradual process that will take several nights or several weeks, depending on your child, but don't revert to picking him up and cuddling him, just give him more stroking or comforting as necessary when he gets upset. Keep calm and let him know that you're always close, even when you're not in the room or by his side.
Honestly - I think babies will do it when they're ready, but you have to give them the chance to try. And accept that it wont always happen.
With DS I fed/cuddled/rocked to sleep. We tried pick up put down which failed. So when back to feeding/cuddling/rocking.
From about 6 months (as I read most babies could self settle on occasion from then if nothing was wrong) I used to feed him slightly earlier so he was less likely to fall asleep on me then put him down in his cot with his comforter. Sometimes, if he didn't have wind, he'd wave it around then fall asleep. I'd stay in the room (it was dark) making a little bit of noise e.g moving his clothes into his drawers so he knew I was there. First time was around 7 months (I remember because we were on holiday). It wasn't very consistent so I'd go back to rocking.
Then as he got older, he seemed to get wound up by the cuddling/rocking so I'd put him down and pat or stroke his bottom (he sleeps on his front, has done since 5.5 months) and that would work. Then I'd put down and leave (stay in the room) more regularly.
From about 14/15 months (or so), he would babble away so I would say "night night sleep time" and leave the room. He'd shout for a bit - few minutes then fall asleep. If he was upset, I'd go back in. Gradually withdrawal doesn't really work for us as he'd keep looking for me. Plus it's lights out anyway. He seems to prefer it when I leave or if I stay. Now at 21 months, I can put him down and leave or sometimes I have to stay and keep my hand on him until he relaxes.
The times he doesn't self settle it's because he;s ill or has wind or some discomfort.
ruth chan, sorry but all dc's will learn to self settle. Fair enough if you want it to happen a bit earlier than your dc would do it naturally, then you will have to teach them. But if you don't you won't be visiting them at uni to rock them to sleep.
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