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Establishing good habits- advice please!

(12 Posts)
luckiestgirlintheworld Fri 21-Mar-14 15:26:22

My DS is almost 5 weeks old. He's my first.
So far Iv been working on the premise that you can't spoil a newborn and I just give him what he wants when he wants it. It's going well.

But you read in some places that from about six weeks onwards you can try establishing good habits. My main example is falling asleep by themself and self settling, because mostly he likes to feed or be cuddled to sleep.

Of course he does- what could be nicer?! And I'm in no rush to change this- I'm a SAHM so no need to break this habit.

But is there a certain age, and is it soon, where if I carry on with certain habits, then I will just be making it difficult to break the habits when he's older?

Is there anything you did with your DC's at a certain age that helped you in the long run? Or that you wish you'd done earlier?

NorthEasterlyGale Fri 21-Mar-14 15:35:38

Well, my DS1 is 21 months and DS2 is 3 weeks.

DS1 liked to BF to sleep but in time became happy to self settle (can't remember when, maybe around 7 months) and started sleeping through around 13 months. He still went / goes through phases of needing someone to fall asleep if separation anxiety / teething / illness kicking in, but is now a very engaging, confident, independent and happy wee lad.

I plan to do the same with DS2 - feed on demand (except once I'm back at work!), cuddle on demand and drink tea when I get the chance!

Do what feels right, makes you all happy and you'll find you probably change things as you go and everything evolves naturally.


Theyaremysunshine Fri 21-Mar-14 22:07:05

Have a read of the no cry sleep solution. Some lovely gentle ways to establish good habits slowly.

But I'd stick with what you're doing for now. I had to change from feed to sleep and cosleeping at about 6m with mine for return to work. If i was a sahm I'd have happily continued til they were ready.

Self settling doesn't always equal sleeping through either.

If what you're doing is working for you and your family, keep doing it. When it doesn't, work on change.

Congratulations on your snuggly newborn!

Millie3030 Fri 21-Mar-14 22:35:15

Hiya, from day one I pretty much settled my little one in his Moses basket when he was sleepy and drowsy but not 'asleep' so he learnt to self settle. He has slept through from 12 weeks and is now 9 months and a brilliant sleeper. I think when they wake in the night it is good for them to be able to settle themselves back to sleep, I hear him on the monitor wake for a few seconds, and go straight back to sleep. If he needed me every time to cuddle him back to sleep, he would have to fully wake up and cry to let me know. Resulting in him and me having less sleep, I couldn't handle that!


ExBrightonBell Sat 22-Mar-14 00:09:32

I would just add that I don't think that tiny babies "learn" to self settle. I think some can be put down drowsy and then sleep, and others just can't. My ds just could not be put down unless he was sound asleep - and believe I did try to put him down awake, but he would absolutely not have it.

He slept next to me in a co sleeper bedside cot, and I fed him to sleep until about 8 months ish. If he woke in the night I would feed to sleep again. Not a huge disturbance with him right next to me.

He then gradually shifted away from feeding to sleep and eventually could be put down drowsy but awake and left to settle to sleep on his own.

It isn't as easy as Millie makes it sound - what her ds would do is not what all babies will do. There's no way my ds would settle if I put him down awake and he hated the Moses basket. Hardly used the thing in the end, waste of money as it turned out.

As it happened, from 9-10 months my ds has also been a brilliant sleeper, and I probably did all of the "bad habits" that you are not "supposed" to do. (Don't tell anyone, but my ds had all his naps either on me, or in the pram until about 8 months as well).

Smerlin Sat 22-Mar-14 09:00:17

Ditto what exbrightonbell said- if you have a baby like that then you are very lucky as it is extremely rare - babies just don't have the cognitive ability to self settle at such a young age.

For what it's worth, I started a bedtime routine at 8 weeks which has changed as DD has. Daytime naps have taken longer to get into a pattern with but the main thing I have done is follow DD's lead- watch for sleepy signs etc and they will naturally set their own pattern eventually with just a little steering from you- you can't force it.

Poughle Sat 22-Mar-14 09:09:56

Agree with the previous posters - tiny babies are not self settling, they just happen to like falling asleep in a way that's convenient for the parents! Nothing to do with establishing a routine early.

Both of my two fed to sleep from an early age, DS2 will physically push me away when he's had enough and flop over. Whereas ds1 would howl if I tried to sneak away! Have just moved DS2 into his own bed tonight out of my bed... He's nine months. He's totally fine with the move.

I've always done what worked until it didn't work, and then changed it. I've honestly never found it difficult to break habits... It took maybe 3 days to night wean. Others like planning ahead. We're all different and there's no right way to parent.

Sounds like you're doing a fantastic job.

NorthEasterlyGale Sat 22-Mar-14 14:34:25

Agree with ExBrightonBell re self settling - DS1 just could not self settle when young at all, no matter what we tried. DS2 on the other hand, even at 3 weeks, can be put down drowsy and will doze off (providing he has no trapped wind, when he will scream blue murder!). Different personalities is all.

cory Sat 22-Mar-14 17:50:00

Quite frankly, you will be changing your parenting all the time anyway as he grows and develops different abilities and different needs, so it's never going to be a question of a window where you have to establish his habits for life or else it will be too late forever. You won't be able to parent the 3yo in the same way as the 1yo, or the 8yo in the same way as the 3yo. So there will never be a time when you can rub your hands and say "right, that's it, good habits established forever after, now I don't have to think about it again".

In other words, I wouldn't worry about it. Parenting (as I used to mutter to myself through clenched teeth) is work in progress.

Chocoholism Sun 23-Mar-14 08:15:49

Thank goodness I read this and mainly to have read exbrighton post! My DD is 4 months, I find it so much easier to let her nap on me mostly than try put her down and spend more time getting her to sleep. I do hear others saying my baby settled from day 1 and all that and then I panic and think shit! I must get this baby to nap elsewhere then I read MN and feel better again. It's hard this whole sleep thing, thankfully DD does sleep in her cot when I go to bed and generally sleeps on her own through to morning so I'm grateful for that as I'm horrible with poor sleep. What I'm learning is, do what works!

luckiestgirlintheworld Sun 23-Mar-14 15:57:31

Thanks all. I had a feeling 6 weeks was a bit young to start worrying about all that. What we're doing currently works for both of us so I'm going to stick at it. It's amazing how so much of having a baby is making it up as you go along!

drawohamme Sun 23-Mar-14 16:05:09

Agree with other posters, do what you find suits you. In spite of lots of sleep training advice I just kept feeding my DS at night when he wanted it. Then at 8mo he just started sleeping through, no nudging from me grin

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