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Putting baby down to sleep: What am I missing?!

(29 Posts)
ExistentialistCat Wed 24-Nov-10 22:05:09

I feel like I'm missing something very obvious here. Am I?

DD2 is 9 weeks old. She will only sleep on me (mostly in a sling) during the day. At night, I can put her in her moses basket for a few hours but she usually ends up in bed with us (and I really don't want to be co-sleeping) after one of the night feeds as she just won't settle anywhere else.

Question: How do you 'just put the baby down' as various helpful people keep telling me I should be doing?

I know all the stuff about putting her down sleepy but awake. I've tried swaddling, dummy, warming the basket, you name it. She's not fooled. She wants to be near me and she just won't fall asleep otherwise.

DD1 somehow started settling on her own at about 10 weeks without us having to do anything in particular. Do I need to have faith that DD2 will get there in her own time, or do I need to be a bit firmer and put up with more crying? How much of a role does bfing play (DD1 ff, DD2 EBF)?

MummyBerryJuice Wed 24-Nov-10 22:11:22

Spert sad no advice. DS was exactly the same. Wish I could tell you that it all sorted itself out but alas We^ just started co-sleeping but I quite enjoy it now

I think they mean you should just let DD CIO (which Is obviously bollix advice!)

Hopefully someone will come and give you some helpful advce soon smile

MummyBerryJuice Wed 24-Nov-10 22:13:00

Somehow my iPhone turned 'sorry' into 'spert' confused and blush

ExistentialistCat Wed 24-Nov-10 22:23:24

Thank you MBJ, and thanks for explaining 'spert' - thought that was a new MN expression of some sort!

I just feel like such an incompetent mother when I read people's accounts of bedtime routines for 1 month-olds...

ExistentialistCat Thu 25-Nov-10 06:49:58


Have just had another horrible night of trying to put DD down over and over again, failing, taking her into bed with me and then getting no sleep while she snorts and snuffles and bats at me...

Igglybuff Thu 25-Nov-10 06:54:55

Forget it. She's young. Some babies are more easy going than others.

DS didn't get this until he was around 5 months - I wasted too much time stressing about it when it was a million times easier to rock/cuddle/feed to sleep. He's a very nosy child and needed more help to switch off! At 13 months he self settles when he can relax, if something bothers him, then he wont and needs my help. Which is fine now that I've accepted it. FWIW it hasn't stopped him self settling in the night - he needs help, he'll cry louder, if he doesn't he'll grumble and drift off himself.

Every now and then, see if she'll do it, if not, then go with the easy route. You are not creating a rod.

What you can do is start getting her to spend the first part of the night in her basket. Bring her into bed with you, then gradually start to try and put her in the basket after a feed. It wont always work, but gradually you'll get there. That's how I got DS off of me (he had reflux and would only sleep on me/DH for the first few months) and into his cot.

Cosmosis Thu 25-Nov-10 09:12:29

from my limited experience, some babies are ok with this, snd some not. in my nct group that meet up we have a couple that you can just put down and will go tp sleep on their own, who have done sinve birth, and a couple like my ds who won't. he's getting better at not sleeping on us now at 11wks, he will sleep in thebasket for at least some of the night - and a couple of times all night (apart from feeds obv.) we're doing what iggly says.

amijee Thu 25-Nov-10 09:24:17

you could try PUPD at this age - involves soothing and calming and putting back down to bed repeatedly. Hard work but it does have results.

Cosmosis Thu 25-Nov-10 10:17:40

I thought you shouldn't do pupd before 4 months? I'm sure I'd read that somewhere so had been holding out till then?

Igglybuff Thu 25-Nov-10 10:41:22

PUPD didn't work for DS - we tried at 6 months. Now he's a bit older, it does have results as he seems to understand what we're doing. When he was young, it felt like we were teasing him and he just went mental.

dileas2010 Thu 25-Nov-10 11:53:16

The BW book says PUPD is from 4 months to a year.

ProfessorLaytonIsMyLoveSlave Thu 25-Nov-10 11:58:53

Up to 4 months BW suggests shhh-pat, but I could never see how that worked with newer SIDS-friendly sleeping positions.

I think some babies just do and some just don't. I remember at an NCT meet-up when our babies were about 8 weeks old one of my old course-mates was telling me how she put her baby down to fall asleep, and you just needed to persevere "even if he whimpers for [brief pause, hushed tones] as much as ten minutes". I looked at DS (would never deign to whimper if a full-throated scream was available, and would barely have paused to draw his first breath after ten minutes) and thought hmm.

Cosmosis Thu 25-Nov-10 12:01:57

yes, I don't understand this whimpering thing either. I do understand purple faced screams though !

SirBoobAlot Thu 25-Nov-10 12:05:08

Some children just won't do it. And especially whilst they're so little.

And FWIW I think BF / FF has very little to do with it. My brother and I were both FF, and I ended up having to be rocked to sleep for quite a while, whereas my brother (after the colic had passed) would be put in his cot, roll on to his side and start snoring.

EricNorthmansMistress Thu 25-Nov-10 12:08:15

All babies are different. DS wouldn't be 'put down' except on extremely rare occasions until he was about 12 weeks. It's a bit of a drag but your baby will get there in her own time. In the meantime, why not co-sleep? I found it the only way...

Igglybuff Thu 25-Nov-10 12:12:31

DS only started whimpering (in his sleep) recently! He was a shouter when a little 'un grin

ethelina Thu 25-Nov-10 12:25:38

My DS is 10 weeks old. I didnt read any help books, just followed my instincts, turns out i've been doing sshh pat anyway. Seems to make the difference with the last fight before sleep when my hand is on his chest for a minute or two. I'm still resorting to feeding to sleep about one in 3 nights though. I figure he is still very young and will get better at it as he gets older.

We're just starting to form some sort of routine, but it doesnt all work yet. I'll just leave it and carry on feeding to sleep on the nights he's not settling. I figure each night it works, it reinforces the routine. Eventually (she hopes) he will get to sleep by himself.

Goodness i've rambled on! What I meant to say when I started was if it works, great. If it doesn't, dont stress, try again every few days. Its not going to affect her as an adult whether she goes down easily at 10 weeks or 10 months. It will however make her happier now if you do cuddle her a bit longer. Dont wish the cuddles away. smile

goandshowdaddy Thu 25-Nov-10 12:34:13

No advice I'm afraid, just my sympathies OP.

My 10 week old DS2 is going through this at the minute and I'm finding it really tiring. Las night he wouldn't be put down in his basket at all and so I had to hold him (sitting upright) all night just so we could both get a bit of sleep.

I don't remember DS1 being this bad - or maybe I'm just being selective with my memories!

Hope someone comes up with some magic answers soon!

CountBapula Thu 25-Nov-10 13:37:07

Have you tried putting her in the car seat for naps? When DS is in one of his clingy moods (like today) he won't settle in his moses basket but will let me put him in the car seat without hardly stirring. I think he generally prefers being upright and the seat is quite padded/cocoony. It was quite a discovery, that. He used to be almost unputdownable. You shouldn't let them sleep in there for more than two hours at a time (chance'd be a fine thing) and you can't leave them unattended but at least you have your hands free. Elizabeth Pantley recommends it in The No-Cry Sleep Solution.

I can identify with a lot of what you've said and with other posters. I spent weeks wondering what people meant by 'put down to sleep'. DS is now 9 weeks and I can sometimes put him in his moses almost asleep from feeding/rocking and he'll do the last bit himself with some shh/pat. He would never have allowed this even three weeks ago. They do change so quickly and it's easy to underestimate them and think "he can't do that". He shocked the hell out of me the first time he fell asleep in his basket. So I agree with the previous poster about trying things every so often. If it doesn't work, you can always go back to your usual methods but maybe one day you'll get a nice surprise.

wigglesrock Thu 25-Nov-10 13:45:37

My dd2 was exactly the same, would only sleep on/with me, I struggled on for months with no sleep sad, really regret not taking her into our bed sooner, was so exhausted for the first year. She screamed for hours, tried everything in desperation, she's now 3, first year was a constant battle unti I made decision to co-sleep, gradually things improved. Obviously in her own bed now, but she's not a fan of sleeping alone.

DD1 slept through, completely on her own from 9 weeks, they were both formula fed!! So just chalked it down to different personalities. Good luck.

ExistentialistCat Fri 26-Nov-10 19:24:25

Thank you so much, everyone. It's very reassuring to hear that there are plenty of babies out there who also won't be put down. We certainly never have whimpering either, Professor and Cosmo - it's outright screaming every time. And I'm afraid DD2 absolutley hates her carseat, Count, though it was a good idea in principle!

I wouldn't mind the co-sleeping quite so much if I actually got some sleep myself, but DD2 seems to spend the night practising breaststroke (actually in both senses - she's flailing about and stroking my breasts), which makes sleep almost impossible.

Guess I'll have to stick to waiting until she's completely zonked out and then putting her in the basket. Meanwhile, any ideas for replies to 'helpful' comments and suggestions of the rod-for-my-own-back variety?

PaulineMole Fri 26-Nov-10 19:31:33

are you me?
4 week old dd2 will only sleep on me, and in fact today will not even do that. she sometimes sleeps in her moses basket 9-11pm and 11-1am, but otherwise is on my chest. she too won't even sleep in her carseat or buggy, both of which used to knock dd1 straight out.

so i have no idea, but you are not alone.

newmum001 Fri 26-Nov-10 19:50:50

Oh how i needed to see this right now! My DD 10 weeks is exactly the same and i am not confident to co sleep at all! She just does not like her moses basket recently at all! It's getting to the point where im dreading night time. I've got knots in my stomach already! She was a really good sleeper at night until a couple of weeks ago and now feel like we're back at square one! You are not alone!!

ginger2000 Fri 26-Nov-10 20:56:09

Have you thought about abandoning the moses basket and going onto the cot? I know she is little but i have found with my dd2 (8 weeks) that she kept hitting the sides of the cot with her arms - she seems quite happy in the cot (most of the time although still usually ends up in with us by 4 or 5 in the morning) - she has even started napping during the day there quite happily!

just a thought...

ladykay Fri 26-Nov-10 21:09:10

Phew, there you all are! So do most of you keep the little ones with you til you go to bed? My DD is 2 months and will not go into basket except for an hour when out cold. I'm okay to have her on me all evening and all night until she gets it (assuming she gets it tomorrow) but starting to dread Xmas with the in-laws as MIL will comment, FIL will want to smoke a pipe and I will want to wop-em-out.

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