Teaching 7 week old to self settle at 7pm - too young?(12 Posts)
we have just started to put our 7 week old down at 7pm in her Moses basket. Until now we've been cuddling her to sleep whilst pacing the house, eating dinner, watching tv etc. We are now trying to introduce the evening routine (bath, dim lights etc) but she's not having a bar of it. She spits the dummy out after a few minutes and cries. We take turns to sooth her and pick her up if she's really getting worked up. Are we tackling this too early? Any advice on this and tips on self settling would be appreciated.
Way too young. I mean, nothing wrong with introducing an evening routine that might start to act as a set of sleepy cues, but I wouldn't expect it to work right away. Seven weeks is...well, barely sentient, frankly. She's a bundle of primal instincts, and those instincts are basically: "Need warm safe human contact so as not to be eaten by wolves". She hasn't got the cognitive abilities nor the emotional intelligence to self-settle at this age, and she needs to know that she can rely on you to protect her and comfort her until she develops those skills.
But do keep on with the bedtime routine, because the longer you do it for, the stronger those cues will be that it's bedtime. And don't despair about setting yourself up with bad habits, or that this will go on forever; it feels like that, with your first, but it's really a tiny amount of time and she'll learn those skills before you know it. At the moment, prioritise getting enough sleep yourselves so that you've the energy to respond to her needs, and keep getting through each day.
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
I actually don't think there's any harm doing bath/ bedtime when she's getting tired (which may not necessarily be 7pm at that age by the way and her 'bedtime' might change daily) and putting her in her moses basket to see if she'll settle. You may end up bringing her back downstairs and cuddling her to sleep, or she may go off to sleep because you've caught her sleepy cues just right. We started doing this with DS from around 6-8 weeks, but just be prepared that they still need lots of help and cuddles so your evenings won't be your own for a while again yet.
DS is now a great self settler, but when he was that young we didn't just let him get on with it, we always went to him.
We started a bedtime routine with DS at about this age. He has never been one to just lie down and go to sleep, but he did catch on quite quickly that it was bedtime and we had our evenigs back from about 8-9 weeks.
That said, it did sometimes take half an hour or so of shusshing, patting, stroking, finger sucking (now a dummy), etc for him to drop off to sleep.
He now (6 mo) goes to sleep within 5-10 minutes at bedtime, but still needs a bit of reassurance from us.... unlike some of my friends' babies who just seem to just close their eyes and go to sleep once they hit the cot! They are all different though, and that is A Good Thing.
Overall, in my limited experience, I think it is a good age to introduce a bedtime routine, but not necessarily expect the self-settling.
For us the bedtime routine fell into place almost overnight at 12 weeks old. Before that it was rocking in arms and putting down asleep. Afterwards it was bath, feed, into cot and kiss goodnight, leaving him awake but very sleepy. After a couple of shouts he fell asleep. Staying asleep however....that is anoth story !!!
Too young. She's not long been out the womb where she was rocked to sleep all the time with warmth, comfort and security. To suddenly be exposed to the outside world and left to settle herself after just a few weeks is all too sudden i think. Bit of a loose routine is good, they pick up on familiarity very early. It's all about patience. I still feed and rock my 10m.o dd to sleep, after reading books and dimming the lights x
We started an evening routine at about 7 wks, but at 8 mo dd is still rocked/cuddled/fed to sleep every night and all naps. Works for us.
Until 8 weeks DS fed all evening and didn't sleep at night unless he was on my chest. Tried putting him to bed at about 7pm and he just went to sleep and with a dream feed stayed that way until morning. Was very unexpected but good.
I cuddled DD to sleep and transferred her for 8.5 months. One time at 8.5 months the cuddling wasn't working so I put her in her cot to see what would happen. She chatted happily for about half an hour and then nodded off.
7 weeks is too young to self settle. For the first 6 months DD stayed in the same room as us and went to bed when we did as per SIDS guidelines.
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