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"They need to learn to self soothe" WTF does that even mean?

(6 Posts)
Bumperlicioso Fri 24-Jun-11 20:50:10

I have a crap sleeping dd2. Actually she is better at the moment, even sleeping through every other night or so. Getting her down is a nightmare at the moment. We've tried lots of things to various effects, but I am so sick of hearing people say, on here and in RL, "they need to learn to settle themselves"

WTF does that mean? It is usually used as a justification for cc/CIO but how is leaving them to cry teaching them to self settle? And apart from that how the heck are you supposed to teach them. Do I need to be showing my 9 mo diagrams of a bed and the various tactics she could employ to help herself fall asleep? Or would flash cards with pictures of other babies sleeping do the trick?

PukeyRag Fri 24-Jun-11 21:15:35

Haha, I totally get where you're coming from. I'm not a fan of CC and wouldn't dream of leaving my DD to cry herself to sleep. IMO that is not self settling, it's giving up.

Anyway, I have read The No Cry Sleep Solution and in that book Elizabeth Pantley describes a technique where you gradually remove the breast/bottle while the baby is sleepy but not asleep, (if they root you replace the breast/bottle) and keep doing that until they eventually learn to fall asleep without it. Which is the first step to being able to put them down sleepy and them 'self settling'.

A much nicer way of doing it. smile

Of course, you could just leave it until they're old enough to understand the tactics and flash cards - some people do grin

pfbornot Fri 24-Jun-11 21:17:35

My kids are 5 and 3. I have no idea WTF this self soothing stuff is and have ceased to care. Despite the fact that they were both terrible sleepers as babies, they understand now that they get into bed to go to sleep for the night. No need for it if you don't like it.

RitaMorgan Fri 24-Jun-11 21:24:16

I never did CC/CIO - just did a little less to help ds fall asleep as time went on. So from feeding to sleep, to rocking, to patting, to a hand on his back, to just sitting next to the cot, to leaving the room before he was asleep.

We did do pick-up/put-down a couple of times (where you pick them up if they cry but put them down again once they stop) - firstly to move from rocking to just patting him in his cot, I would pat him and if he started crying picked him up and cuddled him, then put him down and patted again. Second time we used it was when he started waking himself up in the night by standing up in his cot, but it was more just laying him down than pick-up/put-down.

He's 10 months now and still does sometimes need a bit of help going to sleep, but mostly he's read a story at bedtime and then goes to sleep by himself.

CountBapula Fri 24-Jun-11 21:26:50

Self-soothing is set up as the holy grail almost from birth, but I think some babies take longer than others to do it. Every so often now DS will wake in the night, cry for a minute or two, and go back to sleep again. We have not taught him to do this in any way. I still feed him almost to sleep and put him down dopey. In the last three weeks he's started to just roll on to his side and go to sleep. Again, he just randomly started to do this of his own accord.

I've come to the conclusion that it's mostly developmental, like everything else. All that stuff about, "oh, he has to go to sleep on his own at the start of the night or he'll keep waking up" turned out to be complete bullshit as far as DS is concerned. He's not sleeping through by any means, but he's sleeping a hell of a lot better than he was, and we've not done anything differently.

RitaMorgan Fri 24-Jun-11 21:39:06

My ds's sleep definitely got better when I stopped feeding to sleep (he needed to be fed at the end of every 45 minute sleep cycle in the night, which was killing me) and again when he started to settle himself to sleep. There was a big difference around 7 months in the nights when he fell asleep by himself compared to the ones where he was fed/cuddled/patted to sleep - though I think you're right on the developmental thing as these days it doesn't seem to matter if he is helped to sleep or falls asleep himself.

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