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how to wean DS off being rocked to sleep?

(9 Posts)
fireflyz Tue 13-Sep-11 19:02:59

DS is 10 mo and still needs to be rocked / walked / swayed to sleep before we can put him in his cot.

He can sometimes be put down in the cot when he's very drowsy so all he does is turn onto his side to sleep.

OH won't stand and rock / sway him any more. He gets DS to sleep by sitting in a slightly bouncy chair that we keep next to his bed, bouncing the chair and holding DS quite tightly and holding his arms so he can't grab at hair etc.

There's usually a lot of wailing. To be fair, OH usually gets the bedtime shift and I think that might be harder.

I hate the wailing, so I am still ''walking'' him to sleep, he likes being held upright with his head resting on my shoulder, DS groans a bit but that's all - and then after a while he sort of wriggles round to lie in my arms. I then can just put him in the cot.

It's very tough physically - DS is about 10kg - I can just about do it.... AT THE MOMENT!!!!

For both me and OH it takes about 20 mins at least to get him to sleep at bedtime (maybe that's not that bad?!). For naps during the day it varies.

When he goes to a CM in about 2 months, he won't get this rocking to sleep as she won't have time, and I worry about how he will react.

On my HV's advice, we tried one night to put him in his cot before all the rocking and just sit nearby and pat his tummy, but it didn't work, he just kept pushing our hands away.

As you might guess, I can't imagine doing controlled crying. I just kind of feel it's cruel to let them cry. I think it must be frightening for them to be left to cry if they're not used to it.

Will he just grow out of all of this? I mean, people don't do this rocking with toddlers, do they????

What can I do?

NoTeaForMe Tue 13-Sep-11 22:42:21

Wow! If you change DS to DD I could have written this post. No childminder to think of but it's killing my back!! Will watch with interest!!

My DD has been good at night for a week or so but the last few nights has gone back to screaming the place down unless she's being held. Which my husband says he doesn't want go do as she's nearly one, he thinks she should be better at going to sleep by herself! I'd love her to, she has always been rocked to sleep in the day!

Help me!!

babyrose Wed 14-Sep-11 19:39:47

my son is almost 16 and we have finally got away from rocking to sleep with the gradual withdrawl plan! its taken about 3 months so far but i can put him in his cot i need to help him alittle to get settled but he falls asleep on his own with me sitting next to him.

deaconblue Wed 14-Sep-11 20:15:19

Try the baby whisperer's pick up put down method. He will cry but you stay with him and it doesn't feel like you are being cruel at all. We did this when ds was 8 months old and just too heavy to be rocked. Took 1 difficult night, 1 daytime sleep and the following night he lay in his cot and fell asleep unaided while I sat beside him. Was amazing. We continued to sit by his bed til he was about 16 months then did the 'disappearing chair' so that he learnt to get to sleep totally on his own.

bozemum Wed 14-Sep-11 21:11:13

I think I rocked my ds to sleep until he was about 16 months! He didn't need it every night by then, only if overtired. But it was hard on my back! I remember wondering how much longer i could manage. So i know how you feel.
I never did pick up put down, but often thought it sounded good as a last resort. We just settled him in cot awake and not over tired and he slowly got better at settling himself as the months went on. Not much advice for you really - just sympathy. I'd try pick up put down if you don't like the idea of leaving him alone.

Zoonose Wed 14-Sep-11 21:30:19

I rocked DS (first DC) to sleep for quite a long time and eventually moved to sitting in a chair with him but was still doing that at 20 months, waiting until he fell asleep, then transferring him to the cot. With DD I fed her to sleep until 12 months, out of laziness above anything else, but I did not want to go down the rocking to sleep road as I remembered how much it hurt my back! I also felt reasonably sure that she fed to sleep as that was what she knew, not because she particularly wanted to - and she woke up a lot in the evening and at night and had to have a quick bf to get back to sleep again. As she is my second DC, I felt more confident, and what I did was took one side off her cot (which she had not been sleeping in) and lay her down awake and sat right next to her, stroking, singing etc, until she fell asleep. I did pick her up if I felt she needed to be calmed down, although she is not a child who likes to be calmed down by cuddles, so that was not such an issue. She was upset to start with, she cried a lot, but she generally went to sleep within 15-45 minutes, and she did improve quickly (ie stopped crying!) and within a month she was used to this arrangement, and fine with it. And she stopped waking up at night.

I could not bring myself to leave her ie controlled crying and didn't really see any need to - I wanted to make the change gradually. I still sit with her while she goes off to sleep (she is 17 months) but next stage for me is gradually retreating from the room.

It is very hard to have the confidence to wean your child off what makes them feel comfortable and safe when they are going to sleep. But I think if you are there with them and you are offering comfort, you should not feel guilty. I think at 10 months they go to sleep in whatever way they are used to going to sleep - so it's a big deal to change, but equally it doesn't take much time to change, because of the relative length of their experience, and then they go to sleep a different way that they are now used to. If that makes sense.

And I always had in the back of my mind: I will do this for 5 nights consistently and then see where I am, whether I need to change things, if things are improving. And I wish I had done this with DS!

fireflyz Thu 15-Sep-11 21:05:11

Thank you all - great to know I'm not alone smile

Can I ask 2 things -

What is the pick up put down method?

And when you sit next to your child, do they still cry / wail etc... ?

I find the wailing very hard to deal with. Feel I have to pick DS up straightaway if he is starting to cry loudly. Which happens very quickly if I put him down before he is asleep or if he wakes up as I try to creep out of the room.

banana87 Thu 15-Sep-11 21:13:11

My DD did this when she was that age. We had to bounce her to sleep (or half sleep). As I am not a fan of the baby whisperer or any other 'baby training' techniques, I chose to ride it out. She did grow out of this at around 15 months and still goes in her bed, awake, and puts herself to sleep at the age of 3. I really miss those days when I could rock her to sleep sad

deaconblue Fri 16-Sep-11 11:33:44

Pick up put down is very simple but you do have to stick it out. You cuddle baby say 'sleepy time' (any phrase you like but choose something short as you repeat it a lot). Lay baby in cot and sit down. As soon as he cries pick him up and hold him until he starts to calm. Do not rock, jiggle or hold him for any longer than necessary. Put him down in cot. Say 'sleepy time'. At first he may wail before he even gets to the mattress. Still lay him down but pick him up again immediately. Repeat until he is so knackered he falls asleep laying in his cot. It does work but is very draining at first and you have to force yourself to stick rigidly to the rules. First night I picked up and put down for 1 1/2 hrs til my arms were burning. He woke in the night and it took 45 mins. We put him down for his daytime nap and he fell straight to sleep in his cot! I used to sit next to the cot while he nodded off. Never looked back.

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