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Anyone had a screamer and managed to train their dc to self settle?

(21 Posts)
toomuchtooyoung Tue 27-Nov-12 13:55:32

Ds is 4 months, rubbish at naps and quite rubbish at sleeping. I'm not proposing sleep training at 4 months but need to start thinking about the next few months and how I'm going to encourage him to self settle, for his sake as well as mine.

Trouble is he's a screamer, 0 to blood curdling scream in less than 60 seconds, if i so much as put him down when he's not ready. I can understand his need to be close, and we ocasionaly co-sleep when i'm too exhausted at about 5 in the morning, but his clinginess is affecting 2yo dd, relationship with dh and my own sanity!

I can't see how pu/pd or shush pat is going to re-assure him to fall asleep on his own. I just can't envisage him giving in and not screaming, and screaming, and screaming some more.

Anyone managed any kind of sleep training with a screamer?

DW123 Tue 27-Nov-12 19:08:58

Will watch - DT2 is still a screamer at 19 months. A friend recently advised me to tell him to go back to sleep at night. Oh how I laughed.

Iggly Tue 27-Nov-12 20:00:23

Could he have wind hence the screaming? Dd was like that.

I found that napping in the sling was the answer until 5/6 months when I started putting her down for cot naps after making sure she was fully winded (even though BF) and fast asleep. After trial and error it would take about 10 mins (I stuck ds in front of the tv while sorting her out) and I had to put her on her tummy.

Curtsey Tue 27-Nov-12 20:05:33

Yes, but I had a really convoluted method that's too long and boring to detail here! Started from about 5.5 months. At 4 months she was just a hellbeast and nothing worked except the pram.

Tertius Tue 27-Nov-12 21:23:27

Yes dc2 a screamer and no she can't self settle at 16 months. Ahe will still cry to sleep.

Dc1 was not a screamer and did self settle once given the opportunity. They really are all different!

toomuchtooyoung Tue 27-Nov-12 22:27:10

Oh. That's so not what I wanted to hear!!!

He is still quite a windy baby but that doesn't seem to be his problem. He's just really grumpy. Will wake up from his nap and be all smiles and giggles for 10 minutes then just whinges, screams or wriggles about until the next nap. Thankfully he is quite easy to get to sleep for his 30 minute power naps, although never in the cot, only slings, swings, prams and arms will do during the day. So why is it that the cot is ok at night??? Babies are weird.

Curtesy - Loving the name hellbeast! I would love to hear your convoluted method though.

FunnysInLaJardin Tue 27-Nov-12 22:30:28

yes, and yes now self settles, and no I'm not going to tell you how because folk around here don't like it. So very sorry but experience has dictated that it is not worth my emotional energy

BikeRunSki Tue 27-Nov-12 22:33:20

At 12 months old, 9 hellish days of controlled crying. DD will now go to bed at night, but hell not in the day.

SamSmalaidh Tue 27-Nov-12 22:36:41

I did pu/pd as DS would have been far too distressed by controlled crying. He did scream though grin but screaming in arms was alright for me... only took a few nights and he started going down very easily with just vigorous bottom patting and shhing.

toomuchtooyoung Tue 27-Nov-12 23:35:29

Funnys - thanks for letting me know you had a success story, and sorry that you received such a reaction. I would still be very interested to know though, would you pm me??

Curtsey Wed 28-Nov-12 09:21:48

Well I guess every baby is different and will respond to different things, so it was a matter of figuring out what DD responded to and then coming up with a little routine and being verrrrrry consistent; and also making a decision with myself that I would not get cross with her whatever happened - that I would just stay calm and stick with the routine until I saw a least some results. I didn't do CC or CIO but only because she was too young to do it and I couldn't wait long enough for her to get old enough!

My method involved throwing every sleep prop in the book at DD apart from the boob - so, rocking in pram, white noise, comforter, and a special sleeptime song that was soothing and was only ever played at naptime. The week I decided to it I made all of the naps indoor naps (she had no problem dozing off straight away outside in the fresh air!).

Step 1. Zip DD into her snowsuit so she thinks we're going for a walk.
Step 2. Turn on the white noise (extractor fan!) and the sleep song
Step 3. Put her in pram with her comforter and rock it until she gave in and fell asleep.

Note: There would usually be a bit of tired whinging, but no full-on crying. I figured out that she liked to put her face in her comforter just before she fell asleep, so once I saw her doing that I knew she was nearly there.

Step 4. Once DD is asleep, STOP ROCKING THE PRAM. V. important. (Previously I would sit there rocking the pram with my foot while MNing or making lunch because I was so terrified she'd wake up. ) If she woke up, I would rock her back, but once she was asleep I'd stop rocking.
Step 5. After a week or so of this, put DD in the pram at naptime with the white noise, song, and comforter, and let her put herself to sleep. Again, this took a bit of time and whinging, but no full-on crying.

And actually, I was really happy with that. But when I did want her to sleep in her cot as opposed to sleeping in the pram in the kitchen, I swopped the snowsuit for a sleeping bag (she was still being zipped into something so it wasn't much of a leap) and kept the white noise, song, and comforter. I sat by her cot while she grizzled, either holding her hand and jiggling it, or jiggling her bum. Once she was asleep I tiptoed out and left the song playing on a loop. But dropped the song easily enough after about a week. I kept the white noise for much longer.

See, told you it was convoluted smile If you're breastfeeding, as a very first step to all this, you might think about introducing a comforter and keeping it with you while he's feeding so that it picks up your smell.

Curtsey Wed 28-Nov-12 09:23:07

Should add that hell would have frozen over before DD would accept PU/PD!

toomuchtooyoung Wed 28-Nov-12 15:37:35

Curtsey, thanks for that. Funnily enough they are the kind of tactics I adopted to get dd to nap better, although definitely not as complicated as yours. The good news was she's turned into a brilliant sleeper and even now at 2.2 has a daily two hour nap :-). She still does have a couple of props though, her blankets and a dummy, but she's a good sleeper so she'll drop them when she's ready

But ds is a different beast. He doesn't do grizzling, he's a full on screaming banshee who won't stop, even if I'm holding and cuddling him. He won't even be able to hear me shushing above the noise he's making!

ilikefestivitea Wed 28-Nov-12 15:40:30

Dd was a screamer and pu/pd worked on her at that age (it took about a week) but it seemed to work. The first couple of days were hell, but it was worth it in the end.

toomuchtooyoung Wed 28-Nov-12 18:40:40

Ilike - when you picked up how long did you wait before putting down? I'd, was your dd completely quiet or was she grizzling?

Just wondering as ds doesn't like to stop once he's started screaming!

ilikefestivitea Wed 28-Nov-12 19:23:54

I generally waited until she was quiet before I put her back down, but not asleep. After a couple of days, she would calm down with one of us just going into her room and stroking her cheek. We started with night time, with a rigid bath, bottle, quiet time / story then bed. And once she was in bed, we.never took her out of the.bedroom. It was really hard to.begin with but we stuck with it and it got us our sanity back reasonably quickly. I think the trick it a reasonable time to work - and know that it won't work the first time (or the 2nd or 3rdsmile ) but it takes time. Funnily enough, once we'd cracked bed time she was much less screamy during the day, I think that's because she was getting proper sleep (as were we) and for.her naps we.followed the same pattern once.the nights were sorted.

KatyJ26 Wed 28-Nov-12 19:34:21

watching with great interest, but feeling quite thick what is PU/PD? Is it pick up/put down? blush

SamSmalaidh Wed 28-Nov-12 20:44:57


Ameybee Mon 03-Dec-12 12:35:33

Having exactly same problem with 10 week old DS - DS was not screamer but jeez he is. I'm think of trying ssh patting. I really don't feel comfortable with cry it out at all. But he will also scream over the sshing! Its so tough - I'm very stressed about it! confused X

ThinkAboutItOnBoxingDay Mon 03-Dec-12 20:28:27

I'm doing very gradual retreat with my little screamer (6 months). Been going for about 3 weeks and have gone from rocking and feeding to sleep to her falling asleep in her cot with me not even touching her.

Didn't manage no screaming but there wasn't too much really. Minutes rather than hours at any rate, and i was with her, holding her and soothing her all along.

Now i just need to get out of the room!

mewkins Mon 03-Dec-12 22:20:29

Dd was a screamer and pupd worked on her too within a few days. In retrospect, think that cc would have been better for her - me being the room seemed to annoy her more. Fwiw dd is now 2.5 and sleeps like a dream.

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