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If they are too young to sleep train, but you shouldn't rock them to sleep.. How on earth do you get them down at night?!

(20 Posts)
CharlandOscar Wed 16-Jan-13 16:55:01

My DS is 9 and 1/2 weeks old. He is breastfed and normally goes 3-4 hours between feeds night and day.
I was feeding every 2 hours but this started becoming a problem as I felt very blue from sleep deprevation and he was vomiting alot as well as colicy in the evening and early morning.
I made an effort to space out the feedings by taking him out in the pram to sleep increasing the time to 3 hours then to 4.
I also found the dummy very useful at night to settle him and stop using me as a dummy and therefore being sick!
I now want to remove the dummy.. I knew it could become a bad habit when I chose to use it but I'm at a loss on how to get him to sleep in any other way what isn't considered to be a bad sleep association!

I try putting him down awake but sleepy but he just crys and crys! No shushing, patting, stroking or singing helps! So I resort to the dummy again. He then wakes up when it falls out.
I've also tried removing it before he falls asleep.. he just crys!

So does anyone have a way of getting their babies to sleep without the sleep training which I think he is too young for but without feeding or rocking to sleep?

I think I'll burn the next book I read that says 'settle your baby in the cot awake but drowsy' What does that even mean?!!

anyone else feel like they are just not getting it~?

DD2 is 9 weeks and up until last week was going down with minimal problems. There were a few periods of her getting over tired and being hard to settle.

This week however, the only way we can get her off is for her to lie on my chest. I have been relegated back to the sofa now as she just will not settle at all.

At night I wrap her tight in a blanket and she will go off in her moses basket aslong as she can see or hear me.

Im just trying to get through it really. Im lucky that I have DP here to ferry DD1 to school, clean and make meals. When he gets a job Im not really sure what I will do.

CharlandOscar Wed 16-Jan-13 17:11:27

That must be frustrating seeing as she had been going down ok!
I'm starting to think I just need to get him to sleep whatever way then wait until he is old enough to sleep train! sigh

HappyAsASandboy Wed 16-Jan-13 17:16:55

I recommend feeding to sleep for as long as you can get away with it. It is quick (relatively), easy and reliable. Eventually they grow out of it (just before 1 year old for my two) and bedtimes become harder.

If they wot feed to sleep, I rock, sing, cuddle, give them their dummy and teddy and generally sooth them. They generally drift of after 15 to 30 mins (two 2 year olds though, might be quicker if they didn't egg each other on).

I really wouldn't make your life harder by worrying about what you're supposed to do - just do whatever works for you and your baby smile

nextphase Wed 16-Jan-13 17:18:30

9 weeks? Err, feed to sleep, cuddle to sleep, swaddle, sing, rock to sleep. Whatever, however, if it works do it!

Honestly, you won't make a rod for your own back - co-sleepers here, now with a 3 yr old who wakes regularly, and a 20 mth old who sleeps through everything. Baby will decide, and how you parent will only have a minimal effect.

We feed to sleep til 9 months with DS1 (naps, bed time and night wakes), DS2 has been much more chilled, and went in half awake from an early age - probably because he had to feed through DS1's bedtime story!

spinaltap Wed 16-Jan-13 17:22:04

Hi Charland
You're baby is still very young, don't worry about using whatever works to get them to sleep. They change so much it's not like any routine you get into now is going to be fixed for life.
This blog has some good tips and there are other posts on there about sleep training too:

Good luck, hope it goes well!

CharlandOscar Wed 16-Jan-13 17:49:08

Thanks for the wise words ladies. I had a feeling i was making things more difficult for myself :-)

Orenishii Wed 16-Jan-13 18:40:59

OMG OP I worry about this - DS is 11 weeks and I mostly keep him downstairs with me in the evening, feeding him to sleep in my arms for most of the evening until I go up. We then co sleep and he goes out no problem but i worry about the early evening stretch when i eventually come to start putting him to be a lot, lot earlier.

Take the other posters advice - do whatever works smile

feekerry Wed 16-Jan-13 20:11:15

Who says you shouldn't rock/feed/cuddle to sleep????!!!
God i long for the days when i could feed and rock to sleep. It was quick/easy and lovely. Now dd is 10 months and not so easy lol!!
Do whatever you gota do to get them to sleep. The easier and quicker the better!!

TripleRock Thu 17-Jan-13 10:41:30

9 weeks is still very tiny, I wouldn't worry.

DD got to a stage at about 3-4 months old when she would feed until she was nearly asleep, so I would put her down and she would go off on her own. She also started using her thumb to self settle which in many ways was more convenient than a dummy as she could always find it herself easily.

However, at 2.3 she still sucks her thumb at sleep times and I can already see its starting to have an effect on her teeth. So if I could go back, I probably would have opted to just carry on feeding her to sleep for a bit longer

TempusFuckit Fri 25-Jan-13 20:12:01

I agree there's nothing wrong with feeding to sleep if it works for you. I did it with DS for months (although stopping it was what finally got him to sleep through - but then it was an easier battle as an older baby than a young, very hungry one).

However, with DD, now 8.5 weeks, I have persevered with the whole putting her down drowsy thing and after some grumbly protests to begin with, she's now happily nodding off. You could also try loud white noise, and just leaving baby alone for a minute if just grumbly - DD got agitated the more I shushed and patted etc, as long as she could see me that seemed enough.

babySophieRose Tue 29-Jan-13 10:49:30

I always hold my DD in my arms when getting to sleep. It takes 5 min for her to be fast asleep. She used to self settle, but then I realized that I will miss cuddling and holding her because they grow so quickly. She could go to sleep by herself, takes around 10 min or sometimes less, but I prefer a cuddle...

AutumnMadness Tue 29-Jan-13 11:14:31

Charlan, my son is two now and has always been a problematic sleeper. I found that sleep training books (in our case only perhaps) are just rubbish. My son has always refused to do whatever they recommend in the books. So I would just advise to go with the flow. Just try to get him to sleep whatever way you can. Feed, rock, dummy, whatever. At such a young age, I would not worry about all these things becoming a problem later on. If they become a problem, you will deal with them then. You have enough on your plate now to tacked things that are not yet a problem.

I would definitely second swaddling - I had a theory that the boys were disturbed by the transition from warm cuddly arms to chilly cot/moses basket, and that the swaddling blanket insulated them from this.

I would also agree that, at 9 weeks old, you do what works, as nextphase says. I would also say that, whenever the baby has a sleep, you have a rest too - even if it is only 20 minutes. That is the one thing I wish I had known with ds1.

I also found that a cot mobile helped, when the boys were a bit older, and were in a cot rather than the basket - but soothing, gentle music could help now (a cd of baby classics, maybe).

I know that the plural of anecdote is not data, but I cuddled/rocked/sang all three of my boys to sleep when they were tiny, and all of them turned into good sleepers.

Congratulations on your lovely baby, and enjoy the snuggles and closeness.

Startail Tue 29-Jan-13 11:44:51

BF to sleep and into warm cot.

CharlandOscar Tue 29-Jan-13 20:35:53

Thank you for all your responses. I'm enjoying cuddles with my ds and not stressing so much with possible future problems. smile

Startail Wed 30-Jan-13 01:30:41

Cuddles are definitely the best way to go.

DD is 11, she fell asleep on DH' s knee tonight.

rungichungi Wed 06-Feb-13 12:29:01

CharlandOscar, I feel your pain! So much advice is conflicting out there!

The only things that are working for us is putting him his Moses basket (warmed by a hot water bottle) when he's completely in deep sleep but if he wakes up again holding his hands (he doesn't like being swaddled) and rocking the basket shh-ing or chanting 'go to sleep' until he drifts off again. This can take an hour... and it's exhausting!

Apparently it gets easier??!!!

CharlandOscar Fri 08-Feb-13 09:43:51

Yes there is so much 'advice' i didnt know what to do!
It is getting better here with me and Ds. Patting, shhhushing and stroking down his nose works. I try him without the dummy now and then too. He crys and shouts for about 5 mins then i pat him again and he falls asleep. Then in the night he can get himself back off to sleep!! Still cant sleep longer than 3 hours but its not forever..right?!!

cazzilla Thu 21-Feb-13 15:36:24

i am in the exact same position,11.5 weeks old,has never liked moses basket,loves feeding in bed to go to sleep,but then when we pick her up to put her to bed she screams and cries.we are trying her in the cot in her own room,she is better with more room,but she won't go to sleep on her own,we have to rock,fed,cuddle for hours to get her to the day she will only sleep in her sling or when we go out in the pram.been considering trying the baby sleep system by wendy dean,but I don't know if its too soon and i'm just expecting too much too soon. I do hate all these lucky people who can put their babies down awake and they go to sleep on their own,i generally find they are bottlefed not breast fed babies.
at least we're all in this together, thinking of you,i'm sure it will all sort itself out eventually.

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