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Putting down awake/self settling

(11 Posts)
Binglesplodge Tue 13-Jan-15 00:54:02

My 13 week old DS will feed to sleep or be held and bounced/shushed to sleep and can then sometimes be transferred successfully into his crib but will sleep much better on me or DH. In the interests of encouraging him away from this habit and with the ambition eventually of being able to put him to bed and letting him fall asleep on his own, can you offer any advice on how to teach him to fall asleep?

At the moment if I pop him into his crib and swaddle him he'll be happy enough for a couple of minutes but then get progressively more upset or just start happily kicking and flinging his arms around until he's completely uncovered. Either way, even with my hand on him he'll start crying within minutes.

Is 13 weeks too early to be trying this? The routine books I've read imply that in fact it's a bit late and I should have started from birth but nobody told me (or him) that feeding to sleep wasn't a brilliant long term plan...

Does anyone have any tips on how to encourage him to drop off to sleep? Leaving the room and coming back at short intervals? Start with naps or with the bedtime routine?

yellowsnownoteatwillyou Tue 13-Jan-15 01:43:33

We used a star light thing that projects images on the ceiling at this age, after always feeding to sleep. Also baby was in a grow bag after liking swaddling initially but at about 2/3 months would kick blankets off then cry.

Gennz Tue 13-Jan-15 08:18:19

My DS is 7 weeks. When he was newborn I almost invariably fed to sleep because how can you avoid it? But as he's woken up a bit over the last few weeks I've put him down awake more frequently - usually as drowsy as I can get him. He's in a moses basket in our room but has some daytime naps in the buggy in the living room.

Usual practice for daytime naps is swaddle (miracle blanket) (though I am trying not swaddling for some naps), baby shusher white noise, dummy. IF we are out for a walk the motion of the buggy sends him off to sleep.

For evening, I do last feed in our room with blinds down, again swaddle, dummy, baby shusher, down awake. (He cluster feeds from about 5 - 7.30 at the moment). He tends to cry out at least once - sometimes just needs dummy back in, sometimes pick up for a cuddle (often brings up one last burps & that sorts him out), sometimes one last feed. I tolerate some grizzles but as soon as I hear proper crying I go in and check on him (if he's properly crying, not just fussing, I pick him up/cuddle/calm him down & then put him straight back down). Some nights take longer than others - tonight I put him down at 6.30pm awake and he went straight to sleep!

Greenstone Tue 13-Jan-15 17:48:13

This is a bit of personality thing I think. Ive tried it from birth with both babies but it never worked at this age. I did witness dd2 aged 10 weeks do it once and couldn't believe my eyes but so far no repeat!

A dummy will definitely help since that's a similar kind of comfort to feeding to sleep but you can sneak away wink

tulip87 Sun 18-Jan-15 21:03:33

My son used to get very het up when he couldn't self settle. I found putting a muslin next to his cheek that I kept down my top at night times really helps to calm him down - the smell makes him feel safe I guess- and then he either drifts off or finds his thumb and sucks it to get to sleep. We also use ewan the dream sheep not sure if it actually works but I'm not willing to risk him not being switched on! good luck x

Binglesplodge Fri 23-Jan-15 16:03:44

So, is it unusual that at 3 months my DS can't self settle? I'm not sure if I should be trying harder to make him do it, or whether it's an ability they demonstrate as they develop and not one you force them into... If it's something I need to train him to do I'd better hurry up and make him do it; if it's something he's going to come around to in time then I won't try to force him in the meantime as the crying is traumatic for both if us and I don't want to do any CIO/ CC if I don't have to (plus it seems that's really for 6 months plus).

Greenstone Fri 23-Jan-15 16:27:14

Bingle - it's not unusual no, especially not if you're breastfeeding. Definitely it's not for forcing at this age. Some babies can do it really easily with just a bit of prompting like a dummy and white noise, and some need way longer. I had to teach my dd1 to do it when she was 5 months and I'm very glad I did because it made things so much easier from then on. (Did it with an elaborate ritual of sleep props and steps. No cc or cio.)
There are things you can do from now to help them get there, a bedtime routine and loose nap routine being the main things. Sleep training is mostly about routine ime.

Greenstone Fri 23-Jan-15 16:33:50

What I mean is: yes they all get there in their own time. For me though if that time is 8 months plus that's too long away for me if it means constant waking for reasons other than hunger. The no - cry sleep solution has good ideas,implementation takes a while but we'll get there hopefully.

AugustRose Fri 23-Jan-15 17:04:36

I was very lucky with DS2, from about 8 weeks he started to settle himself but only by accident. I had put him in the cot with his mobile on (after a feed) and was pottering about the bedroom putting washing away. After about 10 minutes I realised he had fallen asleep (albeit only for about 2 hours). Anyway, the next night I did it again with just a lamp on and he fell asleep. It was actually about 10pm when we started this so I moved it forward each night by 10 mins until at 10 weeks he was going to bed at about 8/8.30pm.

I made it part of our routine - change, feed, song with the gloworm then into the cot. It didn't always work and sometimes I would have to hold his hand through the cot bars but it helped that he liked the mobile. Two of my other children hated them and would cry when they were on so it just depends on the baby I think.

Binglesplodge Fri 23-Jan-15 17:59:13

Wow. I'm amazed at these stories of babies who will fall asleep if simply held/hand held/patted! To complicate things, I have a feeling DS has silent reflux (shallow sleep, often wakes screaming, periods of inconsolable crying not linked to hunger/nappy/temperature, wet burps, lots of drooling and spitting up small amounts of curdled and "sick" smelling milk a long time after a feed) - could treating this help with how difficult it is to settle him? We started on gaviscon but it made him much much worse as within a short time he was constipated and the straining was making even more acid come upwards :-( starting ranitidine tomorrow - perhaps once he's a little more comfortable he'll be able to fall asleep more easily?

Incapinka Fri 23-Jan-15 18:07:43

My Ds liked us to stay with him until he fell asleep. DD however doesn't like any company at all. If I stayed with her she would get increasingly upset. By accident I discovered she liked to sort herself out (I needed the loo and left her). She may grumble for a minute or 2 but then falls asleep. If she does start proper crying after a couple of minutes I give her a cuddle and then try again. 9 times out of 10 this is how she goes to sleep. No music/white noise/lights but it does help that she loves sucking her thumb. She's been like this since about 8 weeks (she's now 6 months). They are all so different!

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