How does a baby self settle when they're a front sleeper!!?!!!

(2 Posts)
KateRed Mon 08-Feb-16 14:15:51

Hey ladies (and any gents!). I'm really struggling with my 4 and a half month old. He has always been a front sleeper, from day 3. He had tongue tie and his wind was horrendous and would never lie on his back, anywhere, he would just scream and scream. So I tried him on his front and he'd sleep. I read about all the risks and the people who do have success with front sleeping, and made a decision I would risk it and keep going. He's been fine though, could always lift his head and move it from side to side if that made it any safer!
Anyway, I'm at the point now where I want him to start self settling as he's up every few hours at night needing to suckle on me or for me to rock him back to sleep. I've tried doing the putting him into cot half awake thing, but he just gets so frustrated being on his front awake. He lifts his head up, moves it about and just gets more and more worked up. It's the same when he wakes up; he just gets frustrated being on his front. I've tried recently to get him back to sleeping on his back but he just screams and screams. On the few occasions I have managed it (with him sucking on my finger), he wakes within 15 mins crying. At least on his front he'll nap for about half an hour and manage a few hours at night. I'm really struggling with the broken nights sleep now, he's never had more than a 3 hour stretch in between waking. I'm worried he's just got into the habit of waking now and needs me to settle him back to sleep. He has started sucking his thumb when he's sat up in the day but won't accept that in his mouth when he's on his front. Even if I can get him to suck his thumb on his back, it soon comes out and he gets upset again.
So what I'm asking is, to all people who have commented on other feeds saying their babies slept on their front, how do you get them to start self soothing/settling and going to sleep on their own on their front?
Would really appreciate any advice on this one!!!! X

FATEdestiny Mon 08-Feb-16 14:29:07

The sleeping position isn't really anything to do with settling methods. Babies need assistance to gain the comfort and security needed to go to sleep until they are physically able to access that comfort for themselves. I suppose the exception to this would be if you give no comfort and let baby cry to sleep, but I am assuming that is not what you are hoping for.

Once a baby has the physical manual manipulation skills to use a dummy, snuggle a comforter toy or find a suction seal on the finger/hand to suck - then a child could learn to settle to sleep independently (ie without your help).

Until then you are likely to need to assist a baby in going to sleep. Babies gain comfort from:

- Sucking
- Rhythmic movement
- Your presence

Some babies need all three when young. Some need only one, some need two. It is rare to find a baby that needs no form of comfort and security to sleep without getting distressed. It is a fine balance between giving the comfort a baby needs to sleep without distress, and giving that comfort in a way that can be weaned-off to encourage independent sleeping in the long term.

A dummy may help you.

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