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Getting baby to sleep in his cot

(10 Posts)
Trinpy Wed 23-Nov-16 10:33:11

Ds is 8 months old. He usually spends the first part of the night in his cot (goes to sleep between 7-7.30) and then comes over to our bed somewhere between 12 and 2. Occasionally we manage to keep him in his cot for most or all of the night but this is rare. I would love for him to sleep in his cot all night but he cries so much he ends up waking up our other dc so we have to co sleep. Taking off one side of the cot and putting it next to our bed doesn't work.

He has now started resisting me putting him down in his cot completely (though will let Dh do it). I'm not doing anything differently to before and I do keep trying and trying to get him to sleep. I don't know what to do.

FATEdestiny Wed 23-Nov-16 13:54:06

My suggestion would be to let your DH do all bedtimes.

Baby needs to learn to fall asleep in the cot happily and consistantly, if you dont want to cosleep.

Trinpy Wed 23-Nov-16 16:36:56

Thanks FATE. That would be great except dh doesn't get home until 10.30-11pm so way too late to put him to bed unfortunately.

timeforachangeithink Wed 23-Nov-16 16:38:52

My son went through a similar stage around that age. We used a sleepyhead grand and a lot of patience. Got there eventually, was sleeping in his own room all night by 10 months. Good luck.

FATEdestiny Wed 23-Nov-16 21:30:55

How much time are you expecting to give to getting her sleeping in the cot?

The key to making changes without creating distress is to make little tiny changes. Do something a little bit closer to the outcome you want. Do that consistantly for several days/weeks until it's accepted fully, then make another tiny little change.

Thing is thoygh, this takes a long, long time. To set your expectations it might be a year down the line, possibly longer, before you reach the point where you can put your awake toddler in the cot and they stay there all night.

The process can be speeded up, but this will involve crying and distress.

There is no magic answer.

Trinpy Wed 23-Nov-16 23:33:39

It takes as long as it takes really but I want to feel like I'm making some progress. Eventually I want him sleeping in his cot until at least 6am. Self settling if possible. In the short term I am happy to rock/cuddle him to sleep, hold his hand while he dozes off etc. But I do need to be able to put him down! I can get him to sleep or nearly asleep and then as soon as I try to put him in his cot he starts screaming and I have to start the whole process of calming him down again. I just don't know where to go from here.

Thanks time. I'm a bit shock at the price but I might ask for one for Xmas if this continues grin.

FATEdestiny Thu 24-Nov-16 10:56:02

It takes as long as it takes really but I want to feel like I'm making some progress.

Ok, well you can do that. Two important things first
(a) Babies need some form of comfort to sleep. "Self settling" would more accurately be described as "independant settling". Babies are not left with no comfort.

So over time you need to replace parental settling techniques with independant settling methods. Cuddling a special toy, snuggling a blankie, sucking a dummy, thumb, muslin.

(b) Have realistic expectations in terms of time frame, as mentioned in my post above.

I am happy to rock/cuddle him to sleep, hold his hand while he dozes off

- Your start point is holding his hand and rocking to fully asleep in your arms (let's say this is 30m of rocking) and gently put down without waking him

- Aim to rock for 20 mins holding his hand. Then stand still holding him and his hand and cuddling to a comforter. Then into cot with comforter, hold hand for a few minutes (and hope he doesn't wake, if he does start again)

- Once this is accepted, rock for 10 mins, cuddle for 20 with comforter. Into cot with comforter hold hand.

- once accepted, rock for 5 mins, stand still cuddling until asleep in your arms while holding his hand and snuggling to comforter.

- Then aim to reach the point where you no longer rock to sleep. Just hold baby's hand and snuggle baby with comforter.

(To get to this point may mean several going up and down the gradual withdrawal method. Maybe you have to take a step back and rock more when he's poorly, then move back up the steps afterwards. In the end you'll get to the point where you are no longer rocking to sleep at all. Congratulate yourself on the progress you've made)

- Say you cuddle baby in your arms (with comforter and hand hold) for 45 minutes to get baby to sleep. Aim for 40 minutes when you put baby down (asleep) then lean into te cot for 5 minutes holding hand, snuggling baby to comforter.

- Dont move on until the step above (40 mind + 5 mins) is full embedded and becomes the norm. Then aim for 35 minute cuddle then 10 mins cuddling into the cot until baby is fully asleep

- don't move on until this is established and gradually decrease the cuddle time by a few minutes at each step. At each step keep on staying until asleep, with gradually more in-cot cuddling and gradually less out-of-cot settling.

(Again, you may need to go up and down these steps a few times when extra comfort is needed. Set your expectations by the time baby is being settled fully in the cot you will still need to stay with baby for extended time until fully asleep. To get to the point may take many, many months, unless you tolerate distress and speed it up)

Then starts the gradual process of withdrawing from the room.

- lean into cot to settle until asleep
- lean into cot to settle whenever upset, stand next to cot when quiet.
- settle for a few mins then just stand by cot until asleep
- settle in cot, stand facing side-on to cot. Stay until asleep
- Settle in cot, stand next to cot facing doorway. Stay until asleep
- settle in cot. Stand a step away from cot facing doorway
- settle in cot, stand in doorway. Stay until asleep
- settle in cot. Keep door open. Say you are popping to bathroom. Come back and stay until asleep.
- settle in cot, wait at doorway for a minute or so, busy yourself upstairs popping back to doorway every minute or so. Close do it when asleep
- promise to stay upstairs while going to sleep. Close bedroom do it once asleep.
- promise to stay upstairs while going to sleep but close door as soon as you leave the room

And then comes....

Drum roll....

Put child in cot with comforter. Say Nan night. Close door. And that's it smile

It takes a long time and lots of patience. But you can do this without creatibg distress, if you want to.

timeforachangeithink Fri 25-Nov-16 15:52:49

The sleepyhead is expensive but they sell really well secondhand. My grand for £90, my deluxe sold for £65.

Trinpy Fri 25-Nov-16 21:48:47

Thanks time I will definitely give it some consideration. I think he wakes himself up a lot by flinging his arms and legs about in his sleep so keeping him contained a bit could help.

Thank you for thexample very helpful step-by-step post FATE. When you say rocking and holding his hand, how do you do that? When I'm rocking him I can't seem to reach round far enough to hold his hand and he keeps grabbing hold of my collarbone (yes it hurts) and trying to pull himself up.

Last night started really well - went to sleep at 7.30, woke up 4 times within the first 3 hours but I only needed to rock him once, he fell back asleep with me holding his hand the other times. Then at 10.30 he woke up and I fed him but he wouldn't sleep in his cot at all. DH took over when he got into work but by midnight we were all so knackered we ended up just putting him in our bed. He slept until 4am, which is amazing for him, I fed him again when he woke up but he took ages to get to sleep and all the crying woke up our other ds who then couldn't get back to sleep either. Finally got to sleep around 5.30, so we were all exhausted today! Hopefully tonight will go a bit better.

FATEdestiny Fri 25-Nov-16 22:32:25

When you say rocking and holding his hand, how do you do that?

Just do whatever works for you. I only mentioned rocking and hand holding because you said about rocking and hand holding. What ever you start point is, go from there and make little changes.

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