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How the hell is put down drowsy meant to work?

(12 Posts)
siddus Tue 05-Jun-18 22:43:47

My lo is 7 months old and she has always slept on mummy or daddy, both at night and naps.
It was a pattern we sort of fell into but continued for a while because it meant we could each get 5 hours of uninterrupted sleep a night. We now went to break the bad habit and get her in her cot but the touted cornerstone of our then down drowsy but not asleep seems completely futile.
If we put her in while she's still awake, even if she's about to fall asleep on us like she normally would, she just rolls onto her front and complains.
Waiting until she's asleep then trying to sneakily put her in fails every time too as she wakes up anyway before she's in.
Right now I've no idea how this is going to work but we can't have her sleeping on us anymore.

Please help. TIA.

April45 Wed 06-Jun-18 06:09:42

It's a big jump going from sleeping on you all the time to sleeping alone in her cot. Imagine how you'd feel of this was you. Have you thought about starting more he you such as have her sleep next to you rather than on you etc then when this improves move further away from her but in your bed then into her cot. If you're keen for her to be in her cot I guess you need to sleep train, be careful what method you pick though she'll need something with lots of reassurance as so far you've always been there.

sar302 Wed 06-Jun-18 08:32:30

Argh! That bloody phrase haunted me. we didn't used to co-sleep, but we did used to rock our little boy to fast asleep in our arms and then put him down asleep.

At about 4.5 months, that stopped working - no matter how asleep he seemed, his eyes would ping open as soon as he went into the cot! (B@stard.....!)

Then I found if I put him in the crib "drowsy" and rolled him on to his side, I could pat his bum and shush. When he fell asleep, I'd roll him back on his back. Then that stopped working, and as soon as I'd roll him back he'd wake up.

By then he was 5 months and he could roll both ways, he started sleeping on his side /stomach occasionally anyway, having rolled over in the night. At that point I started to put him in the crib, roll him on his side, pat and shush him to sleep and leave him there.

Now at just about 6 months, I put him down drowsy (which for him is the second he has his eyes closed, and is still, after a cuddle) on his side / front and he grizzles for about 5mins and falls asleep. (Not SIDS recommended, but he does it himself anyway...)

So, it has taken us nearly 2 months to go from fast asleep, gently down and ninja roll out of the room. To dumping him, wandering out and hoping.

There is probably another stage for you, which is going from asleep on you, to asleep in your arms for example, which is where we started. There's so much info online to help. I like weebeedreaming and the baby sleep site. I practiced every nap time, every sleep time, every night waking, every day, and we did get there.

Good luck 🤞🏻

siddus Wed 06-Jun-18 19:38:42

What has made it all worse, was every failed attempt she would be more upset than the last until she was so beside herself that she was choking / coughing from crying so hard, even while trying to soothe her.
How are you supposed to work against that? I think it may be that we have to transition from us, to cosleeping, then look at transitioning away from cosleeping once that's done.
I see a lot of comments on these threads suggesting the key is to wrap them up in a blanket so they retain the warmth that normally get from you, but I wasn't even reaching the mattress during my attempts last night so I don't know if that would have any impact.

Nottalotta Wed 06-Jun-18 19:47:09

Never ever worked with ds1. Ds2 has been falling asleep on his own since he was born. Nothing I did, they are just different. With ds1, I co slept. It's a good way to transition. He was a real cling on baby but was sleeping through in his cot by 15 months. At around 13 months I did gradual retreat VERY gradually. No tears. Worked a treat.

FATEdestiny Thu 07-Jun-18 15:13:10

I see a lot of comments on these threads suggesting the key is to wrap them up in a blanket so they retain the warmth that normally get from you

7 months is way to old up start wrapping in blanket, that's done thing you try with a newborn who doesn't like being put down.

Your main issue is two-fold OP

(1) you won't get baby happily being put down awake unless you started doing it from newborn (and use a dummy, usually), or you make such teeny, gradual changes over several months, that baby doesnt notice.

Your baby will cry if you just decide to change and now baby will be going to sleep in the cot. It's futile to expect this to be a no tears transition, unless you are prepared to do it very slowly. So doing set yourself up to fail.

It's not terrible that baby cries, if you are there comforting and nurturing through the upset. But to expect it to happen with no or minimal tears will be your significant failing.

(2) The "drowsy but awake" does mean awake. Properly awake, not nearly asleep. The drowsy bit effectively means "ready you have a sleep", as in don't try with a wide awake, non tired baby.

So baby goes from completely and fully awake, to completely asleep in the cot. Starting in the cot, staying in the cot.

As mentioned above, this will involve crying. Possibly a lot of crying. But you do the comforting in whatever way works for you. Either leaning into the cot, lying next to the cot, sitting close or even picking baby up if very upset (but I would avoid this if possible).

LorelaiVictoriaGilmore Thu 07-Jun-18 15:17:59

Ds has never been drowsy for a single moment of his almost 3 years. Dd will lie happily in her cot and blinks slower and slower until she goes to sleep.

Happygolucky12 Thu 07-Jun-18 16:35:37

I think you just have to wait until they are ready. My little one is 11 months old and I am currently trying to stop feeding to sleep and she has been really good at going to sleep with just a cuddle for naps this week. It did take 30 mins but she went to sleep in her cot last night with no tears with me sat beside her and occasionally shushing. There is no way she would have done this a month ago...

InFrance2014 Thu 07-Jun-18 16:58:25

I will be blunt- it works if you have to have a baby that will go for it. Not all of them will.
She's still a young baby and its normal for them to need comfort while learning to sleep. That can take a long time, but its much worse if you think wrongly that you're getting her into bad habits when you're just giving her comfort.
You don't have to go any route that involves crying if you aren't comfortable with that- and it sounds like you aren't.

Looked at from the other side, you were doing great with helping her to go to sleep by carrying, and then on you- that's not a "bad" habit in itself, unless it's causing you serious problems.
So I would suggest trying to continue that routine and just slowly get her used to being put down in the cot/bedside sleeper once she's asleep. Don't persist with the drowsy/awake thing if it's not working and you don't like its effects- not everyone wants to put their child through that.
Practically, pressing your body into hers tightly as you put them down helps, as does staying semi-lying on her for 30 seconds or so, and keep hold of an arm, then it's not a big shock when your weight lessens, and they don't detect the falling feeling which causes them to startle awake (it's a reflex, they can't help it).

You could try using a soft baby carrier or learn to use a sling/wrap, which you can then gradually loosen but still keep the feeling of something on her body as you her down. I put my second daughter to sleep every nap and nighttime in a wrap for over 18 months, unless by breastfeeding, and just lay her down on top of it, unwrapped. It was a godsend and I wish I'd learnt the first time (I also felt I "should" try to do the awake thing and it was awful so I abandoned it).
Many cheap pre-loved slings in facebook groups (try Babywearing FSOT or Affordable Baby wraps) and you can learn either at a local group, or via video tutorials - try Wrap You in Love on youtube and facebook.

Of course whether she stays asleep for a long time after is a different question (!), and some babies like to be close enough next to you to able to confirm you're there in the night. It's perfectly safe to bedshare if done correctly.

If it was me I'd work with what you have, which is a baby who has a great routine already for getting to sleep, and just needs gentle help easing into not sleeping right on top of you if you don't want that (but actually if you are ok with it, then it's fine to continue).

Good luck

runnerbean39 Thu 07-Jun-18 21:27:33

We had the same issue but have, like some of the suggestions above, worked at it in stages (she's 5.5 months now).

The really hot weather a month or so ago worked in our favour as my DD started to dislike the side of her head getting so sticky and hot when asleep on my arm (!) and so started to go to sleep on the mattress instead, right next to me.

After the hot weather had passed, I decided to try and keep the sleeping on the mattress trend going - so I used to very gently and slowly move her off me down onto the mattress with my arm cradling round her head - and it worked!

This progressed to where I just waited until she was almost, almost asleep and put her straight down on the mattress. If she woke up again I nursed her and did the same again (nursing is the last thing she does before sleep). I also rub her back after putting her on the mattress and this definitely helps her drift off.

Over the last few weeks, she has ended up increasingly further away from me on the bed, and sleeps so soundly I can leave the room.

I decided just three nights ago that I wanted to try her in the cot for the first half of the night as I felt like she was ready. Lo and behold, I've had no problem (no crying) transferring her into the cot (which is right next to the bed) although I can see she's not keen!

I also had the crying and choking when I tried to get her to nap in the day in the cot - completely gave up as she's clearly not ready for that!

Good luck!

PS - I should add that my DH is not currently sleeping in the same room!

BevBrook Thu 07-Jun-18 21:29:48

Never worked with us either. If there was a point at which DS turned from too awake to go to sleep in his cot by himself to too fractious to go to sleep in his cot by himself it was a microsecond long and passed by without anyone being able to identify it.

mommybear1 Wed 13-Jun-18 10:37:39

@InFrance2014 great advice thank you I'm going to try it!

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