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How to swap rocking for patting?

(4 Posts)
Mamabear04 Mon 09-Mar-20 13:39:59

Simply (or maybe not so simply) how can I swap rocking my baby to sleep to patting to sleep? Is there a method I can use? How do you make the transition? My LO is 4mo and has always needed extra help to fall asleep but now she is older I'd like to wean off falling to sleep with movement. Any advice would be much welcome!

Peelspeelspeels Mon 09-Mar-20 21:34:59

I’d probably start patting her bottom steadily (about 60bpm, like a heart beat) whilst rocking her still for a few days, then gradually reduce the rocking til she falls asleep on you just with patting. Then try getting her to sleep just with patting in her cot, or wiggling her bottom side to side in the cot to give her some sense of movement. She may take to it, but a word of warning - she may get to a certain point when you’re reducing the rocking or trying to put her down in the cot where she just won’t have it and refuse to sleep. She’s used to being rocked about in your pelvis in utero, and at 4 months had been “out” far shorter than she was “in”. I can remember being at 4 months with my baby who only fell asleep on the boob and I felt like it would always be like this - it wasn’t! Around 7 months, he didn’t want to fall asleep on the boob or in our arms any more and we did gradual retreat to teach him to fall asleep without us. So by all means give it a try but if it doesn’t work, try not to stress and try again in a few weeks/months.

Mamabear04 Sat 04-Apr-20 06:33:07

@Peelspeelspeels thank you so much for this! I'm sorry for my late reply. I've managed to get to the stage where I can hold her and gently sway and she will fall asleep (it takes a while). Everytime I have tried to put her in her cot as a means to start the next stage she just seems to get more and more awake. Do I just persevere and how long of trying should I give up and pick her up?

Peelspeelspeels Sat 04-Apr-20 20:28:02

Gentle swaying is great! I think a lot of babies are the same with regards waking up more when they are put down in a cot - “drowsy but awake” then drifting off is unrealistic for many, if not most babies. Your daughter is about 5 months now right? That’s still tiny. She’ll change a lot in the next few weeks and months. If you’re not unhappy with how she gets off to sleep now - if it’s not putting too much toll on your back/arms, or driving you to the brink of despair - there’s nothing wrong with swaying her to sleep. I appreciate how hard and tedious it can be - I felt very frustrated sometimes that my son still “needed” me to help him sleep at that point, including waking up every two hours to be fed back to sleep at night, but he just wasn’t ready to do it another way, and it made me way more stressed trying to change him than just going with the flow of what he wanted at that age.

If you haven’t already, you could try introducing a soft toy comforter/muslin to help eventually with the transition from sleeping on you to the cot. Sorry I don’t have a more fix-all answer!

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