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How do you get your baby to sleep?(15 Posts)
I have a colicky, reflux, almost 8 week old. He's been a terrible sleeper since day 1, but it is what it is. For now we just take every day as it comes.
What I want to know, is if you all have any sleep tricks you could share with a first time mum. My boy just doesn't like to fall asleep and gets himself so overtired and upset.
I try rocking him, using a variety of speeds and directions (up, down, left, right), shushing, stroking his forehead to nose (this works sometimes but he has to already be really close to sleep). I've tried feeding him to sleep which will work sometimes but moving him to burp him will normally wake him up. The car used to send him straight to sleep, now it's hit or miss if it will. If he goes in the sling he just screams in my face most of the time, he's not fell asleep in the sling since he was about 2 weeks old. He sometimes falls asleep in the pram but half the time will just stare back at me like I've got two heads 😂 I've tried putting him down awake, putting him down drowsy and jlgonestly, putting all these methods together I really feel like it's just luck of the draw, or he'll just keep screaming and eventually pass out from exhaustion.
Any little tricks that you picked up along the way would be greatly appreciated.
I don’t have any tricks... you are doing all mine.
But if it makes you feel not so alone my 7 week old isn’t great at sleeping either at the mo.
How many times does he wake at night?
Does he take a dummy? When DS was little a walk in the sling usually worked, but if he was overtired we'd have to persist with the dummy too. Sorry if you've already tried this!
It's anything from 2-5 wake ups through the night, that's fine though, I can handle that. Last night he only woke twice which is great. It's the taking 2 hours to put him back to sleep! Or the screaming battle we have before every nap.
Sleep is great, why does he want to fight it 😂
Yeah dummy is a part of our 'routine'. It normally gets spat out while screaming!!
My little boy isn’t a dummy fan either.... wish he was. Little girl did and really helped her settle.
Yay to 2 wake ups. I had 5 last night.... match sticks for eyes today!
How old is your little one?
Here is a little list of different tricks I’ve picked up over years of working in a nursery and having my own baby!
1) Give them something to focus on. It may sound counter productive, but getting them to watch you do something repetitive can help. For example, I sing to my son while we cuddle and clap my hands, decreasing the speed and volume of the clap as we go, then gently change it to a pat pat pat on his bum/back
2) Nap and bed time in the same place!
3) Sleep prompts. If baby won’t take a dummy, try to show them what’s going to happen next. Babies love to know what to expect, so use exactly the same words, order of routine, etc. So for example at bed time, we read the same three books and I say exactly the same thing in between each book (“that’s the end of our first book, now let’s read the second book, that’s the end of the second book, now let’s read the third book, etc)
4) If you switch between rocking, patting, etc give each one at least 10 minutes. It may feel like you’ve been doing it forever with no effect, but it’s not as long as you think! Babies can easily become overwhelmed with lots of changes - imagine how you’d feel if someone was rocking you, then patting you, etc with no warning for each change and you had no idea when it would stop! It would be quite distressing
5) Firm bum pats. Now of course I am not saying that you should use any force with baby! But remember that baby has a thick nappy on, so a very light bum pat may not be felt
6) Remember babies can feel touched out just like us. There is nothing wrong with putting baby down somewhere safe to give you both a minute to reset.
7) Cut yourself some slack. Remember, you’re still getting to know each other. In time, you will know what baby does and doesn’t like about sleep time. But it will take time!
8) Be realistic about baby’s sleep. It is not normal for a small baby to be happily left anywhere to sleep. It is perfectly normal for them to wake up the second you put them down, it does not mean that you are doing anything wrong. Safe sleep practises are important but there is nothing wrong with holding baby while they sleep as long as you are awake. I held my son for every nap for the first 6 months, then one day he randomly started fussing so I put him down in the cot and he’s had every nap in there ever since. And now I wish I hadn’t wasted so much time and tears listening to people telling me I was making a rod for my own back etc because it was, quite frankly, horse shit!!!
9) Reflux babies are HARD WORK. Burping them when they’ve just drifted off is torture. I would lay my son on my chest on his front and rub up his back from his bum. This seemed to help more than patting. When he was awake, I would sit him on my knee and move his head/upper body in a circle. Worked like a charm, patting never did! And the look on his face as I ‘spun’ him made me laugh every time
10) Use a Grobag if you want to put baby down - not only does it take away the risks associated with loose blankets but it keeps their own heat in so they don’t wake up because they’ve moved from a nice warm cuddle to a cold cot
I hope some of this helps!
It looks like you need to meet the program that saved me when I had my first child! It is basically an A-Z guide on how to make your baby sleep more and better. Because he's not used to the outside world yet. It saved me in a way that you have no idea. With my second child, it was much easier because of it, I had already learned how to control sleep patterns and notice all the signs that the baby shows when he is tired. Seriously, it's amazing! I'ts called Baby Sleep Miracle and it was really a miracle to me haha You can find it here in this link bit.ly/35EEeeo
Wow, thank you for being so thorough. I'm definitly going to give some of your suggestions a go
Firm bum taps worked wonders with my first. Had to be a nice rhythm and quite firm on the nappy while walking around (couldn’t be sitting until she was older). My second live a nursery rhyme and a rock I had to sing quite loudly to drown out his screams. Good luck, it is so tiring sometimes you question how you will survive. But you will. Keep experimenting and don’t be afraid to try something for quite a while. They can be stubborn and not give in but love consistency. I’ve bum patted for 20 minutes plus on more than one occasion. One day they laugh and then play and then give you cuddles and it’s all worth it (just!).
All of the above.
If they all fail then we have a star projector thing that projects onto walls and ceilings, and has a sort of carousel motion. The lights mesmerise him and he either falls asleep quickly or at least stops crying so he can watch them. I live in fear of it breaking
Oh and loud white noise was a god send!
Bouncing on a yoga ball? Works really well for us
Just want to say thank you to everyone for their suggestions. I've started falling into a pattern with how I get him to sleep and now can normally get him to sleep in under 10 minutes
He goes in his swaddle bag, we get his teddy that snores and a dummy. I rock him while singing twinkle twinkle little start (loudly like @readysetcake suggested to drown out the screams) and he drops off no bother.
I've also found that I think I'm prematurely waking him when he stirs! At night his stirring normally wakes me so I change his nappy and feed him. I realised yesterday that I'm probably waking him unnecessarily, so whenever his stirring woke me, I just turned on his snoring teddy and he fell back asleep he sleep for 9 AND A HALF HOURS!!! Sadly I couldn't take advantage of this because the dog was up spewing all night but it's progress!!
Thanks again everyone