How do I get my 6 month old to self soothe?

(13 Posts)
Foodx123 Tue 19-Jan-21 16:42:34

I was up until 2am last night! God knows why my 6 month old chose to stay awake that long.

She usually has a later bedtime because at the moment it suits our life style and dad does night shifts at work and doesn't really see her. Plus she gets up around 9:30am so she's not ready for bed until 9pm.

However last night was a different story. She went down at 9pm until 10pm and woke up and didn't go back to sleep until 2am. She wakes up after falling asleep first time round for some reason. She is EBF and currently sleeps in my bed since dad isn't there at night and it's a habit I wish I hadn't got into as now I can't seem to get her out of my bed and into her cot. My fault I know.

We tried to put her in her cot Friday night whilst she was drowsy but awake as I really need her to learn to self settle since I want my boobs and bed back. She laid there for a bit moaning whilst I said goodnight and shut the door. After around 3 minutes she started crying which turned to screaming. I gave her another kiss and said goodnight and left the room again and the screaming started to the point she was gagging. 5 mins later I entered the room and felt I couldn't leave her any longer. For a baby that NEVER cries this was heart breaking. What do I do???? My mum keeps telling me to be stubborn but the thought of the crying still goes round my head now. We live with my partners parents at the moment and her uncle is there in the room next door, I don't think he'd appreciate her screaming when he has work the next day. What do I do? Any advice would be appreciated. I'm a first time mum doing a lot of this on my own. I'm not interested in the extinction method.

Thank you xx

OP’s posts: |
Giraffaelina Tue 19-Jan-21 16:56:18

Sorry OP, no advice here but I will follow this thread as I'm in the same situation - DS is 10 months, he's not feeding at night anymore but only sleeps through in our bed. He does wake at night but he just snuggles up and back to sleep. No bother. He has it good haha! X

Foodx123 Tue 19-Jan-21 17:33:12


Sorry OP, no advice here but I will follow this thread as I'm in the same situation - DS is 10 months, he's not feeding at night anymore but only sleeps through in our bed. He does wake at night but he just snuggles up and back to sleep. No bother. He has it good haha! X

Hey! No probs. I'm also sorry to hear you're in the same situation as me. But I feel kind of relived to know I'm not the only one. 😅 I think they've got a nice comfy bed why would they want to be in a cot? Haha

OP’s posts: |
RandomMess Tue 19-Jan-21 17:36:18

Do you usually feed her to sleep?

I would broach it slowly.

So if you feed to sleep stop this but cuddle instead.

So if she is normally in your bed with you then I would get her to go to sleep in a cot in your room next to you.

That type of thing. If you do too many alien things it can be very distressing and confusing for them!

TitsOot4Xmas Tue 19-Jan-21 17:39:04

I really need her to learn to self settle since I want my boobs and bed back

It doesn’t work like that, unfortunately. They can’t truly self soothe until they are neurologically ready to do so. Like walking etc.

Foodx123 Tue 19-Jan-21 17:43:12


*I really need her to learn to self settle since I want my boobs and bed back*

It doesn’t work like that, unfortunately. They can’t truly self soothe until they are neurologically ready to do so. Like walking etc.

That's kind of a relief to hear. If she's not ready that's okay. I'll just take baby steps!

OP’s posts: |
FTEngineerM Tue 19-Jan-21 17:43:48

Don’t be stubborn that’s crap advice.

I also co slept with dc and I’m trying to get out of the habit because dc2 is on the way.

I eventually had to employ a sleep consultant because there were so many issues, not just co sleeping. It was all our doing of course but we didn’t actually know where we were going wrong to fix it.

Every situation is different so what they’ve advised us will be different for you. A few things to note though:

No food (solids) less than 2 hours before bed.

Have calm, classical music and dim lighting from 2 hours before bed.

Give baby massage/relaxing bath.

Get baby to fall asleep in your arms, feed to sleep/drowsy then replace with dummy, then once asleep. Place in cot, hand on top of head and chest keeping pressure there until they are confirmed still asleep, slowly removing a finger at a time and with the last one, apply a firm pressure then release.

DC has been sleeping in his cot ever since we’ve been doing this, if waking start with a shh/pat and then move onto feeding/cuddling to resettle if necessary. Then repeat the above.

We’re on night 3 and I’m quite impressed with the results, we’re also bfing. Gone from latching every 45 minutes through the night to maybe 3 times overnight. Yehaaa.


MissyB1 Tue 19-Jan-21 17:48:13

To fix night time issues you usually need to look at the daytime routine first. What times is she eating/ napping? How much is she feeding in the day and what solids is she taking? Then I would look at your bedtime routine. Personally I would want eventually to move that forward, but you probably cant make too many chnages at once.

Make sure there is a good wind down time and calm bedtime. Not too many naps late in the day, and that she has eaten well. Then steel yourself - because there is no magic wand. Youve taught her to go to sleep on the boob and that she needs to be in bed with you. Now you have to teach her that she can sleep without all that. It wont happen in one night and it will involve crying. Personally I would get dad to do it because she associates you with boob. But either way it will be hard, but worth it in the long run.

booandbumpp Tue 19-Jan-21 18:12:57

Really recommend precious little sleep - she’s got a load of stuff on her website and has a book that’s about £7 on kindle.
My LO is 16 weeks old. She can self settle and put herself to sleep at bed time.
Get a solid bed time routine (ours is nappy change, baby lotion, change to baby gro, read and feed, then put down with white noise when drowsy) at the same time every day. Try settling in cot with rocking/hand on chest/sshhh and pat.

Keha Tue 19-Jan-21 21:48:25

Hi OP. My 10 month old doesn't settle herself to sleep and needs boob or rocking. From lots of things I've read, but mainly talking to friends and family, I think babies can really vary in how easily they sleep independently. What I would say is I wouldn't try to change loads of things at once or in a rush/because you are tired that night. Step back and make a plan and work out what is important. What was important to me was that DD would go to sleep for her dad so it wasn't all on me, so we worked on him rocking her to sleep. We then started putting her in the cot more and more so now she goes into her cot on an evening for a bit and we have chance to watch TV and have time together. We didn't try and make her fall asleep on her own but we seem to have got her more used to being put down and often she will link sleep cycles in the cot. I still cosleep the later part of the night because I don't find this a problem and now I'm back at work I don't want to be up for a while trying to get her back to sleep. We have a longer term plan to try a week when are off work and night wean and keep her in her cot all night, but that is a while away.

Babyboomtastic Wed 20-Jan-21 04:32:37

Someone once told me that to get a baby to sleep, it either takes tears or time. And in my experience, unless you get very lucky that's true.

So you can sleep train etc, but the likelihood is that it will cause some crying etc. You can do it more gradually for slightly less upset (but probably still some) and some time, or you can wait until they are ready.

I have crap sleepers. Hence why I'm up at half 4 in the morning grin. My 21m old doesn't sleep through, and we still usually feed to sleep. I didn't ever think my first would learn to self settle. She'd go from content to retching with distress in about 30 seconds if we left the room, so we waited until she was ready, and just before she turned 3, she decided she was ok to self settle and now goes to sleep by herself in minutes. It was a long road to get there but I'm glad we gave her the time to do it herself. I'm hoping the younger one follows suit eventually.

As for tips, I'm going to pass as clearly none of mine have worked blush. What I will say though is that your baby is tiny, so just tend to her needs, and don't put adult expectations of sleep on her. And whilst you don't need to co sleep (I did with my first, but not my second, as I was/am bf and the all night buffet got too much), there's also nothing wrong with doing so, and it's a perfectly natural thing to do, and for baby to enjoy.

Best of luck.

Sjaandbeaurichardson Wed 20-Jan-21 10:17:00

Hello all,
I’m writing for the first time also about my 6 month baby. Over the past 2 weeks I’ve been able to get him down self settling in blacked out pram for daytime naps and self settling in his next to me (without me in the room obviously) in the evening at 7pm for nighttime (except a few days when teething or overtired etc). It has been really impressive how much they can achieve if you trust them to try to learn. It has been bloody awful at times too.
Anyway I’m writing to ask advice. He is having 3 full meals a day (will be starting Protein this week) and is breast fed. He still feeds 4-5 times in daytime taking in good amounts as nappies are very heavy and poos nice and soft.
He is not linking sleep cycles in his next to me atall. He feeds then sleeps for 2 hours then rinse and repeat. I have been giving him both boobs in the hopes it might have been hunger and this would cause him to link but no changes. I have also tried rocking but he gets desperate and cries and head butts me so i end up feeding him. I have also tried shushing and rocking the next to me and shushing and putting my hand on him but again if it has been the 2.5 hours (half an hour feeding and 2 hours asleep) he won’t be settled. If he wakes before the 2 hours I have been able to settle him but then like clockWork he wakes at the 2.5 hour mark. I just don’t understand.
Do you have any tips for cutting down the Feeds or getting him to link in the night. I really don’t think it’s hunger as he is eating loads in the day and he is on the 91st centil for weight. Please help!!

3WildOnes Wed 20-Jan-21 13:34:50

@RandomMess I took the same approach with all of mine. Just reducing how much I helped them to sleep gradually.

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