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How old before settling themselves to sleep?

(28 Posts)
Lucypearl Sat 16-Aug-08 21:47:29

My DD is 3 months and my health visitor strongly advised from now on she should be put to bed awake to teach her how to fall asleep herself and avoid problems later.

I've tried but she absolutely will not settle herself no matter how sleepy she is. As soon as she hits the cot she starts crying and only picking her up will stop her. I have to rock her until fast asleep before putting her down.

Don't want to 'make a rod for my own back' as some people have advised I am doing, but then others advised that she's still very young so don't worry about that yet.

Would love to hear others experiences and advice.

lilacbloom Sat 16-Aug-08 22:06:30

I never gave a child of mine a bed time until they were 1.
Is she asking you to give her a bed time, or relaxing time.
If it is relaxing time then try every day, even if it is just for a couple of minutes and build it up.

giddykipper Sat 16-Aug-08 22:10:10

DS was about 12 months before he could settle himself, before that I fed him to sleep. I was worried about the rod-for-your-own-back thing but it honestly just clicked into place. In retrospect it was lovely to have that quiet time together while he fell asleep. I would say just go with the flow and not worry about your HV. In fact, just lie to her!

Lucypearl Sat 16-Aug-08 22:11:03

It's more that she says I shouldn't put her down asleep. She should be awake in her cot and then learn to get herself to sleep. Obviously I don't want to have to rock her to sleep forever but I don't know if I should be worried or not about forming bad habits at just 3 months.

fishie Sat 16-Aug-08 22:14:21

as soon as i hear someone utter those rod words i instantly dismiss anything they have to say.

lucypearl your dd is so young, what is your hv thinking to say you have to put her in a cot to cry on her own. plenty of time for routines and settling.

giddykipper Sat 16-Aug-08 22:17:28

Don't worry. I would feed DS to sleep in my arms then put him in his cot asleep. Gradually he just stopped falling asleep in my arms and I put him in his cot awake. For the first few weeks I had to stay beside his cot until he fell asleep, I then just did a gradual retreat, I would always go back to his side if he cried. Now at 15 months he goes into his cot fully awake, chats to his soft toys for anything up to half an hour then falls asleep hugging his blanket.

Actually, that's a good point - introducing a security blanket has helped him settle on his own. I started off putting the blanket between him and me as he fell asleep then putting him in his cot with it. He's very attached to it now and has difficulty settling if it's not there. Hopefully we'll never lose it!

Habbibu Sat 16-Aug-08 22:18:19

About 10 months. She loves going to bed, sleeps through, and was bf'd to sleep until she packed it in of her own accord. Ask her if she's got research to back up her assertion...

Habbibu Sat 16-Aug-08 22:19:33

As HV, obv., not my dd. She'd probably sing Incy Wincy spider at you. Or learn the word "sertion" and repeat it endlessly.

katiepotatie Sat 16-Aug-08 22:19:39

Rocked and fed my DD till she was 13 months,I think when they are older they understand what bed is for (did end up doing controlled crying though) 3 months IMO is to young to be settling by herself.

hughjarssss Sat 16-Aug-08 22:19:58

About 7 months dd would go down awake in cot and fall to sleep

Habbibu Sat 16-Aug-08 22:20:24

ASK HV! Good God. Have been possessed by the spirit of Cod

Lucypearl Sat 16-Aug-08 22:26:10

God thanks everyone. That makes me feel a lot better as couldn't really face the extra stress of enforcing that at bedtime yet.

Lol Habbibu, got what you meant first time anyway.

Christie Sat 16-Aug-08 23:20:57

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Habbibu Sat 16-Aug-08 23:26:17

Luck, Christie - sheer damn luck! That said, dd did the shuffling, wake, sleep thing for months when she was wee, slept brilliantly until 6 mo and then it all got cocked up - by teeth, possibly.

Christie Sat 16-Aug-08 23:40:37

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ellasmum1 Sat 16-Aug-08 23:40:50

I got strict at letting dd go down awake at night from 3 mths, before that she was rocked/cuddled.(did bit of controlled crying).
It was just the right thing for me because i started to want/need a routine and to know I would have "me" time after her bedtime each night.
Also I went back to work at 6 mths so wanted time to get her used to settling without me as I work shifts.
Just do what feels right to you,as long as you are happy thats great!

Habbibu Sat 16-Aug-08 23:44:15

Well, could just be genetics, Christie? My mum worked in residential baby care for 10 years before we came along - nothing phased her - yet she got two very different babies as me and my sister - she slept and wouldn't eat, and I was the opposite. She reckons much of it is luck, and she's hardly a soft touch!

lisad123 Sat 16-Aug-08 23:44:55

Im a terrible strict one, and have always put my babies down awake from day one. But tbh, if it doesnt worry you, bugger it their only little for a short time.

Christie Sat 16-Aug-08 23:46:47

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

giddykipper Sun 17-Aug-08 08:34:38

Feeding to sleep wasn't really an active choice, the milk just always sent him to sleep, nothing I could do about it. This doesn't mean you can't have a routine, DS was in a fairly predictable routine from about 6 weeks, bed at 7pm, dream feed at 11pm, usually woke for a feed about 4am then up at 7am.

missbloom Sun 17-Aug-08 08:53:56

When my dd was only 3 wks old my hv also told me to leave her to cry in her moses basket as she had to learn to put herself to sleep. To me that felt totally wrong and was definately not the way to go. Do not think much to my hv at all. I keep hearing about how not to make a rod for my own back blah blah and i dont listen anymore! At the end of the day its a personal thing and whatever works for YOU! IMO if you listen to your instincts how can they be wrong.

Christie Sun 17-Aug-08 09:22:24

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

LadyBee Sun 17-Aug-08 10:07:36

I think there's a difference between putting down awake and putting down not-quite-but-very-nearly asleep smile.
I try to put down DS when he's not totally asleep, and then just sit with him, pat him if he needs some more help to go off etc. He's not able to get himself from awake to sleepy without a bit of help, but is able to go from sleepy to asleep fairly easily and he's re-settled himself well from about 3 weeks. We hear him wake, shuffle, sigh, and go back off to sleep several times a night but I usually wake him for dream feeding and then he wakes for another feed anytime between 3-5.
Some of the posters seem to have assumed the HV was encouraging the OP to leave the baby to cry it out, but she could have just meant to put the baby down sleepy but not asleep, rather than wide awake (and crying)?

missbloom Sun 17-Aug-08 10:07:36

My dd is 3 months now. We co-sleep as i bf and life is sooo much easier this way! She has never liked her basket (and who can blame her)! Id be up all night trying to settle her and it was just killing me. She wanted to sleep on or with me and that was that. Sheer exhaustion made me bring her into our bed!

LadyBee Sun 17-Aug-08 10:13:21

I've just re-read the OP's first post, and note that you've tried putting her down in the cot when sleepy but not asleep but she cries when she gets put down. When DS gets like this, one thing that helps is if I bend right over him while I'm putting him down, and keep breathing quite loudly in his ear (sounds odd, I know). I think the closeness of my body and sound of my breath reassures him while he's being put down - it usually works but if it doesn't then I just let him go to sleep on my chest instead, if that's what he really wants, who am I to argue grin

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