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Getting 7 month old to settle herself for day time naps - Help!

(5 Posts)
sjcmum Mon 20-Jul-09 10:38:41

Just had a really miserable hour trying to get my dd2 to sleep for morning nap....

I have got into the habit of holding her in my arms when I know she is tired, and generally she will fall asleep quickly and I can put her down. However, I'd like to try to encourage her to fall asleep on her own.... and have been trying Pick up/put down. The trouble is, even if she is really drowsy, she becomes wide awake again when I put her down and starts playing etc. I leave her and go back in when she gets upset again, but rather than gradually calming down, she just gets more and more upset, to the point when just leaning over the cot is enough to make her start crying. Eventually she is just so exhausted and overtired that she is really screaming even when I am cuddling her...... and I was crying too, as I feel like a failure for not being able to do this properly. I might as well have been just leaving her to cry (which I don't want to do) for the good that it did trying to do it gently!

Any suggestions of a good way to encourage her to fall off to sleep on her own, or should I just keep on holding her as I have been - it that works is it really so bad??

ChocOrange05 Mon 20-Jul-09 12:54:33

With my DS we also found PUPD too stimulating so we did a version of shh-pat which was basically sitting by his cot in the dark (not picking him up) and putting a hand on his chest, sometimes stroking, saying "shh". We started to leave the room when he was asleep and then gradually left when he was less and less asleep IYSWIM? Its quite a slow process and I think it took about a month before he would happily self settle but we did it when he was 12 weeks old so perhaps it won't take as long as your DD is older?


ches Tue 21-Jul-09 02:34:27

If she's just starting into separation anxiety it's a pretty pointless developmental stage to try and start getting her self-settling.

sjcmum Tue 21-Jul-09 20:48:04

She's been very mumsy for the last month or so, sometimes won't even go to DH - seems to have started early - so maybe not a good time as you say ches....

... chocorange - thanks for the suggestion - I've been trying a bit of that too... getting her on her side, which she prefers for sleeping and trying to calm her down. This evening though despite being virtually asleep, she just started giggling after a while, and then kept rolling on to her back to grin at me.... I suppose at least that is better than screaming though!

Is it really that bad to hold them to go to sleep? Do they eventually just grow into the ability to self settle when they are ready or am I kidding myself??

xandrarama Wed 22-Jul-09 11:18:18

Mine is the same age and is fairly rubbish at self-settling despite having gone through a (self-initiated) 3-week period about a month and a half ago where she was absolutely brilliant at it. Prior to that we had tried PUPD but it just seemed to confuse and annoy her. I was thrilled when she started self-settling of her own accord, but then after awhile she went back to needing bfing or rocking to sleep. I used to be slightly obsessed with self-settling (was convinced that 'bad habits' would persist into childhood), but now I am with you, sjcmum - whatever works, go with it! I figure it will all sort itself out eventually. Once they are too heavy to walk/rock/hold to sleep, we can reassess wink

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