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How to get 6 month old to self settle without too much trauma?

(5 Posts)
dycey Mon 31-Aug-09 13:05:58

Any advice would be much appreciated. I need some gentle method to get my baby to fall asleep in his bed not on me.

I rocked DS1 to sleep until he was 2 months - then introduced a dummy as I was exhausted from carrying him round (v heavy boy! needing a lot of short naps) but realised the dummy was interrupting his sleep - and went cold turkey at 5.5 months. He cried a lot the first nap - screamed in fact - but after that cried less and all appeared to be going well (tho it was v v hard to let him cry at all). He even fell asleep a few times with no crying at all. UNTIL - one time he started freaking out when I put him in his cot for a nap... he would scream and scream and stare at me madly... when I got him up he would be all jerky and seem pretty traumatised {sad}. So I have started to hold and sway and rock and he falls asleep happily on me - sucking his fingers and yawning. While I do not mind this at all - enjoy it in fact - he won't accept my husband doing it and I am going back to work when he is 10 months so someone else will need to get him to sleep - tho the buggy always works.

ALso, I'd like him to fall asleep happily in his bed when he wakes up at night (I am feeding and rocking a fair amount still). And I hate the idea of him being unable to get back to sleep if I am not there - out for the evening or at work.

How can I put him in his cot awake and him not get freaked out? Obviously he would prefer to be held and jiggled / rocked etc but I don't feel this is sustainable...

WOuld appreciate your ideas please! Gentle ways to settle a baby for naps and bedtime in bed.

BarrelOfMonkeys Mon 31-Aug-09 19:24:39

The No Cry Sleep Solution by Elizabeth Pantley is quite helpful in terms of a gentle approach. I'm not there yet in terms of putting my 7.5 mo down awake though, although she does give advice on how to break the feed/rock to sleep cycle which seems sensible, just too tired to try it most days!

Loosingmymind Mon 31-Aug-09 19:31:11

With my DD she would only be rocked to sleep until she was 3 months when I tried laying her in her cot nearly asleep then rubbing her back and saying 'shh shh shh' gently, at 1st she got upset so I would give her a cuddle and put her back down, I repeated this and after around 10mins she was asleep! She is now 5 months and since she was 3.5 months I have been able to put her to bed awake and she settles herself no problem.

dycey Tue 01-Sep-09 15:40:38

Thanks both of you - I was managing quite well - he was crying for 15 mins for naps and never more than 8 mins for night - BUT the couple of times he freaked out and got hysterical made me lose my nerve... any excuse to pick him up!

I will try rocking and putting him down earlier soon (we are moving and he will get his own room then so shall leave for a month). I just don't know how to marry consistency and not letting a baby get hysterical....

Slightly obsessing me - probably cos he woke me 6 times last night and I am sure if he could settle alone he wouldn't call for me quite so much.

iwantitnow Tue 01-Sep-09 20:54:07

Also would recommend Elizabeth Pantley - worked for my DD, who slept through with gradual retreat described in the book at 7 months, it took a month. With DS who is 5 months old, I implemented the tips from birth and has gone down awake from day 1, a very strong bedtime/nap routine, DS does sometimes "mumble" for max 10mins, I would never leave him more. I haven't yet managed set naptimes, trying to do that with a toddler and holidays has proved impossible - but my next step. Still wakes 1/2 times a night but he is still BF so no surprise there.

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