Self settling to sleep. Advice needed.

Discussion in 'Baby Club' started by i_am_amy, Dec 19, 2009.

  1. i_am_amy

    i_am_amy New mum to Abigail.

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    My LO is 6 weeks old now and I'd like to get into the habit of having her settle herself to sleep. At the moment we rock/walk her to sleep but it's a nightmare at 4am trying to rock her to sleep for 45 mins at a time. When I put her into her basket awake she thrashes around and hardly ever settles on her own. What is the best way to teach her to do this? Do I just wait for her tired cues (yawning etc) then put her down? And how long should I leave her if she's not settling before I pick her up again? Does your LO self settle, and how did you teach them to do it? Any advice/tips would be very much appreciated. Thanks. Xxx
     
  2. polaris

    polaris Mother of two

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    Thomas is nearly 8 weeks and he doesn't self settle. We have a Moses basket with a rocker and he will fall asleep in the basket if it is rocked if he is very drowsy when I put him down. I know he's still being rocked but I think at least he is learning to fall asleep not in my arms. He will also fall asleep in the bouncy chair sometimes. Occasionally he will fall asleep during tummy time as he sucks his fist to self-soothe.

    To be honest I'm waiting till he's a bit older and his wind issues have, hopefully, improved, because normally the reason that he won't settle is that he still has wind so I don't see how I could leave him to settle at the moment.
     
  3. cazza1982

    cazza1982 Mum to a cheeky monkey!

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    I personally waited until Charlie was 3 months before I decided to get him to self settle in his cot. Before that he would pretty much sleep with us the whole time as when we dared to put him in his moses basket, his eyes would snap open and instant screaming would resume!!

    However, if you want her to self settle then the thing that I would suggest is using the method that I used with Charlie when I transferred him over to his cot. It works as he no longer sleeps on us anymore!

    I would put them to bed tired but awake, give them a kiss and say goodnight. Then leave them for 5 mins and go back to them and soothe them, then put them right back down. It will take a while but the main thing is to not give up and as long as your LO knows you are coming back (which is very important), then they should respond very well to it.

    Also, a teddy/soother/swaddling would also help as having something there that they know helps to replace the thing that is currently nursing them to sleep (i.e. you!).

    I do find though that Charlie settles quicker some days than others which can be contributed to growth spurts etc. Sometimes is still takes me about half an hour to get him to go sleepies and other times he is out like a light!

    This may not necessarily work for you and some other ladies may have some other ideas that would be better suited to your LO, but the above theory worked really well for me.

    Good luck!
     
  4. lindypops

    lindypops Lin, Si and Eve

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    Eve found her fingers to suck just before three months (I think) - before that, I didn't think too much about self-soothing, but tbh she was always quite good at it, in the night at least.

    My best piece of advice would be, to rock her in your arms/the moses basket/whatever works for her until she is just on the verge of sleep, which I know might take a while. Then, if you can time it well, just before she falls asleep, put her in her cot/basket. SHe should gradually come to understand that, though you might help her, she falls asleep by herself in her cot. You can then extend the period before putting her ni, so she can do more and more by herself.

    Even though Eve is a good sleeper generally, some days I need to rock her for longer, others she just lies down, fingers in mouth and is asleep in seconds. It depends, really.

    Re leaving them for 5 mins - different people say different things - if she is crying I would never leave her, as she will just feel abandoned, even if you do go back in regularly, and work herself up.

    If Eve is fussing, I stroke her head and making shhh sounds - I try not to rock the moses basket, as the cot won't rock when she eventually goes in it! If she is fussing but not crying, I sit by the basket and read until she is settled - usually no more than 5-10 mins.
     
  5. cazza1982

    cazza1982 Mum to a cheeky monkey!

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  6. aimee-lou

    aimee-lou Totally Outnumbered!!

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    To be honest, I've given up trying to self soothe more than he does currently as I feel he's too young.

    With Earl, the flailing keeps him awake at night so I swaddle him. I will hold him until he's more than half asleep, pop him into bed, quickley wrap him in his sheet, pop in his dummy (usually dipped in gripe water) and sit in the room until he's out. He's very good and will normally drop off within 5-10 minutes. During the day, same sort of drill, just without the swaddle. He pretty much self soothes, but until he's a bit older I don't think we're going to get better.

    I occasionally will let him cry for a couple of minutes if he's really overtired as most of the time when I go to soothe him he sleeps quicker, but I don't do this very often. Occasionally (last night being one occasion, he can take up to an hour to settle but that's usually down to me rushing rather than him not playing ball. If I put him down too soon, he takes longer, but will eventually go, or I start again if he's been fussing for more than 15 minutes. I like the idea of readng to him....I may try this.
     
  7. i_am_amy

    i_am_amy New mum to Abigail.

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    Thanks ladies. I've done a wee bit of research and I think that I'll stick to what you recommended lindypops. I'll rock her until she's mega sleepy then put her down and stay with her until she settles. I don't think I could bear to leave her crying or fussing even for a few minutes! Any other opinions/advice still appreciated. Xxx
     
  8. beancounter

    beancounter Well-Known Member

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    I would put him in dozy and then once he was in the crib, pat his butt till he nodded off if he started to cry. sometimes he didnt. Sometimes it took an age and was frustrating but it was so worth it as he is great now. We stopped for a little while, like a week, and just took him downstairs when he cried but then he'd wake coshe wanted to go downstairs so we had to be strict with the once you are in the crib you stay there rule (unless he was ill, of course)
     
  9. lindypops

    lindypops Lin, Si and Eve

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  10. Mum2b_Claire

    Mum2b_Claire Mummy to Ruby & Scarlett!

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    Ruby has never been rocked or fed to sleep, but has always used a dummy to drift off with. She does wriggle about with it in, then goes off when she's ready, so the dummy doesn't actually do the whole job, she does self settle to a degree. I don't think it's right to force a baby to 'self settle', they'll do it when they are ready, and they vary hugely as to what age they are.
     
  11. Lu28

    Lu28 Aisling's mammy

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    I think at that age I'd also recommend rocking until she's very sleepy and putting her down still awake. Give her a kiss and leave the room. If she gets upset, personally I'd go in straight away at this age and soothe, preferably with her in the cot without you picking her up. As beancounter says, patting their bum etc and shushing until asleep means that although she's not settling all by herself, she's also not falling asleep on you so it's a step in the right direction. When you feel she's ready, you could just sit with her until she falls asleep etc.

    Good luck :D
     
  12. Nickij

    Nickij Mum of 2

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    I find that giving LO his dummy and playing white noise to him really helps him go to sleep in his cot on his own. It doesn't work every time, and sometime I need to pat him for a bit when he is in his cot. And sometimes when he is really worked up I have to let him go to sleep on me.

    But about 75% of the time he will fall asleep in his cot, which is a huge improvement from when he was 5-6 weeks. (he is now 8 weeks)
     
  13. polaris

    polaris Mother of two

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    I agree, I think it depends on the baby. For example, patting and shushing does absolutely nothing for my LO, he will just become more upset, but if I rock the crib that sometimes calms him down. I think when they are only little you have to give them whatever help they need to soothe themselves and that varies from baby to baby. Some need less help than others. For example, my sister-in-law has twins and they were never rocked or fed to sleep but they were very good sleepers from early on. Thomas on the other hand is often rocked or fed to sleep because otherwise he will become more and more distressed and also over-tired.
     
  14. pootle33

    pootle33 Mummy to two boys!

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    in the last few weeks my LO has been settling himself to sleep with his dummy. sometimes he goes to sleep straight after a feed but other times it can be hour or two since feed and will still go to sleep. when i give him his last bottle he gets upset if i try to rock or cuddle him now and prefers to be put into his moses basket with his dummy. He will normally be asleep within 10/15 minutes so we're prob quite lucky. he is 9 weeks old today.
     

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