thread: learning to sleep

  1. #1

    Mar 2004

    learning to sleep

    Does anyone know any methods for teaching a baby to self-settle that don't involve control crying. Yasin used to self-settle most of the time but his routine got disturbed a few months ago and since then he has needed to be bounced to sleep (he sleeps in a hammock) on most occasions. Its not like I pace the floor rocking him - its just bouncing a bed for a little while. My MIL has been telling DH that this is something wrong and pressuring him to use control crying (like all new parents DH is a bit suseptible to letting unsolicited advice get to him). I tend to feel that the issue is one of convenience (it is convenient to put baby down at night and walk away) but what is convenient for adults may not be what is best kindest for babies. I have convinced DH to ignore the advice for now but we have to go to brunch on sunday and she will be on about it again. I want to tell her to just butt out but since that isn't possible without an arguement it would be nice to be able to shut her up by having a coherant plan that doesn't involve controlled crying or at least to be able to tell her that other babies have learnt to self-settle without it.
    Am I being completely naive to think that he will eventually learn on his own through gentler methods?

  2. #2
    Life Member

    May 2003
    Beautiful Adelaide!

    I hear you!

    We never did controlled crying with Olivia, but then again, she was never much of a screamer. But I guess we didi do a controlled Leaving the room" IYKWIM?

    For all naps, we just got into such a predictable routine:

    ~ Boob (latterly bottle, more recently nothing)
    ~ Cuddle
    ~ Special music on (Peacebaby)
    ~ Pop into hammock
    ~ "Have a lovely sleep possum, I'll see you when you wake up"
    ~ "Bye Bye", and then leave the room.

    I keep the monitor on to hear what goes on and she usually chats to herself for 5/10 mins then there is silence.

    Over time, I can tell what the little noises are: chatting is one thing, but I can't leave her to cry. But having said that, sometimes she cries out and then goes straight to sleep?

    Sorry, I am not helping much, but have you ever left Yasin & then moitored what happens? Does he just cry as soon as you leave/stop bouncing the hammock? The reason I ask is that Olivia from about 3.5 months was so over keen to watch us bounce the hammock that that alone would keep her awake. I got so frazzled one day I just left her to it adn she fell asleep without a peep all by herself!

  3. #3
    Melinda Guest

    I think introducing some kind of sleep routine is the best advice that I can give you. Jacob has recently had some sleeping problems, but introducing a routine before sleep has really helped him tremendously. Basically this is what we do:

    1. Go into his room, and whilst holding him, close the blinds.
    2. Pull the chair up next to his cot and sit there with him for say 5 minutes, having quiet cuddles and kisses - no talking, just cuddle time.
    3. We put him into his cot, and put him into his sleeping bag.
    4. We put a nice warm blanket on him and then say "Time for sleep, love you"; kiss him on the forehead and give him his dummy.
    5. Put the side of the cot up, and leave.

    He is asleep within minutes........for him he sees this as a 'sleep trigger' so he knows when this 'routine' starts, what he needs to do. We have recently been to the Mother & Baby Unit down here with his sleep, and they DON'T practice controlled crying, and they believed that this routine (which we had started prior to going into the MBU) was great and should be maintained. If he wakes up under an hour, we re-settle him for sleep, and this involves some patting/rocking. They taught us to respond to the cry (as we were doing anyway)...not put a time limit on the cry, which controlled crying does.

    Of an evening, our routine involves a little more to help him understand that the "big sleep" is on its way.....basically before the steps above, we have a bath, and then his final bottle is beside his cot by the light of his baby it is nice, warm and relaxing.

    We always have Jacob's room at around 18 - 20 degrees as now as well as I think he was too cold previously.

    So......whilst the re-settling part of what we do for Jacob involves patting/rocking for him (if repeating the initial sleep routine x 2 doesn't work), the actual process of getting him to sleep is simple, and works every time. Perhaps you could find something that's suitable for you, DH and Yasin so that he learns to associate that little routine of events with going to sleep?

  4. #4
    Kellee Guest

    Hey dach,

    Sorry it's hard for you at the moment, mate. I would certainly recommend a routine. We don't have a daytime routine, but Charlie's night routine is as follows:

    * Play with Dad when he comes home
    * Dad gives him dinner and water
    * A quiet play (if he's not too grizzly and tired)
    * Bath - stories in the bath
    * Get dressed in semi darkness (he has been known to fall asleep on the change table!)
    * Breast feed (only because I like it - my MCHN says not to, but I don't really care - Charlie and I like it)
    After this I put him in his cot with his "Teddy" and he rolls over and goes to sleep easily.

    During the day, we just put him to bed as soon as he gets grizzly and I've eliminated all other possibilities. The only 'sleep aid' he has is his favourite Teddy. It did take a while, but we did 'responding to his cry' thing that Tootie suggested - not really CC, but kind of. We listen to his type of cry and only pick him up when he cries in a really hysterical way. I know it's not for everyone, but I found that he was getting used to me picking him up everytime he made the slightest noise, and he was getting used to 'getting his way'. It was very draining, and I was finding the prospect of doing that for the next few years quite daunting. (That sounds like I'm a 'mean' mum, but it's not like that) This way he learned to self soothe, and came to realise that there were some things he has to learn on his own. It took a few days before he was really into it, and it was very hard for me not to rush in every time, and he still has his moments, but things are much better. I hope you find a solution that suits you! In the meantime, big hugs to you and Yasin, and I hope things get better soon.