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Thread: Self settling, any tips?

  1. #1

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    Default Self settling, any tips?

    So my 5mth old is horrid for going to sleep. At this stage he doesnt nap much, maybe a 1/2 hour twice a day. He wakes at 9am and doesnt go to bed til 10pm sometimes even later. I never had this problem with my eldest so Im at a loss of what to do. He is obviously so tired but he just wont self settle, even with a dummy. We have a swing but he is way to big for it now and I dont want him to get used to rocking.

    I have noticed though that when I put music on the stereo while Im tidying up he tends to doze off not long after. Today he fell asleep to The Beatles music hunched over in his play station Do you think I could try a CD player with some music? Does this count as self settling even though he had music playing?

    I really would like him to go to sleep a bit easier so I could have DH do it if I want an early night/leave him with someone and not worry about him crying and not sleeping. Dh refuses to rock him so its up to me right now.



    Any tips are appreciated. Thanks!

  2. #2

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    I know what you mean Anna. Sorry I don't have any selfsettling (SS) tips as my DD now needs my help to sleep, where once she did SS. I just try and get her to sleep anyway I can now and found that in order to get her down at 7pm and stay asleep it is VITAL that she has at least 4 hours nap time during the day. This is usually four lots of an hour or 1.5hrs twice and another bit. She has gone off the dummy too. Even during the day I do anything so that she is not overtired. When she is overtired it is impossible to get her to sleep. So even now for the day sleeps I will feed her to sleep, put the vacuum on outside her door (works a treat) or I put the radio on in her room on static (between stations) and she sleeps. This isn't all ideal or longterm (I hope!) but the best I can do for now. Your DD must be very overtired with so little nap time and late bedtime, hence he can't settle himself. Do what you can during the day to get him to sleep/nap (even lots of 45 mins) and you should see a difference. I watch for tired signs- even if they are within the hour of DD waking from last nap- and down she goes again. I think it is taking a few weeks to get over DD being overtired as it is such a cycle- not sleeping well at night, so can't settle for day naps and on and on it goes. Anytime no DD sleeps I don't disturb her at all. This morning she woke at 10am, I dressed her, fed her, she yawned at 10.30 so I have put her back to bed! HTH

  3. #3

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    Hi Anna,
    You know I need certain things when I go to sleep and bubs are the same. Many babies find music or white noise calming. Find what works for your bub and don't worry about it too much. They all grow out of this stage. I found the worst thing I could do was think that it was something I was doing or not doing that determined whether he slept well but it really just comes down to them. Some things help like a wind-down routine, some milk, a blanky etc., music and if something does help then Great!!! Don't get too caught up with labels like 'self-settling' cause they are all open to interpretation anyway. Just try and give them what they need - like a cuddle from mum - because that is all you really can do. We still have DS (13 months) on our lap to sleep for his day naps (better than rocking cos you can get some extra cuddles and watch tv) but for his night sleeps we have a small routine where I tell him a story while he has his bottle and we watch a light projection on the roof with some soft music. He then goes into his cot awake and goes to sleep himself to the music. I love music particularly because it can be transferred from one person to another like you mentioned.
    Good luck with it all!

  4. #4

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    You two have given some brilliant advice!

    I really want to point out the over tiredness thing, you haven't got a snowflakes chance getting bubs to 'self settle' (certainly is open to interpretation isn't it!) whilst he is overtired. Do what you can and whatever works to try and break that cycle first, then start with the tired signs and give him the cues.

    From one who knows how hard this can be - prepared to be a little more patient because once you are start the sleep routine you will need to keep it up for awhile before you see any changes - hang in there xoxoxo

  5. #5

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    Sleeping was an issue for us in the beginning too, while he was newborn he would go down anywhere then things changed majorly. For a short time there he was up all day pretty much in my arms the whole time until i reliased that i had to do something about it. I read some books, searched the internet and went to a sleep settle class, from these i took the tips that i wanted to make use of. My first thing was to try and establish a routine and for me the feed, play & sleep definately made my son happy. Once we got it working...

    My settling technique was to put him in bed awake after noticing tired signs (which was him starting to get a bit whingy) sit on the floor at the end of the cot (my son could not see me) and i would pat his leg. Not in a rhythmical patter because he would get to know that pattern. I would do it firm when he was crying but as he settled i would get lighter and do it less often. Just gradually remove myself from this without him even noticing that i had gone. I would do the same thing day and night, this sometimes meant sitting on the floor in his room for sometimes half an hour or more but eventually he self settled and this wasn't needed anymore at all.

    Once we had all that under control he would show his tired sign i'd put him down without any tears at all and he'd settle himself quite happily. He also has a blankie and sucks his thumb which i'm sure helps a lot too.

    My opinion was he just needed to be shown how and when he needed to sleep, like you have mentioned an over tired bub can be very unreasonable. I have such a happpy boy and there are never ever tears at bed time. My fear is i won't get the time to spend on doing this the second time around... we'll cross that bridge when we come to it.

    Good luck with the sleep, it makes for happier babies and happier parents.

  6. #6

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    The only thing I do when I notice Dd is getting tired or is tired already and she simply won't settle in my arms I just pop her to bed, turn on her music thing and walk out.. I say nothing except bed time missy.. sometimes she grizzles not cries as i don't leave her to cry unless absolutly necessary. and most times she surprises me by stopping grizzling as soon as I lay her down..

    Other times when nothing else works.. I go and lay on the bed with her. not for long as I have other kids and that makes it difficult as I am sure you understand.. But enough to calm her down. then I offer a feed and if she refuses that she goes in her cot.

    hope some of that helps.. As another poster said you have to get to him before he gets tired. I would say about an hour and a half after he wakes for the day start settling him down for a sleep.. Don't wait for him to show signs.. so if he wakes at 6 at 7:30-8 start settling him.. Olivia is usually awake at 6 but back in between 8 and 9 and then about 2-3 hours after that sleep she goes down again...

  7. #7

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    The only thing I do when I notice Dd is getting tired or is tired already and she simply won't settle in my arms I just pop her to bed, turn on her music thing and walk out.. I say nothing except bed time missy.. sometimes she grizzles not cries as i don't leave her to cry unless absolutly necessary. and most times she surprises me by stopping grizzling as soon as I lay her down..
    I've noticed this too Nic, sometimes it's better to put her down than to try to settle her.

    My other favorite trick is wrapping - we use a flat cot sheet and this is the best sleep cue we have for DD!! Can't see us stopping it any time soon.

  8. #8

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    We use music and it really does help! To start off with we used a proper baby music CD, now I just play the radio in his room. I find it also blocks out any loud or sudden noises too and helps him sleep through them (like annoying telemarketers who seem to constantly knock on the door!). Good luck

  9. #9

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    About the age of Ripley, i started getting Jesse to self settle.
    He had a fisher price aquarium that he seemed to take to the music quite well.
    But the way i got him to fall asleep with out me there was start by rocking him in his room with the music on until just before he nods off. Then put him in bed. Do that for a few nights. Then put him in bed awake and stay with him, patting or stroking or whatever until he falls asleep. Do that again for a few nights. Then do it without touching him but sit there where he can see you. Again for a few nights. Then after that put him in bed but sit out of sight.. so if he grizzles youre there quickly to go back over the previous steps before he gets too worked up. Just keep at that until youre able to put him in bed and leave the room.
    Worked like a charm with Jesse. Can put him in bed any hour of the day and walk straight out and he self settles.

    Best of luck!

  10. #10

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    Our situation sounds similar to Kirst29 - we had to teach Caden at 12 weeks because we were exhausted carrying him around all day. Now after about 2 hours or so I notice yawning and rubbing eyes and grizzling. I give him a nice big cuddle, change his nappy and make sure he is comfy. I tell him he is going nigh nighs and stand cuddling him near his cot for about 30 seconds telling him it is beddy byes. I then put him in his cot, give him his teddy and he pretty much sticks his thumb in his mouth and closes his eyes. Within 15 minutes or so he falls asleep properly.

    It is so much easier to do when he is not overtired, because then he grizzles alot more. Even with the insistent cries, I know he is only tired and can't switch off. It is not as if rocking him to sleep works because he prefers to be in his own bed, so I just tuck him and, say "goodnight Caden" and leave the room. If he grizzles intermittantly I let him go for 10 minutes or so and go in and re-tuck. If he is more upset, I go in, get him up and give him a cuddle then pop him back in and usually he falls asleep.

    Make sure they are not teething, have restrictive clothing, wet nappy, etc. Even swaddle them or pop them in a sleeping bag if you need to.

    Good luck

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