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Thread: is there a way to teach to self settle without crying???

  1. #1

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    Default is there a way to teach to self settle without crying???

    Hi I've read a couple of post and seems theres a few methods. can anyone please recommend the best way. Flynn is 4 months old he goes to sleep on the breast and that seems to work fine for the night time, he sleeps in his cot no worries from 7 to 7 gets up once maybe twice. however during the day he has been sleeping on his sling, he looks for the breast when he stirs and will keep sleeping if I give it to him so on the sling he sleep for 1hr sometimes he'll do 1.5. if I try to put him on his cot he generally wakes after 20min sometimes I put him back on the breast and will go back to sleep most times he won't. I'm getting worried cause he is getting very heavy on the sling and my shoulder just kills!! also he won't go to sleep in the pram or carseat and its very hard for anybody else to pur him to sleep. everybody keeps telling I am a slave with my sling my MIL is just awfull, they all want me to do some form of crying and I've managed to fight them off saying you can let babies cry before 7 months. I just don't think I could ever let him cry it out. I've tried giving him the dummy, he won't take it awake but sometimes I can swap the breast for the dummy when his asleep in his sling. any suggestions on how to slowly get him into his cot during the day would be so appreciated!
    Mel


  2. #2

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    Mel,

    Sadly, I don't think that there is any 1 best way. If there is, the person who works out what it is will be worth a fortune

    In my experience, I'm not sure that there is a real "no-cry" way, but there is a HUGE difference between controlled crying (where you leave the room & leave them to effectively work it out for themselves ) and crying with you beside them letting them know that you're still there to comfort them & keep them safe. Even at 10 months, I just can't/won't bring myself to let my DS cry. I'm okay with a grizzle, but his grizzles stop pretty quickly, and from very early on I've been able to tell the difference.

    A couple of things that I've learnt along the way are:
    1. Changing sleep patterns isn't an "overnight' thing - excuse the pun. Rather it can take a good week or two to establish a new routine. Which can be hard, because as adults, we're really used to fixing problems quickly, so you have to remind yourself that you're not dealing with an adult (well, der), and to relax about the pace of change. And even when you think you've got something good happening, they'll then go through a growth spurt, or teething & it all seems to go out the window..

    2. Holding a baby upright for a cuddle, rather than cradling them, can be a good signal that they're being comforted, but not being offered food as comfort. Works until they're strong enough to throw themselves back to indicate to you that they want a breast - which is what my DS is now doing.

    3. Routine/patterns can be helpful. Not in a strict, to the minute time, but rather the rituals of what you do. A way of winding them down with a song, a tone of voice that you use, a way of holding them. Whatever works for you, just repeat it each time before a sleep.

    Combining points 1 & 3 - pick an approach that works for you on a sort of emotional level & stick to it for a couple of weeks before giving up, consistency is often key. When I've been having a really hard time with DS's sleep (or lack of), a couple of times I've cancelled all my social events for a week and stayed home and focussed on re-establishing routines, which has helped both of us.

    It also sounds to me that your bub maybe likes a feeling of movement to get him to sleep during the day. Maybe you could try lying him in his cot and either patting or gently rocking him to get him to sleep. Also, a sling is pretty comfortably confining - would wrapping him still work, if you're not already/still doing this? Another technique is to gently pat the mattress near his head, this might mimic the sound of your heartbeat which he might be able to hear when in his sling.

    I hear you on the MIL - except in my case it's been my mother who's caused me issues. She's spent 10 months telling me how we (her kids) all slept through from around 8 weeks, and if I just let him cry he'd work it out. Then in the next breath she'll talk about how mother instincts are the most important thing. So I've been listening to my mother instinct, which tell me that I care more about my son than other people's opinions and that I'm not going to let him cry for hours on end whilst he learns how to self settle.

  3. #3

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    Jan, thank you so much for your help. they are great ideas. I think the hardest thing for me is having the confidence that it will work. I've tried patting him and it can take over an hour and then he only sleeps for 20 minutes and he is so tired and I'm tired!, sometimes its just so easy to give up and just put him on the sling. when you try a method do you not do the sling or offer the breast at all until they got the new method? or do you face out the sling/breast slowly?

  4. #4

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    I have success putting my bubs down, while being "happy'. I sing "goodnight sweetheart" (badly!), while we cuddle and kiss. He giggles and touches my face, and I lay him in his cot. A bit more singing, and smiling, and I walk out. he very soon learnt that it means bed time, and he falls asleep when he's ready. At first he would grizzle, and I would go back in, sing and kiss, (leaving him in the cot) and walk out again. It didn't take long, and he now never fusses at bed time or nap time.
    I hope you find something thats works well for you babe!!!

  5. #5

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    I think they are all different. My first DS liked to have a sheet over his head to fall asleep. My second DS needs to suck his thumb and hold a sheet or something up to his face. He also needs to do this every time he gets upset or he'll scream uncontrollably. He has learnt to self settle with a cloth, sheet, pillow case, T-shirt etc against his face and his thumb in this mouth. This we found by trial and error, and obvserving how he settled himself in his cot. It might be that you need to find the thing that will help your DS self settle.

    I also think that sometimes they do need to cry. I don't mean CIO or anything like that, but some times that is their way of settling. I would never let my boys CIO, but DS2 particularly cries when he is overtired and there is nothing that will stop that. Holding him, patting etc makes it worse - he'll push me away and scream louder. He wants me to leave him to settle himself to sleep. I'll leave him with his sheet and let him cry - a minute or two later he will have settled himself and then fall straight asleep. I don't like that he cries, but I know that is his way and I am best off accepting that. Luckily it is never for long, and only happens when he is overtired so it's not too often. But just be aware that sometimes crying is a necessary part of the process for them to settle. Most babies probably like to be cuddled when this happens, but my DS likes being different!!

  6. #6

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    The best thing I can recommend is to use sleep cues. I sing the same song (Twinkle twinkle) and then say "it's time for sleep darling, Mummy loves you" every time I put both my little ones to sleep. The only difference is for my DS I add "I'll see you in a couple of hours" before his day sleep and "I'll see you in the morning" before his bed time at night. They quickly learn to associate the song and the sleep time message with sleeping.

  7. #7

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    The best thing I can recommend is to use sleep cues. I sing the same song (Twinkle twinkle) and then say "it's time for sleep darling, Mummy loves you" every time I put both my little ones to sleep. The only difference is for my DS I add "I'll see you in a couple of hours" before his day sleep and "I'll see you in the morning" before his bed time at night. They quickly learn to associate the song and the sleep time message with sleeping.

  8. #8

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    Could you try taking the boobie out of his mouth, JUST before he falls asleep. If he stirs, pop it back in, wait a bit and try again. Keep trying till he drops off without boob in his mouth. Then slowly take it out earlier and earlier till he's used to not having it. It's described better in Elizabeth Pantley's "No Cry Sleep Solution". I tried it to get rid of the dummy and it worked quite well. (We still have the dummy, but that's because of other issues!). It's not quick, but it is gentle!

    If, like Janno27 says, he likes the movement of the sling, perhaps a hammock would work for him? You can hire them to try before you buy. That might also be good fom the point of view of keeping him away from the smell of your milk - maybe that's why he wants it?

    Good luck!

  9. #9

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    If you are into books there is a great one called "The No Cry Sleep Solution" by Elizabeth Pantley. It uses the "crying with you beside them letting them know that you're still there" (as Janno put it). Highly recommended for different ideas if you don't want your bub to cry alone.

    PS: Great name

    PPS: Just realised Jaapie recommended the same book

  10. #10

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    It's hard having the confidence trying things with bub. But you can only try because what you are doing now isn't working for you anyway, so you actually don't have much to lose. I also think that it is best to ignore advice you are not okay with. I have found this hard as people very close to me have advocated crying it out and I am not comfortable with it, and now I think, "I am the mummy, I will do what I want/what I think is best for my baby".
    I second (third) No Cry Sleep Solutions as a terrific gentle sleeping book. Perhaps you could try getting your DS to sleep in your bed during the day for naps with you, to start with. I know he likes movement but if you want the transition from sling to cot it has to be done slowly. In the bed, lie on your side and maybe breastfeed him to sleep. The first few times/days you can have a rest too! Then maybe try and sneak away when he is asleep. Don't make too many big changes at once. I think the trick with feeding to sleep is to make sure they are really asleep before you detach. I wait until my DD's mouth has pretty much slipped off before moving her. Too early and she screams! After maybe a week or two (or whatever) napping in you bed, you can try the cot with settling techniques that have been suggested above. Another key point is to make sure he is not overtired or else getting a bub to sleep takes a long time and then they don't sleep well at all ie wake up too soon, wake up grumpy etc. I think at 4 months their awake time is about 2 hours before tiredness sets in. this includes feeding etc. If it goes beyond this time, do anything to get him to sleep. Ngala are good for advice (08) 9368 9368 on sleep stuff (and other stuff). They may have some good hints on sling to cot transition. GL.

  11. #11

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    mmm another good book is "Sleeping like a baby" by Pinky McKay. We have just discovered that DS loves a sleeping bag! We bought a merino kids one so that it won't cause him skin troubles and will draw moisture out etc... it wasn't cheap but OMG is it good!

    With the bag, he started sleeping through the night and now (after 3 nights with it) I started using it for days and he goes to sleep on his own. He's never done that. He's always needed rocking etc, then when he got heavy we transitioned to just swaying laying down on the bed together, but now (since the sleeping bag) he gets annoyed if I touch him

    So I'm a big fan of sleeping bags. I can't believe how easily it worked for us- one thing though, he does go to sleep much MUCH quicker with something touching his face/forehead.

    All kids are different and all stages are different but atm, this works for us! Good luck!

  12. #12

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    Hi ladies!

    Thank you so much for all the amazing suggestions. The books sound great, I'm going to the libary today to get the No Cry Sleep Solution, have been on her web site and some of her ideas sound great. will try to buy pinkys book, have been meaning to get it for ages but have read lots of her articles.

    ok so we have a baby hammok and used it for the first 6 weeks only problem, flynn was taking forever to resettle at night like 2+hrs because of his tummy so I moved him onto his cot and put him on his belly (I know its naugty) but he has sleept so much better at night since then, I've got one of those angelcare monitors for peace of mind!

    we use the sleeping bag at night and he loves it, I think I'll try using it during the day.

    I think the cues is definetly the key we obviusly have the nighttime sorted cause he goes down no worries, he stay on the boob until very groggy and then fiinishes falling asleep on my arms.

    I think I might try cutting the sling out first, so getting him to sleep in his bed during the day but still letting him fall asleep on my boob and maybe once we got that down start the other process ok well I just put him in his cot with sleeping bag and he woke up after 10min great... here we go again thanks ladies you are great!

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