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02/10/2013 at 09:18
Sam is 4 months old and we are still rocking or feeding to sleep. I don't mind the feeding to sleep - in fact, I think it's rather lovely and that he will change that when he's ready, but the rocking is taking its toll a bit and I'm not sure where to start!
He weighs over 19lb, and my knee and leg have started to hurt, which I think is from jigging him around so much. He now only feeds to sleep at night, and sometimes not even then, so the rocking is becoming more and more, but I think it is the only way he knows how to get to sleep now, so putting him down awake but drowsy rarely works.
He falls asleep in the car seat, and eventually in the pushchair but that's it. I've tried winding him down more before naps, always putting him in his grobag at home, and we have music we play before sleep which helps, but bar a few times of getting him to sleep just holding him in my arms, not rocking, we are struggling. He just gets fed up and I end up rocking, as without it he won't sleep and then be over tired.
I've also tried putting him down awake when I'm knackered and can rock no more but it's never worked and as above, I don't think it will as he doesn't know how to nod off himself, which makes me feel guilty for rocking in the first place, but without that he wouldn't have slept as a newborn and I've always thought him sleeping is the most important thing, by whatever means necessary . In the night if he wakes but isn't hungry, I can get him back to sleep with a hand on the tummy and gently rocking the crib (I figure this is better than physically picking him up so am not worried about another crutch for the moment!) But in the day or evening, that doesn't seem to be enough, as he isn't half asleep already.
Other than my creeking bones, I'm quite keen to encourage more SS as H and I have a few nights out planned starting in a month and it's going to be tough for my Mum to get him to sleep through rocking due to her age and health, plus harder for Sam I imagine if he's used to this drawn out getting to sleep routine which always involves me or H.
I've started reading the no cry sleep solution which will hopefully help, and plan to try some of her ideas, like a lovey / muslin, but I need time to read it properly, which could take a while!
Has anyone got any tips? Please!
02/10/2013 at 09:44
4 months is young for self settling IMO. My son didn't self settle til he was 1 and I did some sleep training. Until then he mostly napped on me, or in the pushchair. Luckily I didn't need to rock him but he did often feed to sleep. I think at that age there's so much changing and developing that it's really difficult to form sleep habits that will stick.
02/10/2013 at 10:00
We started teaching A to self settle a few weeks ago when she turned 6 months and we used pick up/put down. I was really skeptical at first, but its worked really wekk and now, almost 2 weeks later she's settling herself down for all sleeps and naps and only wakes once in the night for a feed. The baby whisperer says that 4 months is the earliest you should start it because they're too young before that, so if you're determined to do something, that may be something to look at.
02/10/2013 at 10:19
Well he is almost 19 weeks but I wouldn't want to try anything that he's potentially too young for or cause him any upset, though I have heard great things about pupd, I don't know enough about it really. Glad to hear it has helped A so much though. The other thing is he's actually a fab sleeper once he's asleep, is pupd purely about ss or changing their actual sleep habits / patterns? I guess I don't want to do anything major if not needed iyswim.
Isis that's interesting as I was kind of feeling we are a bit unusual for baby not to be doing any ss yet. This is in comparison to my group of friends with same age babies, bar one who is exactly like Sam, the rest get popped down for a nap and drift off to sleep a lot of the time, I find the difference quite incredible! I don't want to force anything he isn't ready for, but I do need to address the rocking somehow as it is getting a bit much. Feeding to sleep is really nice, and I've let him lead - he just seems to be getting a bit too alert for it now I think, unless he's extremely tired.
02/10/2013 at 10:26
I do think self settling at that age is unusual, babies aren't designed to ss, they want to be close to mum/dad to know they're safe incase a tiger comes to eat them! I imagine a lot of those with babies that are self settling are doing some form of sleep training which I really wouldn't be comfortable with at that age.
Things like becoming mobile, weaning and so on can really affect sleep so you might crack it for a few weeks then you'll probably be back to square one. Will he let you cuddle him rather than the rocking? Or just lie In bed with him?
02/10/2013 at 11:21
I disaggree and think that you can teach them to self settle early, and it builds good sleep habits. I started at 12weeks, and by 16weeks we'd cracked it. I never ever let him cry and did a combo of shh/pat and laying my hand on him. It took every nap me sat in the dark, it was quite soul destroying! But it has paid off and I'm glad I did it. Don't bear yourself up about it though, they do get there in their own time too.
02/10/2013 at 11:56
Isisthey want to be close to mum/dad to know they're safe incase a tiger comes to eat them!
I read about this yesterday, it's fascinating isn't it? I guess that's also why they startle, which Sam still does a lot. He's also only just got past a fear of the hoover, more's the pity
I can't speak for all the Mums but I know one definitely hasn't done any training, I think baby is just super relaxed and sleepy. The first time they came to yoga, I watched her lie on the mat, then start sucking her thumb and drift off - totally new environment, seemed unreal to me! Another friend's baby SS at a very early age but then stopped, but my friend would rather she didn't nap, then have to rock her to nap, which personally I disagree with - I'd much rather Sam got the sleep he needed than not.
He won't sleep in bed with me - we'd never done it before, but tried yesterday actually when I drew the line at rocking at 5 a.m. he was content but didn't nod off and is the same if I just cuddle him, bar the very odd time when it's worked after a feed. After trying cuddling and laying in bed yesterday, I did of course rock and he was asleep in 2 minutes so I think it has become quite a strong association.
Mcsquirtle - Glad it worked well for you, I will have a proper look into it. Did you find I then struggled to nap when out though? I'm not sure creating a dark environment for every nap is practical when out and about? Not that I'm knocking it, I'm just curious how it works once you've cracked the crib iyswim.
I'm actually going out for dinner tonight, eeekk, so it will be interesting to see how H and Sam get on if he doesn't fall asleep with a bottle, maybe it will be easier without me in some ways. I just hope by the time I get back he IS asleep
Thanks all for your help so far - it is really interesting to hear what other babies and Mums were doing around his age.
02/10/2013 at 12:02
S sounds a lot like F apart from being good once asleep but that's a whole other matter. I had to stop rocking about a month ago because of back pain and now try and settle him by cuddling or jiggling on my knee or bunging him in the car or pram if that doesn't work. The only time he reliably goes down is bedtime with a modified shh/pat only a couple of times has this not worked. I tried to do this for naps but found it far too stressful, I was stuck in a dark room for ages trying to get him to sleep and he woke up after 45 minutes anyway! Hopefully he will settle better when he is mobile! Although I'll be back at work then do it won't be my problem!
Sorry this is not much help but you are not alone!
02/10/2013 at 12:08
He can't sleep anywhere other than in his cot in the dark. (Although he will nap at people's houses if I take the travel cot and our portable black out blind) it's both a blessing and a curse. We've been on a strict routine from early on so it has gone hand in hand though.
02/10/2013 at 12:09
Wish I could help but F refuses to sleep during the day no matter what. I'm trying to spend this week getting him to have at least one nap whether it means feeding to sleep in bed or holding him. He is currently screaming as he is shattered but I've spent the last two hours with him in the crib, mobile on, slumber bear on, then holding him but nothing worked and then it was time for a feed. He night sleep gets worse every night and he needs held until he goes to sleep. Thank god for the gliding crib though as i rock that frantically if he wakes during the night.
02/10/2013 at 12:23
R is 19 months and doesn't self settle and my other two didn't either until at least 12 months. They both did it themselves and I'm hoping R will too although I may have to help him with it if he doesn't by about 2! He is currently fed to sleep at night and rocked to sleep in his pushchair in the day. I couldn't have spent nap time trying to settle him in his room though as I have the other two boys to look after so it was whatever was easiest at the time lol.
T only slept in his cot for naps and it was a nightmare as he wouldn't sleep if out and about so I love the fact that R will nap in his pushchair! I am looking forwards to him self settling though, I've never missed a bedtime yet and it's a bit restricting sometimes!
02/10/2013 at 12:55
We never had to rock to sleep but disco fed to sleep at night until5/6 month mark although towards the end of that he was going down sleepy but not fully awake. Daytime napping just wasn't something he did regularly unless out in the pram/ car until 6 months when he became mobile then he started going down for a nap.
Here for naps we never fully close the blind because I want him to know the difference between naps and night time sleep I also still wanted him to sleep while out so didn't want him to get into habit of only sleeping in the dark IYSWIM.
Because we only started napping at 6ish months our routine has been pretty simple when He shows signs of tiredness we go up stairs half lower blind sing twinkle twinkle and he then goes into the cot (We sing twinkle at night to) we are lucky he is a thumb sucker and as long as he is tired he rolls over sucks his thumb and I can leave the room) same at night. However I know tis wouldn't have worked when he was smaller as we tried everything to get him to nap and he just wasn't having it. Each baby is different at 4 months I wouldn't worry about rocking to sleep if it works for you. If it is physically to demanding I would think about rocking him in the crib and seeing if he adapts to that.
02/10/2013 at 16:27
McSq - Thanks, I did wonder if that might be an issue. I'm quite keen on him being able to nap anywhere but completely appreciate I can't have it all!
JRJ and TP - I'm sorry you are both having a tough time with sleeping, is it a bit of a boy thing?! TP, did F manage to nap? That sounds awful and totally exhausting for you both. I guess I am lucky in at least rocking does work, 90% of the time. It stresses me out when I can't get him to sleep at all, and especially because I know it negatively affects his night sleeps. I really need to read the no cry sleep solution properly as I think it could really help. She talks a lot about sleep associations, but starting to use them at the right time. So for example, the slumber bear, just use it when he is dropping off to sleep, so that further down the line, when playing it for wind down / ss, baby will associate it with falling asleep, not associate it with crying / being over tired etc. Quite simple but it does make sense, and I'm going to try it. Same with sleep words, like shhhh, don't use to calm baby down at first, use as he is falling asleep. It's all very gentle and gradual, but am hoping it will help. When I finally do it!
JRJ - I just tried rocking Sam but lying down, kind of jigging him around - he did cry at first for a few seconds, but then snuggled in and fell asleep! Albeit for 20 minutes, only 5 of which were in his crib, but it's a start so thanks for the tip. I hope your back is ok!
TP - I have meant to message you a few times, praising ye God of gliding crib!! Thank you so much for recommending it all those months ago!
Alaina, I hope R begins to settle soon, would be nice to have a bedtime off! I agree though it's good that he will nap when out and about.
Disco - Thanks for the tip - Twinkle Twinkle is our saviour, it stops any upset immediately and also sends him to sleep! I wish that was all we needed though!!
02/10/2013 at 16:54
We must've swapped babies, F slept for well over an hour earlier. Although it was still in my arms and I needed to pee! Typical!
02/10/2013 at 17:28
Ha ha! Perhaps they can't all nap well on the same day or the universe would combust. Hope it is the start of F turning a corner!
02/10/2013 at 21:09
You know our situ but I wondered how long you give Sam before jigging if you just try sitting? It's just sometimes I get stressed and just as I'm about to give up as he's crying/fussing in my arms he suddenly goes. I've seen you jig and I don't know where you find the strength! I used to have to use the sling and jig but after a few days of pupd he now falls asleep on me and in the pushchair (I cover his face a bit which he likes!). He started falling asleep at night next to me at about 4 months which is great but he wakes when I'm not there! I'm hoping this naturally progresses to ss and better nighttime sleep as its pretty appalling still! :-/ Hope the book helps x
03/10/2013 at 08:38
Smarties, I think I am probably too impatient and need him to sleep Now, or don't believe he will go any other way... It may have become a bit of a self fulfilling prophecy! That said, there's definitely been times I've tried just sitting with him etc. and it hasn't worked, but there's also been times that it has so I should give it more of a chance. I need to talk to you properly about pupd too as it does seem very effective but not harsh. The baby whisperer alienated me a bit with her 'accidental parenting' stuff, cow bag
03/10/2013 at 08:57
Haha!! Yeah she's a tad righteous! Definitely keep giving him the opportunity to try, that's one motto I try to practice as one day they may just surprise us ;-)
03/10/2013 at 10:49
H pulled me up on the last point you just made the other day.. E has always been good at self settling. The first thing she did when we left hospital was come home, go into her carrycot and straight to sleep. However the other night we invested in a video monitor. We do the same thing every night, bath/wash, clean nappy, book, PJs and cuddles, bottle then into grobag with dummy and taggy and then we put down and leave the room. Well, first night she rolled and wiggled and crawled into a thousand new positions and I was akk up for going to help her settle somehow but H pointed out we don't born ally and of course she doesn't go from wide awake to flat out that quickly. Takes us about 20mins to settle down etc so why would a baby go straight to sleep. I heeded his advice and yep she did just go. No crying or moaning she was just winding down and getting comfy.
Other than this my tips are.. if it ever works the way you want it, then don't revert back. Babies apparently expect the sleep experience to be the same as the last. So often we persist longer than we would normally having this in mind we find if we didn't achieve what we wanted we'd persist to try every single nap/sleep as we knew that we were liable to take the easy option of shoving a dummy in for example.
We too put E in a sleeping bag and dark room now she is older than six months and we can leave her but she will nap anywhere.. In the pram or carseat. Never the floor anymore as she can't switch offers long enough! Prior to this way alway the carrycot which went everywhere.
However I will also say that although E will have phases when it doesn't matter what I do, she's not going to self settle. Being in pain, teeth playing up, over tired, growth spurt or development leap or sometimes just clingyness so I also don't beat myself up if I need to do something else. We liked the white noise app too at first and swaddling to help settle quickly but again both things we've gradually taken away.. next (and last) is the dummy! Though we now only allow at drifting off to sleep not through the night so all gradual steps.
03/10/2013 at 12:16
TBH i think that that babies are comfortable with what they know, and it's a case of introducing change slowly so that they adapt. i'm pretty useless with any advice for sleeping babies as W is a fab sleeper. He can put himself to sleep fine without rocking or feeding at night. He gets a feed at bedtime and whether he's asleep or not, he is put in his crib. We've always done that from the very beginning (obviously picking him up again if he got upset) so he goes to sleep on his own without any fuss. I wouldn't say that we tried to get him to self sooth as i never left him to cry, he just naturally fell into that pattern (for which H and I are eternally grateful)
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