Help my LO can't get himself to sleep!

Discussion in 'Baby & Toddler' started by mum2b410, Feb 2, 2012.

  1. mum2b410

    mum2b410 Well-Known Member

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    OK, so LO is now 12 weeks old. I am still fully bf and he is growing well :)
    Our stumbling block is sleep......apart from the odd occassion he just cannot self settle :-( We have tried lots of different things including:
    -baths
    -reading to him
    -lullaby cd
    -white noise cd
    -nature noise cd
    -swing seat
    -light projector
    -item of mine in cot
    -staying with him once he's in the cot and trying to reassure him without picking him up
    -swaddling
    He just can't seem to take himself off......even when we get close he will wake himself up and cry until we pick him up and then he is in a right state and takes ages to calm him down- all the time he is getting more and more over tired :-(
    The difficult thing is that once he is down to sleep he can usually take a decent nap 45mins-1hr 30mins or even longer and at night he can go 5-7 hours after last feed then 3-4hours again without too much issue. It's the daytime naps that are soooo tough. I am really starting to struggle with it because I know that if I have to keep rocking him off then he will never be able to do it himself but on the other hand he NEEDS to sleep, he is such a happy baby when he has had a good nap.......how can I make things better without having to leave him to cry it out or leave him knackered from lack of sleep time?!

    I have read a lot about LO's not sleeping at night or not getting a decent length of nap but not so much the not being able to settle themselves.......are we alone? Does anyone else's baby's do this? Do we just need to persist with the things we are trying and hope that he will get it in time or do we need to try something else?

    Advice would really be appreciated!

    Thank you!
     
  2. Alexandra84

    Alexandra84 Well-Known Member

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    As you are breastfeeding, have you tried feeding him to sleep? Apparently bm has a natural tranquilliser in it so feeding will make babies sleepy. That's the way my LO gets her naps (either than falling asleep in the car). She'll feed, drift off, and after about 5-10 min I just quietly get up and leave her covered with a blanket. After she's down she'll sleep for around 35 min if it's before 2pm and anything up to 3.5h if it's after then.

    Ps-if I just leave her in her napping place she won't settle either so you're not alone. I think we need to remember that we ae talking about very small babies that are not yet aware that they are a person apart from us so they are not comfortable on their own yet. One day they will grow out of it and will have the confidence to settle themselves, it just takes time :).
     
    #2 Alexandra84, Feb 2, 2012
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2012
  3. Maria1977

    Maria1977 Well-Known Member

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    This is the best advice really.

    My son was BF until a year old and is only now learning to self-settle. But it has never been a problem, we have always enjoyed aiding him to sleep with cuddles or by feeding him to sleep.

    Now that he's older he's more confident to sleep alone.
     
  4. knopk@

    [email protected] Well-Known Member

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    You are not alone, i have tried pretty much evwrything and bithing has worked.
    Been back and forth to talk to hv and she said to leave it until he is fully weaned. I feed him to sleep too

    sent from my Galaxy s2
     
  5. xxbeckyxx

    xxbeckyxx Well-Known Member

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    I decided to 'teach' Lou to self settle when she was about 10 weeks cos she just would not go to sleep! Unfortunately it was a VERY hard 3 nights, the first night took 2 hours, second night took an hour, third night took about 20 mins. But ever since then she has always gone to sleep alone, for naps and at night time. Totally worth it.

    Might seem harsh but basically I made sure she was fed/clean etc and put her down. At this point we were using a phil & teds carrycot part of a pushchair (you can buy them separately) - it was worth getting as it's much more compact than a moses basket/cot, so bubba feels all safe and cosy.
    Then I'd set my timer on my phone to 5 minutes. After five minutes I'd go over to the side but not touch her, just hum under my breath so she knew I was nearby. Then when she'd calmed I'd go to the other side of the room and set the timer for another 5 minutes and go back again. Gradually it got so after 15 minutes without me she was still fairly calm so I left the room. (Like I say, the first time we tried it it took 2 hours of going to her side every 5 mins!).
    I didn't touch her/pick her up/talk to her, just let her know I was there but wasn't gonna 'give in' to the crying.

    To a lot of people this probably seems totally mean but I was at the end of my tether. And like I say, Lizzie's still settling well now - we put her down awake for naps/bedtime and she'll be asleep within ten minutes.

    Hope you find something that works for you hun :)
     
  6. knopk@

    [email protected] Well-Known Member

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    Its called controllef crying. But my lo throws up if he cries a lot so a no go

    sent from my Galaxy s2
     
  7. Alexandra84

    Alexandra84 Well-Known Member

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    Very young babies such as the ones we are talking about are simply not capable of the rational thought that CC assumes they have. They are not trying to make you 'give in' to their crying, they are simply broadcasting that they are upset/lonely/need contact and hoping that a parent will respond.

    There is also no scientific evidence that CC as a method of getting a baby to sleep (and we are talking about babies here) is a good idea, in fact, quite the opposite, there is gradually building evidence that it may be damaging to development. I have not found a single organisation dealing with child development and psychology that recommends CC and several that actively discourage it or suggest that it is used only as a last resort and with medical supervision (!)
     
    #7 Alexandra84, Feb 2, 2012
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2012
  8. xxbeckyxx

    xxbeckyxx Well-Known Member

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    Meh it worked for us at 10 weeks - I did everything Lizzie wanted up till then, cuddles/rocking to sleep etc but there comes a point you need to 'take charge' and start a routine.
    Lizzie is now over a year and is a happy independent toddler so I'm happy with the decision we made. I have a friend with a girl the same age who still won't settle/sleep through the night and is quite clingy in comparison to Lizzie.
    All babies are different, it's really a case of trying things and seeing what works for you. And I'm a big believer in happy mummy = happy baby, and I needed sleep!
     
  9. mum2b410

    mum2b410 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks ladies.......It's nice to know it isn't just me!!.....It's got to the point where I have felt like we SHOULD be able to do this, but accepting that it's OK that he can't do it yet is probably my best way forward. I have been surrounded by quite a few other mum's/babies that don't have the same issue and it was making me feel like we were doing something wrong- especially now that he is 3 months old (it's my 1st and therefore don't really know what I should be expecting). I would love for him to get the hang of it, but if he needs us to help him in the mean time then that's what we'll do!

    I do feed him to sleep at times- usually before bed, and he used to go off for the night really well most nights, but now he's taken up to waking 20-30mins later! However he is easier to settle after that.
    We have also tried pacifiers to try and keep him calm when he gets upset but he wont take them- which is fine, it's just something else we gave a go!

    We will keep giving him the opportunity to try by himself but if it's not happening then I guess we just have to give it time. I have considered the 'controlled crying method' but he really does get so upset and at the moment I can't bear leaving him like that......am hoping that if I stay patient I wont have to.

    Thank u all for your responses- I actually feel a lot better for knowing it isn't just us! :)
     
  10. knopk@

    [email protected] Well-Known Member

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    I have read that cc isnt recommended until 6 months and after you tried less harsh methods. Have you tried settle and leave? Didnt work for me but it might for you
    sent from my Galaxy s2
     
  11. tinks77

    tinks77 Well-Known Member

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    Grace would self settle sometimes but has always struggled during the day, now whenever she goes down for a sleep in her cot I tuck her in and say goodnight but I then sit on a little stool next to her, never say anything and usually browse this forum lol
    I only need to sit for about 10 mins and she's ok, sometimes I need to put the dummy back in sometimes I don't need to do anything and this is definitely easier than the rocking/pacing/patting that we used to do
     
  12. Roo3

    Roo3 Well-Known Member

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    My LO has only just begun to self settle. What worked for us is giving him a dummy and a muslin, he rubs the muslin against his face until he drops off. I nip in his room 10 mins after he's dropped off and move the muslin to the side of his body so that when he rolls on to his tummy it's not in his face!
    It's worked for us everytime since we started giving it to him.
     

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