For those of you who dont use dummys...

How do you get your babys to self settle?

My ds (6 weeks) really isnt keen on his dummy and i feel like im forcing it upon him a bit because my dd had one. My dd always self settled herself from a young age, i have always been able to put her to bed wide awake and she would fall asleep with no tears but she loved her dummy!

Now how do i get ds to do that but without the dummy? I have tried today putting him down for his nap without it but he just cried.. i cant leave him to cry because one it will wake my dd as she naps at this time and 2 i dont really like doing it especially at such a young age! Trouble is though i dont have time to rock him to sleep since im looking after a 22 month old as well.... and tbh i think its important to teach babys how to go to sleep.

Help please? :\? Hubby said to just chuck them but before i do i wanted to know if babys who dont have dummys have to be rocked to sleep!

Thanks xx


  • hi,

    i cant offer much help as Megan doesnt have a dummy and she always self settled as well so i havent had that problem - occasionally when she has been very upset or had the colic episodes it was hard and we obviously did carry and rock her to comfort her then (she is my only child though) however if she is upset now i will cuddle and soothe her and sometimes she will fall asleep on me but once she has calmed down whether awake or not i can put her down and she can sleep...

    i dont think all babies need to be rocked to sleep but then controlled crying isnt for everyone and not always practical either...i think the fact Megan has never had a dummy helps as she doesnt know any better and so doesnt look for it...if your little man isnt keen on it anyway maybe by just putting him down and leaving him (but checking on him and goign to him to settle when he cries just not picking him up if that makes sense?) might work fairly quickly but i dotn know how you could do that without disturbing your dd..

    hopefully someone else can give some constructive advice lol....

  • My DD would never take a dummy. She learnt to self settle at around 7/8 weeks I think without any props so to speak.

    From about 6 months, when she was able to hold things, she has always turned her face into her blanket, or a toy, or a muslin, I presume she likes the closeness.

    Maybe try a muslin by him as some type of comfort? My niece would only sleep with a muslin totally covering her face but that's another story!

    It may be something to provide a bit of additional warmth, or try a rolled up towel next to him, again rather than a physical contact with you?

    Good luck!
  • Honestly huni I would just leave him to cry it out!I know what your saying about not wanting to and not wanting to disturb little miss but it is something they will both get used to. Sometimes babies need to cry before they go to sleep anyway?Mia sometimes doesn't fall asleep straight away and I just leave her to it if she has been crying for more than 5 minutes I do go back and calm her - pat her back as she sleeps on her tum (as you know lol!) maybe stroke his head or his cheek she likes this too and it calms her straight away then leave him and see what happens obviously if he gets really stressed get him out and give him a cuddle and put him back when he is calmer. As for madam she will learn to ignore it Lily does and I very rarely find her waking up when Mia cries now.x
  • Alyssa sucks self settles with no props also but if she is very very tired or irritable she will suck her left thumb and rub either her hair or sleeping bag with the other hand.

  • Neither of my lo's would take a dummy but they both learnt to self settle fairly early. For me, I wouldn't leave a baby, nevermind a newborn to cry it out at all. I used the pu/pd method with both of mine and they also had a comforter with them. I think teaching a baby to self-settle is one of the best things you can do for them and it really is worth putting in a bit of time and effort for a long tern benefit. If you can rope in someones help with your older one while you do it, then you should be able to crack it within a couple of days.

    I used the 'Baby Whisperer' book for how to do pu/pd properly and found it really good.
  • Honestly huni I would just leave him to cry it out!

    I don't want to start an arguement but seriously, leave a 6-week old to 'cry it out'?

    It is hard, but I think you just have to continue doing what you are doing. Some babies will learn to self-settle themselves, others might need some help, but much later on. At 6 weeks I personally think you just need to comfort them if they are upset - I understand that it is more difficult for you perhaps as you have another child to look after & I wish I had some more constructive advice for you. Could you maybe speak to your HV? x
  • Leaving a six week old to 'cry it out' is barbaric.

    Is there a problem with cuddling babies to sleep? DS is cuddled to sleep. He will sometimes wake up in the night and chat then go back to sleep, I don't go to him unless he cries, so he is capable of self settling and he'll develop that capability as he gets older. DD was cuddled to sleep, slept through from 10 weeks, obviously learned to self settle at some point, couldn't tell you when, and is still a brilliant sleeper at 4.

    They are tiny for such a short time - enjoy rocking them to sleep whilst you can. You'll miss it when they don't need you any more.
  • have you got a mobile on his cot? thats what helped with us. also have you tried putting a muslin in his cot with your scent on it? x
  • oh for those who are saying about rocking him to sleep. its not always a great idea! my LO stopped self settling at 4 months old and the only way to get her to sleep was on us but then when we tried to put her down in her cot she would wake up so bedtime took us anything up to 2 hours and again during the night! we had that for 12 months! and for the OP situation, she has another LO to think about too.
  • Ruth I know MrsNoName very well- she is one of my closest friends she knows exactly what I mean!I don't mean let him scream and scream or even for her leave the room so he can still see her there even but babies sometimes do need to cry when they fall asleep similarly like some toddlers "talk" themselves to sleep...I even seen her little man do so! I'm not a mean Mummy I'm just telling what has worked for us thats all advice was asked for I gave mine...
  • I didn't ever offer Lorelei a dummy and she generally grand at settling herself at first though we;d a similar problem to sleepybeccie in that she developed colic and so was rocked to sleep and even when it went she still needed rocked for about a year after.
    If you know there is nothing wrong then I'm afraid I'd be on the side of letting him learn to settle himself sorry. Have you a mobile or even tuck you tshirt beside him so he can smell you- we did that sometimes.
    It's really about what's best for you and your family but maybe just one those trail and error scenarios until work out what works best.
    Good luck x
  • Thanks for the advice girls!!

    I didn't want a debate on controlled crying or what have you... ilovemygeek is one of my best friends and her methods are far from barbaric i have been there while her (very happy) little girl settles her self to sleep and its far from barbaric.


    Maenad there is no problem with rocking them to sleep.. i LOVE cuddling my little boy and i treasure it when i get chance but during the day with a active 22 month old tearing around my ankles its very hard image i wish i could cuddle him all day long but i just cant unfortunately.

    I have been to the gym tonight and my poor hubby was beside himself by the time i got home as ds would just not settle (even with cuddles).

    I will try the Muslin thing a go.. they are breathable right? so he wont suffocate ?

    We have a mobile Becki hunni but he tends to just stare at it then cry when it stops he he he!

    Thanks again girls.. poor thing is only 6 weeks old im probably expecting too much from him yet! xx
  • Peter never took a dummy because he soothed himself by chewing rather than sucking (I know, odd baby). Anyway, when he got hold of his stuffed sheep he started chewing its 'hoofs' and almost immediately started to self-settle. This was a little older than six weeks (I sang him to sleep before that) but maybe you could try a muslin or one of those small comfort blankets with an animal head in the cot with him? He may just be the sort of child who likes to rub or chew something for comfort instead of sucking.
  • we had a mobile which wasn't a musical one but Lorelei was fascinated with. God I can't remember the make but was along the baby einstein lines in that it was just block colours with different shapes. In fact there was a picture of a wee cartoon man and she used to giggle at him and try 'talk' to him- forgot all about that lol
  • Can't really help but Callum hasn't got a dummy, we didn't want to give him one and luckily the times we have tried he wasn't impressed.

    At night I put him in his crib awake and he settles himself, but during the day he finds it hard to drop off so is often cuddled, or I've found if I put the hoover on he'll manage to sleep. He does sleep on his tummy though (i know bad, bad mummy but he didn't sleep at all the first week home so we had to do something)

    Sorry I've probably not helped much but good luck xx
  • Lily used to spit the dummy out! She had a muslin cloth that she would hold and that helped her settle. Oh and one of those light shows on the ceiling that plays music. xx
  • Im afraid our no-dummy experience wont be of much use to you love...
    Maddie didnt have a dummy til 6 months, until then she would generally feed to sleep, or suck on my little pinky or be carried! she always slept through til 6 months though, so i didnt mind the time it took, and she is an only child, so no other LO to look after too.

    once she was 6mths and accepted the dummy (only gave it to her to get rid of my pinky which had become a bad habit lol and annoyed me sitting there at 2 am her sucking on my finger, lmao) and would fall asleep with that if boob failed, but i usually carried her as well.

    once she was 13mths and ditched the dummy, thats when i started 'cry it out' but would go in every 5 or 10mins at first, then within a week she was self-settling with no props (wasnt bfeeding ehr to sleep anymroe either by that point).

    So I dont know how you do it with a 6-wek old as they generally can't be 'spoilt' by being held etc unti lat least 6mths old, but then again they CAN learn the habits of sleep from that yuoung, so i understand you wanting to get him in a good sleeping routine!! I agree with ILMG in that dd will get used to him crying, as long as it's not prolonged crying which I'm sure you won't leave him for too long at such a young age. It's hard because if you go in every 5 mins, he will be more upset than if you leave him til he just gives in and sleeps, but if you leave him that long at such a young age, he could be sick or so distressd, who knows?

    I hope you sort something out anyway.... lots of love xx
  • Hey hon
    Oliver started refusing his dummy at 8 weeks which was hard as he was a brilliatn sleeper then obviously had nothing to settle. I brought him one of those teddy muslins (like a square of material with a rabbit or elephant head) and he sucks this. He always puts it on his face which scares the hell out of me but thats how he settles.
    He's 8 months now and most nights he settles himself but some days he still trys it on but I have to leave him or I just stay by the door to make sure he's safe as he's a headbanger!
    It's hard at such a young age, I could nevr do it. I only start at about 7 months when I could actively see Oliver looking for me and becoming clingy and starting to understand.
  • Archie doesnt have a dummy & at 7 weeks he doesnt always settle himself, I leave him unless he is crying, in which case I just cuddle him til he's almost asleep, then put him down, that way he has still done the last little bit on his own, he is slowly finding it easier to settle himself off, but when he cant a cuddle to calm him doesnt hurt any of us and to be honest its comforting to me too as it breaks my heart to hear him upset. A friend of mine said "9 months on the inside = 9months on the outside" and its made me much calmer about the whole thing....for 38 weeks he had nothing but me & my heartbeat to comfort him, so, if thats what relaxes him now so be it. It will get easier but at the moment I'm sure cuddles wont hurt x
  • I would swear by the "shush-pat" technique. It's the "pu-pd" technique for babies less than 3 months old and worked wonders with Abby when she was tiny. You basically sit with them whilst they settle and gently rub their backs or stomachs whilst "shushing". It's in the Baby Whisperer book.

    Abby was never the sort of baby who would go to sleep in someone's arms or in a rocking cradle. She needed a quiet room and her own bed. She has never slept in our bed with us despite being exclusively breastfed, not because I didn't want her to but because she was disturbed too easily. Even now (20 months) she will wind herself up and up and up but will not sleep until placed in her cot and you leave the room.

    Although I don't like the idea of "controlled crying" I do agree that babies often cry whilst falling asleep. Abby definitely did. Now she often sings to herself or talks to "Lambert" until she drops off. And sometimes she cries in her sleep, but settles again very quickly.
    The baby dropping-off cry is very different to a hungry or upset cry. One of my friend's described it as having an "ooooo" sound to it rather than an "aaahhh" sound which indicated hunger.

    H xx

    PS - Suddenly realised the point of the post. Abby has never had a dummy, she just refused them point blank.
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