Has anyone taught their LO to self settle?

If so - how did you do it? And how long did it take?

Adam (5.5 months) is really, really bad at self settling. It is getting progressivly worse and I am now up between six and seven times a night re-settling him when he wakes up.

We are both shattered and I am really concerend that it is starting to affect his delevopment (he started rolling a while back but now just lies on his mat and grumbles and rubs his eyes) :cry:

I am beyond tired and so hubby and I have decided to devote this weekend and next week to teaching Adam to sleep on his own.

Before I get blasted, I would NOT consider any form of sleep training if I thought Adam had a need which I could meet - but he doesn't want feeding, he is not in any pain or discomfort - he just can't get to sleep unless I am holding his hand and saying 'ssshhhh'!

Any hints, tips and success stories very gratefully received!

A very tired Cath xx

Posts

  • Hi Cath,

    You have my utmost empathy, having been there with Grace who is now 10.5 months.

    She used to cry so much the moment I left the room that she would be sick everywhere.

    My HV suggested a method called the Disappearing Chair, where you start off on night one right next to the cot, and sit just reading a mag (if you can see!) or something, but not interacting with LO. Repeat each night, moving progressively further away, until you are out the door. The HV tells me this works quite often, but unfortunately not for us!

    In the end, HV suggested abandoning the night time routine and treat her more like an adult - bath after tea if needed and then keep her downstairs until she looked really tired, then give her milk downstairs then take her up and after nappy change and a quick cuddle, straight to bed and leave. Gradually start bringing the time forward until it is at a bedtime that suits you. Grace started off at 8.30-9pm, but is always asleep by 7pm now having had her bath earlier in the evening then just her milk and lullaby upstairs.

    We have had to use a certain amount of controlled crying, but that combined with the above worked for us. Naps are sometimes still an issue, but I think that is because she is now heading towards just wanting the one nap a day, as if she is tired enough she will drop off fine.

    I hope this helps, and all three of you manage a good night of sleep soon,

    Em xxx
  • Cath,

    Sorry to hear you're having a bad time. Sleep deprivation is definately a form of torture. By teaching him to self-settle, you are helping him to get a better quality sleep so no-one should blast you for that!!!!!

    I used PU/PD (sometimes with a cry down) which helped my son however I remember you mentioning that this hasn't worked for you in the past. I think that the only option you may have is controlled crying (or controlled comforting as my friends called it) Do you leave him for a few minutes to see if he'll re-settle himself? How does he nap in the day? Is he overtired by bedtime? As a rule I never let my LO go beyond 3 hours max (more like 2.75 hours) without a nap so as to avoid overtiredness by bedtime. I dont let him sleep beyond 4.30pm either.

    I used to always work on getting him to self-settle at bedtime by putting him down awake in his cot. From there he would self-settle most of the time through the night. If he wouldn't a pick up and comfort would usually do the trick.

    I dont know if I have suggested it before but try a sleep site called www.babysleepanswers.co.uk
    they helped me massively, they may be able to help you too xxx
  • Cath,

    Sorry to hear you're having a bad time. Sleep deprivation is definately a form of torture. By teaching him to self-settle, you are helping him to get a better quality sleep so no-one should blast you for that!!!!!

    I used PU/PD (sometimes with a cry down) which helped my son however I remember you mentioning that this hasn't worked for you in the past. I think that the only option you may have is controlled crying (or controlled comforting as my friends called it) Do you leave him for a few minutes to see if he'll re-settle himself? How does he nap in the day? Is he overtired by bedtime? As a rule I never let my LO go beyond 3 hours max (more like 2.75 hours) without a nap so as to avoid overtiredness by bedtime. I dont let him sleep beyond 4.30pm either.

    I used to always work on getting him to self-settle at bedtime by putting him down awake in his cot. From there he would self-settle most of the time through the night. If he wouldn't a pick up and comfort would usually do the trick.

    I dont know if I have suggested it before but try a sleep site called www.babysleepanswers.co.uk
    they helped me massively, they may be able to help you too xxx
  • Cath,

    Sorry to hear you're having a bad time. Sleep deprivation is definately a form of torture. By teaching him to self-settle, you are helping him to get a better quality sleep so no-one should blast you for that!!!!!

    I used PU/PD (sometimes with a cry down) which helped my son however I remember you mentioning that this hasn't worked for you in the past. I think that the only option you may have is controlled crying (or controlled comforting as my friends called it) Do you leave him for a few minutes to see if he'll re-settle himself? How does he nap in the day? Is he overtired by bedtime? As a rule I never let my LO go beyond 3 hours max (more like 2.75 hours) without a nap so as to avoid overtiredness by bedtime. I dont let him sleep beyond 4.30pm either.

    I used to always work on getting him to self-settle at bedtime by putting him down awake in his cot. From there he would self-settle most of the time through the night. If he wouldn't a pick up and comfort would usually do the trick.

    I dont know if I have suggested it before but try a sleep site called www.babysleepanswers.co.uk
    they helped me massively, they may be able to help you too xxx
  • I used PUPD as well which was good for us. I still have to use it as time goes by due to upsets to his sleep caused by developmental changes like teething :x

    The other thing to watch though is to make sure Adam isnt undertired or overtired when you put him down.

    I follow the Baby Whisperer which suggests the following awake time periods:

    5 months 2 hours - 2.25 hours
    Late 5 months/early 6 months 2.25-2.5 hours
    6.5 - 7 months 2.75-3 hours. Some are getting more.

    I started to tweak my son's day at about 6 months when we were having some more sleep probs and going by the above times seemed to help sort this out.

    There are several options available to you, i would suggest picking what you feel is right for you/hubby/Adam and work your way through til something works. Just give it time for it to work though. Sleep deprivation is evil, I hope you find a solution real soon.
    x

  • Thanks everyone.

    I have devised a method which is a combination of CC and PUPD. We're starting on Friday night - I feel sick just thinking about it but really need to be brave!

    Eek!

    xx

  • good luck cath. i think we did something similar to what you are going to do. After trying desperately to feed and rock him to sleep only for him to remain steadfastly awake staring at me one night i put him down only for the crying to start and in despair went to get a quick cup of tea and calm down for 5 mins.(I had been rocking/feeding him for 2 hours !) Lo and behold he had got himslelf to sleep in those 5 mins. the next night he cried for 5 mins and we went to cuddle him put him down again and off he went to sleep a couple of mins later with a tint bit of whingeing but no crying. He never cried again!!! and we had a much happier baby overall. i suppose this is a light form of CC which i was always against but our method worked a treat and actually meant he cried less overall htan when we ricked him for up to 2 hours whilst he still cried anyway. Of course the exception to this being teething/illness where all this goes out the window and i'll cuddle/rock/soothe him all he wants until the poor baba gets sto sleep. then when he's better he'll get off to sleep on his own again. Makes the evenings so much less fretful! Hope all goes well tomight. xxxx
  • Hi Cath,

    really sorry to hear Adam is still struggling with sleep and keeping you all up. Funnily enough (well not funny actually!) the reason I've not been around recently is that we've been trying to teach madam to self settle. We're currently on night number 3 (2 full days but started it on saturday night) and without wanting to jinx it, it seems to be going well.

    Previously she would only go to sleep if we were feeding her which was fine by me (such a wimp I know) but then about a week ago it stopped working! Think it was a combination of her being so much bigger (and not so comfy falling asleep in my arms anymore) and her just being really full of bloody milk!

    She was also waking up lots in the night and needing to be fed back to sleep even though she wasn't hungry... So I finally bit the bullet and decided that we needed some form of sleep training. So I religiously read the 2 baby whisperer books (felt like was swotting for an exam) and braced myself for hours and hours of carnage.

    And it never came! Don't get me wrong its been knackering but nowhere near as bad as I thought it would be. Where as before she would go down at 7, wake at 8, again at 9 sometimes, then 11/12am, then 1.30, then 3.30 then 7am (grim I know) she has been going down at 7 (6.30 on the second night as she was exhausted from a day of learning!) waking at 1.30ish, grumbling for anywhere up to an hour (we've used PUPD) then back to sleep til 7/7.30. A VAST improvement and I'm hoping she'll realise in the next week or so that there's no point waking at 1am as she's not getting fed...

    anyway sorry for the essay but just wanted to say it can't work and it isn't a given that it'll be a massive horror show!

    good luck sweety - lets chat in BIF about how you get on
    xxxxxxx
  • Sorry I haven't even read any of the replies so I may just be repeating somebody!
    But I really hink the pick u put down method woks, as soon as baby cies pck him up and as soon he stops put him down. DOn't rock or walk with him as you want to get him to sleep by himself I think this is harder work than cry it out as you may be in there over an hour each time he wakes up picking up and putting down until he sleeps.
    But I am a real believer of this as I have just started it with my nearly 4 month old baby boy, and it really is working! Two weeks go he was taking all his naps on me or in his car seat or swing, but now I put him down awake in his cot and he gets off to sleep it is so muc hbetter for all of us.

    Hope you find a solution, just think a few hard nights of less sleep than ever will pay off. And you don't necasaarlly have to leave your little one to cry himself to sleep image Best of luck xx
  • Sorry I haven't even read any of the replies so I may just be repeating somebody!
    But I really hink the pick u put down method woks, as soon as baby cies pck him up and as soon he stops put him down. DOn't rock or walk with him as you want to get him to sleep by himself I think this is harder work than cry it out as you may be in there over an hour each time he wakes up picking up and putting down until he sleeps.
    But I am a real believer of this as I have just started it with my nearly 4 month old baby boy, and it really is working! Two weeks go he was taking all his naps on me or in his car seat or swing, but now I put him down awake in his cot and he gets off to sleep it is so muc hbetter for all of us.

    Hope you find a solution, just think a few hard nights of less sleep than ever will pay off. And you don't necasaarlly have to leave your little one to cry himself to sleep image Best of luck xx
  • Sorry to GC...for those of you that use PUPD, is 15 weeks to early to start it? We are reaching critical point now before I explode...naps on me and waking every hour at night and finally I give in and co-sleep but obv don't sleep properly then! Hate the idea of CC, but PUPD sounds do-able!
  • 4months + in when it is supposed to work well, under 3 months is a no no, and 3-4 months is a grey area. Apparetly babies under 3 months it is too stiulating to pck them up, and between 3-4 months it still can be but depends on the baby.My little boy is 15 weeks and I thought I would give it a go and it is working! Also just started settling him on his tummy as he loves this, it terrifies me though!
    He also was taking all naps on me and oten spent at least half night in my bed - now all in his cot image
    I think PUPD is harder work but for me personally i prefer it as im not jut leaving my little one to figure it out im supporting him
  • renri1002 - just to say if you find PUPD doesn't work for your little boy you could always try the Baby Whisperer 'shush-pat' which is the method she recommends for babies under 4 months. There's lots on it in the 2 baby whisperer books but there's also a babywhisperer website

    http://www.babywhispererforums.com/
  • Thanks guys...have tried shush pat to no avail, he just gets more and more worked up until he's wet through and gagging...not fun! May start trying this weekend...
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