Help me to stop rocking baby to sleep and stop swaddling

I am getting pretty desperate and feel like a bit of a failure so please help! In order to get any sleep we have to rock our son to sleep every night and in the night when he wakes up (which is sometimes every two hours). We have tried to put him down awake or even drowsy but he just wakes straight up and won't go to sleep. He is now 14 weeks and is getting very heavy. I've heard of controlled crying but not sure how I would cope with this and I've read that this shouldn't be done before six months. Has anyone got any advice on how to get out of this please?

Also, we are still swaddling him because he his arms fly up and wake him whilst in a baby sleeping bag. Any tips for the transition please?


  • Firstly, I see it's your first post so welcome to BE!

    Don't feel like a failure, I'm currently sitting here with my lo sleeping in my arms because i've just rocked her to sleep! But, thats an improveent for me from always letting her fall asleep feeding!

    At night, she will settle herself in her cot - we started by putting her in when very, very sleepy to now sometimes she appears to be very awake! To begin with I would stay in the room with her until she fell asleep.

    I find that stroking her head, patting her side gently or giving her dummy helped her to settle herself to begin with and works now if she wakes during the night and isn't hungry.

    Nights can be very hard work - my lo has nights where she wakes every 1-2 hours, she is 17 weeks so I know how tiring and frustrating the nights can be!

    I have also heard that you shouldn't use controlled crying till 6 months, but there's no harm letting your lo cry/grizzle while you try to help them settle without picking them up.

    How about using blankets instead of a sleeping bag? Or a celular blanket over a sleeping bag? Celular blankets are full of holes so are not so dangerous if kicked off or pulled over the face.

    Hope I may have helped a little?

  • If you are not into the whole controlled crying thing (and I totally agree with you btw - personal choice so I'll probably still be doing the same as you at 6mths!) have a look at the Baby Whisperer books by Tracey Hogg - she recommends sleep training that involves using techniques such as shhh and patting and picking up and putting back down again - so they don'y get to do what they want but you stay and still comfort them. I am trying this with my lo at the moment with some sucess and some failure!
    Regarding the swaddling I think the idea is to unwrap them slowly ie first one arm for a daytime nap for a bit then for the night was well, then add the other arm and finally the legs!
  • Thank you for responding so quickly. I was a bit nervous about posting for the first time. You have made me feel better and that I am not the only one. Whenever I talk to mums they all seem to say how their babies are sleeping through and I feel even worse.
  • hello and welcome.

    swaddling..cant help sorry. my lo used to get her arms out so we transfered her to sleeping bag lo is 6mths and either slept in bouncing chair swing seat or our arms during the day. Now trying to transfer to her cot. as i speak shes asleep in my arms...only cos i dnt like her rolling onto her front if shes too awake.

    Ideas I was given when I was in similar situation. some work some dont its trial and error. Is your lo still in a cot/crib?
    1) i asked my friend whos a paed nurse how she gets the babes to patting their bottom. My lo is used to lying on her side, so we put teddies one in front and one behind (soft to prevent her rolling+something soft to rest her hand on). Pat her pat and gradually move the patting down to her bottom, saying shhhh.
    2) put a t shirt / nightie that I'd worn (ie not clean) over the matress of the crib so she could smell me even though I wasn't there.
    3)leave light on dim rather than pitch black so they arent scared if they awake suddenly. I used to leave it dark but find she drops of easly with light on dim setting.
    4) have you tried putting a towel under matress to lift head? For some reason this is the only way my lo falls asleep
    5)whats currently working for us at the mo....put a hot water bottle where your lo head will go. This so the mattress is your warm body.
    6) also when ur lo gives signs he is tired put him down, dont wait longer.. I eventually realised, that if I missed the sins, it took longer for us to get her to sleep as she tried to stay awake!

    I asked about the crib/cot, because we had this problem. We used the rocking motion on rthe crib to help send her to sleep.
    I hope some of these suggestion that I was given help you.

    Its all about staying relaxed and persevering. you are not a failure..... xxxx
  • Thank you for responding so quickly. I was a bit nervous about posting for the first time. You have made me feel better and that I am not the only one. Whenever I talk to mums they all seem to say how their babies are sleeping through and I feel even worse.

    My lo was born in July and I have two friends whose lo's wer born in June. Both of them have been sleeping through the night for many weeks! I'm incredibly jealous! But, luckily thr friend I see every week is very sympethetic towards me!

    Breast fed babies are likely to take longer to sleep through than formula fed babies as breast milk is more easily digested.

    Another thing - not sure if it helps though - is that my lo lays in her cot with the mobile on while I get dressed every morning - I wonder if it helps her know that it is a happy place to be?? BUT - this is prob why she wont settle in it during the day when it is light! Lol

    Oh, and establishing a good, consistent bedtime routine helped too, so she knows its bath, feed and sleep.

    And, you'll soon fnd that you have answers and suggstions for other mums or have fun having random! lol

    [Modified by: lisajoy on November 11, 2008 04:29 PM]

  • Welcome!!
    With regards to the swaddling, the best advise i was given was that your little one will let you no when he no longers wants to be swaddled as he will struggle and cry and try to push his way out, and sure enough he did, at about 5 and a half months he just hated it so we put him in a sleeping bag from then on. Just thought ide pass on the wisdom lol xxx
  • Thank you for all of your suggestions. I am breastfeeding and I did wonder whether that might affect the sleeping through. No matter when I feed him last he still wakes at 1ish and 5ish (and sometimes more often). I will try the suggestions and keep fingers crossed. I can see I am going to become addicted to this site xxx
  • my lo is bf too, I was told that when she does wake for food - make sure she has a big feed - both sides, tickling thier feet initiates thier sucking reflex! I always give my lo a 'dream feed' where I lift her out and feed her when I go to sleep - it took a while to work, but now it means that she doesn't wake for another 4 hours and I can get a block of sleep. Also, when I feed her, I feed her as much as poss till she's too asleep to feed anymore!
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