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Putting baby to bed awake
Has anyone successfully done this?!


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#1 Feral Borgia

Posted 23 March 2012 - 07:21 PM

Hi, as the title suggests, does anyone here actually put their baby to bed (in bassinette/cot) awake...and baby actually drifts off to sleep, unassisted apart from perhaps the odd shushing, pat on back? I went to the tresillian web site today and this is what they recommend for under 6 months. My son is 6 weeks and is in  a terrible place with sleep right now, we are well into over tired territory and have been for about a week. So I put him in his bassinette after a bath, feed and a little cuddle, his eyes were nearly falling out of his head, but he was awake...as soon as his head hit the mattress his eyes were wide open and the howls of  protest began so I patted and shushed for 40 minutes(yes I timed it) until my back gave in, he was beside himself and I was crying as much as him. So....not very successful! Tresillian makes it sound like you get the odd whimper then it's lights out.  Has anyone does this successfully? If so, what is your secret?

Also (this is a vent really, just need to get it off my chest) but he (my 6 week old) has been awake since 2 this afternoon...I kid you not. I fed him before school pick up, and he hasn't slept since despite being held, I tried to feed him to sleep , rock him etc...that can't be healthy for him?  This has been a pattern for the last week, and terrible night sleep follows. I really don't know what to do, any advice is welcome. He is breastfed, no reflux and won't take a dummy.

TIA

#2 purple_daisy

Posted 23 March 2012 - 07:37 PM

Hi OP
I belong in the 6-12 month section but couldn't go past your post. I had such trouble with DD's sleep in the first six months, and in the first 2 months I could only ever get her to sleep by feeding her to sleep or popping her in the baby bjorn and walking around. It was so frustrating. We tried sleep school and that saw me sitting by her bed for up to an hour rocking her to sleep every. single. nap. A very hard stage, especailly when she would usually only sleep for half an hour.
At 6 months I had had enough so I decided one day to just start putting her down and walking away (I hope the anti crying folks don't flame me here, but after 6 months of rocking a screaming baby you would try anything too!). She would cry a lot at first but I kid you not, within a week she was only grizzling for about ten minutes then would fall asleep. She is 10 months now and still doing the same thing.
So yes, it is possible for you to put down a wide awake baby and for them to go to sleep but maybe 6 weeks might be a little early. The key for us was just determined consistency and not going back into the room in less than 10 minutes, and then only for a quick pat/shh and back out again. It was hard slog that first couple of days but now I am so glad we did it as daytime naps are a breeze - DD yawns, I pick her up, drop her in bed with a kiss and walk out.
Good luck, and hold on to hope that it will get easier eventually hhugs.gif


#3 therebel

Posted 23 March 2012 - 07:38 PM

Yep, we've put DD to bed while she's still awake since she was about 6 weeks old. She is always wrapped and with a dummy, although she tends to spit it out when she drifts off to sleep. During the day she loves background conversation noise, such as the TV on News24 or talkback radio. She also sleeps well in the pram and car.

She has slept in a cot in her own room (a few metres from ours) since about 4 weeks (we were co-sleeping before then). We never had a bassinet.

#4 joshuakalan

Posted 23 March 2012 - 07:46 PM

When my twins (now 5) were babies I always put them to sleep awake. To be honest, I am surprised that people would not do this???

They always nodded off and I never had to go back in. I did this from day one with them and they knew no other way to go to sleep.

However, they did share a cot and perhaps the comfort of their twin being near them aided their sleep.

#5 Mummy-2-1boy

Posted 23 March 2012 - 07:48 PM

I could have written your post a week ago. A week on, she is now 7 weeks. She was only catnapping with a few 10-15 min naps & maybe 1 half hr one if I was lucky. I posted about it & it was really stressful for a few weeks & she seemed to be getting worse everyday...

But 3 days ago that completely changed & it's been amazing. She has been sleeping 30-60 mins in the morning (a little hard to settle), 2-3 hrs at 12 (have been able to put her down drowsy, returned to put her dummy in & pat a few times but asleep within 10 mins! Wouldn't have thought it would ever happen!) & 30 mins in the afternoon.

The things I did differently, which may or may not have made a difference... I loosely followed the sleep time routines from gina fords book (not strictly but I felt my bub needed a little more awake time cuz it would take so long to settle her), and spent longer 'winding her down' by cuddling her until she was very drowsy. Her eyes also pinged open when i put her down but I left her & just popped her dummy back in with a little bum pat & shhh until she was calm again (not asleep). Also she previously hated being wrapped but I have wrapped her & put her on her side during the day only. She previously slept on her tummy unwrapped& at night still does. Either it's a coincidence or the changes are working, either way I feel human again! Today she settled within 15 mins for all 3 sleeps & a week ago it would take over an hr of rocking to achieve a max of 30 mins!

It all could go haywire again tomorrow but I really hold not! But I know what you mean. I have been trying to put her down awake when I spotted her tired signs so she would settle herself to sleep from the day she was born but she seemed to wake up to it around 3 weeks & really needed the help.

Edited by Mummy-2-1boy, 23 March 2012 - 07:53 PM.


#6 leita

Posted 23 March 2012 - 07:50 PM

No.
biggrin.gif

#7 Princess.cranky.pants

Posted 23 March 2012 - 07:53 PM

I did that with DD1 and DD2. But it never worked with DD3.\

He sounds very overtired. Are you putting him to bed when he is starts showing tired signs?  Paying attention to tired signs is really important. With some babies when they start yawning they are actually overtired.

How long is his normal wake time? For a 6 week old it should be no longer than 1.5 hours. All mine had awake time of about 1 hour at this age.

QUOTE
Tresillian makes it sound like you get the odd whimper then it's lights out. Has anyone does this successfully? If so, what is your secret?


I have been to sleep school a few times and when it works yes they do go down without much. But when a baby is very overtired they are much harder to settle and that might be why your not having much success.

Honestly at 6 weeks I would just do whatever you have to do to get him to sleep.. don't worry about putting him down awake. If you continue to have problems see child health. Some places have day stays and you can go for the day to get help with settling/sleep issues.

Good luck.

#8 Jenferal

Posted 23 March 2012 - 07:55 PM

Hah! My daughter has only in the last few months been able to be put in bed awake and left to fall asleep on her own. She's 23 months old.
She would scream if we tried it before 18 months, always needed to be fed or rocked to sleep and she grew out of that in her own time.
The trouble with the 'experts' is not every baby suits the same style of parenting. I don't think there CAN be a one style fits all approach, I also think it's human(mammalian really) nature to need help to sleep, if it's being fed, or held or rocked or whatever in the early months.

Babies also go though a peak of unsettledness at 6 to 8 weeks and my daughter was known to be awake for 5 or 6 hours at a time pretty much every day. She was pretty happy if held though so we went with it till she got past that stage.
Can you wear him in a sling maybe, and see if he sleeps like that?
He's spent 9 months being soothed to sleep by the motion of your body as you moved around during the day, he can't be expected to just drop off in a still, unmoving cot, this early in his life.
That's my opinion anyway.
No way would I leave him to cry, certainly not until at least 8 or 9 months, they do not understand that you'll come back, they think they've been abandoned by their mother. Though I'm anti CC really, I do know it does work for some babies, I just think it's cruel until they are old enough to understand you will come back to them and haven't left for good.

#9 Shooz

Posted 23 March 2012 - 08:02 PM

I tried this at about 6 weeks and my baby was having none of it- just cried. So I carried on comforting him to sleep in my arms and around 12 weeks he decided himself he wanted to go into cot before sleep- would wrestle in my arms. Put him down and he self settled. I wouldn't get too caught up at 6 weeks thinking you have to do things one particular way. All babies are different and do what works for you to help you get rest and sanity ☺

#10 Riotproof

Posted 23 March 2012 - 08:04 PM

QUOTE (joshuakalan @ 23/03/2012, 08:46 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
When my twins (now 5) were babies I always put them to sleep awake. To be honest, I am surprised that people would not do this???

People don't do this because it doesn't work for all babies. I'm very glad it worked for you, but to assume it will work for all babies is an absolute fallacy.

OP, I have heard somewhere that babies have no memory of how they go to sleep prior to 12 weeks. Not that I'm suggesting you should leave her crying after that. I too, had a baby who found the ssssh patt crap to be bull. It's very hard to hear when others are telling you that they just give a nigh nigh kiss and leave, when it doesn't ever work for you. You will get there, eventually. Don't worry.

There are some great articles here http://www.pinkymckay.com/blog/?cat=278

I do agree with pp's about focusing on tired signs.

#11 mummyofour

Posted 23 March 2012 - 08:07 PM

I will admit straight up that I have been VERY lucky and have had 4 fabulous sleepers.

All mine were wrapped (with their hands up so they could reach them most of the time) from birth until about 6 months (or whenever they rolled over).  I would wrap them after a feed/whenever they were ready for bed and put them in the their cot (we never had them in a bassinet or in our room - they've all always slept in their own room) and walk away.  99% of the time they would fall asleep by themselves.

DS did got through a phase when he was a bit older than your bub (he was probably about 9-10months) when I spent a lot of nights sitting beside the cot and shh-ing to him.  And then tip-toeing out of the room with varying success  happy.gif

Only one of them has had a dummy and she's nearly two and still has it ! (the others had a dummy for a month of so when they were about 2-3 months and then wouldn't have a bar of them!)

So I don't have much useful advice other than it can happen.  Can you tell if the cry is overtired or distressed ?  At such a little age I would be inclined to carry him around  happy.gif but that's not always possible when you have older ones.  Will he go off to sleep in a pram (did that a bit with DS too!)

Isn't 6weeks a growth spurt time ?? (sorry I've forgotten all the timing with my youngest being nearly 2!)



#12 niggles

Posted 23 March 2012 - 08:18 PM

I did it with DD and I do it for DS. The reason I can is because I tried it at the outset and they both went off to sleep with barely a fuss.

But...DD stopped going off happily after a few months, or would often like a top up and fall asleep on the breast. Eventually her willingness to self settle dissappeared entirely and didn't come back till she was nearly 2 (getting her hip brace at 10 months did not help things along).

DS on the other hand is 3 months and is still more than happy to be put down awake. He prefers it in fact. If he's getting grizzly the longer I hold him the worse he gets. As soon as I lay him on his wrap on the change table he starts to settle. Once he's swaddled firmly his eyes start to glaze over. Once his head hits the mattress he turns his head to the side and it's all over from there. I just walk out of the room. Sometimes he grizzles and I go give him a dummy and he goes straight off to sleep. He's a dream.

The only things I would suggest that I believe help are:

Trying it out from birth. If they are happy with it then you may as well get them used to it from the outset. (Bit late in your case but sounds like your baby wouldn't have liked it anyway?).

Try out a few different swaddling techniques and learn them well. There is nothing like a good swaddle. DS wants his hands by his face so we 'angel wrap'.

If in doubt, put them to bed. Even if it's only been 45 minutes. Infants tire so quickly and overtired infants are more trouble than it's worth keeping them awake.

Go with what your baby needs. If they want to be held, maybe that's just what they need for their particular temperament. They'll learn eventually (and I was just about giving up hope with DD but since she started, she's never ever reverted to needing us with her to go to sleep).


#13 Leee

Posted 23 March 2012 - 08:20 PM

I have a question for those that just walk away - do your babies stay asleep? My DS is 3 months and I put him down awake or drowsy, most of the time he goes to sleep if not I rock the bassinet for normally no more than 30 seconds. The problem this week is that he wakes after an hour for every sleep,it is driving me crazy, I know he is still tired but isn't transitioning to the next sleep cycle

#14 WinterIsComing

Posted 23 March 2012 - 08:24 PM

QUOTE (Lucretia Borgia @ 23/03/2012, 08:21 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Hi, as the title suggests, does anyone here actually put their baby to bed (in bassinette/cot) awake...and baby actually drifts off to sleep, unassisted apart from perhaps the odd shushing, pat on back? I went to the tresillian web site today and this is what they recommend for under 6 months. My son is 6 weeks and is in  a terrible place with sleep right now, we are well into over tired territory and have been for about a week. So I put him in his bassinette after a bath, feed and a little cuddle, his eyes were nearly falling out of his head, but he was awake...as soon as his head hit the mattress his eyes were wide open and the howls of  protest began so I patted and shushed for 40 minutes(yes I timed it) until my back gave in, he was beside himself and I was crying as much as him. So....not very successful! Tresillian makes it sound like you get the odd whimper then it's lights out.  Has anyone does this successfully? If so, what is your secret?

Also (this is a vent really, just need to get it off my chest) but he (my 6 week old) has been awake since 2 this afternoon...I kid you not. I fed him before school pick up, and he hasn't slept since despite being held, I tried to feed him to sleep , rock him etc...that can't be healthy for him?  This has been a pattern for the last week, and terrible night sleep follows. I really don't know what to do, any advice is welcome. He is breastfed, no reflux and won't take a dummy.

TIA


OP, join the club. Don't let anyone tell you that you are on your own...it is not that uncommon. I could have written the same post. Our DS is high maintenance, but he is so cute so I don't mind. Anyway, paed recommended reflux medication so I will see if this helps us!




#15 AryaStar

Posted 23 March 2012 - 08:27 PM

QUOTE (joshuakalan @ 23/03/2012, 08:46 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
When my twins (now 5) were babies I always put them to sleep awake. To be honest, I am surprised that people would not do this???

They always nodded off and I never had to go back in.


huh.gif Because we like to make more work for ourselves?

OP not all babies will calmly drift off to sleep if you put them down while they are still awake. Many will cry, require physical closeness, comfort and help with settling in the form of rocking, patting, or feeding to sleep and it is all completely normal, especially at only 6 weeks.

Babies are little people with their own unique personalities, preferences and temperaments. Some are placid and easygoing, some are sensitive and fussy and others will fall somewhere in between. It is worth trying to see if it works but TBH I found that you can't force them to do it. They either will or they won't at that age.

Their sleeping habits change all the time in that first year anyway so I found that being baby-led and going with the flow worked much better for us than worrying about what books, websites or other people told me DS "should" be doing.

Best of luck OP - those early stages can be really tough  original.gif

Edited by Shady Lane, 23 March 2012 - 08:30 PM.


#16 Onyx

Posted 23 March 2012 - 08:33 PM

Most of the time DS is put in his bassinet awake. If he's happy, eg, not hungry, not gassy etc he will fall to sleep himself.
I was struggling to decipher his cries so I watched the dunstan method, which has helped so much.

#17 joshuakalan

Posted 23 March 2012 - 08:39 PM

Riotproof - your comment back to me is ironic. You are assuming.

There was no assumption on my part about others  - I said I am surprised that others do not do this. It is a statement in relation to other people saying that they do not/have not done it. There was no assumption that "it will work for all babies".

The OP asked if anyone had done it and I conveyed that I had and expressed my surprised that people would not do this.

That is the beauty of this forum - there are actually people that do have "easy" babies and those that are perhaps not in this position can benefit from their tips/experience - which is what the OP was asking.

It is not personal - just my experience of having two babies at once (with different personalities and temperants) that had a simple sleep routine based on popping them down when awake and them nodding off.

#18 ReadySetRace

Posted 23 March 2012 - 08:41 PM

My 6 week old rarely goes to bed awake. I wrap her, cuddle and jiggle with walking around and patting until she is asleep (aka Happiest Baby on the Block - google it).  DD2 learnt to self settle from 10-12 weeks, I'll gradually put DD3 to sleep more awake and hopefully we'll get there without crying.

#19 babybeli

Posted 23 March 2012 - 08:45 PM

Yes I did so with both my children from the begining.

#20 BabeBlossom

Posted 23 March 2012 - 08:58 PM

My baby is 14 months but I have seen so many people struggle around me at this age. If you can pop your baby down awake and them fall asleep with a few whimpers then go for it. But if your baby needs your help to put them to sleep with only 6 short weeks on this earth then give it to them. You are not making 'a rod for your own back' or more hard work or whatever people want to tell you. Some babies fall asleep really easy and some require feed/rocking/patting for months if not years. I can still remember being a toddler and frustrated because I didn't know how to go to sleep.
One of the girls at my mothers group had a 6 week old that rarely napped at all and was perfectly happy, it's just how he was. Now at 14 months he is the biggest sleeper of all of them.
My DD at 14 months has always been fed or rocked to sleep, she has 1 x 1-2hr nap and sleeps 12 hours straight overnight. We haven't broken her or made our lives harder, it's just what she needs right now. Follow your baby's lead and you can't go wrong, just don't fall into the trap of expect too much too soon or you might make both your lives miserable.

Edited by BabeBlossom, 23 March 2012 - 09:00 PM.


#21 Feral Borgia

Posted 23 March 2012 - 09:01 PM

Thanks for all your replies, I really appreciate it. For those in the same boat, it's good to know I am not alone! And for those who have successfully done it, you give me hope!

I agree with all PP re reading tired signs, in the morning I can do this and he generally goes off without too much assistance....usually I get a good 2 hour sleep out of him then. The afternoon is the problem, school pick up seems to come at the worst time, by the time I walk there, deal with big brother and friends peering into the pram, kissing him, poking him (grrr) he is so over stimulated that the window for sleep has gone and the afternoon is a nightmare .... I need to be able to get him into a quiet dark room and settle him for an hour but with DS1 and dinner etc that's not an option. A long walk in the carrier or pram might work too but that's also not an option. I really wish he would take a dummy then at leat he could chill in the rocker...sigh. I do sometimes walk around with him in the baby Bjorne but that unsettles him too because he constantly roots for the nipple!

I do swaddle him which certainly calms him down....As PP have suggested 6 weeks is a growth spurt and I think he is going through some developmental changes...he is more alert and aware of his surroundings ...maybe it's just a sensory overload at the moment...in the meantime I shall feed him to sleep and/or rock him to sleep in my arms...if I am still doing it at 6 months I might engage in some CIO methods...

Thanks again!

#22 Feral Borgia

Posted 23 March 2012 - 09:15 PM

Joshuakalan- it's interesting re your twins and your comment about them  being aware they are close to another which helps them sleep...I think there's something in that..one night out of desperation I finished feeding him and lay him down next to me in bed (DH had already decamped to the spare room) ...it was the deepest sleep he had been in and he slept for close to 6 hours! He is in a bassinette in our room normally and he has very restless, noisy sleeps but this night I didn't hear boo from him...co sleeping is not for me ( for a number of reasons) but I can see why people do it..

#23 *Finn*

Posted 23 March 2012 - 09:22 PM

QUOTE (joshuakalan @ 23/03/2012, 07:46 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
When my twins (now 5) were babies I always put them to sleep awake. To be honest, I am surprised that people would not do this???


Because not all babies are happy to do this?????? Seriously.......

OP my first child DS has never been a child that put himself  to  sleep from day 1. He was never a great sleeper. Dh and I were just talking about the 'good' old days yesterday. From 2 weeks old till about 6 months old DS was HIGH maintenance. rocking, patting whatever the hell happened to work that particular night. from 6 months we started a shhhh, offer bottle again and walk out routine. at the beginnning we would have to go in to soothe him 7-10 times before he finally went off for the night. He slept through regularly around 19 months old. He did however have a lot of issues with ears/tonsils etc

DD well from day 1 she has always been  put to bed awake and always puts herself to sleep. She  has her thumb and her  cuddly toy and she is asleep within mins. Its like she is completly at peace with sleep LOL.
I thought for a second that maybe it was because she is the second child she just doesnt get the attention DS did but I just think its her, she doesnt need anything else to get to sleep. Again DD had major ear problems and grommets inserted at 11months.

My point is OP they are all so different. These textbooks reccommend these fantastic strategies but seriously how do they know YOUR child. Do what works for your family.

#24 WinterIsComing

Posted 23 March 2012 - 09:32 PM

OP, one more thing, have you tried white noise?

We have a very powerful (and noisy) fan and it really works. It especially keeps him asleep as the fan blocks out other sounds, to which DS is sensitive to.

Recently, I've started laying him on my sholder and reclining in bed....the closer and snugglier the better...it seems to work sometimes. Like you, I had a 5 hours-awake episode yesterday (5 pm - 10 pm, and DH was out), it was horrific, but in the end it is the quite reclining, him on top of my body, that finally worked.

Who knew that settling will be the hardest thing with babies? Before each settle, I sigh internally and mentally prepare for a workout LOL!

#25 squirt081

Posted 23 March 2012 - 09:34 PM

Yes, once I had a routine for DD (she was about 4 weeks) she was put down awake. No problems at all.

DS is a different story. To begin with yes it worked, then he had reflux and the sh*t hit the fan. I ended up at karitane (5mths old) for  5 nights sleep training. Best thing I did. He has gone straight to sleep since I brought him home from there.

Op- It sounds easy on the sites and phone but it's not. It very trying and hard. All the nurses at the sleep school help the parents cope and take over when needed cause it is so bloody hard. Good luck.

Edited by squirt081, 23 March 2012 - 09:39 PM.





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Essential Baby and Essential Kids is the place to find parenting information and parenting support relating to conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids, maternity, family budgeting, family travel, nutrition and wellbeing, family entertainment, kids entertainment, tips for the family home, child-friendly recipes and parenting. Try our pregnancy due date calculator to determine your due date, or our ovulation calculator to predict ovulation and your fertile period. Our pregnancy week by week guide shows your baby's stages of development. Access our very active mum's discussion groups in the Essential Baby forums or the Essential Kids forums to talk to mums about conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids and parenting lifestyle. Essential Baby also offers a baby names database of more than 22,000 baby names, popular baby names, boys' names, girls' names and baby names advice in our baby names forum. Essential Kids features a range of free printable worksheets for kids from preschool years through to primary school years. For the latest baby clothes, maternity clothes, maternity accessories, toddler products, kids toys and kids clothing, breastfeeding and other parenting resources, check out Essential Baby and Essential Kids.