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Do some babies prefer to self settle?


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#1 ~Supernova~

Posted 11 April 2012 - 08:22 AM

I'm very confused here and not really sure what to do!

A couple of days ago DS (5 weeks) started to get harder and harder to get to sleep. I usually get him to sleep by rocking him in my arms and patting his bum. Yesterday it had been almost 2 hours of this, he would drift off then wake up constantly and have a little grizzle, and he was so overtired. I had to help DD with something so I put him down in his cot. He grizzled (NOT crying at all, just little grunting noises) for about 15-20 mins then he was asleep. So I figured I would try it for his next few sleeps...

I rock him until I see he is heavy lidded and sleepy, then put him down. Within 10-30 mins of little noises he puts himself to sleep (which is a LOT quicker than he falls asleep when I am rocking him). If I go in his room at all, or pat him, he gets cranky and wakes up! So I basically listen to the monitor and peek through his door lol.

Is it possible he just prefers to self settle? I'm not sure if I should be leaving him to grizzle at his age...I would like to point out that at NO stage do I leave him to cry, it is just little grunts and groans. I really miss cuddling him to sleep, but he seems to hate it sad.gif Do some babies just prefer this???

#2 Elleness

Posted 11 April 2012 - 08:28 AM

My 9 week old does, exactly the same as your guy. Grunts and grumbles, but if I go back in I wake him up more and takes double as long for him to back to sleep.

#3 Harmonica

Posted 11 April 2012 - 08:28 AM

Most people strive to get to the point you are at, so enjoy it! It becomes so difficult if they become dependent upon being rocked to sleep, especially as they get older/heavier.

#4 KrissyNkids

Posted 11 April 2012 - 08:30 AM

Edit for Double post

Edited by KrissyNkids, 11 April 2012 - 08:33 AM.


#5 KrissyNkids

Posted 11 April 2012 - 08:32 AM

Yes, my DD1 was like that from only a few weeks old. She was and still is the best sleeper of all my kids. How i wish they were all like that original.gif But i do admit i dont mind the newborn snuggles either but it does create bad habbits in some babies as then they want to be held rocked and patted for a long time later (EG my 2yo LOL)

Congrats and enjoy original.gif

#6 ~Supernova~

Posted 11 April 2012 - 08:36 AM

Part of me is saying it's great, and to enjoy it. The other part feels neglectful...I feel like I should be helping him get to sleep! Probably irrational, but anyway...

DD was a crap sleeper and would only sleep in our arms or her swing for many months, so I should probably just embrace it and make the most of snuggles when he is awake I guess lol.

I guess I feel like I am depriving him or something, like I should be cuddling him and helping him feel secure while he is so young. But that clearly only keeps him awake and creates a cranky, overtired baby!

#7 Feral timtam

Posted 11 April 2012 - 08:36 AM

Yep, some babies prefer it.
Drives friends mad when they visit and I put DD down for a nap, I just put her in the cot and walk away. If I don't do it that way she SCREAMS.
She was 8 weeks old when I figured that out, I went from 2 hours sleep total a night to 6 or more hours. It was very much a case of put her down and walk away or I would have killed her.

Not looking forward to when she comes out of the cot though. DS liked me to sit beside him until he fell asleep, I'm HOPING she will go to sleep with me beside her when she goes into a toddler bed otherwise bedtimes are going to be torture.

#8 lozoodle

Posted 11 April 2012 - 08:38 AM

Sounds fine to me, both of mien were like this. Picking them up and rocking etc just frustrated them.

#9 her mum

Posted 11 April 2012 - 08:43 AM

My 11 month old has been like this from about 4 weeks. She likes to get comfy her way rather than be stuck in my arms lol!

Don't feel neglectful...you can enjoy cuddles at other times, and enjoy not 'having' to give cuddles before sleep time every single day!

#10 crocodilessnap

Posted 11 April 2012 - 08:45 AM

My DD was like this as well right from the very beginning. I think I can count on 1 hand how many times she has fallen asleep in my arms since a few weeks old and they were only when sick.
We actually went to a sleep school at 5 mRonths where I was told to push the patting etc (instead of using the dummy) even though I said she doesn't respond well to it. On our last day the nurse agreed that that approach would never work for her biggrin.gif
I personally love the fact I put her in her cot, give her a dummy and her security blanket and while occasionally she will chat for up to 40 minutes she is happy and will go to sleep on her own

#11 Bluenomi

Posted 11 April 2012 - 08:50 AM

DD has always prefered to self settle, I could never rock her to sleep and I could only feed her to sleep if she was really tried and there wasn't the option of a bed. Even now as a toddler she donesn't want me in the room when she goes to sleep, I get sent out!

When she was little she'd grumble or cry a little as she settled but I could tell it was her going to sleep cry not a distressed cry. After a bit of that she's drift off to sleep happily all on her own.

#12 Pearlberry

Posted 11 April 2012 - 09:10 AM

Mine went through stages. One month I would be able to just leave her, the next I needed to be with her. It may change when separation anxiety kicks in (or it may not)

#13 Schmig

Posted 11 April 2012 - 09:19 AM

QUOTE (Bluenomi @ 11/04/2012, 09:50 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
DD has always prefered to self settle, I could never rock her to sleep and I could only feed her to sleep if she was really tried and there wasn't the option of a bed. Even now as a toddler she donesn't want me in the room when she goes to sleep, I get sent out!

When she was little she'd grumble or cry a little as she settled but I could tell it was her going to sleep cry not a distressed cry. After a bit of that she's drift off to sleep happily all on her own.


This is my daughter all over. Never liked being rocked, never fed to sleep and hated being swaddled. She loves her own room and having her own bed. I had to put her in her own room in the cot at 12 weeks (rather than a bassinet in our room) earlier than I wanted to as I was waking her up at night!  She is 3 now and a very independant child. She has always wanted to do things herself and I guess I just treated her like an adult from day 1. If she looked or acted tired I put her to bed and just left her to go to sleep. Always worked a treat for me. She is still a great sleeper.

#14 Fanny McPhail

Posted 11 April 2012 - 09:24 AM

OP you appear to be discribing my DD! Rocking, patting, shushing always annoyed the crap out of her. Putting her down in bed and letting her sort it out for herself has always been her way.
I remember feeling sad because she didn't "need" me. Now at 19 months she is very affectionate and, while awake, is always kissing or cuddling me. When its time for sleep, I plonk her down in her cot and walk out of her room.
The only time she has fallen asleep on me was on a long haul flight.

#15 niggles goes feral

Posted 11 April 2012 - 09:36 AM

My son is nearly 4 months now and still shows no signs of preferring to be held to sleep. He's always been happy to be swaddled and put down in his bed. From time to time my Dad (who needs to be cajoled to pry himself away from the baby wink.gif) will rock him to sleep and he's happy enough doing that when he's away from home. At home he settles best alone. As soon as we go in his room he starts to calm, as he is wrapped he grizzles a little but as soon as I pop in his dummy and put him in the cot it's almost like he sighs with relief.

#16 Balto1

Posted 11 April 2012 - 09:39 AM

DS is like this. I have never needed to rock or pat him to sleep. He is six months now and still has never fallen asleep in my arms.

In fact, he will not sleep while I am in the room. Took me until he was six weeks to figure that he would drop off quickly once I was out of his line of sight.

#17 eskimoo

Posted 11 April 2012 - 09:48 AM

Yep.  DD has always settled herself to sleep. In fact, the only time she cries is when she is tired and being held. As soon as she's in her cot, she's happy and goes off to sleep by herself.
Only downside is that the cot is so comfy that she won't sleep in the car or pram wacko.gif

#18 50ftqueenie

Posted 11 April 2012 - 09:58 AM

DD (now 3yo) was like this.  If I tried to rock her to sleep she would scream.  She was and still is very happy to go to bed.  Many times she has asked to go to bed because she is tired.  I think because difficult sleepers are so exhausting no one really hears much about the babies/toddlers who have no troubles.  They do exist, it's just not polite to talk about it when others are doing it so tough  wink.gif

DS (6months) loved being rocked when he was younger and I have to say there is something delightful about having a baby fall asleep in your arms, but I'll take a self-settling baby any day.

#19 mm1981

Posted 11 April 2012 - 11:26 AM

Yep, my 11 week old has from around 4 weeks.

Like you, I have a 2 year old. One night after 'helping' my baby to sleep for about an hour, I had to just leave him to attend to my 2 year old. Admirable he was crying quite hard, but my Toilet training son had had a poo accident that needed cleaning up. My baby screamed for about 10 mins before he fell asleep.

I gradually discovered that he actually stopped screaming as soon as I left the room, or of he did scream it was for less than one minute (with another child it was impossible to comfort him all the time).

Like you, I feel terrible (probably irrational) that he self settles at such a young age.  My guilt gets to me sometimes and I go in and ''help" him when he is whining and he moves onto crying hystically and takes forever to go to sleep. So I have learnt to leave him.

He is such a happy boy, a bit different to my older son who was feed to sleep until he was almost one and still requires me to sing for about 20 mins before he will fall asleep.


#20 BadgerBasher

Posted 11 April 2012 - 11:37 AM

Bean used to just grizzle intermittently for a while, then *plop* sleeping baby.
Recently she's had illnesses and now I have to carry her in the boba until she falls asleep and then transfer her to her cot.
I have to say I preferred her self-settling!

#21 ~Supernova~

Posted 11 April 2012 - 03:10 PM

He is definitely not a perfect sleeper...so I'm not bragging by any means lol He catnaps for most of the day and it drives me batty, but when he DOES sleep, he prefers to do it by himself.

Anyway, thank you all, it's reassuring to know I'm not a horrible neglectful mother, and I'll try to let go of the guilt and just enjoy it original.gif It was getting to the point where I was spending ZERO time with DD because my whole day was full of settling and re-settling ad nauseum.

#22 ~ky~

Posted 11 April 2012 - 10:21 PM

If I wrap my DD and plug a dummy in she sucks it a couple of times and drops off to sleep. If I'm holding her, she never quite settles properly and only catnaps.

#23 Feral_Pooks

Posted 12 April 2012 - 03:28 PM

OP I just discovered the same thing about my 7 week old DS yesterday... it's working well, like PP I wrap him, tuck him in tight, give him his dummy, pat him and tell him goodnight. He grizzles for a while but drifts off to sleep. My theory is that me settling him doesn't work because he is so interested in things, he gets stimulated even by just me being there and doesn't want to sleep and miss anything. But alone in his bassinet it is so boring he sleeps Tounge1.gif

#24 Liv_FERAL_sh

Posted 12 April 2012 - 03:35 PM

Yep, same with my two...it was almost like being held was overstimulting for them, like they were trying to stay awake because they were being held, if that makes any sense!

DD used to take quite a while to get to sleep and would be grunting and carrying on for about 30 minutes at night, but if I went in to try and settle her then she should just take another 30 minutes to settle!

#25 QueenOfTheDesert

Posted 12 April 2012 - 03:40 PM

DS1 wouldn't have a bar of self settling for a Very Long Time!
DS2 preferred it from a very young age!
No difference in parenting but a massive difference in personality/temperament of babies.

Do what works for your little one. They are all individual.





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