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Rocking bubs to sleep...
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#1 ajb2205

Posted 08 May 2012 - 09:37 AM

Morning everyone,
Just after some reassurance that I'm not insane! DS is 12wks old today, and needs to be rocked to sleep for every nap time. It must be the movement, as aside from falling asleep in our arms, he will nod off happily in the car/ capsule on pram.

I know it won't last forever, and I am not really of the 'making a rod for your own back' school of thought.  My older DS was a shocking sleeper, reflux until 8mths & had every sleep in the Bjorn until that age. I don't remember at what point he self settled. But they're such different babies & personalities, so I can't assume DS2 will do things at the same time anyway.

I would like the catnapping to stop, and for naps to get longer, but if that's the worst thing I have to deal with, I know it's not all bad!!!

Any suggestions on how to make the gradual (and gentle) transition to self settling for my bub? Do I put him down drowsy and then pat/sssshhh?  He will fall asleep in my arms in under 5 mins every time, and I can then put him in the swing/cot without a problem. I just don't want him to cry it out...

Sorry if this post is all over the place.  Trying to build a train track with DS1:)

TIA



#2 bikingbubs

Posted 08 May 2012 - 09:42 AM

Mine just started self settling.  And also stopped catnapping.  I did nothing different.  I always fed him to sleep because it was so easy until one day he decided he just wanted to go straight to sleep (refused boob at sleep time).

eta: he was around 8/9 months when he started sleeping longer.

Edited by bikingbubs, 08 May 2012 - 09:42 AM.


#3 Jelly Bean 1988

Posted 08 May 2012 - 09:45 AM

ds had a rocker chair thing he sat in  best investment ever only $99 from big w he has had all his sleeps till 3.5 motnhs in there some as long as 4hrs he now sleeps in cot cause he is too big but doesnt sleep anywhere near as long

#4 JuniPooks_

Posted 08 May 2012 - 09:53 AM

Im trying the strategy of having him nap during the day in the swing, or in the car or pram when out. I read an article suggesting it as a gentle way to help baby learn to self settle without your help, and you start on the highest speed then when you want to ease them into sleeping in their cot you slow down the swing speed gradually. If I can find it I will link it. for me it has been a lifesaver as I had been spending hours and hours getting him off to sleep... For 20 min naps! he's a reflux baby too so there was very little sleep or anything else happening for a while there.

Part of our night routine is that I cuddle him to sleep, but I'm happy to do that (as opposed to doing it all day long which made me very unhappy) but once placed in his bassinet the most i will do is rock it, unless he gets hysterical then I take him out and start again.

A couple of weeks ago I was at the end of my tether but now it's ok, not perfect but much better. I'm no expert but just wanted to share what has ended up working for us, it's worth trying different things and I would never have thought of this stuff without someone giving me the suggestions.

Oh and the dummy helps too. We only use it to settle him, no other times, but it does help.

#5 chocolatecrackle

Posted 08 May 2012 - 09:58 AM

The standard advice is to put them down drowsy and then do whatever works to calm them if they get upset - e.g. patting, shushing, singing, rocking the cot.

Once bubs is happy going to sleep in the cot, the idea is that it's easier for them to resettle after a sleep cycle because everything is the same as when they fell asleep.  If you've rocked to sleep, and they wake up in the cot, then they're much less likely to resettle.

But if you are happy with the rocking and it works every time, you could always keep doing it until you can't do it anymore. I think it's around 4 months when they start to really develop sleep associations so you might want to think about transitioning before then - but it doesn't necessarily mean that the rocking will end up a sleep association.  And the standard advice from the MCHNs is that naps get better around six months.

One thing to remember with swings and rockers is that they're not SIDS safe.  We've used one, but we try to make it our last resort.

You're not insane. You're doing what works for you, and it isn't a problem for you, so you don't need to change it until it is a problem original.gif


#6 ajb2205

Posted 08 May 2012 - 10:04 AM

Thanks pookems!  I see your DS is only 5 days younger than mine, so we're traveling this road together. It's a tough gig eh?  The reflux makes it so much harder. I remember those days with DS1. But I will tell you they won't last forever. My DS1is now 4 & I miss those days of constant cuddles!!  Lucky for me DS2is a cuddly boy & loves being cuddled to sleep.

Have you found Adam is up for 1.5 hrs to the second before he needs to be put to bed again?  I find that DS2 doesn't necessarily grizzle or yawn but gets 'lazy' -flailing arms/legs and won't make eye contact.its at that point I wrap & cuddle, he yawns, looks at me, sometimes has a little whinge & drifts off.
Are you still wrapping? DS2is abit of a Houdini so I'm considering the Ergo Cocoon -wraps nice & firm, but he can move his arms around...

Edited by ajb2205, 08 May 2012 - 10:05 AM.


#7 PurpleNess

Posted 08 May 2012 - 10:11 AM

Sweetheart my DS is 5.5 months & we still bounce him to sleep, granted it takes 3 minutes & he settles very well at night.

Your bub is only 12 weeks and still very young, do what ever helps bub feel comforted and gets off to sleep.  

Our boy is still in our room but we'll be moving him into his room in a few weeks and then will hopefully start teaching him to self settle, it's too early IMO to expect it much earlier than 6 months but each baby is different.

I'd second the wrapping, we used an Ergo cocoon then moved to a Love to Swaddle, now use sleeping bags as he can roll, but you're a long way off that.

All the best

#8 lucky 2

Posted 08 May 2012 - 10:18 AM

Hi, there is a pinned thread in this forum with member tips on settling babies, this might have some food for thought and please add to that thread when you have a few tips yourself.
http://www.essentialbaby.com.au/forums/ind...howtopic=957742
All the best.

I did what ever I had to do at every age, rocked or put down to fall asleep, dd certainly needed some parenting intervention to fall asleep.

#9 roses7

Posted 08 May 2012 - 10:38 AM

Hi there I just wanted to reassure you that we rocked my DD to sleep, every sleep (or took her for a walk in the pram) until she was 16 mths old. When we did decide that it needed to stop - because I was about to give birth to DS and was worried I wouldn't have the time for rocking - it was a quick and painless process with no crying.

She was always a great sleeper overnight and still is but during the day she would be awake for 1.5hrs, asleep for 45 mins, repeat! When she moved to one sleep a day she started sleeping for 2-3 hrs.

#10 JuniPooks_

Posted 08 May 2012 - 10:50 AM

QUOTE (ajb2205 @ 08/05/2012, 10:04 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Thanks pookems!  I see your DS is only 5 days younger than mine, so we're traveling this road together. It's a tough gig eh?  The reflux makes it so much harder. I remember those days with DS1. But I will tell you they won't last forever. My DS1is now 4 & I miss those days of constant cuddles!!  Lucky for me DS2is a cuddly boy & loves being cuddled to sleep.

Have you found Adam is up for 1.5 hrs to the second before he needs to be put to bed again?  I find that DS2 doesn't necessarily grizzle or yawn but gets 'lazy' -flailing arms/legs and won't make eye contact.its at that point I wrap & cuddle, he yawns, looks at me, sometimes has a little whinge & drifts off.
Are you still wrapping? DS2is abit of a Houdini so I'm considering the Ergo Cocoon -wraps nice & firm, but he can move his arms around...


Yes 1.5 hours! Haha. At night it's as you describe but he's hard to get to sleep in daytime. Definitely still wrapping but he's wriggling out of his bedding so I'll switch to sleeping bags soon. I am finding that him sleeping longer in the swing is great. It's true it's not SIDS safe but him not sleeping drives us both crazy and his swing is in the lounge and I keep my eyes on him. They grow so fast at this age don't they?

#11 libbylu

Posted 08 May 2012 - 10:59 AM

My bub was like yours - needed movement to sleep.
The bad news is that he would never really self settle.  Not til he was more that 4 years old.  
He was a big bubba and at 3 months I had to stop rocking him as I got a wrist problem, so started rocking him to sleep in our pram, which is a hammock pram (Phil and Teds), then transferring him to his cot at night.  When he was about one we did controlled crying to get him to settle at night and then he would settle in their during the day too, but it didn't last very long, only a few months.  Mostly I patted and sang him to sleep and then when he went into a bed I lay down next to him.  It was really hard to break that habbit and took about a year and endless amounts of fuss.
Some kids will self settle, others won't.  I don't think there is much I could have done about it in those early months either.  He would full on scream his heart out if I left him as a baby, and there was no way I was going to let a small baby cry it out.

#12 MrsDamonSalvatore

Posted 08 May 2012 - 11:03 AM

i do the same for my ds. actually, most of the time he will only sleep in my arms during the day but im slowly getting him to sleep in the pram/bouncer/swing in hopeful aim of getting him to sleep in his bed during the day!  he needs to assistance getting to sleep at night but needs all the help he can get during the day. i actually bought a rocking chair to help lol

#13 WinterIsComing

Posted 08 May 2012 - 11:04 AM

QUOTE (Jelly Bean 1988 @ 08/05/2012, 09:45 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
ds had a rocker chair thing he sat in  best investment ever only $99 from big w he has had all his sleeps till 3.5 motnhs in there some as long as 4hrs he now sleeps in cot cause he is too big but doesnt sleep anywhere near as long



Just would like to mention that the above advice goes against SIDS and Kids recommendations. It is not safe to do what you did.

Young children, especially newborn, should not be seated for prolonged periods of time as it leads to partial airway obstruction and low oxygenation.

#14 Missmarymack

Posted 08 May 2012 - 11:39 AM

I'm currently cuddling/rocking my 16 month old to sleep! I don't care what others think, it works for us original.gif

You are definitely not alone!

#15 sophiasmum

Posted 08 May 2012 - 11:40 AM

We rocked DD1 to sleep in the bassinet until 3 mths, but it was quite forceful rocking to lull her, we transitioned to stopping by making the rocking less & less noticeable.

#16 Great Dame

Posted 08 May 2012 - 11:46 AM

QUOTE (Missmarymack @ 08/05/2012, 12:39 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I'm currently cuddling/rocking my 16 month old to sleep! I don't care what others think, it works for us original.gif

You are definitely not alone!


Ditto, except he is 17 mths.  Some days I wish I could just put him down and shut the door, but mostly I love our cuddle time.  There is nothing more beautiful than a sleeping baby cuddled in your arms  wub.gif


#17 MrsW87

Posted 08 May 2012 - 11:46 AM

Im in the same boat! DS2 is 3 months old and will not feed to sleep! EVER!!! Nor will he take a dummy. He has to be fed, burped and then put over my shoulder and patted while I am rocking in the glider chair. He cat naps through the day mostly, occasionally he will do a 2 or 3 hour sleep maybe once a week?

I cant really compare him to DS1 as he was bottle fed from 1 month and a shocking sleeper. Although he did start self settling around the 10 month mark he didn't sleep through consistently until 14 months so DS2 is already doing better than him! By 11 months I would put him in his cot with his bottle, dummy and teddy, walk out and shut the door and he would settle himself for both naps and his night time sleep. BUT would still wake a few times overnight so i dont know which I prefer? laugh.gif

You are right, it wont last forever. In the mean time, do what works and don't make more work for yourself right now. original.gif Enjoy the beautiful cuddles!!!

Edited by MrsW87, 08 May 2012 - 11:47 AM.


#18 Lokum

Posted 08 May 2012 - 11:47 AM

If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

If it's quick, and works for you, keep doing it.

You'd could half kill yourself, and make him tired and worked up by trying to get him to settle in the cot, and then in 6 weeks he could change completely and it would all be undone.

We cuddled our guy to sleep until around 19 months - he was an excellent sleeper. It took a very short amount of time, usually, and then he slept well and re- self-settled during the night.

Patting and shushing used to make him wild and distracted on the few occasions we tried it. Don't think patting and shushing would work for me either.

Hope you're enjoying the cuddling/rocking.

#19 Missy Shelby

Posted 08 May 2012 - 01:40 PM

QUOTE (chocolatecrackle @ 08/05/2012, 09:58 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
The standard advice is to put them down drowsy and then do whatever works to calm them if they get upset - e.g. patting, shushing, singing, rocking the cot.

Once bubs is happy going to sleep in the cot, the idea is that it's easier for them to resettle after a sleep cycle because everything is the same as when they fell asleep.  If you've rocked to sleep, and they wake up in the cot, then they're much less likely to resettle.

But if you are happy with the rocking and it works every time, you could always keep doing it until you can't do it anymore. I think it's around 4 months when they start to really develop sleep associations so you might want to think about transitioning before then - but it doesn't necessarily mean that the rocking will end up a sleep association.  And the standard advice from the MCHNs is that naps get better around six months.

One thing to remember with swings and rockers is that they're not SIDS safe.  We've used one, but we try to make it our last resort.

You're not insane. You're doing what works for you, and it isn't a problem for you, so you don't need to change it until it is a problem original.gif


This is the school of thought that we have followed with all my children.  I went through a stage early on with DD1 that I would try and rock to sleep but it just got too exhausting that is when I started to pt her to bed drowsy.

With the triplets now, I always try to put them to bed sleepy and I have found that DD1 has some really good sleeping habits, no stuffing around at bedtime and unless she is sick/needs a wee she will sleep right through.  Hopefully the triplets follow this as well with some good training biggrin.gif

#20 kelbelblue

Posted 08 May 2012 - 02:25 PM

QUOTE (ajb2205 @ 08/05/2012, 10:04 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Have you found Adam is up for 1.5 hrs to the second before he needs to be put to bed again?  I find that DS2 doesn't necessarily grizzle or yawn but gets 'lazy' -flailing arms/legs and won't make eye contact.


My daughter was born on the 10/02. I thought the 1.5 hours was just a funny habit of hers during the day, seems its just a stage original.gif at this point she sometimes is whingey, but more of the jerky arm and leg movements.
I was worrying because she is very drowsy when feeding then falls asleep on our shoulders whilst being burped 99% of the time, but now I've decided to just go with it! She sometimes wakes up when I put her down, I generally leave her for about 30 sec to a minute if it is just grizzling, otherwise i pick her up, pop her back over my shoulder and pat her back, sometimes she burps, other times she just settles and I pop her back into her cot.

I transitioned her into a sleeping bag in the last 2 weeks because she kept unwrapping herself and waking up. I was also worried because she has rolled over a couple of times, so I thought I would do it ASAP. Basically I just kept her arms inside the sleeping bag for a few sleeps (day and night), then left one out then both, only took 3 days.

Literally in the last few days her sleeping has improved massively. So for the time being, I'm going with whatever works wink.gif

#21 ReadySetRace

Posted 08 May 2012 - 02:37 PM

OP we're rocking to sleep here, generally under 5 minutes no crying. An trying to put her  down drowsy rather than asleep some days, doesn't always work. She does 40 minute sleeps during the day, rarely longer, but sleeps 10 hours each night so we are happy.

I say just do a gradual transition and don't change what's working.

#22 jimbobmel

Posted 08 May 2012 - 02:49 PM

We rock here until very drowsy. I can put DS down when he is drowsy most times through the day & he will drift off but like pp, 40 mins is about the max we get out of day sleeps. At night I feed him to sleep which suits us fine at this stage original.gif

#23 ajb2205

Posted 08 May 2012 - 03:10 PM

Wow ladies, thanks so much for your responses.  I am heartened in the knowledge that daysleeps of 40min are common amongst these bubs!!  Of course I have MIL in my ear telling me DP and his sister slept for 3-4hrs every day, and so should DS2. So hard to not question yourself.
Luckily the relatively crappy daysleeps are balanced out by good nights with usually only 1 wake up.  And as we all know, it might all change tomorrow anyway.  Atleast he is a smiling happy little boy, so that's the main thing!!

#24 Flutters

Posted 08 May 2012 - 03:20 PM

OP I could have written your post! My DD is 10 days older than your DS and her day sleeps are terrible! She will happily sleep in my arms for hours, but as soon as I try and put her in her cot or basinete her eyes will fly open and then come the tears. She sleeps well at night thoug, generally only waking once between 10pm and 8am, if that. Occasionally she will sleep for 9 hours, but it's normally a 6 hour block, then maybe another 3-4.

I am trying to get her to sleep in her basinete during they day, and have figured out the difference between her winding down, sooky cry, and her wailing cry that she can't settle herself from. She keeps waking up crying though after about half an hour. Weird that what works at night with these buns doesn't work during the day, but I'll take a fussy day over a bad night anytime original.gif

Good luck, but im really glad to know we aren't alone!

#25 Mrs JayKay

Posted 08 May 2012 - 03:39 PM

For the past 4 weeks we have been timing Dd3 (3 months) for 1.5 hours of awake time and then put her down.  I'll let her grizzle or cry for about 3 min, pick her up, rewrap her, give her a cuddle & put her back down. To start off, I was repeating this 5-9 times, and then it just started to get less. She's never been allowed to just cry it out to sleep. She only has 40imin naps during the day but sleeps pretty well at night - between 1 - 3 wake ups which good for a b/f baby. She's having a growth spurt atm so sleeping great! I thought we were doing well, until my SIL told me today how rundown I look  blink.gif but I blame that on the 2.5 year old. Every day with her is 12 hours of herding cats.  As long as you're feeling ok and feel on top of things then you're doing well x




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