Putting the baby down awake - how to comfort?

(21 Posts)

PUPD is a baby whisperer method - she says use that for older babies and "ssshhh pat" for younger ones.

PUPD which I found horrific as ds did cry hysterically then passed out so we stopped. It was like I was teasing him.

sshh pat for younger ones.

The best book I've ever read on sleep is Happy Sleep Habits Happy Child written by a paediatrician who explains that for the first four months is basically pointless sleep training. It explains about sleep cycles and how sleep changes etc which helped me understand. I read it when ds was older but it definitely influenced how I dealt with DD.

ShoeWhore Wed 07-Aug-13 23:24:19

I may be out of date blush it was 9 years ago I did that!

I'm not sure why not suitable for younger babies though? We never left him to cry, he was always picked up and comforted and only put back down when he was settled. Interested to know if anyone knows?

Cnix Wed 07-Aug-13 22:10:18

Hi mrsmalcolmreynolds I remember being in the same situation with dd although she was probably about 4 months old. She stopped falling asleep when feeding and the only other way to get her to sleep was by bouncing her on an exercise ball sometimes for more than 30 mins and she would wake up as soon as she was put down. We really had no choice but to put her to bed awake. The first time she went ballistic. But my dh sat with her the whole time talking to her, singing to her, holding her hand and stoking her face until she went to sleep. Gradually this took less and less time until she would fall straight to sleep when we put her down. It's definitely worth a few tough nights to get some sanity back, and after all the baby has to sleep!

mrsmalcolmreynolds Wed 07-Aug-13 22:07:38

Ok. He is asleep - DH put him down with dummy and sat with a hand lightly on him and he stopped crying and eventually gave in to sleep.

Agree with what many have said - he is overtired and carrying a sleep deficit. The sling is the most effective way to get him to nap through more than one sleep cycle so I'll aim to use that mostly for naps for the next few days, prioritising a decent amount of daytime sleep. Hopefully bedtime will then get a bit smoother...

So much for my dreams of a sleepy baby this time round - oh well this too shall pass!

minipie Wed 07-Aug-13 21:48:16

If he's overtired then he's unlikely to show sleep cues when he should, as his body will be pumping in adrenaline and he won't feel sleepy iyswim. So I would say go by the clock not by sleep cues.

I'd use the pram or car for a few days to get decent amount of naps per day into him (I think it's 4/5 hours a day at this age? can't remember).

another option that might help is Loud white noise - played while you feed him.

realistically he is just not going to go to sleep in his basket (with or without howling) if he is overtired, and he needs to catch up on sleep in order to get out of the overtiredness trap.

once he's caught up on sleep you could then hopefully go back to feeding to sleep and then work on self settling v slowly.

good luck - overtiredness is a nightmare!

Yes we had the same issue with ds being later than what dd needed. So we'd either split it between us (I'd do dd while DH looked after ds) or I'd stick ds in front of the tv (not ideal).

mrsmalcolmreynolds Wed 07-Aug-13 21:26:09

And thanks creature - x posted before. Unfortunately earlier bedtime is just not possible with other stuff, notably DD's routine which culminates in bed at 7...

jammiedonut Wed 07-Aug-13 21:21:57

also put down with the same toy and only uses a dummy for sleep, so he will recognise that these are cues to sleep. The patting from a distance never worked for me, I would much rather cuddle him to sleep than leave him howling!

mrsmalcolmreynolds Wed 07-Aug-13 21:21:22

Thanks everyone.

noblegiraffe I truly hear what you're saying but I honestly don't see any of this signs with him. He can go from fine to meltdown in the blink of an eye, plus sometimes I simply have to sort out DD.

Shoewhore good to know although I thougt PUPD wasn't recommended before 4m?

The thing is, you end up spending far too much time watching for sleep cues that you drive yourself insane <been there>

By earlier, I would aim for an early bedtime (dd wanted to be asleep by 6pm for the first few months) and go with the flow for days naps, no more than 60-90 mins awake at a time. I used a sling for most day naps with my second DC until about 4/5 months and she ended a much better napper than her older brother whom I kept trying to get into a cot.
Set the bedtime, don't wait for a sleep cue. They also don't need a bedtime routine (bath, story etc), just a change and a feed is more than enough.

As he approaches weaning age then a nap routine will fall into place. But for now, naps are as and when.

I will add that both of mine were sleep resistors. I stresses about it with my first and less so with my second (only rule was super early bedtime and same wake up time). My second is much better at self settling and napping.

jammiedonut Wed 07-Aug-13 21:19:33

For bed times try a warm bath, massage and going to a quiet room, swaddled and read, gently rock. We have done this since ds was 4 weeks. Sure he doesn't understand the book we're reading but he had begun to recognise the signs that this means bed time. It's no quick fix but certainly helped us. He is

The thing is, you end up spending far too much time watching for sleep cues that you drive yourself insane <been there>

By earlier, I would aim for an early bedtime (dd wanted to be asleep by 6pm for the first few months) and go with the flow for days naps, no more than 60-90 mins awake at a time. I used a sling for most day naps with my second DC until about 4/5 months and she ended a much better napper than her older brother whom I kept trying to get into a cot.
Set the bedtime, don't wait for a sleep cue. They also don't need a bedtime routine (bath, story etc), just a change and a feed is more than enough.

As he approaches weaning age then a nap routine will fall into place. But for now, naps are as and when.

SkinnyDecaffGiraffe Wed 07-Aug-13 21:14:50

My deepest sympathies. I had this problem with dc2.

What about a swaddle? I know it's not the done thing these days but might help?

ShoeWhore Wed 07-Aug-13 21:14:35

OP ds was just like this. Getting him to sleep in the evening was taking longer and longer and longer and we were all miserable.

We did pick up put down. So as soon as he cried I picked him up, soothed him and then as soon as he stopped crying put him back in the crib. And repeat! The first night I picked him up 30+ times. The second night about 3 times. The third night he went straight to sleep and we never looked back.

noblegiraffe Wed 07-Aug-13 21:12:08

A yawn is quite a late cue, others to look out for (as well as avoiding your gaze) are pulling or touching ears, rubbing eyes, looking a bit glazed.

Overstimulation can lead to an overtired baby before you think they ought to be tired, so no exciting games or songs or tickles or toys with flashing lights in the run up to nap times.

KeepTheFaithBaby Wed 07-Aug-13 21:10:21

I have a baby who still wants to be fed/rocked/swung to sleep. I've found the window between tired and overtired is very small. I have to move quickly to get her to sleep! I use a sling, swinging chair, car in the day. At night we stil feed to sleep and I put her down very sleepy. (She's 16 weeks).

Naps in day should be quite often- I found this webpage really helpful to know when she should be getting tired and acting swiftly to provide an environment to help her sleep.

mrsmalcolmreynolds Wed 07-Aug-13 21:07:27

Hi. He is definitely overtired now, yes! And I do watch him closely, especially on days when DD is at nursery and it is just the two of us at home. I start trying to get him to have a nap as soon as I see him yawn, and that is typically between 60 and 90 minutes after he has woken. Sometimes family life means I miss it, but even when I'm sure I haven't i just doesn't seem to make a difference...

noblegiraffe Wed 07-Aug-13 21:00:35

If he is howling while being rocked and waking up in the pram after 30 minutes it sounds like you are getting to him too late to go to sleep and be is overtired. How long is he spending awake? It shouldn't be any longer than 90 minutes - even if he doesn't seem tired at that point you should start trying to rock, pram etc. Although a good sleep cue to look for is if they won't look in your eyes and avoid your gaze.

If baby is overtired, howling in the basket isn't going to do any of you any good. Howling overtired babies, (or at least mine) are best tackled with loud music while rocking, or in the car.

mrsmalcolmreynolds Wed 07-Aug-13 20:54:12

Hi. Yes he is really tiny and we didn't intend to do anything like this at this stage but he is just not getting enough sleep. We have to fight for his daytime naps - even in the pram he wakes up after half an hour even if still in motion. And at night we are rapidly approaching a situation where he has to be held by one of us at all times which is just not doable.

Not sure what you mean about putting him down earlier - could you explain?

Er why are you doing this? He's 9 weeks old. Tiny.

I personally think standing there while they cry is worse than doing something like CC - but I wouldn't do either for a newborn.

Why not try putting him down earlier? I remember with dd (my second) I forgot just what the early baby stage was like. They change so so fast and there will be blips and growth spurts where they need more cuddles and feeding etc etc. I certainly didn't look at books (throw them away) as experience first time around taught me that they are designed to make you feel shit.

Sorry, that's not at all helpful!

mrsmalcolmreynolds Wed 07-Aug-13 20:41:40

Hi. My 9wk old DS has been fed or rocked to sleep so far and then put down when fast asleep. This worked well for a while but no longer. He's not falling asleep when feeding any more and currently howling in DH's arms for 30 mins and counting as he tries to rock him to sleep. Dummy works to calm and encourage sleep sometimes but not foolproof.

So, a plan to get him to settle in his basket is needed. Several books and our health visitor talk about comforting them while they are in the basket or cot by patting them or placing a hand on them. Has anyone found this works, or at least helps? If so any tips on particular techniques?

FAOD we are definitely not doing CIO or CC. It's just that if he is going to howl when going to sleep I figure he may as well do so in his bed as in our arms, so long as we are there for comfort?

Thoughts would be v welcome. We sleep trained DD (now 3.9) using gradual withdrawal but not until 7.5m as she was ok(ish) being rocked and out down until then, so this is new territory...

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