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  1. #1
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    Default 7week old will not self settle - advice please!

    Hi all
    I have a 7week old baby boy. I remember with my first baby I never encouraged self settling and regretted it later when she woke all night long wanting me. So this time I really want to get babe self settling ASAP. I let him demand feed and sleep wherever for the first 4weeks and after then we began trying to get him into the cot- it just won't work. We had a sleep consultant come over and teach us her way and as much as she have great tips and advice her technique was a bit too harsh for me. Too much leaving him to cry. I met her half way and this is what we attempt each sleep time. We do feed-awake-sleep, he sleeps in our room which is nice and dark. when I see a tired sign we wrap firmly and go and have quiet cuddles and singing in our room for a few minutes to wind down, then into the cot drowsy but awake. The screaming begins.. We walk away door closed for 4mins, then if still going, we turn on 'the sounds of silence' cd loudly and wait 4mins. If still crying (which he always is) we go into room, turn music down, offer dummy and pat pat pat until he falls asleep within a few minutes. Then every 10-15mins for the entire sleep time he wakes screaming and we do that all over again. Usually after the forth cycle of this I'm over it and I get him up. He isn't hungry he feeds well and I have plenty of breast milk. We have done this over and over and he won't learn to self settle at all. Overnight he is better but it's because he is falling asleep on the boob and doesn't wake when I put him back in the cot between feeds. He usually sleeps 4hours at beginning of the night then every 2hours after that. Sometimes overnight he's not feeding he's just suckling to fall asleep.
    i am torn between continuing what feels like torturing him because maybe he will get it soon and learn to self settle or is trying this for a few weeks indication enough that he just can't do it .
    I should mention if I ever pick him up and pat and jiggle or wear him in carrier he sleeps perfectly.
    Any advice?

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    I honestly think 7 weeks is too young, but that's just my opinion.

    My daughter is almost 7 months and only this week have I started putting her into her cot awake when seeing tired cues, up until now it's always been rocking her to sleep and picking her up as soon as she cries (I'll still do that now). At 7 weeks your baby needs you for a lot of things, so when they cry there is normally a good reason. Sometimes it is just a cuddle. Which can be hard on parents but means the world to them. I found baby wearing really helped the first few months.

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    Starfish30  (01-04-2014)

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    For the first 9 months of your baby's life they have been fed on demand, always cuddled and rocked to sleep as you walked around. That is what they know, that is what they expect. I think you're asking a bit much of assume a 7 week old baby is going to 'learn' to self settle. My first did at that age (and then grew out of it) but my second baby wouldn't have a bar of it.

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    7 weeks is so so young. He falls asleep when you are near because that is what he needs and wants - his Mum. Sorry I know it is exhausting but I think expecting a 7 week old to feel okay without his Mum and to know how to fall asleep is asking a bit much.

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    I have to agree with PP. Some babies are happy to fall asleep independantly, and that's great. But your little boy is clearly protesting and asking for you. I honestly think a 7 week old that stops crying when left isn't learning anything, they are giving up.
    Its hard, but babywearing, cuddling and rocking to sleep or even a baby swing are your friends.

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    Starfish30  (01-04-2014)

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    My 7 week old DS cracks it for naps when he first gets wrapped and I go in his room to lay him down,at night he sleeps with us and doesn't mind being wrapped and goes straight back to sleep after feeds.

    I've been using Jo Ryan's Baby Bliss which I think is realistic, gentle and breastfeeding friendly. I'm also a nanny, night nanny and doula so I am entering this all with my own knowledge and attitude but it's obviously different when it's you're own!

    He's always self settled for some naps (the ones he doesn't crack it for ) and needs help for others but this week I've noticed a big change. A few naps I've only had to go in and lay my hand on his chest and he instantly goes to sleep. Jo Ryan doesn't leave to cry and there's gentle patting on chest/shoulder area.

    I use the dummy to calm him when he first gets upset along with shooshing and patting and holding (no rocking). Then lay down when calm. Then he spits the dummy out and I do not replace it and just continue shooshing and patting and he eventually falls asleep. Last week I had to be in there longer but this week I've literally only stayed a couple minutes.

    I think four minutes of crying for a 7 week old is too much. As a night nanny the most I would do is two minutes, longer if it's just grumbling, but crying that's too long makes it harder to calm. I barely leave DS one minute and have only used two for older babies at work.

    Also, young baby's spend most of their sleep in REM, which is why he's waking so often after you get him relaxed because what you were doing---patting stopping, dummy falling out, etc wakes him. In the beginning you need to stay until he's in a deeper sleep so that he doesn't wake the moment something stops. Then he gets used to sleeping for longer periods and he'll slowly learn to put himself back to sleep.

    If he spits the dummy after he's calm leave it out and help him fall asleep without it so that he doesn't wake when it falls out later.

    You have to teach babies to sleep and self settle and at 7 weeks it's not something that is going to happen straight away, you have to help him until eventually he needs help less and less.
    Last edited by HollyGolightly81; 01-04-2014 at 17:00.

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    For a start, I don't think a 7 week old should be left to cry. They need to know you're there for them.
    Second, I think you're using too many methods.

    For both girls I've done the same thing.
    Follow tired cues
    Wrap and lay them down
    If they start crying or grizzling I pat their tummy and shh shh them until settled
    If they continue crying I pick up and cuddle until settled then lay back down.

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    Thanks ladies !! I think I really needed this wake up call. I know he's little but I didn't know what to try so went with what the sleep consultant suggested- even I do a gentler version of what she suggested she was wanting me to leave him longer!
    Maybe I will reduce to just a minute or two and pick him up when it's more than a grizzle
    i appreciate all the replies xx

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    Quote Originally Posted by parentingrocks View Post
    Thanks ladies !! I think I really needed this wake up call. I know he's little but I didn't know what to try so went with what the sleep consultant suggested- even I do a gentler version of what she suggested she was wanting me to leave him longer!
    Maybe I will reduce to just a minute or two and pick him up when it's more than a grizzle
    i appreciate all the replies xx
    Don't set a time limit on it, if he is properly crying (not the protest cry lots of babies do to wind down) pick him up and cuddle him. If he's protesting or grizzling then stay by his side and soothe him.

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    Sorry 7 weeks or months? If it's weeks that's way too young, poor little bub, they need mummy at such a young age


 

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