I wasn’t able to put my baby down drowsy, but mostly because I got into the habit of letting him fall asleep on my breast. Initially, he wouldn’t cry when put down awake, after a feed. I just thought he wasn’t sleeping the amount of hours the books say he’s supposed to sleep so I thought it was best to “help” him sleep.
My husband and I quickly found ourselves cosleeping with our baby during naps and early morning feeds. We had read a couple books “12 hours sleep by 12 weeks” and “Babywise,” neither worked for us. I thought about renting a Snoo but my baby was already rolling onto his belly and was already “too old” for the Snoo.
We ended up hiring a sleep coach for our baby when he was about to turn 1. We started a routine for him with a wake up time, two scheduled naps, and a set bedtime, based on my son’s age. Sleep training involved letting him cry it out for 15 min and checking in and soothing him for a couple minutes and repeating until he fell asleep. Yes, there were tears and cries of frustration on his end and more tears and anxiety on my end. In only 3 nights, he started sleeping a solid 9-11 hours and independently falling asleep. His sleep efficiency significantly improved and he no longer cries when put down.
I recommend hiring a sleep coach if you need someone to guide you and support you through the process. Otherwise, find a program that works with your parenting style. Have a set routine for your baby that optimizes their wake windows.
The Taking Cara Babies class was really helpful for us with this pretty early on. She talks you through how your daytime routines help you nighttime routines, and trying to consistently have eat, awake time, sleep patterns throughout the day with the key being awake time after each feeding. Same goes for bedtime, our routine is feed her then pjs/story (she’s only 8 weeks old now but can’t hurt!), a little cuddle time and then put into her bassinet hopefully sleepy but still awake. I was in the habbit of feeding her to sleep at first but then I realized that was just confusing her more when she woke up not on me anymore.
The class also helps you with “minimum intervention” steps where you don’t immediately pick baby up when crying—not crying it out as ours is still really too young for that—but trying to soothe her in her bassinet before resorting to holding her. Starts with the sound machine, then putting your hand on her chest, gently rocking her side to side with your hand, then binky if they take one. Admittedly nothing seems to have that big of an impact on her until the binky step for us, but she’s gotten really good at putting herself to sleep most nights and going back to sleep easily after middle of the night feeds. I’d suggest checking out the Taking Cara Babies Instagram and blog and see if you think it’d help you. I finally caved and bought the “Will I Ever Sleep Again” newborn class around 4 weeks old and am so glad I did. As much as her tips help you, her reassurance that you’re doing a good job and to keep trying a consistent approach rather than changing it up after a few bad nights helped me as a mom a lot. It’s so easy to question yourself immediately but babies are babies: individual, inconsistent, and constantly developing/changing. Just hearing “you’re not the only one” and “keep up the good work” can go a long way for us sleep-deprived new mommas!
Basically drowsy and awake in crib is BS. If you really want the baby to learn. You have to let them crying for 5 min. They rock them so next time they learn will try themselves first. Believe or not crying is very tiresome they would prefer not to.
but I still rock my baby to sleep. Because they are teething lots of times going through a lot pain. I ‘d rather hold them.
When you put her in the crib to learn to self soothe, do you give them a pacifier? If not, At what point do you give them it when they are put to bed in the crib?
My 5 month old is inconsolable right before bed. I can’t seem to even calm her to get her drowsy. Do I just go for the Ferber method anyway? She’s also 2% in weight and I am too worried that she’ll be starving overnight. She currently eats 2-3 times overnight still.
@Gennas I was having the same issue with my 5mos old…progressively getting more and more angry/fussy at bedtime. I paid for the huckleberry sweet spots app which helped him nap so much better (tells you their wake windows and went to put down to sleep) and now he’s so much easier at bedtime. It turned out he was just completely exhausted by bedtime. Getting better naptimes in also helped me stay more regimented with nursing (in case weight gain is a concern for you) I also started giving a 4oz bottle of formula before bed 2 months ago and that’s been helpful too.
I may be on an island alone here but the first thing i did was turn off that tip. I kept getting it and tried the suggestions they gave, i even bought the taking Cara babies course and it just would not work. I could not deal with my kid screaming his head off and me waiting till 10mins or so to soothe him.
so what did work? ROUTINE. I stopped rocking when i held him to get him asleep and i stuck to his nightly routine. As we’re going up the stairs to his room…I’m saying you ready to go nite, nite, who’s ready for nite nite. His room only has the lamp on at this point, plus I have music playing from his noise machine. Baths every other night, massage/rub down, jammies and diapers, then bottle depending on the schedule. I then read his Bible and we pray. Now i turn the music to a white noise that is at 27% (hatch machine) and turn off music. It sounds loud but by the time he’s in his crib…the decibel isn’t as loud. He now knows it’s fully time to sleep. Plus lights are off by now. He does have his pacifier and i leave it with him all night. My son sleeps fully through the night now and i don’t mind holding him for those extra ten mins to fall asleep. I just don’t rock. When i put him down, he’s not fully in dreamland but he’s so lulled into sleep, if he stirs he just finds his paci and goes back to sleep. It was very tough for a while but him getting it literally just happened one night after a consistent routine was followed. Good luck.