Getting her to sleep

  • My daughter is 5 months old and will sleep through the night just fine. The only problem is getting her to sleep. She refuses to fall asleep on her own. We have to hold her for her to fall asleep and only when she is completely out can we set her in her crib. I know other mommies who have no problems having their baby go to sleep after they put them in the crib. My question is....how?

    When she was first born she and I slept together all the time and she basically had to be held 24/7. She is our first child and my husband wasnt around a lot to help. That was the only way I could get any sleep at all. Now that she is in day care she doesnt have to be held 24/7 but she still needs that comfort/closeness to fall asleep. I know at daycare she isnt like that. I would like her to be comfortable falling asleep in her crib at home.

    What can I do to help her out? We go to bed between 9 and 10 at night pretty consistantly.

  • At this age, I don't think there's anything wrong with holding her until she falls asleep. Especially with you both being working parents and the hectic days you all must have, this little bedtime ritual is a good way to get in some quality time before bed.

    I would start trying to encourage her to go to sleep on her own around 7-9 months. She'll be better able to understand what you want her to do and more able to comfort herself when she doesn't get what she wants.

    For now, you might want to try the method recommended for younger babies, where you rock with them until they're very drowsy, then put them down in the crib to fall asleep with you close by. This could help get her used to nodding off on her own.

  • Writemommy makes some great points. We have found music to be a successful aid in helping our 5 month old to fall asleep and stay asleep. We have used everything from Mozart to the Grateful Dead in helping to calm her, and it works most of the time.

  • I know that sometimes my 18 month old wants me to hold him a bit longer before he goes to sleep!!! I think that if she is sleeping fine at night, then it is okay to hold her while she falls asleep. As she begins to get a bit older, you can try to lay her down when she is ALMOST asleep and then see if she will begin to put herself to sleep. Then slowly, you can decrease the amount of time you hold her at night.

    AnswerDad makes a good point about the music. I played Chopin's Nocturnes to my children to help ease them into sleep. My youngest listens to "sounds of nature"...in particular...the thunderstorm! You can also try putting her in her bed and patting her gently until she falls asleep. Or you may consider putting on a mobile in a dimly light room. She may fall asleep while she is watching the mobile go around.

  • I've found that starting a night-time ritual has helped my 11 week old fall asleep on her own.  Of course, she has her pacifier (and her thumb after the passy pops out), and a crib toy that plays soothing music to help her, but she's starting to pick up when it is actually time for her to go to sleep.  A few weeks ago we were putting her down at 9:00 regardless, but now she's been going down a little bit before 8:00.  First I'll change her into her "jammies" then I'll feed her (usually in her bedroom with little lighting) and cuddle with her while she eats.  After that, I usually change her diaper, rub some lotion on her and talk to her for a little while.  Then if she seems like she's still a little hungry, I'll feed her a little bit more.  Then I walk over to her crib and rock her for a little while and turn her music on.  Then I put her down, say "goodnight" and quietly shut her door.  Now, we lay her on her back for a while so she can watch the crib toy, then after about 10 minutes, we go in a flip her over (sorry, she's a tummy sleeper!) And she's OUT!  So, establishing a routine will help her fall asleep or make sure to keep things quite for atleast 30 minutes before you'd like to lay her down.  Hope this helps!!

  • Our son is 4 months now and sleeps through the night just fine, however he absolutely HATES falling asleep!  He will fight it as though he's afraid he'll miss something important, but eventually he's just exhausted and upset and will cry until he passes out on my shoulder.  I rock him quietly until he wears himself out (sometimes up to 20 or 30 minutes) then I lay him in his crib and he'll sleep for 8 hours without a problem. 

    Is there anything I can do to help comfort him to sleep?  We have a routine that involves a bath with the Johnson's lavender bath, a warm bottle, and rocking with a story, but about the time we get finished with the story is when he realizes that I want him to go to sleep and he fights it.

  • everyone is giving good advice, im a new mommy myself i have a 7 week old and he does the samething so what i do is hold him until hes almost completley asleep then i put him in his crib with the lights out just a nightlight and i put his mobil on... this doesnt always work everytime but most of the time it does so i just keep doing it and hopefully he will start to get more use to it. when he does start to fuss though i just give him his binkie and lightly rub his cheak and head and ill tell him its ok and usually he relaxes again and ill walk away quietly. i know this may not help but its worth trying it works pretty good so far for me. im actually trying to get myself on the habit of putting him in his crib i always slept with him and honestly i still do if hes having a bad night because i need my sleep too lol good luck keep trying things to see what works best god luck things will get better at least everyne tells me that...Smile

    ~Alyssa Rae~

  • Our son's just about as his fourth month and likes a good fight as well if he thinks "WE" want him to go to sleep.  We've actually broken off our attempts at the "nightly routine" and instead have taken on a more unlikely regiment...

    Daddy here has a jumper in the den -- so when HE's working...  wee one gets in his clock-time, too. Smile  To help ensure there's some form of reasonable sleep ethics, I've basically taken the night shift and rearranged my clients where they'd accommodate one another.  (It's 8am...  my shift is over in an hour Stick out tongue)

    From personal experience I have to say one thing about your routine which MAY or MAY NOT have any bearing...  pick up something other than lavender...  some people swear by it...  but some of us can only stand so much.  (My mother's a lavender fanatic -- more than once have I had to go outside for air.)

    If it's the reading that triggers his association to being asked to go to bed, try rearranging your schedule a bit...  start with the bathing, get him dressed for bed, but THEN do the reading and finish with his night-cap, burping/rocking, etc.  It could be more of a matter where he knows that once the reading ceases, mommy and daddy are going to leave - and simply doesn't want to be alone.  Rearranging things may help break the association.

  • The kiddopotomus swaddle blanket has been our saving grace, I only wished I had discovered it sooner.  Our routine is change her diaper, put into a onsie, swaddle blanket, feed, burp then cuddle and storytime.  If she is not asleep by the end of the story, she is ready for bed and putting her in her bassinet is a snap.  These blankets have velcro and stay together so they are perfect to use with air conditioning.  Also if I have to change a diaper, she doesn't wake up for it as you only have to undo the bottom of the swaddle. Hope this helps:)

  • As I find over and over in talking to parents, nothing works all the time. Each child is an individual and will respond differently to different stimuli. Even more baffling is what works for a child one night might be ineffective the next. Take heart in the fact that every day that passes, your child will have a little better chance of getting to sleep quicker and sleeping longer.

  • My daughter has never had trouble falling asleep on her own and I have never had to rock her to sleep.  I think sleeping with your baby since birth is what is causing the problem.

  • new moomy...i have a 2 month old and had the same problem but it hapend at day time as well...swaddlers help in my situation and my life has been alot easyer..good luck...by the way the tighter the better...ohhh and one more thing...we have a rutine...bath..massage...bottle and bed...good luck

  • My daughter is 9mths now.  I have rocked her to sleep since she was a newborn.  Now my dr is telling me she needs to sooth herself to sleep.  So I have a routine now where I rock her for a little bit then put her in her crib awake and she can put herself to sleep but I have to stay in the room.  i feel like it is progress.  I just cannot let her cry herself to sleep.  I don't talk to my friends as they are like you have to let her.  I now say, do what is best for you and your baby.  That is what I am doing and feel great about it.  Just do what feels best for you.