How do I get my baby to self soothe?!

Falicia - posted on 01/02/2011 ( 20 moms have responded )

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My son is 7months old and is refusing to self soothe... Ive tried the Crying 5,10,15,20m rule, Cry it out method, and just nothing seems to work.. Does anyone have any ideas? I cant be breast feeding him to sleep anymore especially cause I would like to wean him on to milk soon. Also his daddy rocks him to sleep but its just getting to be too much. He is real tired by 8 and fights every minute until 1030. HELP!~

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Heather - posted on 01/11/2011

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CIO methods are only going to make him want you more. I wear my daughter in a sling before bed where she falls asleep easliy and I can then transfer her to the crib or bed. This way she is getting herself to sleep without breastfeeding, dad can do it if he wants and baby is not losing trust in the parent who is making him try and self soothe when he is not ready for that stage.

Lana - posted on 01/13/2011

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I think it is important to remember that a baby that has been left to "Cry It Out" has **not** soothed him or herself - they have given up. Contentment does not come from bouts of crying, calling, hoping, wishing for, and needing someone. A baby does not go from hysterics - or even from discontent - to peace. That just doesn't make good sense if you think about it. The babies that are left to cry give up. They just stop trying.

There's plenty of scientific data to support the fact that leaving a baby to cry is harmful to their brains (http://www.drmomma.org/2009/12/sleep-tra...) but beyond the science is our momma instinct. There is a good, sound reason that it breaks a mother's heart to hear her child cry for her. Listen to your instincts, they are there for a reason.

Please do not leave your babies to cry. A baby's cry is a need unmet.

This time, when they are young, is so very, very short in the grand scheme of things. One day, not all that far from now, you will long for the days when he wanted and needed you so.

“Remember, you're not managing an inconvenience; You're raising a human being.”
- Kitti Franz

Monique - posted on 01/12/2011

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pick a bed time start a routine you need your time and mommy and daddy time. bath time reading time 5 minute cuddle time with mom and dad and one last feeding and then in his bed he will start to understand thats alll hes getting and hes old enough to let cry. its a known fact from doctors it takes 3 days for a child to understand and learn anything bed time potty training ANYTHING believe me this will work

Kasey - posted on 01/11/2011

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A baby that age is way to young to understand how to self soothe. Someone below mentioned the Ferber method, If you do your research Ferber himself now knows that it is not the best way to help a child. Drmomma.org is the best source for information. CIO will cause your child to need you MORE. and 7 months is also way too young to stop breastfeeding. I dont know your situation but I do know that given the chance I would have breastfed my son for 2 years. we lasted 3 months due to PPD. It sucked. I still hurt because of it. Do you really want to stop give your child the BEST thing out there for him and give him artificial crap that is not sterile and the containers filled with BPA?? You are doing the best you possibly can.
My son went thru the fighting sleep stage, he will be 2 on thursday. The best thing I found to calm him is a warm bath and lavender lotion and give him a back rub. Lay down with him in his room. make a bed on the floor. cuddle him, nurse him, show him you are there for him. soon he will be ok on his own. it is a phase. it wont be like this forever I promise you that. He will be 3 before you even realize it. Enjoy your mommy baby time. because once they can walk and talk they want nothing to do with mommy. My 2 year old can be hard to read. One minute he wants nothing to do with me then the next he wants me to hold him. BTW he still doesnt self soothe. I comfort him. I am his mother. That is what we are made for. he is a child not an inconvenience. Goodluck.

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Cearra - posted on 11/29/2013

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Okay for one, no baby is ever too young to stop being breast fed. Some babies aren't even breast fed to begin with. Just because some people want to baby their babies doesn't mean you should. It's just like if you let your child sleep with you every night, they're never going to learn to sleep in their own bed. Babies need to learn to fall asleep on their own and that their crib is where they are supposed to sleep, not mommy or daddy's arms. Especially, when it gets to the point where they're up all night and cry immediately as soon as you put the down because they're so used to being held.

Claire - posted on 01/25/2013

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Has your son self soothed before? I don't agree with kasey to say they're too young to SS. My son was about 3 months when he started sucking his fingers. I didn't leave him to cry. I would put him in his cot & he just started doing it! I have to say it changed bedtimes. It was lovely when you put him down and he could fall asleep by himself. My son is nearly 9 months and Unfortunately that's stopped. He's teething again, now he's got 7 teeth and he had a blister on one of the fingers that he sucks so he hasn't done it for about 2 weeks which is making bedtime a nightmare. I'm not sure if its the teeth, tummy or finger that's causing him to cry but the sooner he starts sucking those fingers again the better!! I might see if a blanket works. Good luck

Mary Renee - posted on 01/20/2011

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I had the same thing with my daughter. You are putting him down to sleep too late and he is overtired. Try feeding him dinner early, and start your bath routine early and have him in bed by 6:30 or 7. Even if you nurse him to sleep that time, they'll tend to sleep better if you don't wait till they're over tired. Good luck!



Oh yeah, try not to use the cry-it-out method. Babies cry because that's how they communicate and he doesn't have a firm grasp of object permanence so he thinks when you're out of sight that you're really gone and he's scared and sad. To me that is just so sad, I could never let my daughter think that Mama isn't there.



He might be traumatized from the first time you did it and now he might be associating his bed/crib and sleeping with something horrible and lonely where Mama leaves him alone to cry. Instead try to change this and help him associate sleeping with good things. Maybe help him get attached to a lovey (a little stuffed animal or blanket). Let him snuggle with the lovely while he nurses and let him have it in his crib with him to keep him company (this takes time to develop and it doesn't happen overnight-and I totally disagree with whoever said it takes babies three days to "get" something, I know adults who don't even "get" things in three days, you need to try something new for at least 10 days to know if it's effective, at least according to Dr. Elizabeth Pantley) Try to get your "smell" on the lovey by holding it against your skin while you nurse. Keep sleeping and bedtime a nice loving and happy activity so he has happy associations with it and he'll be more likely to eventually be able to self-soothe.



Nothing happens overnight though! It takes time. I'm reading Elizabeth Pantley's "No-Cry Sleep Solution" and it's been helping to eleminate some of those night time wake ups. I also get no help from her Papa so that means I'm the one both rocking her AND nursing her (I try to alternate it, I'll nurse her for one night waking, and rock her for the next, to gradually help her see that she can go a few more hours with out eating)

Vicky - posted on 01/14/2011

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Have you tried giving him some kind of blankie? We haven't really had a problem with our son, but when he was about 4 months he started chewing on his blankets so we gave him one (well 2, we switch it up) of those teddy's that are also a small blanket with the silk on the back. Now he settles really well as long as he has one of them and when he wakes in the night, he just picks it up and sucks on one of the corners again.

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My baby goes from crying to perfectly content quite often, in fact all my kids have. There are many different ways to use CIO and I'm pretty sure most people would agree that just leaving a baby to cry until they just give up isn't the ideal or even appropriate method.

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CIO can be very effective if its done right. My youngest never cries for more then 2 or 3 minutes now if at all and his bed time is 10:30 because thats the time he has chose consistently. So if you do the cry it out method I would suggest the pick up put down, only let him cry for a few minutes and then go pick him up give him love calm him down then put him down. If he starts crying right away don't pick him right back up, give a few minutes and keep doing that. That has worked with all my kids except my oldest who I had to just let cry because if I went in the room she was right back at it and it took hours. The first few days will be rough. Stop nursing to sleep in steps, start with naps and after hes comfortable with going to sleep during the day without nursing then try night time. If you aren't against him going to sleep with a bottle then that could make it easier. Good luck

Shaunnah - posted on 01/12/2011

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ROUTINE!!!!
im having a rough time with my 3rd child who is 8 months old. BUT after i started a routine ( with feedings and bath and nap/bed time) she is not only sleeping through the night but also calms herself to fall asleep. As soon as i notice her tired cues (rubbing eyes/face, yawning ) its a quick bath and off to bed. if you postpon the tired signals o long your child catches 2nd wind and then becomes OVER tired and fusses to get to sleep.
A for not being ablet nurse, every child/mom is different. if you chose to stop thats your right. anyone whosays you shouldnt stop is stepping over board. I do regrenot being able to nurse longer but in the same sence its a freedom as well of beig ableto let others feed the child. As a parent we learn to realise whats in the best interest of the child but also have to realise whats best for mom :) Have baby eat cereal at morning and 1/2 hour before bed and have veggies and fruit for lunch and dinner. and well fed baby is always a happy baby :)
I agree with the pst above ^^^
3 days is the best thing! repeat the schedule for 3 days and you will realise how much different you both are :) I have even started saying no to my daughter when she reaches for something she shouldnt have and afer the 3rd/4th day she now just looks up (as if to say ok) and ten carries on doing something else.
Best of luck, from one mommy to another

Jodi - posted on 01/11/2011

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My baby girl is the same way. She has recently (i mean the past week or so) been only wanting to sleep while we hold her. I have spoiled her since she was born and cuddling her until she goes to sleep, and when i think she is out, i lay her down. I don't want to be doing this forever. I don't know how to help her either :/

Julia - posted on 01/11/2011

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Have you tried a lovie or blanket? Sleep with it a few nights or put it in your bra while your home. (sounds crazy, I konw) but the idea is to get it to smell like you so as to help him relax and feel comforted when in his crib and you're not around.

Anna - posted on 01/06/2011

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My son is the same. We started the Ferber Method. We tried it before based on orther peoples suggestions but you really need to buy the book.
My son uses a pacifier to soothe but it is causig him to wake several times during the night when he realizes that its not in his mouth.
How long have you tried the waiting/letting him cry method? We are at almost a week and still have work to do.

Di - posted on 01/06/2011

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a schedule helps but do one for through out the day and night also keep to it as much as u can pretty soon baby will let u know when its time for a nap my son does the following 4:30 am up for milk snoozes till 6 then poops then around 6;30 or 7 he has breakfast cereal and fruit then play with daddy till we drink morning coffee 8 watches baby Ernestine while i get hubby off to work has a nap from 8 to 10 has a feed plays has a bath at 11 lunch at 12 or 1 plays has a feed at 3 naps till 4:30 plays with me on the bed till 5:30 or we go for a walk has dinner at 6 body wash at bed at 7 after a bit of milk ( i play soothing music and lower the lights at this time he goes to sleep on his own) gets up at 4:30 in the morning :) i have been dong this since he was 3 months

Heather - posted on 01/03/2011

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My son was put on a schedule around the are of 10 weeks. Bath, lotion, watching motion soother, bottle, bed at 8. Then around nov he started drinking only an oz oformula befor bed he just wanted to sleep. Then the beginning of december. He decided he didnt want a bed time feed at all. So I did the bed routine as norm and was keeoing him up till 8 he started to really fight the sleep so I followed his cues. As he watches his crib soother as soon as he starts to fuss I turn it off ( the room is dark now as that was the only light other then the faint glow from his wipe warmer) I give him hugs and kisses say its night night time I love you and set him in his crib. I rub his head and shhhh him when he is calm I walk to the corner of the room where he cant see me. I have just enough light to see him in his brib but cant tell if eyes are open or closed. If he starts to fuss I go over say its night night time rub his head then walk away. I never pick him up. The first night it took about 20 min. with in 5 days it was around 5 mins, Now he self sooths every night. He sucks his fingers or blows raspberries and then all of a sudden silence. I feel he knows the routine and thats what helped him. Naps are a whole different story. Good luck!! Id start a routine.

Kristi - posted on 01/02/2011

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My son is the exact same. In fact, he's in bed fussing and crying right now as I write this....I'm trying the 5 minute check routine but it has become a battle of stubborn-ness! I try to keep a pretty strict bedtime routine, but over the holidays it became pretty lax. We are trying to get back on schedule. You can try an earlier bedtime routine - bath around 7:30, and you can try a longer playful bath so he tires himself out even more. Good luck!

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