My baby sleeps at night but needs to be rocked to sleep during the day.

Sharon - posted on 05/18/2010 ( 10 moms have responded )

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My 5 month old is great with her night sleeps. She is exclusively breast fed and after I put her to bed at about 6:30pm she will wake up once for a feed, then after a bit of a chat sleep thru until about 7:00am.
The trouble is that during the day she will not settle herself to sleep. She will grumble and grumble until I rock her or top her up with a feed (she usually falls asleep when I feed her after a short suckle). Has anyone experienced the same issues? At the moment I'm trying to let her fall asleep on her play mat but she will just roll over and bury her face in the mat - I'm not keen on her sleeping on her tummy just yet because she won't put her head to the side.
When I rock her etc, she has 3 sleeps a day, all lasting bang on 35 mins. Any suggestions??

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Sarah - posted on 05/28/2010

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Hmmm. My 5 month old has been able to self-settle to sleep since she was about 2 months old and we were able to achieve this with NO crying whatsoever. I am VERY much against leaving baby to cry to sleep, although there IS a difference between fussing to sleep and crying to sleep. Cry-it-out methods are not the only option, there are gentler ways to teach baby to go to sleep.



Mind you, it didn't just happen overnight, we worked on it for a long time and it has really paid off, because now all I have to do is pop her into bed, kiss sleep tight, and she takes herself off to sleep without any protest (she'll only protest if she's not tired... and that's fair enough, how would you like someone telling you to go to sleep when you're not tired?) - that's at night and during the day.



While she takes herself off to sleep very well at naptime and bedtime, we are still working on helping her to go back to sleep during the night without being nursed each time she wakes.



I used to feed her to sleep when she was very young so I was putting her in bed asleep. Eventually I started to pop her in bed a little more awake - drowsy, but awake enough to know she was in her bed. If she needed help settling, I would stroke her face or pat her until she was asleep. That way she learnt that going to sleep in her bed wasn't a scary thing and over time she was happy to go to sleep by herself. Obviously if she had trouble settling I would go in and help her straight away.



The key is to get baby to bed as soon as she tells you she is tired - whether that is yawning, rubbing her eyes, grizzling. With my LO, if I catch her by the second yawn, I take her straight to her room, we read a story, and I pop her into bed. Sometimes if I miss the yawns, she'll start to grizzle and we may have a little protest about going to bed, but she's normally pretty good. You just have to know your little one's tired signs and once you know them, listen to them!



It's a very gradual thing, teaching your baby to self settle, but it's well worth the effort. Good luck!



P.S. With the 35 minute naps - have you tried wake-to-sleep? I use that with my girl because she always sleeps 30 minutes to the dot, never any longer if I just leave her. If I use wake-to-sleep though, she'll sleep for an hour.



P.P.S. sorry this is so long, I keep thinking of things to add! Hopefully you'll find something useful =)

Nicole - posted on 05/20/2010

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My daughter Haven also sleeps well at night but for a long time would only nap during the day with me - I would have to rock her and then hold her while she slept. Clearly that could not last! But recently she has learned to fall asleep on her own in her swing. I think she feels cuddled and likes the rocking motion. I put on music or have the TV on in the background which helps. I also found that once she got used to taking a nap at a certain time each day it was easier to get her down. Now that she can fall asleep on her own our next goal will be to try and get her to fall asleep in her crib. I am taking it step by step. Hope this is helpful. Good luck!

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Karolina - posted on 10/08/2011

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What i started doing; feed her food, and give her a cup.. once shes tired, put her in the crib, turn her music or whatever she sleeps with and pet her bottom and say shhh, give it about 15 mins the first time, dont leave her crying though, and she will fall asleep. It will take a little work for her to figure out that mama is not going to nurse her to go to bed.. day 2 for me, and its working fine!

Jennifer - posted on 05/28/2010

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I agree with Cheryl you get 12 hours at night. I am luck and happy if he sleeps for 8 or 9 hours. He goes to bed late and wakes up early. I also have to rock him to sleep during the day, but after he is asleep I can lay him down and he continues to sleep.

Sarah - posted on 05/28/2010

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My little guy was the same. And the only way he will sleep now is on his belly. He sleeps so much better since I started saying him on his belly to sleep. I just started letting him cry. The first time it took about 20 minutes ( I would go in from time to time quietly and cover him and give him back his soother) then after the 20 minutes he fell right asleep and slept so well. The second nap he didn't cry as long and that night for bedtime he didn't cry at all just went right to sleep. It makes your life SOOOO much easier when you don't have to rock them. Try it out, it may be hard for you at first but will save your sanity in the long run and give you more time for YOU

Tameka - posted on 05/27/2010

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A baby's brain isn't mature enough to fall asleep on their own until around 8-9 months. Before that they need help from their parents. When you hear about babies who self settle and are younger than 6 months there is a good chance the parents have gone for the cry-it-out method. I'm not saying it's a bad thing, it's just not for me. Then there is always the baby who is the exception to the rule who will fall asleep the moment their head touches the matress (where do I get one of these babies!! lol)

Cheryl - posted on 05/21/2010

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Our baby girl needs to be rocked to sleep every time.
I dont think that its a bad thing. I have been starting to put her down when she is ALMOST asleep - rather than out cold... so that she gets used to being in her crib & falling asleep on her own.
But I still rock to to that 'almost' point.
She also does well falling to sleep in her cradle swing - the one that rocks her side-to-side rather than front-to-back.

Sounds like your baby is sleeping really well - if you can get 6:30pm - 7:00am out of her!
I think at 5 months most babies average a total of 14-16 hours a day... and yours gets 12 at night! so you're only really looking for a couple of hours during the day.

Good luck!

Janice - posted on 05/20/2010

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That's when a good baby carrier is worth it's weight in gold.. An Ergo or Mei Tai, something like that so you can wear baby. I have no problem rocking my baby to sleep(I love it and it gives me a great excuse to sit and watch tv. lol). I don't think a baby should ever be left to cry alone. Harvard did a study that proved it caused brain damage. I'd prefer not to be the cause of my child's brain damage.

My advice, invest in a good carrier and wear her either on your front or your back. She'll probably sleep better being close to you and you can still get stuff done.

Sharon - posted on 05/19/2010

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I have tried to leave her to cry but she will roll over and just bury her face into the sheet. I will keep trying to let her settle herself though. Thanks for the advice Kara.

Kara - posted on 05/19/2010

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Have you tried just leaving her to cry a little? Rachel always has a little cry when I put her down, then after 10 minutes or so just dozes off anyway. For her, it's just an attention-seeking cry and when she doesn't get it, she just gives up and goes to sleep.

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