What is the best way to put your baby to bed?

Laressa - posted on 05/31/2011 ( 12 moms have responded )

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I have ever so many parenting books and of course they can not agree. What do you think, should your baby learn to go to sleep on his own from infancy, crying himself to sleep if that's what it takes? Or do you go with the "natural theory" baby and you sleep together and baby comforts himself with nursing whenever he wants? Or do you prefer somewhere in the middle?

What works for you and your family?

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Krista - posted on 05/31/2011

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Those early days are hazy. But from what I can recall, Sam never was much of a cuddler. He slept in a bassinet in our room when he was a newborn. I'd make sure he was well-fed and had a dry bum, and would sometimes rub his back a bit until he was sleepy. But he always nodded off pretty easily.

He transitioned to his crib at 3 months old. We didn't use CIO, but would sometimes let him fuss for 5 minutes or so before going back to check on him. I would have been fine with rocking or cuddling him to sleep, but on the nights when I tried, it actually took him twice as long to drift off, because he was too darned interested in me. So it was better for him to let him grumble (and yes, sometimes even cry a bit). (Note: if his crying escalated to more than that sleepy-sounding "Ehhhhhh.....ehhhhhhhhhh", I went in to comfort him.)

Personally, I don't think it's good to let a baby cry (seriously cry) himself to sleep, especially when he's very young. It just can't be good for them, poor little things.

Merry - posted on 05/31/2011

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We do the breastfeed to sleep routine, with Eric it's always been he sleeps in his own crib, now bed, but I'd just nurse/rock him to sleep then put him down. With Fierna we are bedsharing, but I'll still put her down asleep here and there if I have to get stuff done.

Still bfing Eric to sleep now and he's 2 but with the new baby it's the only time I really can give Eric special one on onetime, he needs the attention and it's nice to let his routine stay the same for bed when everything else is changing.



Oh and right now Fierna requires a complex combination of bouncing rocking walking swaying and or patting to get her asleep, Eric drifted off every time on the breast, but Fierna has bad reflux and needs alot of work to get her asleep. Medicine tonight finally so hoping for some improvement! *fingers crossed*

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We rocked our son to sleep every single night, at least for 2 full years. He's a terrible sleeper. Still is. But even as an infant, and today, my son prefers to sleep on his tunny.

September - posted on 05/31/2011

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I do think it's important for one to learn to put themselves to sleep however not all infants agree :) I rocked our son for the first 6 months of his life on a yoga ball. Once he decided he no longer wanted to be rocked I would just put him in his crib and call it a night. We are very lucky and ended up with a wonderful little sleeper. He has his phases when he's going through a growth spurt or teething where he needs a little comforting prior to bed (usually bed time stories and a little rocking) but other than that he's easy. I think you do what works best for your child and that’s different for every family, I’m sure.

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Yes, it's possible that your two children are THAT different.

Well fed = just had a bottle or the boob

Some parents wait until their children are visibly showing signs of fatigue but that can be harmful. If a child is crying, rubbing their eyes, yawning etc. you've waited too long. If a child becomes over tired it will be much more difficult to get them to sleep.

Roxanne, right from day one, preferred her bassinet or crib. She has always gone to bed really well, and fallen asleep relatively quickly.

CIO is not recommended for children under the age of 6 months, and I personally will not recommend it to anyone because of the varying interpretations and people's abuse of it.

Laressa - posted on 05/31/2011

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If you have a baby like my son who is a mega eater or like my daughter who needed a snack every half hour how do you know when they "are well fed and sleepy"

Lady Heather - posted on 05/31/2011

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When Freja was small I rocked her to sleep. Well, I danced her to sleep. Thank you Regina Spector! When she was about six months she started just falling asleep on me when I sat on the couch in the evening and it was easy to transfer her to bed. At 8 months she decided she didn't want to do that anymore and just wanted to be in her crib. So I started popping her in there at about 7:30 and she'd be out in five minutes or less.

I think I got off pretty easy though because she's always been a mega sleeper. As soon as we got the all clear from the midwife to let her do it (she was really small), she was sleeping through the night. She was about 6 weeks old at the time. Now at 2 years old I read her a couple stories before nap and bedtime and she's happy. I'm not expecting my next kid to be the same. Parents should adapt to suit the child IMO. I think I just did what she wanted. Hehe.

I don't think I could just let them cry forever, but as far as I know that's not what most CIO parents do.

Laressa - posted on 05/31/2011

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From my experience different children need different techniques. My daughter had to be cuddled to sleep. Right from birth. She was rarely in the hospital basinet. At home she slept with us till about her first birthday when she decided to sleep on her own. Now about a year later she still sometimes cries a bit before going to sleep.

My three month old son has almost never slept with us. He seems to need space. And we are happy for it too! He will sometimes fuss a bit when I put him to bed. If I am sure he is fine I let him fuss. Sometimes change position to give him something else to think about.

Is this common that children are this different?

Rosie - posted on 05/31/2011

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depends on the age, but i would always feed my child and then put them to bed awake but still sleepy. if they ever had a problem with that, i'd check on them, if they were fine, i'd let them winge for a little, go in reassure them, and leave again. it took less than a week and there was no crying anymore.

Jenni - posted on 05/31/2011

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I follow my baby's cue for when they are ready to sleep independently. I always put my babies to bed awake but sleepy. I co sleep until they are ready to sleep independently while gently encouraging independent sleep.

My son was sleeping in his own crib at 6 months when he discovered his lovey. My daughter was sleeping in her own crib at 2.5 months when she discovered her thumb. They learned to sleep on their own when they learned to self soothe. I did try CIO with my son at one point but I just couldn't continue with it. I prefer a no-cry sleep solution and now advocate it whole-heartedly to anyone who will listen. ;)

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