My lo doesn't take a pacifier and is solely breastfed. He is 3 1/2 months old and and I'm looking to start to sleep train him. Any good ideas on how I can help him learn to self-sooth?

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Janice - posted on 10/02/2012

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3 1/2 months is too early to sleep train. I would recommend waiting until your LO is 6 months and he may actually start sleeping thru with out any "training" before then. But I understand wanting to find a comfort item. With my son I started holding the same little blankie/lovey every time I nursed him and wanted him to sleep. With in a few weeks he started expecting the item and it is definitely a source of comfort for him when he is irritable and while sleeping. He started only waking 1x a night at around 4/5 month.

I did sleep train my daughter when she was 10months old by caring for her when she cried at night by giving her hugs, rubbing her back and humming but not actually picking her up out of her crib. It was a rough but slowly she started to wake less frequently and was sleeping through the night after 2 weeks.

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Paula - posted on 10/02/2012

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I do believe we set our babies sleep patterns up from day one..what ever method you choose it will be hard on them to suddenly change it at a few months od.. personally i have been strict with my sleep routines and its payed off. My baby girl is excusivley BF and uses a paci..she yawns when tired then i lightly wrap her cuddle, shhhh her then put her in her bed in her own room.I have done this since day one and she happily sleeps 7 hrs straight, if she wakes at say 1am instead of feeding i put her paci back in roll her onto her other side then walk out again...anyway consistancy is the key i believe and some babies just need to be taught. goodluck

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My son didn't really warm up to a pacifier until 5 months. It was my desperate attempt to keep him from sucking his thumb. He is extremely picky and only takes one type, which of course has to be the type that is hardest to find.



One huge step you can do to help get your baby ready for sleep training to is put him down awake but very sleepy. I would sit in the room with my son and play soft music while he fell asleep, some days it took an hour but after about a week it took only about 15 minutes. At that point I started to leave the room while the music played. By this point he was 5 months old (I started around 4 months), and it was summer so the fan replaced the music. We went camping about 2 weeks later for 10 days in which he co-slept most of the time (too cold at night for him to sleep on his own). After that we went right back to the same routine.



It sounds weird but my son didn't sleep well through the night until he was moved to his crib in the room he shares with his sister. We did that a week after our camping trip. He woke up and would whimper a bit during the first 2 weeks, but after that he stopped waking. I have a feeling I was bothering him at night when I would get into bed. He would then wake up in the night, see me, and want me (not milk, but me).

Fit2BMe - posted on 10/02/2012

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Good luck! It's not easy. Some of the best advice I heard was that "whatever method you decide STAY THE COURSE. There will be good days and bad, but the key is always in the consistency. Whatever routine or established practice baby gets to know, he/she will go along with. It doubting yourself and continually changing that gets you into the most trouble."

When you're sleep-deprived and stressed, this is all much harder to do. I remember often feeling like a few bad nights had been bad forever and would be bad forever. There's a reason sleep deprivation has been used as a form of torture in history--it's HIGHLY effective. Take care of you! Hoping things turn out ok here for you.

Cris - posted on 10/02/2012

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Thanks FTBM - The book is already on my list of things to purchase. I also have a co-sleeper next to my bed and I think I've purchased at least 4 different pacifiers. I guess I might need to use a little more patience with my lo and trying to use the pacifier. I didn't know about the choking reflex either... thanks for the 411. My LO first was able to use it but now, just chews on the pacifier and moves it around his mouth and doesn't even suck anymore, even with my assistance. He sucks on his hand and I think he might be learning to soothe with hand. The past two nights I let him fuss it out for 5 min. next to my bed and he was able to fall back to sleep w/o my help (breast). The drawback to that is that he no has one hand out of his swaddle and he wakes up more often during the night. I think I'll put off sleep training until I read up on it.

Fit2BMe - posted on 10/02/2012

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A book I found superbly helpful was "The baby whisperer." Had my son sleeping long nights quite early on using her advice. Also, I kept his cradle beside my bed and would hold his soother in for him until he got a good suck going that kept it in--then he would fall back to sleep.

Fit2BMe - posted on 10/02/2012

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We purchased, no joke, 10 different soothers/pacifiers and finally found one my son liked. I passed the whole bag of samples onto friends so they could discover which their kids would take. Most infants are pickier than we would think about stuff like this.

Also, when they are still newborns and really young 0-4 months, they may like the soother but not be good at keeping it in their mouths yet. Spitting it out does not necessarily mean the baby doesn't like it. Sometimes they just have to learn how to use it, like how to latch etc. and they have their tongue reflex which naturally pushes everything out of the mouth in order to prevent choking.

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