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Sleep techniques needed.

My daughter Erin is 5 months old and having some trouble with the whole self-soothing thing. I'll read her some stories and then hold her to my chest and rock her. If I try to put her down drowsy but awake like recommended she gets very upset. I've tried to just put her in her crib carefully so she doesn't wake up but I know that's not going to work forever. If anyone has any suggestions, I would really appreciate hearing them.

I've tried the Ferber ["cry it out"] method [going in to comfort after 2 min, 5 min, 10 min, etc] earlier this week as recommended by my pediatrician and it worked initially after about 20 minutes but then she just woke up an hour later and really lost it when I tried to do it again and after like 40 min I just couldn't listen to it anymore and had to get her. :(

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Asked by Eau_Rouge at 3:44 PM on Dec. 2, 2009 in Babies (0-12 months)

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Answers (8)
  • my dd was the same way, i just rocked her to sleep and then put her down when i knew she was out sorry i'm no help :P

    Answer by josiesmommy00 at 3:46 PM on Dec. 2, 2009

  • Ferber says not to use his method before six months. Give her time. Slef soothing is something they grow cannot force it.

    Answer by gdiamante at 3:50 PM on Dec. 2, 2009

  • One of my favorite tricks is to use a piece of clothing that I wore the day before. I would tuck it over the baby's sheet. It smelled like me and helped them sooth themselves. I would change the shirt every couple of days.

    It worked well for us. 2 of the 3 stayed in the crib until over age 3. (The 1st was kicked out by his baby sister at 2.)

    Answer by balagan_imma at 4:05 PM on Dec. 2, 2009

  • 5 months is still young - - self soothing is a skill that takes some learning, so while it seems that she's not quite ready for it now, there are a few things you can do to help her along for later. Does she use a pacifier? Having a pacifier clipped to her jammies will mean that she is never without it and can always find it. It took my now almost 1 yr old several months to figure it out, but now he knows that he doesn't need to cry to get his nuk back ;) Does she have a lovie - a blankie or stuffed animal of some sort that she is attached to? If not, she's young enough that you can choose something for her. Make sure that she always has it with her - in her crib, in the carseat, when she's playing on the floor. It will take some time, but she'll begin to see that item as comforting and can use that in self-soothing.

    Answer by TiffanyMarie80 at 4:10 PM on Dec. 2, 2009

  • You can also try white noise in her room. There are cds and white noise machines that you can buy, or you can direct a fan towards the wall and put it on high. The noise is soothing to babies.

    Answer by TiffanyMarie80 at 4:10 PM on Dec. 2, 2009

  • Thanks for all the words of wisdom ladies!

    TiffanyMarie80: She doesn't have a pacifier or lovie. I have the AC running every time I put her down and it's noisy but not loud so I think that helps. Radios and tvs seem to just make it worse.

    Balagan Imma: Good idea I'll have to try that.

    Answer by Eau_Rouge at 4:28 PM on Dec. 2, 2009

  • My son is 5 months old also and I've started a nightly routine where about an hour before I want him in bed, I give him some cereal until he doesn't want it anymore, give him a bath (with the lavender bath stuff), rub lotion on him, get dressed in jammies, then read a story, feed a bottle to fill him up the rest of the way, then by the time he's done with the bottle he'll doze off and I rock for a few min just holding him (thats more for me than for him lol). Then I can lay him down no problem. Sometimes he will wake up a little bit but we keep the fan runing for noise and he falls back asleep on his own. Hopefully this helps somewhat. GL

    Answer by landons.mama at 4:46 PM on Dec. 2, 2009

  • Would any of us like to fall asleep in loving arms safe and in comfort only to wake up alone, cold, and confused? A baby that young shouldn't self soothe. They are hard wired to call for help when alone because they were not meant biologically to be separated -- that's why ferber is traumatic -- it turns on the panic switch full blast.

    I also think it is not a good idea to put babies in a room alone to sleep. Why we are encouraged to do so is beyond me. You can sling her, let her sleep in the same room where you happen to be (floor, reclined baby seat, etc) that way she will feel more secure and will be able to sleep anywhere even with noise. Because what she is seeking is proximity. It is scary to be unable to move or communicate and alone.

    I would hesitate substituting what she needs -- you/safety/comfort/reassurance -- with an object at this age. There is no substitute for you.

    Answer by amileegirl at 4:57 PM on Dec. 2, 2009

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