What do you go through to settle your baby for the night? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 17 Old 09-26-2005, 05:55 PM - Thread Starter
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I know I'm not the only one out there with a baby who needs help settling in for the night! What is your routine?

My DD ( 2 months) won't even go to sleep before 11:00. That I'm ok with....So about that time, I'll change her, nurse her, talk to her on a blanket....then the fun begins.

She gets really fussy and I put her in the sling, bounce her on a bouncy ball, maybe rock her a bit, shhhhh her, maybe give her a breast or a pacifier (doesn't always work...). I'm usually up watching Jay Leno with just the tv on...no other lights and have her "facing away" from the tv. It would drive me crazy to bounce in the dark. Sometimes I'll try to put her in the swing....screams...or nurse her...screams...or check if she's wet....screams some more!!!

I try to put her in our bed in the middle of us (already carved out a spot earlier in the night) when she is asleep in the sling. MOST of the time....as long as I lie down next to her and she "smells" me...then we are ok and she'll sleep for about 4 hours. She'll fall back asleep after this nursing usually no problem.

It's crazy! And just wondering if it gets better! During the day she'll finally sleep for about an hour or two in the bassinet near our bed. Forget about it at night! I don't mind co-sleeping at all...but it's the craziness of getting her down for the night that I sometimes dread!!!
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#2 of 17 Old 09-26-2005, 08:30 PM
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We usually take a bath around 8:30. After that, I get her in her jammies and we lay down to nurse. She usually falls asleep eating around 9:30 and I lay with her until she is totally asleep. The last couple nights, she hasn't been falling asleep right away, so we bring her out in the living room to hang out with us until she's tired.

During the day, she wakes up for about an hour, then takes her morning nap, which is usually about an hour or so. The she's up till around 3 or 4, and then takes her afternoon nap for 2-3 hours. Sometimes she'll take an evening nap too, but not so much since we started her bedtime routine.
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#3 of 17 Old 09-26-2005, 10:21 PM
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I get frustrated with getting DD to sleep. First I try nursing/rocking in the chair - that rarely works. Then I'll try nursing while walking her in the sling, that sometimes works, but takes a while. If she keeps trying to sit up in the sling or has no interest in nursing, then I let her play for a while, but she's so cranky she has no fun playing and wants to be constantly held. But when she's being held she wants to get back down. So I usually sit on the floor with her and let her play a while. She's cranky so nothing holds her interest for long. So I put her in the front pack and take her for a walk around the block. Then back in the sling to nurse while walking. Eventually it "takes" and we ease into bed, then nurse another ten minutes or so until she's really ready to sleep. On a good night it takes 30 minutes to get her to sleep. On a bad night its 3 hours. I read the No Cry Sleep Solution and tried for about a month to follow the plan. It didn't really help. The book is adamant about not nursing to sleep, but I'm grateful for those nights when nursing her to sleep works.
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#4 of 17 Old 09-26-2005, 10:46 PM
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My son gets a snack (he's 10 months old, so it's cereal), then he gets a bath, sometimes I rub him down with lotion (I did that a lot at 2 months) and then he nurses to sleep. It seems like it took us a while for him to get used to a routine, but eventually, he did. We've done the same thing at bedtime every day for most of his life. One time, we skipped the bath and he woke up all night long, I think he was expecting to get into the tub any time! LOL
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#5 of 17 Old 09-26-2005, 10:59 PM
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Dh and I play tag team for a couple hours. Ds (6 weeks old) will fall asleep anywhere from 10 to midnight, so we usually start around 9:30--bouncing on the ball, jiggling on dh's lap, nursing, back to the ball, etc. Ds will do this thing where he pops on the breast, pops off, cries--then we pass him to dh, he's happy for a while, pass him back to me to nurse again, and he ususally falls asleep in the 2nd round. Most of the time he falls asleep best being bounced by dh.

just out of curiosity, at what age does the NCSS say not to nurse to sleep?
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#6 of 17 Old 09-26-2005, 11:16 PM
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We go for a family walk at about 6:30, where we look at trees and birds. Then we come home and he eats his last feeding, then he has his bath, then I or DH rub him down with lotion and put his jammies on. Then we sit in the rocking chair in his room and read a book or two, then we turn the light off (the hall light is on so we can still see a little) and say night-night to everything in his room -- the clock, the pictures on the wall, the fan, the stuffed animals. That's it -- he starts rubbing his eyes when we start saying night-night to everything because he knows it's the "final step" in our bedtime routine. After we put him down (at 7:30), he doesn't make a peep.

I had really bad luck with having the television on when trying to get DS to calm down for the night. Even if they're facing away, at that age the sounds and even the indirect flashing light can be very stimulating for them. So we've always used books and soft, soothing voices, not TV, in the evening time to give his brain a break.

DH+Me 1994 heartbeat.gif DS 2004 heartbeat.gif DD 2008 heartbeat.gif DDog 2014
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#7 of 17 Old 09-26-2005, 11:31 PM
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Right now, I give my 5.5-month-old daugher a bath in the late afternoon and then she comes downstairs for some more playtime. At 6:45 or 7, depending on how sleepy she is, we go up to the bedroom. I change her diaper, hopefully for the last time (unless she poops or she's really soaked in the middle of the night). We sit in the glider and read a story or two, or I recite a couple of poems for her. I feed her a bottle (unfortunately, we're not able to nurse) and burp her. Then I turn off the overhead light so we just have the nightlight, which projects moons and stars and planets on the ceiling and walls. I turn on a lullabye CD. Then I put her in the sling in a cradle carry and we rock until she's asleep. I sing along to the lullabies I especially like. She's usually out within 15-20 minutes, at which point I put her down in the sling.

But when she was 8 weeks old, it wasn't that easy at all! It will get better, I promise. When Alex was your baby's age, here's what helped the most:

- Not letting her get too tired. Awake for 1.5-2 hours was usually about right.

- Wrapping her tightly. It really calmed Alex to swaddle her. Your baby's young enough to like swaddling, although you'll probably need to get a blanket that's a little bigger than standard receiving blankets.

- Constant white noise, either making "shhhh" sounds in her ear or running a hair dryer in the room. (The hair dryer was her Papa's special trick.)

- Not doing too much. Sometimes when you're desperate to get a tiny baby to sleep, you keep going from trying one thing to another, and it can actually be overstimulating for the baby to get that many different sleep techniques applied in close succession.

I remember one awful, awful day when 5-week-old Alex was up for twelve hours straight. (This was just before she was diagnosed with reflux disease - she was in pain *and* she wasn't eating enough to keep her nourished, poor thing.) I tried thousands of techniques that day, and she just cried and cried. (Me too!) Finally I was so exhausted that I ran out of things to try. I swaddled her tightly, lay down in bed, and wrapped myself around her so that she was very snugly contained. I turned off the light so the room was dark, and I just whispered "shh, shh, shh" for about fifteen minutes straight, not moving, not trying anything else, not even really evaluating whether what I was doing was working. She finally was able to drop off after about fifteen minutes, and we got 3 or 4 hours of sleep. I think it helped to go very, very minimalist at that point, because she was just so far past her limit of stimulation. It was a good thing I was too tired to try any more techniques!

Good luck to you.

Alexandra 4.11.05 and Colin 2.9.09. Click on my name to visit my homeschooling blog.
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#8 of 17 Old 09-27-2005, 10:34 AM
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I didn't really worry about getting my son to sleep till he was about 3 months and finally sleeping longer periods at night--up till then he was still eating about every 3 hours. When he started going longer we started a bedtime routine we do every night starting at about 7:15, with the goal of getting to bed by 8. I bathe him, he eats, DH reads him a story, and then we put him in his crib. If he gets up after that he's usually still hungry, so we'll feed him some more and try again. It doesn't work every night, Sun for example he was just awake till 9:30. But it does work most of the time.

Mom to DS 5/05 and DD 9/08
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#9 of 17 Old 09-27-2005, 01:45 PM
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We do bath at 8, then lotion and jammies, then he nurses almost to sleep. I don't let him fully nurse to sleep because it's bad for his future teeth. Then, depending on what I need to do, I either cuddle him until he's out, or just set him down in the crib and he falls asleep. He's a really good sleeper, though, so we've never had any problems.
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#10 of 17 Old 09-27-2005, 02:00 PM
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We often went out for a walk with baby in a sling to calm him down and lulll him into sleep. That usually worked. The one thing that always worked was nursing. When the time is right, he will always fall asleep nursing.

Mom of (11/27/03) and (9/29/06).
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#11 of 17 Old 09-27-2005, 05:04 PM
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It took us a few months to figure out that it is very hard for DS to relax for sleep-- he has never, ever just "dropped off" to sleep on his own, except in the car. He rarely falls asleep nursing, even. So instead, we put him in our Ergo carrier and just go on a nice long walk (we usually preceed this with an attempt at a sleep routine that includes a bath and reading several books accompanied by soft music, to get him in the sleeping frame of mind). The long walk serves two purposes: DS will finally relax while looking around and eventually falls asleep, and I don't go crazy trying to get him to sleep inside the apartment! If we start the bath around 7:15, we are usually walking by around 8:00 and he's usually out by 8:15 or 8:20. Then we just take him out of the carrier and lay him in bed, then nurse him whenever he starts to wake up-- so far it's been working great for us.

Good luck!

Edited to add: we didn't really become successful at this until after DS was 3 months old-- I really think a lot of it is sleep maturity. Your 2 month old's sleep may just improve on her own as she gets older-- just hang in there!
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#12 of 17 Old 09-27-2005, 09:27 PM
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I established a 7-7:30pm nightly bath. I put a few drops of lavender oil in there, let ds play and when he's done he's in his jammies. I get him fed and he's usually going down within an hour. In the beginning, I would even give his sleeping pillow (he sleeps on an orthopaedic pillow of dh's) a little lavender essence and that really relaxes him.

Some days we don't get our bath in because he is just so sleepy we skip it, but he gets a little lavender on the pillow anyway. It took a while for him to get used to this routine, but it works well for us now.

Good luck!
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#13 of 17 Old 09-28-2005, 03:08 AM
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hair dryer soo worked for us!
turn off the tv-it makes them nervous.
good luck!

Liv, SAHM of 3 kiddos 





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#14 of 17 Old 09-28-2005, 08:44 AM
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Sometimes at night, he likes to be rocked to sleep, and then put down. If he's not having any of that, then we nurse down in bed together. And when he doesn't want to nurse, he likes to have his cheek stroked until he falls asleep. It's super cute
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#15 of 17 Old 09-28-2005, 08:54 AM
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Jammies, wrapped in blankie, nursed to sleep to the movement of the computer chair. At the most, 30 minutes and he is out for the night.
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#16 of 17 Old 09-28-2005, 10:28 AM
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after reading the OP and replies i realized how much my ds has changed in the past two months!

when he was two months old it was really a toss up every night as to what would help him sleep. little babies that age usually have such a hard time regulating their sleep on their own.

but, i will agree that keeping the lights turned down low, not letting him stay awake for too long, using low voices and keeping the tv turned off or way down helped. also the sling was a lifesaver, i would put him in there and bounce on the exercise ball.

around that age my dh started taking ian on a walk around 6:45 each evening and they still do that now, but that was the only super regular thing we did then. and he always got a bath before bed too.
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#17 of 17 Old 09-28-2005, 05:55 PM
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My dd lived in the sling for most of her early first year. She would nurse and fall asleep and we mostly had the same schedule. I was never worried about her going to bed at a certain time. We just played it by ear.

When she was 2.5, daddy started putting her to bed around 8 pm. We now go by when it gets dark because in the summer it is still light out at 9pm. My son came along and automatically nursed down around the same time dd went to bed. He is more of a schedule person and wakes up at the same time nightly. Right now he is in that transitional stage where he is not napping with regularity.

I trusted my intuition and my childrens wants as thier needs. When they were tired, they would sleep. When they were not tired, they would play. If they were tired and over stimulated, it was nursing on the bed while mommy read her own book. That was all it took to get them to sleep. I would slip out of the bedroom when they were asleep OR I would fall asleep with them.

It does get better in that eventually you will not play as big of a role in thier sleep cycles. But I firmly believe that nightime/bedtime is a crucial transition for them and it is important that thier needs/wants be met unconditionally.
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