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Settling 9mo who won’t lay down


14 replies to this topic

#1 Quin123

Posted 20 February 2019 - 11:11 AM

Hi there,
My 9mo boy has been crawling and standing for a few months now and whenever I try to put him into his bed awake he sits up, crawls to the end of the cot and stands there screaming until I come pick him up. I’ve tried laying him down but he just wiggles around and gets up again.

I’ve resorted to feeding him to sleep as it’s the only way to get him to be still. As you’d imagine this means I have to feed or cuddle him every time he wakes up (9,11,1,4 & 6 last night) he’s also taking between 1.5 and 2 hours to get to sleep at night. I’m exhausted. I’ve been to sleep school twice with him so know the theory but just can’t get past it. Any help or ideas greatly appreciated.

#2 ~LemonMyrtle~

Posted 20 February 2019 - 11:15 AM

Shut the door and walk away. Turn off the baby monitor. Buy earplugs.

At this age they just test the boundaries, and when they learn new tricks they love to test them out at the wrong time. As long as he is safe and warm then just leave him to learn how to put himself back to sleep.  It will take a few nights but he should get the idea pretty quick.



#3 lalalove

Posted 20 February 2019 - 11:23 AM

I think you need to be firm - easier said than done when it's your own I know - tell him 'lay down, it's sleep time' and then exit. Then use your sleep school techniques.
Do you have a partner or other support who can help you implement what  you learnt at sleep school?

I went to sleep school with both my boys and learnt the responsive settling techniques. The first few nights are rough but both were sleeping almost all night after a week. I hated hearing them cry but they need to learn to self settle. The responsive settling is gentle and as PP said, they get the idea pretty quick.

#4 Daffy2016

Posted 20 February 2019 - 11:25 AM

DD is older but this might help.

With standing, I lie down on the floor next to the cot and pat the mattress through the bars. First few times it took ages but she gets the hint now. Doesn’t necessarily mean she goes straight to sleep but it’s a first step.

#5 mandala

Posted 20 February 2019 - 12:29 PM

Another idea is to lie on the floor and hold his hand through the bars of the cot. You could even set up a mattress on the floor and try to have a bit of a doze.

Given you've have two stays at sleep school, it sounds like you've got a baby who is difficult to settle and might quickly develop sleep associations that are hard to deal with. Some babies are just soooooo much harder to persuade to sleep than others. And I'm going to say this but you're not going to believe me, because I wouldn't have believed it, but this stage of being desperate to stand all the time will pass really quickly and all you need to do is hang on long enough that the novelty of standing wears off.

Ideally, you'd try not to feed to sleep every time because they do get into the habit of it, and also because it's frankly exhausting, but if that's how things work out, you can always work on the feeding to sleep once the urge to stand has worn off.

Do you have a partner who can help? Or a friend who could step in for a couple of hours in the afternoon so you can nap? Sleep deprivation is torture and you'll be much better able to do what you know you need to do with a bit more sleep.

The thing you need to do is remember that falling asleep is his job. Your job is to provide a safe, appropriate sleep environment. In my opinion, if you're tired, your baby would be exhausted so it's worth a bit of short term crying for longer term good sleep, but that's easier to say than live through.

What's the bit blocking you from using the sleep school advice? We might have some suggestions about that.

#6 Ellie bean

Posted 20 February 2019 - 12:38 PM

Ahhh you poor thing- you’re giving me flashbacks to over a year sleeping with ds cot next to my bed and holding his hand through the bars- that was the only thing that worked but if you can find something better I’d recommend it as this wasn’t ideal by any means- mine was in a lot of pain due to reflux and recurrent ear infections so I couldn’t bring myself to let him cry it out but with a baby with no pain I’d be sorely tempted to do some gentle controlled crying
Wishing you luck x

#7 ~LemonMyrtle~

Posted 20 February 2019 - 12:40 PM

We had a sleep consultant also tell us to sit on the floor next to the cot. She said sit there, don’t make eye contact, don’t play, don’t touch, just sit and shush until they go to sleep. Sitting on the floor means they don’t sit or stand up to get to you. So they lie down, and then you sort of ignore them while being present.

It’s. A gentler approach (that didn’t work for us, we had to not enter the room at all) but might be better for you OP.

#8 chicken_bits

Posted 20 February 2019 - 12:43 PM

Cheeky thing! My kids were the same. I'd tuck them right in tight and physically hold them down while patting them. Eventually they relaxed enough to fall asleep. It's very tedious, but when they stand up and scream, you just have to go in and tuck them back in and tell them it's time for sleep.

Those stages when they're learning their new skills and wanting to practice is always hard. But it does eventually pass!

#9 Quin123

Posted 20 February 2019 - 01:07 PM

Thanks so much for some really helpful replies already. I’ll explain our 2 sleep school visits. Both were day visits to KooWeeRup early parenting unit. One at 10 weeks where we learned the basics. At this time we were aiming to get say sleeps managed which we didn’t achieve but he did settle a lot quicker at night. The 2nd time was at about 5.5 months. After a trip to England and a huge amount of development as well as being unswaddled we went back for a refresher. But this was before he was standing or crawling so now I feel the techniques we were shown aren’t working. We used to just roll him to his side and pat pat and shush him until he settled then leave the room only ren-enter after 2 mins of crying. Worked really well.
We also had a period of slow/low growth at about 5 months so I started feeding him to sleep as this was the only time he’s feed - he’s an easily distracted feeder.

#10 Quin123

Posted 20 February 2019 - 01:12 PM

I just tried sitting down beside him and patting the matteress and he just sat down and held my hand and patted too! Such a fun game!

#11 mandala

Posted 20 February 2019 - 01:23 PM

But at least sitting down is closer to lying down and sleeping than the standing was!! So maybe it's progress?

On my visit to sleep school, my baby was the youngest there and most of the others were struggling with standing. One of them would stand for hours in his cot until he fell asleep standing up, hitting his head as he fell! It's a really common time for babies to struggle as the drive to stand is so strong. One thing that people try is giving lots of standing practice during awake times.

What happens if you try the two minutes out, two minutes back in again? As he's older, I would guess that it would take longer but it is doable.

Have you tried putting a soft toy or similar in with him? I believe the current advice is that this is permissable from around 8 months - it might distract him enough from being upset to actually settle. Or a board book?

#12 Quin123

Posted 20 February 2019 - 02:17 PM

He’s had a lovey from around 6 months which he totally ignores unless he’s awake and happy and then he plays with it.

Good point on the sitting being closer to laying than standing. It’s hard to see the small amounts of progress so thanks for the positive outlook.

#13 mandala

Posted 20 February 2019 - 04:42 PM

And maybe you sitting or lying on the floor is more comfy than holding or rocking a big 9mo??

I used to lie on the floor and pat the mattress, while holding my phone under the cot and reading EB. It didn't get either child to sleep quicker but it was at least more pleasant for me. I also tried audiobooks and headphones. It helped keep me calm which helped him too.

#14 chicken_bits

Posted 20 February 2019 - 08:37 PM

View PostQuin123, on 20 February 2019 - 01:07 PM, said:

Thanks so much for some really helpful replies already. I’ll explain our 2 sleep school visits. Both were day visits to KooWeeRup early parenting unit. One at 10 weeks where we learned the basics. At this time we were aiming to get say sleeps managed which we didn’t achieve but he did settle a lot quicker at night. The 2nd time was at about 5.5 months. After a trip to England and a huge amount of development as well as being unswaddled we went back for a refresher. But this was before he was standing or crawling so now I feel the techniques we were shown aren’t working. We used to just roll him to his side and pat pat and shush him until he settled then leave the room only ren-enter after 2 mins of crying. Worked really well.
We also had a period of slow/low growth at about 5 months so I started feeding him to sleep as this was the only time he’s feed - he’s an easily distracted feeder.

My son and I went to sleep school twice... once when he was 3 months and another when he was 10 months. The strategies that you were taught will still be the same. He'll remember them too. You'll just need to tuck him in nice and tight and probably stay for a little bit longer so that he won't crawl away as much.

#15 Quin123

Posted 20 February 2019 - 09:06 PM

A few people have suggested tucking him in. This worked a treat when he was tiny, swaddled and in winter. It’s the middle of summer here now, and I normally put him in a sleeping bag as recommended by the SIDS guidelines. Is there an age where having a sheet or blanket is ok? Obviously at some point it is or we would all still be in sleeping bags ourselves lol but guessing it’s ok for them at this age if people are suggesting it??



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