Author Topic: How do teach my 4.5 month old to self soothe?  (Read 1476 times)

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Offline aleasmom

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How do teach my 4.5 month old to self soothe?
« on: December 09, 2007, 19:42:19 PM »
My DD has always been a good sleeper. Goes to bed at 7-7:30 dream feed at 10:30 and wakes up at 7-7:30. She is swaddled and uses the paci. The first half hour or so after she goes to sleep, she will cry out and we wait to see if she is settling or if she needs us. Lately more and more, she's been needing the paci back in or a reswaddle. Then she would sleep through. Now she's crying out 3 or 4 times a night also. I dont pick her up or feed, but reswaddle or paci. I'm afraid I may have caused this because during naps, if she cries, i rush to put back in the paci because it keeps her sleeping for nice length naps (1.5 to 2 hours with about 2 paci put backs). When she gets a hand out (which is often) shes always sucking her fingers but it doesnt soothe her the way the paci does. Eventually  she'll cry out and need adjusting. how do i get her to soothe herself to sleep so Im not up multiple times per night?
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Offline Colin Macs Mom

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Re: How do teach my 4.5 month old to self soothe?
« Reply #1 on: December 09, 2007, 20:38:37 PM »
Sounds to me like it's time to eliminate the paci.
Jessica
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Offline aleasmom

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Re: How do teach my 4.5 month old to self soothe?
« Reply #2 on: December 09, 2007, 21:10:55 PM »
That sounds very scary to me.. she is a very "sucky" baby. she textbook/touchy with reflux and i also use the paci to get her to start sucking and then switch it for the bottle.  I also just started spoonfeeding and ive read that once that starts they sometimes need the paci more because theyre not on the bottle as much.

she just went down for a nap without the paci, she spit it out, i didnt put it back in, but i was holding her. I certainly dont want her to get used to being held to sleep, I usually am able to put her down drowsy but awake (which i have been very proud of) but with paci and swaddle.
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Offline aleasmom

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Re: How do teach my 4.5 month old to self soothe?
« Reply #3 on: December 09, 2007, 21:21:51 PM »
Just another point, she just had shots and might be getting the beginning of a cold.  its been at its worst this week, but i feel like it was beginning before that.

is there a way for her to fall asleep with it and then has shush/pat worked for anyone with the wake ups? or pu/pd?
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Offline Colin Macs Mom

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Re: How do teach my 4.5 month old to self soothe?
« Reply #4 on: December 10, 2007, 16:44:20 PM »
Quote from: aleasmom
That sounds very scary to me.. she is a very "sucky" baby. she textbook/touchy with reflux and i also use the paci to get her to start sucking and then switch it for the bottle. 

This really makes me believe that the paci is a full-blown prop for her. At 4.5 months you should not need to use a paci before giving a bottle, and the instinctual suckiness would be gone, so what you are seeing is habit.

Of course, whether or not you keep the paci is your choice and whatever you decide is fine, but I personally would encourage you to consider eliminating it. Babies cannot reinsert it themselves until around 7 mo so that leaves you a loooong time to be getting up and doing it for her. BUT, with reflux the paci can really help to soothe it, so that's definitely something to consider.

But to answer your other question, PU/PD can not be used in conjunction with a paci. See the link below for the details of why, but unless you decide you want to ditch it PU/PD will not help you. The pat/shhh route would be the best choice I think.

PU/PD and Paci Use. Why they don't mix.


Quote from: aleasmom
I also just started spoonfeeding

Do you mean that you have started solids?! It's quite early, and even at 6 mo that usually causes gas and tummy upset, and therefore sleep disturbances.
« Last Edit: December 12, 2007, 00:33:48 AM by Colin Mac's Mom »
Jessica
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Offline aleasmom

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Re: How do teach my 4.5 month old to self soothe?
« Reply #5 on: December 11, 2007, 02:17:29 AM »
Thank you so much for the input.  As I read over my post, I realize that the paci is a total prop and I started reading the props board. she is totally addicted to the paci  :-\  and the swaddle also, if i'm going to be honest.

Thank you for sending me the link on PUPD and paci use. I think i am going to bite the bullet and start to paci wean (i am going to wait until she gets over her cold though).

I just put her down for the night and due to her stuffiness, she's having difficulty breathing through her nose...cant use the paci. We'll see how the night goes.

And yes, my doctor recommended I start her on cereal, so she has started taking it from a spoon (although she has had thickened feeds due to her reflux for quite some time).
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Offline pbmom

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Re: How do teach my 4.5 month old to self soothe?
« Reply #6 on: December 11, 2007, 03:39:18 AM »
Hi :)  Sorry to invade your post, but you are me...at least a few weeks ago.  My babe is almost 5.5 mos old and our paci became a prop at my doing.  At first she would sleep after it fell out, then I would replug to avoid early wakings, then she wanted more replugs during naps...then she decided she wanted it at night.  I have a toddler in the next room, so I replugged to keep the house asleep.  FULL BLOWN ADDICTION which culminated in waking every hour at night as she had a cold and couldn't keep it in her mouth and breath.  All this while swaddled.  It was insane and I was insane.  So, 10 days ago I ditched the paci.  Not that I'm telling you what to do as it's your choice, but it's the best thing I ever did.  We have had 8 days of STTN (7-6 with DF) and no help from me.  Naps are now hers and hers alone.  I ditched the swaddle at the same time as I felt unfair to do one or other and we had a little over her head scare with the blankie.  The first night was rough...second was a lot better and since then smooth sailing.  I used pu/pd night 1 and by the third NW I only had to shh/pat.  The second night I only shh/patted. 

Just wanted to give you a success story from literally the same exact thing going on...

HTH
Robyn
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Offline Colin Macs Mom

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Re: How do teach my 4.5 month old to self soothe?
« Reply #7 on: December 12, 2007, 00:38:56 AM »
aleasmom, let us know how we can help or encourage you!  :)
Jessica
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Offline aleasmom

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Re: How do teach my 4.5 month old to self soothe?
« Reply #8 on: December 13, 2007, 03:38:53 AM »
Thanks so much for your support and pbmom, that is a great success story. We really do have the same situation. I find it amazing that you were successful weaning the paci and the swaddle at the same time :o (Im still very new to this)

As of now, DD still has a little cold. Her replugging has gotten a little better. Two or three replugs when she went to sleep and one in the night (for the last two nights).

I have a question about weaning the swaddle. At this time, i really dont need to do much of a wind down routine. my parents are amazed that DD will whine for like 10 seconds and on good days, if ive been reading her properly, by the time her second arm is in the swaddle, she's totally calm, the paci goes in and i cant put her down fast enough because she's practically sleeping. What kind of wind down do you do? I feel like ive taught her that the swaddle is the signal for sleep/calming down and its almost like an off button. Its also been a lifesaver during her fussy times.

Also, if and when i wean the paci, Im concerned because i use it to give DD her reflux medication. I use a syringe to squirt the meds in her mouth and stick in the paci to help her swallow it. Without it, the meds kind of just dribble out of her mouth. Can i still use it for that or would that create confusion for her?

Thanks again for all your help.  I have to say, I dont know what i would do without this website and these boards. You've all been a lifesaver in helping me understand and read my LO.

Suzy
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Offline Colin Macs Mom

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Re: How do teach my 4.5 month old to self soothe?
« Reply #9 on: December 13, 2007, 17:06:43 PM »
To tell you the truth I wouldn't worry too much about the swaddle yet. It's usually better to work on one thing at a time. But if you feel strongly about it, a lot of people have had good luck by loosening the swaddle a little tiny bit every few days, or going one arm out for a while, then two... etc.

My DS had reflux as well, and I would put the syringe in his mouth against one cheek and back as far as possible without making him gag. Then squirt, and he would automatically swallow. Does that make sense?
Jessica
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Offline aleasmom

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Re: How do teach my 4.5 month old to self soothe?
« Reply #10 on: December 13, 2007, 17:24:59 PM »
Yes that does make sense. I will try that the next time I give her the meds.

I'm not that tight with the swaddle anymore because I want her to have access to her hands.  Sometimes it's the action of putting her into the swaddle that is really amazing as a soother.
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Offline Colin Macs Mom

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Re: How do teach my 4.5 month old to self soothe?
« Reply #11 on: December 13, 2007, 17:28:18 PM »
Have you tried the Aussie swaddle? That might really help! If you haven't already seen it here is a link to instructions.

Swaddling Technique (aka "Aussie swaddle")
Jessica
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Re: How do teach my 4.5 month old to self soothe?
« Reply #12 on: December 13, 2007, 17:54:11 PM »
TBH - I wanted to keep the swaddle, but we had that little scare...it was that she's just so wiggly and the miracle blanket is what we used and their arms are stuck in it.  Anyway...another day. 

I agree with PPs.  I think it is better to work on one at a time and if the swaddle is such a huge sleep cue (I hear ya) then keep it.  Oh, but I didn't need a huge winddown with it and once I ditched it I did the same routine just replaced her swaddle blanket with putting her in her grobag and she's fine with that.  They do adapt pretty quickly if you are consistent. 

Good Luck...sounds like you've had a bit of progress despite the cold. 
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Offline hillbillyswamp

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Re: How do teach my 4.5 month old to self soothe?
« Reply #13 on: December 18, 2007, 18:30:56 PM »
We give reflux meds too -- we use a dropper, not a syringe, and my son sucks the medicine out like he would from a bottle, so it goes straight down. It works much better for us that way than squirting.

Offline aleasmom

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Re: How do teach my 4.5 month old to self soothe?
« Reply #14 on: December 21, 2007, 02:00:20 AM »
I wanted to give an update, as it's been so crazy here and I haven't been online.  LO is actually back to her old self.  She's sleeping through again. I know I probably should but I don't think I'm desperate right now to give up the paci.  :-[

I will check back when it becomes a problem again (which I know it will).

Thanks for all the help.
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