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I am after some advice on how to start teaching my little man (5months old) to self settle. He is baby number 5 in our house so life is quite hectic smile I have made the mistake of letting him sleep in my bed since I brought him home!! He takes a min of 1hr-3hrs to put to sleep at night and can only go to sleep on the boob.... He wakes 2-3times a night for a feed but I feel it's more for settling. I have tried to put him in his cot to settle but he just screams and screams. I can't leave him with hubby for more than half hour as he will just scream The whole time I'm gone and he refuses to drink a bottle and I have tried numerous bottles.... He is feeding 2/3hrly still during the day and he's a good size boy (8.1kgs ????????) I feel like I have used the boob for comfort the whole time and I feel like he's using me as a dummy rather than cuz he's actually hungry! I don't know how to stop this cycle! I wouldn't be so concerned if he was my first baby but I feel like I'm neglecting my other kids due to how much time I need to spend with the baby and I also have to go back to work in early January to shift work (I'm a midwife) and I'm so stressed over how hubby will manage and my little man himself when I'm not here! If anyone can help me with advice on how I should go about this self settling it would be so much appreciated smile
Hi. I ended up in the same situation as my sons personal dummy and it was a nightmare so I really feel for you. I've tried just about every sleep method there is as my son is a terrible sleeper and they pretty much fall into either the cry it out type (which I personally can't manage but I've heard if you can do it, it'll work wonders) or the gentle withdrawal methods.

What I did was start refusing to let him fall asleep suckling. No other changes. Still laid down with him and breastfed him. Still let him slowly drift off then right before he fell asleep I'd pull my nipple out. Initially there was protest about this but if he got upset I'd just feed him to calm him then do it again. He learnt learnt within a night how to fall asleep (although we were both exhausted by the end of the night and it took weeks of doing it before he was fully used to the new way of falling asleep). I then stretched out how long it was before he fell asleep and when I made him stop feeding. Eventually we got to the point where I could just lie down in bed without feeding him. He's still a pretty bad sleeper at 21months old and I'm now working on having him fall asleep while I sit next to him rather than lie next to him (although currently taking a hiatus as he's sick). After that I plan to bring a chair in an sit next to the bed and slowly move the chair away.

It's been a long path but I just don't have the heart to allow him to cry. I have tried it and it didn't work for us (and we did it for more than the 3 days people say it takes!)
Yeah I'm finding it really hard to just let him very it out as the couple of times I did try it he showed no signs of slowing and I felt awful hearing him sobbing! I'm just so worried about going back to work and having to work the 3 different shifts as it's going to leave hubby trying to put him to sleep and if this continues i just don't know what hubby will do!!
I do shift work as well. My husbnd ended up managing. He can't get my son to go to bed yet properly so he developed a completely different method which is that he rocks my son in his stroller to sleep. I currently just do late shifts and he just sits with my son in his stroller til I get home. If my son wakes he just starts rocking him again. He's working on reducing the rocking (sometimes now he can just lay him down in his stroller without rocking). Next he'll start trying to do the same in my sons bedroom (they currently do it in the lounge room) and then start trying to move my son into his bed. I start doing night shifts as well soon and I'm sure they'll manage.

Not sure what my husband does is a good idea to replicate more just the point that they will muddle through!

Sounds to me like you need a few evenings out with friends (or your older kids) so your partner can get some practise in before you start work! That way if they completely don't manage you can go home and help them out smile

Also a bub will chance a lot from now til January so there's plenty of time. I wouldn't worry about it. Just use the time to work on bubs sleep the best you can
Also just one other thought. If he's taking 1-3 hours to go to bed is he actually tired at the time you're trying? My son did that and I found he was fussing as he was hungry not tired. If I fed him in the lounge he'd stay awake and calm down then be up for another hour or so then when I took him to bed he'd fall asleep quicker.

One other thing that was frequently suggested to me was try a bottle of formula before bed. I never did that as I'm super pro breastfeeding (still breastfeeding at nearly 2yrs old!) but with hindsight I wonder if around the 6 month mark it would have been a good idea (I was obviously feeding solids so not sure my logic behind one bottle of formula being bad). If I could have introduced a bottle of formula it would have been something that my husband could have done too taking away the dependence on me. A lot of people say bubs sleep longer on formula as it takes longer to digest so they don't feel hungry for longer. Just a thought as its something I wish I'd done and will probably do from about 6 months with my next bub)
Do you have the same issues for day sleep (1-3 hrs to sleep) compare to nights. if not can you do something similar.

Can hubby take over the night time routine now. You feed then hubby puts bubs to sleep while you do the others or have some me time or clean up time?

About to have number 4, and with Number 3 I used the sling a lot. and perfected getting bub out and into bassinet once asleep. (contact instead of feed) and hubby can use the sling also.

Have you or are you willing to try a dummy. Might take a little persistence at this age but a good replacement.

just a few ideas, good luck but don't stress to much, they change so quickly at this age so by Jan he will be at a very different stage.
Just a thought, if its taking your bub 1-3 hours to put to sleep, I don't think he's tired. I learnt very quickly that babys don't sleep when you want them too, they sleep when tired.
I used to try rocking my boy to sleep when he wasnt tired and it just made my back sore and got extremely frustrating as he wouldn't sleep coz he wasnt tired.
I let my boy stay awake till he is really getting cranky (I can tell he's tired) and then I rock him for about 5 mins and he's out to it, then I transfer him into his bed. And he stays asleep for most of the night only waking 1 times sometimes two times for feeds. I would try letting him be awake till he's really really tired. My son sleeps better that way.

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