Babies: 3 - 6 Months

Can your LO put themselves to sleep?

I'm wondering when I can expect my DD to be able to put herself to sleep? Currently, I have to swaddle her, give her a pacifer and bounce with her on an exercise ball for upwards of 20 minutes to get her to sleep. If she's not asleep enough when I put her down, her eyes pop right back open and I have to start all over again. Patting to calm her does not work.

Any suggestions? I've seen other bumpies say they can put their LO down drowsy and they put themselves to sleep. I would love this! My DD takes only 45 minute naps, so I spend a lot of my day bouncing on that darn ball.


Re: Can your LO put themselves to sleep?

  • No advice but my DD (5mo) doesn't put herself to sleep either; I typically have to nurse her to sleep.
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  • Your LO isn't even 3 months old yet so I wouldn't worry right now. I think each b baby is gonna be different and there is no magic age. My 5 month old does not self soothe at all and I am in no rush to try to make him, he's a baby. Since your daughter likes motion have you tried wearing her? I would give it a shot /i bet she would love it and pass right out and you would be able to get up and do things! Good luck!
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  • DD does not put herself to sleep.  I nurse her to sleep.

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  • Mine can't unless we are out and about and he falls asleep in his car seat. We nurse to sleep, which I'm ok with. Way quicker than bouncing!
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  • E puts herself to sleep but she doesn't STTN.  She wakes up around 2 to eat and goes right back to sleep.  I think it's just luck of the draw with babies.  I have one friend who's daughter put herself to sleep immediately from day one and now she's three.  Another friend has a son who still needs to be consoled to sleep sometimes and he's four. 

    But I have noticed that it's a lot easier once I developed a routine for her.  She knows that it's cereal, bottle, bath, bed.  Something else that works for LO is when she's in her crib instead of taking her out to rock her, I just push on the mattress so that she bounces softly on it.  It's like rocking w out having to actually do so.


  • It's hit or miss.  I lay w him, pat his belly & head, and calm him down for most naps.  We nurse to sleep at night.  For about 2 wks when he was about 4 mo old, I could drop him in his crib & he'd fall asleep.  That day has long past.

  • You are not alone! My husband and I argue about this regularly.  DS doesn't seem even close to being able to fall asleep on his own.  Like you I feel like I spend a lot of time putting him to sleep especially for his mere 45 minute naps.  And right now I actually have him in his swing instead of his bed because he would scream when I tried laying him down but seems to transition into the swing easier.  DH thinks I am creating a monster but soothing him so much but I don't know what else to do.  DH doesn't seem to have the patience so I have accepted that until he is a bit older I need to be home for bedtime. 
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  • I think it's different for every baby, honestly. Some are better are getting themselves to sleep than others, and for some it just takes longer for them to learn how to transition from awake to sleep. I know I've done a LOT of bouncing on the exercise ball too! 

    But lately DD2 actually prefers to get herself to sleep. If I try bouncing, rocking, etc., she struggles and cries until I put her down in her crib. She usually goes quiet right away, I start up her soother and make sure she has her paci, and she conks out within a couple of minutes. 

    I just went through that routine with her for her morning nap. :) 

    She started wanting to be alone to sleep before she hit the four-month wakeful, and now that it's over with, she's back to wanting to just be put down sleepy again.  


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  • I'm so glad I'm not the only one. It would be easier if she would at least let me rock her to sleep, but as soon as I sit and start rocking, she throws a fit. My back is killing me! The swing doesn't put her to sleep either. The only time she nurses to sleep is during the night. Otherwise she sucks for a minute, pulls back, cries, sucks, pulls back, cries.


  • We also use the exercise ball to put my son to sleep and have the same problems as you do.  There is hope though. I've noticed that as we develop a bed time routine and he gets older, it takes less time to get him to sleep.  We typically change him into his pjs, read two books, start bouncing, swaddle and then put him down.  I think the routine has really helped him shut down for the day.

    I've also discovered that he is able to put himself down for naps at day care.  He tends to start getting sleepy and they put him in the crib, wrap the blanket loosely around him, give him a pacifier and he is out.  No rocking necessary.  

    I think babies just have to mature to be able to soothe themselves and learn how to go to sleep on their own.  I think the key is not to rush it.  Each baby is different.

    Good Luck! 

  • My DH and I also argue about this. I am a SAHM and I spend a majority of my day trying to get my DD to sleep. She is 4 1/2 months old and is so darn nosey. She hates to nap. I takes me atleast 15 to 20 mins of rocking/bouncing her to get to sleep. She used to take 2 long (over 2 hours) naps but lately she sleeps for about 20mins! 

    I cannot even begin to put her down drowsy- is she isn't asleep when i put her down- her eyes fly open and she pops her head up and smiles at me! It's so frustrating. However, she does STTN and can sometimes self soothe in the middle of the night or in her naps. Now my this I mean, she starts to fuss scoot up her pack n play or something and can get her self back alseep- which is a huge step from about a month ago, when as soon as she start to stir we either had to run in a pat her back or she was already up.

    I am trying to give her time, and let her learn how to do that while she is down then I hope to start trying to put her down drowsy- althought I do not think it will work. If she catches a light or something while being put down- she is wide awake!

  • My LO does, but as pps have said, I think its just luck of the draw. I can't say I'm supermom and had a method that worked. I think i'm just super lucky with LO.
  • DD puts herself to sleep at night but nap times she usually falls asleep eating.  At night I give her a bath, lotion, pajamas, give her a kiss and just lay her down.  She sucks on her fist until she falls asleep.
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  • Yes she does.  And if she wakes up, she puts herself back to sleep.
  • My LO can put herself to sleep and it's great. Even if I feed her and she falls asleep when I lay her down she wakes up, but we just give her a paci and turn on the seahorse. We'll hear her over the monitor talking and she just gets quieter and then she's out. We never swaddled though...didn't want to have to break her of that later, plus she hated it!
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  • Mine does not unless he falls asleep in the car seat when we're out (which he is starting to do less) or ocassionally in the swing. He was actually a better sleeper before 3 months. And he takes those annoying short naps. DH wants me to let him CIO, but I just cannot. My stupid brother talked up BabyWise to my DH last month and he keeps asking me about it. But my brother and his wife did BW from two weeks on. I know it is successful, but it is just cruel to me to make an infant CIO! DH doesn't remember how hard the first few months were with our first DS. We did not attempt CIO with him till 6 months and I didn't even follow the rules....I checked on him every 5 minutes!

    Now I do sometimes let LO fuss. Like if he wakes early from a nap and is lightly fussing, I let him try to work it out. Doesn't work that much, but I try. It often does work though at 5 am (an hour after he's nursed and I know he should not be hungry). But at this age,  I think that is all normal. Check out Healthy Sleep Habits Healthy Child. I really like that sleep book. The author is very scientific in his reasonings and offers different ways to soothe - not just CIO, but also soothe to sleep too. He recognizes that every baby is different.

  • As soon as I give him his last feeding, I lay him in his crib and he does go to sleep on his own. There are occasional nights where he doesn't but they are only 5 months so it is not a big deal if they do not sleep on their own.
  • Is it sad that I am afraid to say "yes" to this for fear she'll stop?

    She's been able to kind of "wiggle" herself to sleep since about 4 weeks - I just wait to put her down until 1) I know she's full and 2) She gets the "thousand-yard-stare" and/or starts yawning.  I have about 5 minutes to get her down after a yawn before it's game over and she's a screaming, overtired mess.

    If it makes you feel any better, though, she's up about 4 times a night, still.

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  • I almost always put DD down awake and she puts herself to sleep.  We've been doing a routine for a while now, for night sleep and naps and that seems to help a lot.   I will soothe her by rocking sometimes, but only to the point where her head is heavy in my arms and then I put her right down.

    My sister also lent me her mobile that DD loves.  This has been helpful for naps especially it is this one:

    image ;

    I love the book "Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child" it really helped us a lot. 


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  • Most of the time yes, the only time he can't is if there is a change in our schedule and he gets overtired.

    He is a thumb sucker so it takes him about 5 minutes or so.  He can also usually put himself back to sleep if he wakes in the middle if the night


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