Babies: 0 - 3 Months
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Drowsy but awake

I'm really trying the whole "drowsy but awake" thing with my LO, but I'm having some issues. I can put him down drowsy for naps or nighttime and he'll usually put himself to sleep as long as he has his pacifier. But he'll wake up at least 2-3 times in the first half hour and I'll have to go in. I put his paci back in (he always spits it out once he falls asleep) and then he'll go back to sleep, and we'll repeat this cycle a few times. Generally by the third time I've gone back in, he'll stay asleep. 

Is it normal to be waking up so much when you first start drowsy but awake? And am I really teaching him to put himself to sleep or am I just substituting one sleep crutch (rocking or nursing to sleep) for another (the paci)? 

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Re: Drowsy but awake

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    Are you going in and replacing the paci because you know he spit it out, or because he's crying? My little guy does this too.. but I've learned that just because he's fussing around a little bit doesn't mean he's unhappy. He's just noisy when he's lying there and falling asleep. But it was difficult for me to train myself not to go in there every time I heard a noise. I try to only go in if he actually cries. But I know this doesn't work for everyone. And it's hard because sometimes he'll let out a cry and I'll run in there and by the time I get to his room, he's back asleep. He just cries out randomly sometimes. I'm sorry, I don't know the answer to your question. But we're doing pretty much the same thing over here!
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    How long have you been doing this? My thought is that he will start to wake up less. You could also try lightly patting him or rocking his body instead of giving him the pacifier. We are just starting the drowsy but awake for naps too (like, just today).
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    I tried drowsy but awake twice and have decided it's not worth it. Babies this little can't be trained to fall asleep one way or another. If LO wants/needs to be rocked in order to fall asleep, I'm doing it. It won't last forever and it's developmentally appropriate.

    I would think that at this age they NEED some sort of sleep crutch. In the future, you may need to break a sleep habit (rocking or pacifier, etc). 

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    imageLadyVi33:
    Are you going in and replacing the paci because you know he spit it out, or because he's crying? My little guy does this too.. but I've learned that just because he's fussing around a little bit doesn't mean he's unhappy. He's just noisy when he's lying there and falling asleep. But it was difficult for me to train myself not to go in there every time I heard a noise. I try to only go in if he actually cries. But I know this doesn't work for everyone. And it's hard because sometimes he'll let out a cry and I'll run in there and by the time I get to his room, he's back asleep. He just cries out randomly sometimes. I'm sorry, I don't know the answer to your question. But we're doing pretty much the same thing over here!

    This exactly. I disagree that it's too early to start to try this process. Some babies are ready sooner than others, for sure, but it's not too early to start trying. Yes, you are technically replacing one sleep crutch for another, but this one is easier to break later, when they can self soothe, than the other ones. It's too young to use CIO for sure, but not for something like this.

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    I think this is totally normal. We've been doing drowsy but awake for about 3 weeks now and we still frequently have to go back in 1-2 times before he sleeps. I don't go in just because he makes noise. After I put him down the first time, if he starts making noise/ fussing (but not crying) I wait a few minutes before going in to check on him. If he doesn't settle, I'll go in and replace his paci (his normally falls out pretty quickly too) and pat him gently and say "shhh" for a few seconds, then leave.  If I hear him again after that, i wait a longer period of time before going in.  He usually settles on his own. On the rare occasion that I have to go in for a second time, I do the same method as before (paci/shhh/pat). He is definitely getting better at all of this so it does get easier. Don't give up!
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