Author Topic: PU/PD not working with a 6 month old - what am I doing wrong?  (Read 2643 times)

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Offline ReginaFalange

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PU/PD not working with a 6 month old - what am I doing wrong?
« on: January 25, 2019, 16:10:17 pm »
Hi everyone, would be so grateful for some advice from some experts in this area!
I have a lovely easy, very happy 6 month old boy. He used to nap pretty well if I swaddled him up and put him down in his moses basket, but we were away from home for a while and I think he got out of the habit. When we got back he wouldn't do it anymore and was also getting too big for the basket so I have moved him to his cot. Only recently discovered the baby whisperer method but have been trying it and think it's great. However...

I'm starting with naps. So I have a couple of problems. DS will have been awake for the right amount of time and displaying signs of tiredness. I'll pick him up, swaddle him (I know he may be getting on the old side for this but since he had the complete change from moses basket in our room, to cot in his room I thought I would keep one familiar element to ease the transition), sing him a couple of lines from a song, use very quiet voice, close curtains, turn light off etc and gently place him down. Then, though he may cry out at initially being put down, generally he is happy for a bit after I leave the room, babbles to himself etc. I always give him a little while to see if he can settle himself and sometimes he does BUT today he woke up after about 20 minutes, yesterday 10. Then PU/PD will not seem to work for getting him back down. But nor will settling him and putting him back down as I first did. So I'm not sure what to do.
 The other thing that may happen is he gradually gets worked up, so I go in and soothe him. Often the mere sight of me is enough to do so, but if I turn away he starts crying again so where do I find the balance - it seems unnecessary to pick him up as he isn't crying while I stand there,  but I can't just aimlessly loiter by the cot forever! Sometimes I shush and stroke him (haven't tried shush pat as I believed it was for younger babies based on what I read in the book, but having looked on here maybe that is something I need to try?) but he will eventually get worked up enough that I do PU/PD.  This was working for a while but the last couple of days I'm finding it's not. I'm not sure if he's falling asleep on my shoulder or not, I'm trying not to let him but every time I put him down he gets so worked up I have to pick him up again - IE the soothing words in the cot aren't enough. When and if I do eventually get him down, it's only lasting while I'm practically holding him in the cot, and he wakes up when I try to extricate myself. I feel like this sneaky approach is not ideal but if it's just what I have to do as part of the learning process then fair enough and hopefully he'll eventually go down more independently (and for a decent period of time)

One other thing - sometimes he will be obviously so ready for a nap, but I'll put him down and he'll just lie awake in his cot quite happily! This just doesn't seem to make sense!

Can anyone help me please? Sorry if there's something I've missed, I'm new to all of this.

 :)

Offline Philothea

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Re: PU/PD not working with a 6 month old - what am I doing wrong?
« Reply #1 on: January 25, 2019, 18:06:43 pm »
You might be putting him down a bit early. Being happy lying there as long as you're present certainly makes that sound likely. Being severely UT can cause very short naps too. How much time are you giving him between naps? At 6 months, around 3hrs is normal, with two long naps per day.

Offline ReginaFalange

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Re: PU/PD not working with a 6 month old - what am I doing wrong?
« Reply #2 on: January 25, 2019, 18:34:59 pm »
Sorry, what's UT? I'm trying after 1 and a half or 2 hours actually, which is the point he self settled earlier today. Wonder what would cause him to habitually wake up after such a short time (not even 1 sleep cycle)?

Offline Katet

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Re: PU/PD not working with a 6 month old - what am I doing wrong?
« Reply #3 on: January 25, 2019, 22:31:03 pm »
Sorry, what's UT? I'm trying after 1 and a half or 2 hours actually, which is the point he self settled earlier today. Wonder what would cause him to habitually wake up after such a short time (not even 1 sleep cycle)?

UT is undertried.

At 6months old 1.5-2hours is very short (about 3/4month old A time).

I'd say he's catnapping because he's not tired enough. At 6mo, you'd be looking at around 3hours A time & his tired signs are possibly more habit & possibly wanting a change of activity too. 

You may find too that at 6months a longer wind down can help, it's a great time to start reading a story if you haven't already started doing that.
dc1 July 03, dc2 May 05

Offline ReginaFalange

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Re: PU/PD not working with a 6 month old - what am I doing wrong?
« Reply #4 on: January 26, 2019, 09:59:15 am »
Thanks guys. I must have misunderstood what I read about timings before then. I waited about 3 hours this morning and have just put him down, he is currently happily murmuring to himself. A book's a good idea, it's hard though as I have a 3 year old who I am currently abandoning every day whilst I try and get the little one to nap. The only way I can ensure the 3 year old doesn't come in and ruin everything (or stand at the stairgate yelling) is to have him in front of the TV, which is not ideal! But hopefully this phase won't last too long... maybe this morning I'll try a bit of shush pat, he sounds like he is starting to work himself up a bit.

Offline Katet

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Re: PU/PD not working with a 6 month old - what am I doing wrong?
« Reply #5 on: January 26, 2019, 10:49:25 am »
Actually I found with my 2 yo and baby books were great, my 2 yo would sit with us while I read the books and then say goodnight and that was part of the routine
dc1 July 03, dc2 May 05

Offline ReginaFalange

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Re: PU/PD not working with a 6 month old - what am I doing wrong?
« Reply #6 on: January 26, 2019, 10:57:07 am »
that's a nice idea :) Hard to guarantee the bigger one will be calm and quiet and conducive to sleep though?

Picked LO up this morning, he was getting worked up and had come unswaddled - had his eyes closed but couldn't quite get off by himself. I think he may have instantly fallen asleep on my shoulder though. Then it's so hard to find the balance of putting them down gently but letting them know they're going into their cot! Not sure whether he was aware or not...

Offline Katet

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Re: PU/PD not working with a 6 month old - what am I doing wrong?
« Reply #7 on: January 26, 2019, 20:58:23 pm »
Honestly (I've got two teens, a 9yo step Grandchild and a 9mo "Godchild" ) look at what is really important with my second I only made efforts for bedtime and the nap my eldest was asleep, other times of the day DS2 slept in a stroller or a sling or the car or even in my arms at places. He did do a catnap catnap big nap catnap kind of routine, but family balance was the key and them doing a textbook routine is only a live in the moment thing as honestly, it isn't going to an issue for ever.
Most important at this age I is the ritual of getting ready for bed and to sleep at bedtime  to signify it's the long sleep, the day ones can be done differently.
dc1 July 03, dc2 May 05

Offline ReginaFalange

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Re: PU/PD not working with a 6 month old - what am I doing wrong?
« Reply #8 on: February 24, 2019, 11:25:07 am »
Thank you for your replies before. You're right that they have to fit around family life to a degree! I am soldiering on with naps, now he does around 45 minutes about 3 times a day (the first nap is the most reliable, later ones often end up being in car or occasionally sling) do you think it's important to nap longer than that (either overall or in one go?) he's now 7 1/2 months. I do think he seems like he could benefit from a bit more daytime sleep.
 Also, I'm still stuck in the putting down part as I often end up finally getting him to settle whilst cuddling him in cot (after PU/PD for a while) it's then another saga to actually extricate myself. I feel like I shouldn't be ending up in this situation - half the battle is to get him to settle in there and then currently the other half is for me to get to standing up and not touching him! But it's so hard to even get him to settle in the cot at all that I don't see how I can manage without the cuddling - in - cot aspect. Any pearls of wisdom? This has been going on for about a month now.

His night time sleep is what I want to tackle next but I guess I'd better post that on a different board. Thanks so much in advance for any responses!