Help getting my 8-week-old to sleep on his own!

Brianna - posted on 06/17/2009 ( 9 moms have responded )

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I need serious help getting my 8-week-old to sleep on his own! For the first couple of weeks he would only sleep when held. We were able to break him of that & he started sleeping in his crib (in a snuggle rest) since he hated his bassinet. Now, he has reverted back to not wanting to be put down! And, for safety reasons, we don’t like the idea of having him sleep in the bed with us. I try to limit his daytime naps, used an incline positioner, try warm baths at night (& use Johnson’s bedtime products), sing softy, turn off all noise & lights...I even bought a CD with womb sounds, but it only worked temporarily. I am especially exhausted as I have returned to work & stay up nearly all night trying to get him to sleep. He is not held all day, he actually enjoys his swing, bouncer, activity mat, baby einstein dvd’s, he even lays in his bassinet or crib to look at his mobile. He easily falls to sleep when rocked but when place in his crib or even his pack’n’play bassinet, he wakes within a few minutes crying. Any suggestions?

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Bethany - posted on 06/23/2009

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you'd be surprised, an over tired baby is harder to get to sleep than an over napped baby! Read the "Baby Whipserer solves all your problems" Book, it explains how structure, feeding times and naps can help baby sleep. I used her approach plus a little "Cry it out" for both of my boys. be tough, youre the mommy.. but at 8 weeks the baby is still needing a lot of attention, id be more worried about your problem at 3-4 months!!

Megan - posted on 08/07/2009

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In my opinion, 8 weeks is quite young for a baby to be separated from his mother, mine was 11 weeks when I went back to work, and that's when the breastfeeding fell to pieces even though I was only part-time. He probably just misses the comfort of his mother if he hasn't been with you all day. One bit of advice I got was that the better they slept during the day the better they sleep at night. Which has always turned out right. So don't try to restrict his daytime naps. my 1 year old still has around 5 hours worth of naps during the day. Just spend a few days being his slave and seeing what his routine works out to be. Unfortunately there's no guidebook to this sort of thing, jsut have to figure out what works. Maybe up the feeding though? Apparently babies (esp. boys) can go through little growth spurts every couple of weeks. So it could be a wanting more food thing. Definitely establishing a routine and sticking to it can help. Then the baby gets a fair idea of what happens next. The tradition bath bottle and bed always worked well for me, and still does to be honest! Except it's now dinner, bath, little bottle and bed.

Debbie - posted on 08/04/2009

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I used behavioral modification with mine, she had her days and nights mixed up. She would sleep from 1:00 to 5:00 am in the beginning, so I recorded Start Trek Voyager (great intro music) and began to rock her with lights out and watch the show. Each night I pushed up the beginning time by ten minutes, and in three weeks we were holding steady at 10:00 til 5:00. Eventually she settled into 6:30 to 5:00, with two daytime naps. Since I kept the same blanket with her and it had my scent on it, when we transitioned from bassinet to crib, it was only about four nights of fussing.

As far as co sleeping, I did it on and off with all three of mine, but I was breast feeding, so the first few weeks were about 1 1/2 hours between feedings. They all didn't care much for the bassinet during the night but liked it during the daytime naps, and getting into cribs was not a problem. Mine only sleep with me if they have nightmares, and I think being really, really excited and talking up the toddler bed helped, as well as being firm about putting them back into their beds if they just wanted to sleep with us (plus, we only had a full at that time). Good luck with yours! Every baby is different, and they grow so fast!

Danielle - posted on 07/31/2009

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Sleeping on your own is a LEARNED habit. It will involve much crying and restlessness but being consistent will help. We went with a technique called Ferberizing. Laying him down in his crib at bedtime (after the bedtime ritual) and walking away. If after 10 min. he is still crying, walk back and pat his back to calm him down and leave again. Increase the times you go back into his room by 10 min. Ohh and you should always put him down in his crib awake (tired but awake). You would be scared to if you fell asleep one place and woke up in another lol. Also an overtired baby is more restless than a well rested baby. Let him sleep whenever he is tired. This worked for me but 8 weeks is a little early. I would say more like 6 months but every baby is different.

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Stephanie - posted on 12/13/2013

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Babies, developmentally, don't have the capacity to self-soothe at 8 weeks. If he gets no contact with you all day, and you want him to sleep alone at night, when DOES he get mommy? Crying it out can be very scary for a baby so young- he doesn't understand that he hasn't been abandoned.

Kristina - posted on 08/15/2009

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When my boys were babies I used lullaby music and swaddling. It seemed that once I got the hang of the whole swaddle wrapping, i think that is what it is called, they fell asleep almost instantly because they are all wrapped in a blanket and it may be that they thought they were being held.

Beverly - posted on 08/04/2009

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8 Weeks is VERY VERY earlyto expect to sleep all night and on his own. Like previous post have stated naps are essential!!! My 7mo still has to have at least3 naps a day or becomesoverly tired and is a nightmare to get to sleep at night.



I know you stated that you do not want to have your baby sleep with you but think about this, your baby was in you, close to you, heard you for 9 months/40 weeks...8 weeks is a very short time in the grand scheme of things to expect him to adjust to being alone.



I am very pro co-sleeping. It has allowed me aand our baby to get a much more peaceful nights sleep. When Miles was very small I used a co-sleeper that you can purchase at Babies R Us...it's wonderful.



Trying leting your baby take multiple naps during the day then go through your night time routine with feeding bath and rocking... a more peaceful baby is a lot easier to and more willing to be put to sleep.

Deborah - posted on 07/01/2009

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dont let him sleep with you!!! not only for safety reasons but once you start, it will be even harder to get him to sleep alone. my son slept with me til he was 2 1/2 yrs old. i got my daughter to sleep on her own by swaddling her til she fell asleep and then having her sleep in her boppy. she is 3 months old and sleeps all night.

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I had that problem when my girl turned 7 weeks, all of a sudden she just hated to be put down to sleep, and only at night too...What I did was use the dryer, I would swaddle her up and hold her while she was laying on the dryer, the noise and vibration put her right to sleep. Then I would be able to put her down in her crib for the night...I did that the same time everynight and within a few days she knew when it was bedtime and I would be able to put her down in the crib...Have you tried setting a routine too, did wonders for us...At 8pm she gets her pj's on (or if its bath day we take a bath), then she eats, then we rock to sleep (this is when I use to use the dryer), by 10-1030p she is out. Took a few days to see results, let me know how it goes if you try what worked for us and good luck....

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