1 month old will only sleep on my chest

Tyrae - posted on 12/21/2010 ( 37 moms have responded )

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I have a 1 month old daughter and its gotten to the point where she won't sleep anywhere but on my chest. I don't want to sleep with her on me, so I haven't been getting much sleep in the last couple days. She could be completely passed out and I'll put her in her bassinet and within 20 minutes she'll be wide awake and screaming, so I'll pick her up and within seconds she'll be passed out again. I don't know what to do and I'm starting to turn into a zombie. I've had to start staying on the couch in the living room at night so that my hubby can get enough sleep so he can work the next day. I need recommendations on what to do. I don't want to do the cry it out thing (for one she's way too young for that, and I can't handle hearing her crying like that). I can sometimes get her to sleep in her little bouncy chair thing, but I don't want to leave her there while I'm sleeping because of how her head sits on her chest, I'd really rather her not suffocate from the weight of her head. Please please help, I can't handle this much longer...I need sleep!

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Pamela - posted on 01/03/2011

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First of all your child cannot suffocate from the weight of her own head on her chest. Secondly you are conditioning her to 'need you' in order to sleep. One thing new parents need to learn is how to condition their children to their schedules. Yes, babies have their own ways and their own schedules, but that does not mean that you cannot GUIDE them to your way as well.

It is difficult being a new parent, or for that matter a parent period. However, it is one of the BEST LIFE LESSONS I have ever had and my sons are now 41, 32 and 30 and I am still learning how to be the BEST MOM!!! May you find your way through the 'unknown' in the world of parenting with GRACE, JOY and LOVE!!! Blessings be yours!!!

Sonia - posted on 01/04/2011

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hi love i have a 2 year old girls but when she was a new born she would only sleep on my chest too, so i let her because other wise she would scream down the whole house. i was breast feeding so i let her sleep in my bed eventually she stopped but that was after quite a few months, its ur heart beat they want to hear, if u can let ur baby sleep in ur bed with u, i know they tell u ,u shouldnt but u will atleast you will get some sleep, ur baby will grow out of it! good luck love ur not alone xxxxxxxx

HEIDI - posted on 01/03/2011

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Try the swing. Preferably a swing that sways from side to side is best. Also my daughter did this to me too and it was because while on my chest she was on an incline. She had reflux that bothered her while on her back. you can get a wedge from toys r us it will prop her up like she is on your chest. If I had have know about the wedge I wouldn't have suffered the sleepless nights and days sleeping on the couch with her on my chest.

Katie - posted on 01/03/2011

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Bed-share! Let her fall asleep on your chest then gradually roll her over to your side. Or try side lying nursing to get her to sleep.

Katrece - posted on 01/04/2011

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My son 2yrs. old and daughter 1yrs. both slept on my chest but eventually grew out of it. Once they feel asleep I would put them in the crib. Once they woke up I would swaddle them and go in the rocking chair until they went back to sleep. They love the sound of your heart it reminds them of being in the womb and it comforts them. Just slowly make a transition and they will eventually get use to sleeping without hearing your heartbeat.

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Michelle - posted on 01/04/2011

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I'm betting it's because you are so nice and warm. Maybe put a heating pad down on her mattress to warm it up. When you go to put her in her crib take up that heating pad and place her in that spot. It may help.

Amanda - posted on 01/04/2011

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I know with my daughter, when she was like that, after i put her on her stomach in her crib she slept all night.. and now she is a joyful 1 yr old who is walkin and into everything...

Elizabeth - posted on 01/04/2011

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My son who just turned 1 was like that...for the first 6-8 wks he would only sleep on my chest...i loved the closeness but hated that i couldn't sleep in my own bed with my husband. eventually your baby will sleep in the bassinet, you just have to give it some time...

Helene - posted on 01/03/2011

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My daughter refused to sleep on her own as well, she only slept on my chest. Another mom told me to take off my shirt that I had been wearing because it's your scent. I know it sounds weird but it totally worked. I had her on an infant positioner and I would put the shirt on it so she snuggled onto it. She slept on her own from then on.

Maria - posted on 01/03/2011

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It's probably your scent. You can try laying her on her side and putting your recently worn tshirt on her. I had a colicky baby and she slept in her carseat for a long time, that also helps. It can also be your body heat. I have a 3 kids, my youngest is 2 months and shell only fall asleep next to me, so I put her on my chest then when she falls asleep I put her on her side and put a pillow on her Back and in front of her, obviously not on her face but on her chest. That's how she says asleep everynight.

Michelle - posted on 01/03/2011

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I think it's your heat beating that is putting her to sleep. There is a stuffed bear that has a heart beat sound to it. It was made for baby's. Try getting her one of those if the finance's will allow. I'm sure you can find one online. Good luck :)

Christine - posted on 01/03/2011

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place a alarm clock or sound of your heartbeat near the babbies bed
i have been told it works and the clothing thing too. the baby is used to your body sounds so play them for her and put your clothing near her too.

Lika - posted on 01/03/2011

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Try using good swaddling for warmth, the way your baby got bundled at birth. That may help.

Sara - posted on 01/03/2011

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Ok, my baby was just like yours. She would not sleep unless he was being held, and i thought I was going to die. What I ended up doing is holding her until she was good and asleep and then putting her in her carsear. I think she just wanted to be secure somewhere, the crib was too open for her and that's what woke her up. I would prop the carseat up with pillows so that it was more reclined and I would sleep right next to her in it in the living room. Now, it should be said that they don't recommend letting a baby this small sleep in a carseat, but quite honestly, I was at the end of my rope, needed rest and just found a solution that worked for us. At this point, that's what you've got to do, find something that will work for you guys so you can get some rest.

Laurie - posted on 01/03/2011

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Let me join the chorus of "sleep when she sleeps!" Such a young baby still needs the feel of your heartbeat, your smell, and your touch. Don't expect your sleeping schedule to resemble what it did before the baby. Remember that a newborn sleeps 16+ hours a day--if you sleep just half of those with her, in whatever intervals, you will be getting enough sleep to at least avoid zombiehood.

Alison - posted on 01/03/2011

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Are you sure you were swaddling her properly? I don't want to doubt you, but a lot of parents do not swaddle tight enough. The arms need to be completely immobilized and they should be wrapped snugly enough to feel like they are in an embrace.

My nephew slept for the first few months swaddled and in a baby swing (sometimes with a womb sounds cd).

I hope you can get this sorted out, because it sucks to be an exhausted mom!

Korrinne - posted on 01/03/2011

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maybe some white noise too that helped with my son.....a fan or a radio

[deleted account]

I introduced a 'transitional comfort' for my boy right around 3 months. He was constantly ON me to sleep, just like your little one. At about 3 months I started adding a butt-pat to the soothing routine. He would fall asleep on my chest...with his body jiggling slightly to my hand patting his bottom. Once I was sure he was responding well to the patting, I started trying to do the butt pat while he was laying alone in his bed. It started working! I could stand over the crib for a few minutes and pat his bottom and he would settle...because he had gotten just as comfortable with the butt-pat as he was with sleeping ON me. He made the association that the patting was Mama...just not on Mama's chest.
Once my boy got to about a year old, I could just lay him in his toddler bed and sit beside his bed with one foot rested on his bed doing the nervous foot jiggle...and that little bit of jiggle motion was enough to settle him, just like the butt pat did when he was younger.
As he got even older, I stopped the jiggle, he was to the point of understanding what 'bedtime' really means, I could walk him to his bed, kiss him goodnight and retreat to the other side of the room. I sit quietly while he lays alone settling down for the night. Occasionally you will hear a rustle, look over and he has one foot wiggling...making his own bed jiggle.
My suggestion is to find another means of soothing, other than the warmth, smell and sounds of your chest. My best friend can knock my boy out in minutes by dragging her fingernails through his hair near his temples.

Lise - posted on 01/01/2011

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@Pamela - while I understand what you're saying, I dislike the argument "We can't be all wrong and nobody suffocated" because just b/c nothing DID happen doesn't mean nothing will. We are constantly finding out new information. My parents rode in cars without car seats or seat belts and they survived, but no one in their right mind would suggest letting a toddler/child/infant roam in the car.

I'm not saying that you aren't right (my daughter is tummy sleeper). I just think the logic behind your advice has flaws.

Tyrae - posted on 01/01/2011

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I've tried both the velcro swaddlers and just a blanket, she hates both of them. She likes to sleep spread eagled if she's on her back. We recently got batteries for her swing and she absolutely loves it, but because we got it from a friend the motor in it is already starting to go, and we've only used it once, so we are going to have to invest in another one soon. I managed to get her to sleep last night, but we needed to leave the lamp on, it seems complete darkness freaks her out and she needs a light to go to sleep, but that's completely do-able. Thank you all for your suggestions! I will definitely be putting my shirt in her bassinet to see if she likes that.

[deleted account]

Our son was exactly the same, we were advised by our midwife to put a worn nightie or t-shirt into his moses basket with him so he could still smell me close.

Also we didn't need to try this because he started sleeping but a couple of other things suggested were to place a ticking clock in his moses basket with him as it mimics the sound of our heartbeat or use white noise from the radio (although I couldn't do this because it freaks me out ever since I watched the movie white noise).

I begain placing him in his moses basket awake in the daytime for a few minutes where he could see me so he got used to being in there, then at night it got easier to place him in it to go to sleep (although he always moaned for a few minutes).

Pamela - posted on 01/01/2011

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I am from old school.I have raised 4 happy,healthy babies,ranging from ages 10-32years. All of them slept best on their tummies. I am now a grandma of a beautiful 6 month old baby girl. After she was born she had troubles sleeping and would wake up every 5-20minutes. I suggested to my son and my daughter-in-law to place the baby on her tummy in the bassinette, So,they did. Worked like a charm.
I know the so called Baby experts say not to place infants on their tummies because they may suffocate.
My mother raised 9 babies and we are all still alive, I think Great Grammas and Grammas may know a thing or two.
My mother went by info that was passed down to her from her great grandmother,grandmother,and mother. She looked after her siblings from the time she was 10 and she raised her children and helped with her grandchildren and great grand children for 83 years. She was such a wonderful inspiration in the lives of all the babies she helped care for. It's very sad to me, that she left this realm before meeting my grand daughter.
Therefore you have it, 7 generations of tummy sleepers.
We can't be all wrong and nobody suffocated.

JuLeah - posted on 01/01/2011

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She will out grow this. Sleep with her on your chest. It's okay to do that, I did with my daughter.

When infants and even toddles sleep in car seats, their little heads flop. It's just what they do. My baby used to sleep in her swing, in her car seat, everywhere - one month ago your baby was not much smaller then she is now and slept daily with her knees tucked to her chest floating in water. So, however she sleeps now is okay - at least she is sleeping

Codie - posted on 01/01/2011

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we slept with baby on my chest in a recliner for the first month. then i put him in swing to sleep and it did wonders! after a while of doing that i tried the sommer swaddler and put him in his bassinet. when you swaddled did you use a blanket or velcrow swaddlers? try those ideas! good luck:)

Sneaky - posted on 01/01/2011

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I really recommend you try what Julie said - tale off your shirt and either wrap bub in it or wait till she falls asleep on your chest and put her down on your shirt. At this age, she's getting most of her sensory input through her nose. It can't hurt to try! Good luck.

Lise - posted on 12/31/2010

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Tyrae, I do sympathize - I used to hate it. Now I miss it. ;-) It does get better - I promise! It just takes some time. If you nurse sidelying, can you scoot back just an inch or two?

Tyrae - posted on 12/31/2010

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I have tried swaddling her but she hates it. I mean literally screams bloody murder everytime I tried so I don't do it anymore. The side-lying has been helping, but I've noticed that because of how close she is I tend to not move an inch while in bed, and when I wake up I'm extremely sore, but it's worth it to get a little shut eye. It's difficult doing the co-sleeping because we only have a double bed, and now we are trying to jam 3 bodies into it, and my hubby likes to think the bed is his while he's sleeping lol.

Lise - posted on 12/31/2010

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Have you heard of/read up on the 4th trimester? Your baby just spent 9 months growing and thriving inside of you - it's hard to then be pulled away. My daughter slept on our chests (husband's or mine) until she was 3 months old, and then she chose to sleep next to us instead. I would go with the flow - your baby may just need that right now.

Also, WAY too young to even consider CIO...

[deleted account]

I have no advice for you since the only way my son slept at night for the first 5 months of his life was upright on me while I was propped upright in bed. It was the only way we could both get some sleep because of his reflux and my emotional state (had just become a single mom).

Good luck and congrats on the baby!!!

Julie - posted on 12/31/2010

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I have just answered a simnilar post. My son wouldnt sleep without being hed and someone told me it was because he felt secure and could smell me. I took my nighty off and put it in the crib like a sheet and got a blanket and swaddled him. he was tight and secure and could still smell me. worked a charm. he used to take my tshirt from that day or the nighty from the night before to bed with him till he was almost 2 years old. we tried his dads once because i forgot and washed them so we tried his dads but he was deffinately a mummnies boy he cried

Gemma - posted on 12/22/2010

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The way i used to get my son to sleep would be to swaddle in a familiar blanket, this was the only blanket that i would use at all times of sleeping. Familiar scent and familiar routine helps. Also try a warm bath and make sure she is dry and full. Settle in a dimmed room also is known to help too...I used to watch tv with the sound down and lights off (mostly to keep myself awake) this may help also. Hope you get some much needed sleep, and remember forget the housework sleep when baby does if she falls asleep in her bouncer in the day it should be fine as mine slept in their bouncer in the daytime. Good luck and have a lovely Christmas :)

Geralyn - posted on 12/22/2010

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What about co-sleeping in bed with you in the side lying position, and her on her back? Great for nursing at night, but even if you are not nursing, the position may bring her close enough to you that she can hear your heartbeat and your breathing (things she head in utero so therefore things that are calming to her), and feel your warmth. Just make sure you are doing it safely, but absent some issue that may make it unsafe, you should be able to co-sleep with your baby and husband. Her being so connected to you will probably keep her from crying. Just a thought.... I have a 4 month old who sleeps with us, and she has slept amazingly well since coming home from the hospital. I attribute it to co-sleeping and breastfeeding....

Tyrae - posted on 12/21/2010

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Thank you. I can't wait until we can get her into a routine so that everything goes smoother.

[deleted account]

When my twins were that young I would let them cry it out but only to a certain extent. I did ask my doctor his opinion on how long to let them cry. So as long as they were changed and fed I would let them go 5 minutes, which felt like an eternity. Some times they would fall asleep. After a while i would let it go on a little longer. It just depended sometimes I would be alone with the 2 of them and then you have no choice but to let the other one cry. You'll get through it. You may have to ask your hubby to sacrifice some sleep a couple of nights and definately ask some one you can trust to come and watch the baby for a couple hours so you can sleep. Good luck and best wishes!

~♥Little Miss - posted on 12/21/2010

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Ugh, I remember those days. My daughter is 8 months, son is 4 yrs. Ok, first off congratulations. Secondly...way to young for cry it out. You are doing the right thing, placing her in her bed when she is asleep. It is a really tough few months getting them in a routine. I am still BFing and I sleep on the couch with her most nights. My son on the other hand was sleeping on his own at 6 weeks through the night. You are right to not let her sleep in the bouncy. Does she let others hold her while she is sleeping? Could you have a friend, mother, in law hold her while you get some rest? Hubby can handle missing a night if necessary. Sleep deprived moms are a dangerous combo. Will she fall asleep after she eats? If so, just let her sleep that way. I am all about doing the easiest thing. I am sure other mothers will not agree with me. Maybe after she wakes up screaming, stand by her crib with her holding and rocking her...when she falls asleep put her down..you may need to cycle this many times before it works. Try to sleep when she sleeps. This is the hardest time. You are both adjusting to a new life....just go with the flow...good luck!

Amy - posted on 12/21/2010

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Both of my kids slept in the bouncy seat for the first two months. My son was born in february and because he was congested it was just easier to keep him comfortable. With my daughter who is now 9 months it was the only place she fell asleep and at 4 months she transistioned to her crib without any problems. Good luck!

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