5 week old daughter won't stay asleep.

Megan - posted on 01/21/2009 ( 24 moms have responded )

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My 5 week old daughter will only sleep if you're holding her, even at night. As soon as you rock her to sleep and you lay her down she wakes up. I know you're not supposed to sleep with them on your chest and they on their stomachs but when you've had little or no sleep it seems like you have no choice. I've tried swaddling her and putting her in her car seat, bassinet, crib, boppy and I'm running out of options. Any advice on how to get her to stay asleep?

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Sandi - posted on 01/21/2009

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I agree with Tracie about letting the baby learn to soothe herself.  I have one of both kinds - a natural born sleeper and one who thinks sleep is something NO ONE in the house should have.  It was so hard to do this, but I finally decided that my son would have to stay in his room for a couple hours so I could sleep between nursings.  Whether he slept or not, I HAD TO.  It only lasted a few weeks, and then got much better.  By the time he was 8 months old, he was completely putting himself to sleep.  I would rock him for a bit, nurse him, and lay him in the bed awake.

[deleted account]

Megan, hugs to you and congratulations on the new baby! Sometimes it can be much tougher than anyone lets on! Everyone is excited for you when you're pregnant and then can tend to disappear when you're in need of help after the birth. Are you able to sleep with her on your chest? I know it limits your movement, but she can feel, smell and hear you which is very comforting. You are all she has known! I'm a supporter of bed sharing or at least co-sleeping, especially when they are so new. You're essentially their pace maker! And I think tummy sleeping on your chest is safe, assuming you are not under the influence, and are being conscious of safe co-sleeping practices. It's natural for babies to need their mommies, and they're safest when with you. Expecting a baby to sleep through the night like an adult, is like expecting them to be potty trained and eat a steak. I understand that's not what you're saying, though. You just want some sleep! I think having someone help out so you can take naps is a great idea. I nap with my son almost daily (and he's 9 mos old now). Parenting is not just a day job. :) If she is in bed with you, you will get to a point where you can nurse in your sleep (assuming you're nursing). This is easiest, because then you don't have to get out of bed to nurse, or rock to sleep, or make bottles, etc. You stay nice and cozy and so does she. I highly caution against letting her cry it out. It breaks my heart hearing this as a recommendation because the most natural (and correct) instinct is to soothe a crying baby. This first year is about building trust in relationships. If our babies can't rely on us to come for them, then who can they rely on? If a baby can't be needy, who can? And although babies may stop crying after awhile, I don't see this as them self comforting. And this is my personal opinion based on books I've read, but it makes sense to me that they've stopped crying because they've given up on expecting you to come. Why cry if no one is coming anyhow? That is so sad!
I'm sorry you were blessed with a poor sleeper. As you can see, you're not the only one! Just have patience with yourself and your baby. Get sleep in snippets and take it easy. Things will get better! Hang in there, mama!

User - posted on 11/29/2011

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Google the bebesafe mattress wrap. Our daughter was a belly sleeper from day one amd this pevents toxic gases (like the flame retardants on the mattress) from reachimg baby's face while they sleep on their belly.

Brittany - posted on 01/21/2009

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id say try putting her on her stomach also. my 13 week old is the same way if you put him to sleep on his back he will scream and ive been putting him on his tummy and sleeps all night also try flipping her, its wierd but also works. you have to flip her clock wise. my oldest wouldnt sleep for anything and my mom told me to hold his head and to flip him around to the front and the day we did it he slept all night at 2 weeks......

L. K. - posted on 01/21/2009

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My daughter had a similar problem initially, but we had to swaddle her and let her cry until she fell asleep. It was hard at first, but she got used to the idea of sleeping on her own. We also played lullabies on a CD to soothe her in her room to help her fall asleep and I think it helped. Have you tried music?

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Rachel - posted on 01/22/2009

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Quoting Megan:

5 week old daughter won't stay asleep.

My 5 week old daughter will only sleep if you're holding her, even at night. As soon as you rock her to sleep and you lay her down she wakes up. I know you're not supposed to sleep with them on your chest and they on their stomachs but when you've had little or no sleep it seems like you have no choice. I've tried swaddling her and putting her in her car seat, bassinet, crib, boppy and I'm running out of options. Any advice on how to get her to stay asleep?



I had the same Problem you are going through now. I had to end up giving my son a pacifier to suck on when i layed him down,its suppose to soothe them. also another idea..you could get that bear that plays the heart beat sound of the womb. O and you know wat..sometimes you have to resort to letting them sleep with you, as long as your not a heavy sleeper. every baby is different so every baby requires different methods. i hope this helps!! good luck

Christine - posted on 01/22/2009

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I know they say to keep babies on their backs to sleep now, but when I had my first 2 babies it was the opposite, they said to lay them on their tummies. Bottom line is all of my children slept on their tummies and all slept through the night by 1 week of age.

Megan - posted on 01/22/2009

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Thanks for you advice.  She loves to sleep on her tummy and I've been wondering about letting her sleep that way.  My doctor and the nurses all said to never let her sleep on her tummy but when i put her on the floor on her tummy the first thing she wants to do is put her little hands under her and fall asleep.  I've just been a typical first time mother and too scared to try letting her sleep on her tummy.  I too feel like she's to little to cry it out.  Maybe I'll try letting her sleep during the day on her tummy.

Kim - posted on 01/21/2009

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We always put our daughter in her own bed from the beginning. But she was crying all the time. We were told to be sure her head was elevated. This didn't help. Turns out she had reflux and when we put her on a medication, she improved immediately. It took a few weeks to see a dramatic improvement, but by the time she was 9 months old, she was off the meds. Also incredibly helpful... we bought an Amby bed for her and that was a wonderful thing! It allows you to adjust the bed to keep the babies head elevated and also keeps them on their back. I actually have the Amby bed and I don't know what to do with it. Let me know if you are interested.

[deleted account]

I TOTALLY AGREE WITH TRELAWNEY LA BAR. Perfect response, perfect advice!!!!!! Check it out please.

[deleted account]

She's too young to soothe herself yet. There was some article the other day about the negative impact of letting a baby cry herself to sleep. Check out the comments in the lady who asked about "ferberizing" her baby and one mother responded with some really decent, valid info about this topic and why it's not good to let your baby cry herself to sleep. Check out that thread.

Laura - posted on 01/21/2009

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There's a difference between needing to be soothed and needing something else.



I am not disagreeing with anything said here. However.



My son was sleeping 7 hours in a stretch at nights when he was 8 weeks old. On his back.



My daughter, still at 3 months HATED being on her back, would cry and scream, but I noticed when we "played" during tummy time. She was fine.



Does your dtr arch her back, like she's trying to get onto her side or stomach when lying down? Can she be partially reclined without problems? Is she breast or bottle fed? IF breast - have you tried elimination diets for yourself to see if she reacts to the foods you eat (which pass to your milk)? IF bottle - have you tried different formula's?



We found out by at 3 months that my daughter had reflux. I had done the diets, the formula's everything and she STILL wouldn't sleep for more than few hours. And I'd noticed the tummy time thing, she was okay upright or no more than 45 degree angle. We tried Zantac liquid (safe for babies - Prescription only) and after the first 7 days, she'd slept more and for longer periods than she EVER did.



The unfortunate part is that (while okay now and off meds) she is 3, and will likely have recurrences of this all her life.  We did eventually have to do and Endoscope, but it confirmed what we had suspected and was able to show that she was healing, and the medications were doing their job.

Kelly - posted on 01/21/2009

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I just went through this recently. Some things that finally worked, the swing, the vibrating chair was a lifesaver and noise from the dryer seemed to help. (the laundry room is right beside his room.) Also, his ocean sounds aquarium that you put on the side of the crib makes water sounds that help some nights too. Goodluck!

Tracie - posted on 01/21/2009

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Letting her figure out how to soothe her self is the best idea- Make sure her room is very dark- try a noise machine (sound of the womb)- My daughter is now 3years old and sleeps great but i struggled the first few months- give it time but PLEASE let her soothe herself- let her cry 5 minutes go in and assure her she is ok- put her back in the crib let her cry 10 minutes- return to assure her keep doing every 10-15 minutes hopefully she will figure out a way to soothe herself- Rocking her to sleep is allowing the baby to depend on you to soother her- I also let my daughter sleep on her tummy during nap times and she learned to soothe herself with her fist and then her thumb- Good luck- It willl get better

Tracie - posted on 01/21/2009

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Letting her figure out how to soothe her self is the best idea- Make sure her room is very dark- try a noise machine (sound of the womb)- My daughter is now 3years old and sleeps great but i struggled the first few months- give it time but PLEASE let her soothe herself- let her cry 5 minutes go in and assure her she is ok- put her back in the crib let her cry 10 minutes- return to assure her keep doing every 10-15 minutes hopefully she will figure out a way to soothe herself- Rocking her to sleep is allowing the baby to depend on you to soother her- I also let my daughter sleep on her tummy during nap times and she learned to soothe herself with her fist and then her thumb- Good luck- It willl get better

Jan - posted on 01/21/2009

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Megan sometimes the best advice to take is your "mother's intituition" if you feel it is right then it will be. JMO

Alexiss - posted on 01/21/2009

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Hi, my name is Lexie and in order to get my daughter to go to sleep she had to have some sort of noise. So we got a small fan and made sure it wasn't blowing on her and turned it on when she slept. The noise is soothing and she will now take more than a 15 minute nap without me holding her.

[deleted account]

Hi Megan!

Sleep deprivation sucks. I went through the same thing with my little guy (now almost 6 months) and I did the sleeping on the couch thing with him on my chest. I pulled the coffee table over right up beside me just in case. Since I didn't have my husband home to take turns (hubby works straight nights and sleeps in the day), I basically napped when baby napped and when hubby came home I would catch some zzzz's. I know you're not supposed to but I co-slept with both of my children. If you are worried about it you can get a thing for the baby to sleep in while in your bed and it's safe. It will get better, trust me. Good luck and it's nice to hear that you are doing what works for you and that you're not just letting her cry it out. She's so young and she's needing those snuggles. Take care :)

Amanda - posted on 01/21/2009

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my son is now a little over 5 months, and i remember getting up for those late night/early morning feedings, where i couldnt get him to go back to sleep. as much as i had heard to not fall asleep with him, i know that many times i would fall asleep on the couch with him either on my chest, or with him laying in the nook of my arm. it was the only way either of us could sleep. after a while i would be able to tell when he was totally asleep(actually by feeling the tension in his arms, pick hand up, let it drop, as weird as that sounds) and transfer him to the bassinet.  he eventually grew out of it as he settled into a schedule of being awake more during the day and sleeping at night, as babies are usually a little backwards in that aspect because of their sleep schedule in the womb. anyway, long story short he now sleeps through the night beautifully. i think you should trust your instincts and if you want try swaddling as shes in your arms and then maybe she wont notice as much being put down, or watch the clock, as hard as it may seem. put her down, and set a limit for yourself, maybe 15 minutes, if she still cries, go soothe her just so she knows you're there and then try it again.  good luck, it will get better!

Jan - posted on 01/21/2009

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Hi, Megan my name is Jan. My oldest daughter is named Meggan. Does your daughter like to sleep on her stomach? I know that the "experts" say don't do it but I was raised and two of my three kids were raised that stomach sleeping was the norm. So when my youngest was born the doctors and nurses both stressed back only until he could turn over but he would not sleep on his back. So I let him sleep on his stomach and he was sleeping through the night at 6 weeks old. I figure that my grandmother, mother, I and two of my children and many other babies slept on their stomachs and are fine. But you have to go with your gut feeling. If you feel comfortable try her on stomach during the day while you are a wake to keep an eye on her to see how she does. This is just my opinion but she is too little to cry it out yet. Good luck and hope you find some relief.

Suzanne - posted on 01/21/2009

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You can get heartbeat thingies (not exactly sure what they're called) which you put in the cot with baby (or around the cot) and it beats like a heartbeat. Baby's have had 9 months of being used to your heart beat and sometimes this is just what they want. A baby store should be able to help.

Miranda - posted on 01/21/2009

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Have you tried a vibrating chair? Sometimes they can be miracle workers. I used to swaddle my babies and put them in the vibrating chair and a swing too for naps. I know that's not a normal place but when you need some sleep that badly it's not going to hurt to do for a couple of nights until she gets used to sleeping when she's not held. Then try to go back to stationary things. Maybe first just in the vibrating chair without the vibration on and then try to move to the bassinet.

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My 20 month old has been terrible with sleep from day 1.  The only thing I can suggest, is putting them down, and let them cry for a bit.  I know she is young, but it won't hurt her.  You need some rest too!  As she gets older try the method of going in to comfort at 5 minutes, then 10 minutes, then 15, etc.  It is the only thing that worked for me.  good Luck!

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