My baby is 14 weeks old and cant settle herself to sleep... Help!

Ramona - posted on 02/23/2011 ( 10 moms have responded )




She wont fall asleep by herself,I have to rock her, pat her, sing to her or let her fall asleep whilst using my nipple as a pacifer. I know you shouldnt do this, but all week a=she has still been up at 3am,and by then, I will do whatever it takes to get some sleep. She is such a bad pattern, that the other night, I had to hold her to the breast, in bed with me, while singing and rocking, too! very uncomfortable and frustrating but after half an hour she finally fell asleep. I have tried everything. I now give her a bottle of formula at night, and still breastfeed during the day,as it gives me a 6 hour sleep instead of just 4.I have a bedtime 8pm she gets 20 minutes in the jolly jumper while i laugh,play and sing with her. Then a bath, massage, pajamas and breastfeed. She falls asleep in my arms,i put her in the bassinette, and she sleeps for an hour,until 10pm. Then the fun begins. She just wont resettle. I have tried latting her just cry,twice,after changing and burping her(she gets quite windy sometimes.) But she has gotten hysterical both times, even with the comtrolled crying techniques.n I dont know what to do once she gets to that stage other than pick her up and calm her as there is no other way of calming her. Please help me as I am all out of ideas, and its really starting to upset me.


Sylvia - posted on 02/23/2011




I have an almost-foolproof solution for you, although you may not like it much: try co-sleeping. Everyone will get more sleep.

Despite what books like "Babywise" may say, a 14-week-old is too little for "controlled crying" or other cry-it-out "sleep training" techniques. A 3-month-old baby (a) still needs to eat at night and (b) doesn't understand enough about the world yet to "settle herself." Five minutes of hunger feels like forever. When you leave the room, she has no idea whether you're ever going to come back. She isn't able to understand yet why you respond one way during the day and a different way during the night.

Babies nurse for comfort as well as for nutrition. This isn't a "problem" or a "bad habit", it's how babies are! Until very recently in human history, babies rarely slept anywhere but with their mothers, and there were no feeding schedules other than the ones babies established for themselves. If you think about it that way, it becomes a bit easier to understand why real babies don't act much like the ones in books.

Carolyn - posted on 02/24/2011




the book the Baby Whisperer Solves all your Problems was incredibly helpful to me in helping my son learn to fall asleep on his own and self soothe without crying it out.

The pick up put down method worked wonders for us. I used many of her techniques ( and still do) around your baby's age.

Best 20 $ i ever spent.

also consider not putting her in the jolly jumper and keeping stuff very calm and low key before bedtime. I found eliminating strong stimulation before bedtime a big help in getting him to settle on his own.

I think you can read the book online too, just google it before deciding if you want to purchase it. But everyone that i know that has purchased it, loves it to peices.

saved my sanity lol

Jennifer - posted on 02/24/2011




Health nurses should stick to giving advice about the baby's HEALTH and stay away from things that will according to individual parenting choices. Things like when to start solids and what you feed your little one as well as if/when you choose to start your child on a schedule and whether or not you go to them in the night are YOUR decision. Health professionals have no business giving advice about those things :)

Jennifer - posted on 02/23/2011




My son is 23 weeks old and I have never allowed him to cry when he wakes at night. He's up every 3 hours and at each waking he gets cuddles and nursed. I realize the general consensus of society is that we "spoil" our kids by attending to them at night and that they'll "never" learn to sleep on their own, but in my experience it's NOT true. My daughter was rocked or nursed to sleep from birth and she eventually did learn to go to sleep on her own. It's a gradual process. Babies are born 100% reliant on their parents for everything from birth... even to be assisted in going to sleep. I see being comforted in the middle of the night as an emotional *need*. A baby who is 14 weeks old is not developmentally capable of manipulation. If your LO is going into hysterics when you leave her to CIO, that's clearly not an appropriate measure to be taking. You need to respond to her long before she gets to that point. By responding to her needs, she figures out that mama will always be there for her. If you leave her to go into hysterics, it can be emotionally very draining for her over time.

Also just wanted to say that it is NORMAL for a baby (especially that young) not to sleep through the night. Adults don't even sleep through the night -- they've just figured out how to settle themselves back down. Babies don't have this skill, which is why they full waken and need us to comfort them. 4 hours is really quite a respectable stretch of sleep. I'm lucky if I get 4 hours at once in a night.

Check out the book: "The No Cry Sleep Solution" for some pointers. Good luck.

Tina - posted on 02/24/2011




completely agree with Jennifer on the health nurses when my son was born they kept trying to tell me how to feed my son and my mum kept pushing me to do what they said he kept losing weight and became very yellow i had enough and decided to go with my gut instinct and did what i thought was best and his health picked up straight away and he hasn't had any problems since. The only one who really knows what's best for your child is you. You can ask for advice but don't let anyone tell you what you have to do.


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Bonnie - posted on 02/24/2011




She may be going through separation anxiety. If you need some good solid sleep, don't be afraid to take her to bed with you here and there. I still do that with my boys and they are 2.5 and 4. I don't do it every night, but if they are having trouble getting back to sleep, maybe because they are not well or because of a nightmare, it helps all of us get some good sleep.

Jennifer - posted on 02/24/2011




absolutely follow your own gut instincts. as mothers, we have them for a reason!

when my son was new, i didn't listen to my instincts and bed time was always a battle. i always felt like i was getting him into "bad habits" and that i was spoiling him. throw away all that advice you get from well meaning friends and family members. follow your gut. babies at this age need you to help them fall asleep. it is a biological need for a baby to be close to their mother pretty much constantly. the best thing you can do for her is respond to her needs.
when my son was 4 month old, i forced him to cry it out because i had not yet learned to trust myself. 2 months later, when he started teething "self soothing" went out the window. this time around, i embraced rockign him to sleep. since then, rocking my son to sleep is the best part of my is precious time i spend with my son. all children will learn to fall asleep on their own (without being forced), it just doesn't happen as quickly as some parents want or expect.

if you are up for it, i agree with sylvia about co sleeping. this allows you to avoid formula because baby has access during the night (moms often will sleep right through feedings when co sleeping).

even if you aren't up for co sleeping, there is absolutely nothing wrong with rocking your little one to sleep. they are this little and this dependent for such a short time in their life, take every opportunity to bond and make sweet memories.

Ramona - posted on 02/24/2011




Guys,all your comments are so helpful,thankyou. I felt she was too young for controlled crying,too,but followed the suggestion of my maternal health nurse,thinking she knew better than me. I swaddle,but been a bit too hot lately to do that. She loves her dummy,and to co sleep when she wakes in the middle of the night,which we love,so thats not a problem either. I was worried as I heard at this age she should be able to put herself to sleep, and was worried as I thought I was doing the wrong thing by her, by not teaching her how to sleep...but now I know its normal, Im no longer worried. Thankyou all x

Tyrae - posted on 02/23/2011




I swaddle my 13 week old around 10pm for her to go down for the night. Once she's been sleeping for approx 20-30 minutes I will take the bottom corner out from under her that is holding the whole swaddle together so that she has some freedom of movement at night. Sometimes she'll sleep straight through the night and sometimes she'll wake up around 4am to eat and than go back to sleep (swaddled again) to sleep until about 8.

Have you tried swaddling your daughter? It really does help them get to sleep. I don't need to rock my daughter or anything once she's swaddled. I just lay her down and if she's a little fussy I'll lay down beside her and she'll go to sleep within 5 minutes. You can keep her swaddled all night, I only unswaddle my daughter because she likes to sleep with arms and legs thrown everywhere once she's completely passed out and she'll wake up if she stays confined.

We also use a fan in our room (she sleeps in a bassinet next to our bed still) and I'm sure having the sound of the fan helps keep her asleep too. And we also have a very dim night light in our room, doesn't bother us with our eyes closed, but if she wakes lightly in the night and its not on she freaks out (scared of the dark) so having that little light helps her just drift back off to sleep.

Just suggestions. I hope they help :)

Louise - posted on 02/23/2011




Have you thought of using a dummy at night to sooth her and maybe this will let her sleep a little longer. My daughter was sleeping about 5 hours at a time by this age and at 20 weeks she started to sleep through the night at long last.

I did have a couple of tricks up my sleeve to achieve this. First of all I had a pram blanket that was very soft and I rubbed it around my chest to put my sent on it and let her cuddle it at bedtimes, she also had a dummy at night to help her self soothe. In the day she would also be given the blanket and the dummy for nap time but I would put her in her crib awake.I found that she loved the dummy so much she did not cry as she learnt very quickly that it fell out if she did.

Also when my daughter was first born I played classical music into her room on very low so that when she did wake she did not feel alone.

MY daughter is now 2 years 4 months and she still takes her blanket to bed, she sleeps very well with no nursery light and the door shut. If you can helo her be comforted by something other than you your child will sleep alot better and you will get more sleep. Try the blanket it worked for all three of mine.

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