Is 6 weeks too old to teach them how to self soothe or fall asleep on their own?

Sarika - posted on 12/19/2009 ( 136 moms have responded )

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My 6 week old will only sleep in our arms, despite attempts to put her down in her bed - either if we hold her for 20 minutes or an hour, it doesn't matter. It is exhausting and I can't keep doing that. Any ideas on how to deal with this?

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Krista - posted on 01/05/2010

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Quoting Nicole:



Quoting Krista:




Quoting Nicole:

CIO? good grief! parenting is unconditional. not a convenience based 9-5 job. at six weeks old a baby needs near constant skin to skin contact with their mother, yes that includes sleep. humans are the only animal barbaric enough to isolate their young in the name of "civilization and modernity". what do we have to show for it? nothing!!!!! anyway, I second Lisa's post about a sling. Besides baby wearing carries boundless benefits for mother and baby. and slings are wonderful for hands free breastfeeding.







I think we're forgetting the OP's problem here. The baby will only sleep in her ARMS. She is fracking exhausted, which would make it EXTREMELY dangerous to co-sleep right now. What is she supposed to do -- go to bed when the baby does and hold her in her arms all night long? Take the baby with her when she gets up to have a pee? What if the baby's sleeping in her arms and she wants to have sex with her husband -- does she have to resort to woman-on-top while holding the baby the entire time?  Come on. She wants to be able to put the baby down to sleep and actually do something else with her own arms for once -- stop trying to make her feel like she's a bad parent for that. 








Lectures on what other animals do are really quite pointless. Other animals also sometimes kill, or even eat, their newborns, but I don't see anybody advocating for that. 









good lord! the baby is newborn. eventually the baby will sleep- you are way defensive if you imply that I think she should have sex holding her baby. if guilt is to be had maybe it is well founded if she can't read a reply objectively. at six weeks, you should still be devoted to your baby. as far as constant holding I have one word: Oxytocin. ta.





Rather hard to be objective when a sleep-deprived new mother who is reaching out for help is told that she's "barbaric" for not wanting to drive herself insane having to hold her baby 24/7.  And if she's very sleep-deprived, then it's actually very dangerous for her to bedshare right now. The thought of her baby sleeping "eventually" is probably not very comforting right now.  Yes, at 6 weeks she should be devoted to her baby. However, if she is exhausted and at the end of her rope, then that is no good for her OR for the baby. 



(And my comment about sex was facetious, by the way -- a jibe at your insistence that babies need "near-constant" skin-to-skin contact with mommy.) 



Besides, she said she wants to have her baby sleep in her own bed -- why are people not respecting her right to make her own decision about that? If bedsharing works for you, or for Lisa, or for any other mother, then that's fantastic. I'm happy for you. But just because it's the best choice for you, does not mean it's the best choice for everybody. Extreme attachment parenting is not the only good way to parent. It may not even be the best way to parent. I don't even know if there IS a best way to parent -- all we can do is what works best for us, and support each other. And it is NOT supportive to have all of these uber-attachment mamas trying to make everybody else out to be sub-par parents. 

Minnie - posted on 12/19/2009

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It is horrible that posters are giving you such dangerous advice. Sleep training a six week old? A newborn? CIO for a newborn? Infants have actually died from this.



Even those hard-core CIO proponents don't recommend this until six months.



Consider the fact that you essentially carried her for nearly ten months- why in the world would you expect her to be OK with being alone to sleep? In her animal mind, being apart from you is to risk bodily harm and abandonment.



Current research shows that prolonged crying damages the developing neural pathways in infants.



Get a soft baby carrier like a mei tai, ergo, sling, or a wrap. She'll be comforted being next to you but you'll have two hands. Bedshare at night.

Cassie - posted on 12/20/2009

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For all parents out there recommending following the book Babywise, you should know that the American Academy of Pediatrics and the World Health Organization are openly against this book and its recommendations!! Following this book has attributed to many babies becoming "failure to thrive" because parents are not following newborns and infants cues as to when they need to eat, sleep, etc.

No avid CIO supporter ever recommends using CIO on any infant under the age of 6 months!!

Kate CP - posted on 12/19/2009

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She is simply too young. At six weeks she needs more frequent feeds and comfort from her mother. Think of it this way: She's cold, she's frightened, she can't see very well, there are new sounds that are frightening her, her tummy may hurt because of gas, there may be too many things going on at once and she's getting distraught. She NEEDS you to be there for her. I don't really have a problem with crying it out (if done properly) but only when they are older: AT LEAST six months. Honestly I never cried it out with my daughter until she was a year old. She always just fell asleep on her own or was so deeply asleep that when I put her in her bassinet she never woke up. By a year old, however, she started the standing up in the crib shouting for Mommy every 5 minutes thing. That was when I had to start the modified crying it out with her (go in every 5-10 minutes, tell her I'm right outside, to lay down and go to sleep, I'll see her in when the sun comes up, give her a hug, etc). Six weeks is just too young, honey. I know you're tired (aren't we all??) but that baby is still extremely dependent on you.

Minnie - posted on 12/19/2009

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Quoting Brittany:

my doctor told me to start at birth laying her down when she was acting tired, make sure she is fed and changed first, lay her down in her bed and leave the room. It is ok to let her cry for a little while, eventually she will get exhausted from crying and fall asleep. My daughter learned pretty quickly that being in her bed ment sleepy time. Now she is 9 mo's old , wakes up in the morning and goes right to playing with her toys, not crying like when she was lilttle.


Letting a six week old cry to exhaustion?  Are you crazy?



These young infants are putting all of their energy into growth- they don't need to expend it with sobbing.

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Kari - posted on 01/18/2010

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Six weeks old isn't young when it comes to sleep training. Every pediatrician/doctor I talked to, they said that the earlier you try and teach them to self soothe, the better. Otherwise, they become very dependent on you and they'll never learn to be independent.

Kari - posted on 01/18/2010

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Six weeks old isn't young when it comes to sleep training. Every pediatrician/doctor I talked to, they said that the earlier you try and teach them to self soothe, the better. Otherwise, they become very dependent on you and they'll never learn to be independent.

Christy Sharon - posted on 01/18/2010

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The exact same thing happened to me, and the following helped: I discovered that he was happy to be in a chair that we placed on a flat surface like a table, and he could make the chair rock and thus take that step closer to self-soothing. He is now two and a half months and is able to self soothe perfectly in the chair, and is starting to become more at ease in the bed. I think the elevated position helped him a lot. I also hang a mobile toy off the handle of the chair in front of him if he is restless and he stares at it until he gets tired. As they get older they become less grumpy (almost overnight, it seems!)

Ashley - posted on 01/05/2010

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Quoting Jenny:



Quoting Kellee:

It is simply awful, but let her cry it out. You will need a huge box of Kleenex, because you will likely cry as hard as she does. I put my son in his bassinet and just patted him; eventually he put his hand in his mouth and started sucking it and fell asleep.






I dont want to offend, but did it ever accur to you that your baby was telling you that he was hungry by sucking on his hand..that poor baby went to sleep hungry alot of nights. :-(





My daughter used to do suck on her hand to go to sleep too and the first time I noticed she did it I fixed her a bottle of pumped breast milk to offer her in case she was hungry. She sucked on the bottle for about 10 seconds and that was it.  Babies absolutely suck on anything they can, including their hands, to help them relax and go to sleep, especially when they are young. Personally if I was in the OP's situation I would let my baby cry for about 15 minutes before going in. Babies use crying as a method of winding down to go to sleep. Yes they use crying to tell us things too, i.e. I'm hungry, wet, in pain, tired, but they also use crying to wind down and fall asleep. If it was my child and I knew every single one of her needs were met I would let her cry for a short time before going in and comforting her. I did it with my daughter when she was 9 weeks old and ever since she has been a fantastic sleeper, a very confident, happy child and she's going on 14 months.

Nicole - posted on 01/05/2010

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Quoting Krista:



Quoting Nicole:

CIO? good grief! parenting is unconditional. not a convenience based 9-5 job. at six weeks old a baby needs near constant skin to skin contact with their mother, yes that includes sleep. humans are the only animal barbaric enough to isolate their young in the name of "civilization and modernity". what do we have to show for it? nothing!!!!! anyway, I second Lisa's post about a sling. Besides baby wearing carries boundless benefits for mother and baby. and slings are wonderful for hands free breastfeeding.





I think we're forgetting the OP's problem here. The baby will only sleep in her ARMS. She is fracking exhausted, which would make it EXTREMELY dangerous to co-sleep right now. What is she supposed to do -- go to bed when the baby does and hold her in her arms all night long? Take the baby with her when she gets up to have a pee? What if the baby's sleeping in her arms and she wants to have sex with her husband -- does she have to resort to woman-on-top while holding the baby the entire time?  Come on. She wants to be able to put the baby down to sleep and actually do something else with her own arms for once -- stop trying to make her feel like she's a bad parent for that. 






Lectures on what other animals do are really quite pointless. Other animals also sometimes kill, or even eat, their newborns, but I don't see anybody advocating for that. 





good lord! the baby is newborn. eventually the baby will sleep- you are way defensive if you imply that I think she should have sex holding her baby. if guilt is to be had maybe it is well founded if she can't read a reply objectively. at six weeks, you should still be devoted to your baby. as far as constant holding I have one word: Oxytocin. ta.

Sylvia - posted on 01/05/2010

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Oh, wow, mine was EXACTLY like that as a newborn. Colicky, screamed a lot, nursed constantly, wouldn't sleep except in arms. It was tiring. If we hadn't been willing to co-sleep, well, we'd have been waking every 15 minutes all night long to four-alarm shrieking. (I'm not exaggerating. This was not a baby who woke and fussed a little before progressing to real crying -- this was a baby who was already screaming when she woke up, usually.) So ... we went with it. For at least three months she slept tummy-down on my chest at night, and in arms or in the sling during the day. Whenever she wasn't actually eating, we had to be in motion -- so I took a lot of looooong walks (thank goodness she was a summer baby!).



It turned out she had congenital bilateral inguinal hernias. When it sounded like she was in terrible pain, it was because she was, in fact, in pain. Ironically, the screaming made the pain worse, and then she would scream more. It was a very trying period of all our lives. When she was 5 months she had surgery to repair the hernias, and after a couple of cranky days recovering from the surgery and the anaesthesia, she became a much, much happier baby. Not that she wasn't (and isn't) still a high-need, high-touch sort of person, but removing the serious physical discomfort clearly made a very significant difference.



I would never, ever let a young baby cry itself to sleep (if I were feeling really desperate I would certainly let it cry for a couple of minutes while I got myself together, but not as a matter of principle), but I'm especially glad that we had the sense not to listen to my sisters-in-law, all of whom were urging us to "just let her scream" and telling us we were spoiling her by the time she was a month old :(



I'm not sure what you do if you're not able to let her sleep in arms. But I strongly, strongly recommend getting a sling and/or other soft carrier -- get as many different kinds as you can beg or borrow, to see which work best for you, before you spend a lot of money on one that may not suit. The sling saved my sanity, truly -- if you don't need both arms to hold the baby at all times, you can actually do things, like feed yourself a sandwich or call your LLL leader or hold a book in front of your face while you pace endlessly around the apartment ;^). It does sound like it would be worthwhile inquiring about GERD, just in case -- but most newborns just really do need to be held a lot while they adjust to not being in the womb anymore.

Kathy - posted on 01/05/2010

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No, not too old, its too young. I agree with Lisa, but I DON'T believe in bed sharing, we used a bassinet in our room for a couple months before we put her in her crib. She's never had to cry it out, longest she's ever been left crying is the time it takes me to get to her. I don't always pick her up, but I soothe her cuddle her and give her a kiss before I put her back to bed. If she's really finiky I'll try swaddling her and usually that puts her to sleep quickly.

Krista - posted on 01/05/2010

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Quoting Nicole:

CIO? good grief! parenting is unconditional. not a convenience based 9-5 job. at six weeks old a baby needs near constant skin to skin contact with their mother, yes that includes sleep. humans are the only animal barbaric enough to isolate their young in the name of "civilization and modernity". what do we have to show for it? nothing!!!!! anyway, I second Lisa's post about a sling. Besides baby wearing carries boundless benefits for mother and baby. and slings are wonderful for hands free breastfeeding.


I think we're forgetting the OP's problem here. The baby will only sleep in her ARMS. She is fracking exhausted, which would make it EXTREMELY dangerous to co-sleep right now. What is she supposed to do -- go to bed when the baby does and hold her in her arms all night long? Take the baby with her when she gets up to have a pee? What if the baby's sleeping in her arms and she wants to have sex with her husband -- does she have to resort to woman-on-top while holding the baby the entire time?  Come on. She wants to be able to put the baby down to sleep and actually do something else with her own arms for once -- stop trying to make her feel like she's a bad parent for that. 



Lectures on what other animals do are really quite pointless. Other animals also sometimes kill, or even eat, their newborns, but I don't see anybody advocating for that. 

Nicole - posted on 01/05/2010

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CIO? good grief! parenting is unconditional. not a convenience based 9-5 job. at six weeks old a baby needs near constant skin to skin contact with their mother, yes that includes sleep. humans are the only animal barbaric enough to isolate their young in the name of "civilization and modernity". what do we have to show for it? nothing!!!!! anyway, I second Lisa's post about a sling. Besides baby wearing carries boundless benefits for mother and baby. and slings are wonderful for hands free breastfeeding.

Mary - posted on 01/03/2010

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Hi Ladies,
I'm not sure if it's good or bad- you can make research support whatever you want to show if necessary. All I know is that whenever I took my baby/small child to bed with me that I never slept at all! Too worried I would crush or smother them. Give them their own bed- it's better for everyone concerned!
Mary

Krista - posted on 01/03/2010

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Quoting Lisa:



Quoting Krista:




Quoting Rachel:





Quoting Denise:

Lisa Moreau must be nuts to think it is ok to bedshare. SIDS is a big thing and bedsharing increases a child's risk of SIDS.









Actually, there are no cases of an infant with SIDS that co-sleeps.  You are thinking of suffocation and crushing the child.  If parents sleep heavily and/or drink or do drugs they should ABSOLUTELY not share their bed with their infant.  Sleeping with your child actually reduces the risk of SIDS dramatically.












Pray tell, where is your source that sleeping with your child reduces the risk of SIDS? Because strangely enough, the American Academy of Pediatrics states "but no epidemiologic evidence exists that bed sharing is protective against SIDS."  They also state "The risk of SIDS seems to be particularly high when there are multiple bed sharers and also may be increased when the bed sharer has consumed alcohol or is overtired. Also, the risk of SIDS is higher when bed sharing occurs with young infants. Finally, the risk of bed sharing is higher the longer the duration of bed sharing during the night."






So, you're saying that co-sleeping reduces the chance of SIDS and you're saying that if parents are tired, then too bad, suck it up.  So by following your advice, we'd be sleeping in the same bed as our infants and would be seriously exhausted. Do you have any idea how dangerous that is? 









http://www.uoregon.edu/~icds/Evolution_F...






 






http://www.nd.edu/~jmckenn1/lab/articles...






 






Some people actually make it their life's work to study this.





I don't disagree that it's a good idea to have the baby in the room with you. I'm all for having a bassinet in the parent's room, or one of those cosleeper jobbies that attaches to the bed. I think those are great.  But actual bed-sharing? Sorry.



When it comes to the effect of bed-sharing on the risk of SIDS, I'll take the advice of the AAP over that of an anthropologist, no matter how well-respected he is. Plus, I'm also taking my own instincts and own comfort level as a mother, and just do not feel that bed-sharing is safe. 

Minnie - posted on 01/03/2010

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Quoting Krista:



Quoting Rachel:




Quoting Denise:

Lisa Moreau must be nuts to think it is ok to bedshare. SIDS is a big thing and bedsharing increases a child's risk of SIDS.







Actually, there are no cases of an infant with SIDS that co-sleeps.  You are thinking of suffocation and crushing the child.  If parents sleep heavily and/or drink or do drugs they should ABSOLUTELY not share their bed with their infant.  Sleeping with your child actually reduces the risk of SIDS dramatically.









Pray tell, where is your source that sleeping with your child reduces the risk of SIDS? Because strangely enough, the American Academy of Pediatrics states "but no epidemiologic evidence exists that bed sharing is protective against SIDS."  They also state "The risk of SIDS seems to be particularly high when there are multiple bed sharers and also may be increased when the bed sharer has consumed alcohol or is overtired. Also, the risk of SIDS is higher when bed sharing occurs with young infants. Finally, the risk of bed sharing is higher the longer the duration of bed sharing during the night."



So, you're saying that co-sleeping reduces the chance of SIDS and you're saying that if parents are tired, then too bad, suck it up.  So by following your advice, we'd be sleeping in the same bed as our infants and would be seriously exhausted. Do you have any idea how dangerous that is? 





http://www.uoregon.edu/~icds/Evolution_F...



 



http://www.nd.edu/~jmckenn1/lab/articles...



 



Some people actually make it their life's work to study this.

Mary - posted on 01/03/2010

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Hi Sarika,

Don't we develop catchy titles for things- "self soothe", "Cry it out". Gotta love it. Babies don't read books. Some babies just cry, that's it. Of course they love to be held- it's warm and cozy, they can feel/hear your heartbeat as in the womb.

I was advised by a very experienced Maternal Health Care Nurse that in these situations you should make sure she is fed, warm, dry and comfortable, that is that there is no physicla reason for the crying. Stay with your baby if you like; talk quietly, pat but don't pick them up it only stimulates them more. Perhaps you need to check that there is no medical reason- my first son (7 weeks premature) suffered gastric reflux and apart from medication it was recommended that we elevate the head of the bassinet about 4 inches. That did help. Swaddling can also help them feel warm and secure, a night light, some soft music maybe, there are some very good classical cd's around specifically for babies. You could even try putting an old fashioned ticking clock under the mattress to simulate a heartbeat. One of the hardest things to guage is when your baby is actually tired- getting them to bed before they are exhausted is so much better. They will grizzle- they always do when they don't get their way, and let me tell you that never changes, no matter how old they get.

My Mum's best advice to me was to find one person I trusted and listen to them only, otherwise you would only get confused further. In Australia we have clinics that you and your baby can attend to help you get through sleep, settling and feeding difficulties, your Dr can refer you to them. If it is really getting too much for you seek physical help- you need to look after you too. Don't be afraid to ask for more help than just opinions.Believe in yourself!

Take care and good luck with your beautiful girl,

Mary

Krista - posted on 01/02/2010

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Quoting Rachel:



Quoting Denise:

Lisa Moreau must be nuts to think it is ok to bedshare. SIDS is a big thing and bedsharing increases a child's risk of SIDS.





Actually, there are no cases of an infant with SIDS that co-sleeps.  You are thinking of suffocation and crushing the child.  If parents sleep heavily and/or drink or do drugs they should ABSOLUTELY not share their bed with their infant.  Sleeping with your child actually reduces the risk of SIDS dramatically.





Pray tell, where is your source that sleeping with your child reduces the risk of SIDS? Because strangely enough, the American Academy of Pediatrics states "but no epidemiologic evidence exists that bed sharing is protective against SIDS."  They also state "The risk of SIDS seems to be particularly high when there are multiple bed sharers and also may be increased when the bed sharer has consumed alcohol or is overtired. Also, the risk of SIDS is higher when bed sharing occurs with young infants. Finally, the risk of bed sharing is higher the longer the duration of bed sharing during the night."

So, you're saying that co-sleeping reduces the chance of SIDS and you're saying that if parents are tired, then too bad, suck it up.  So by following your advice, we'd be sleeping in the same bed as our infants and would be seriously exhausted. Do you have any idea how dangerous that is? 

Sally - posted on 01/02/2010

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As an early childhood professional I will tell you that 6 weeks old is way to young to allow the child to cry it out. At this early stage of development your child is in need of the comfort only you- her parent- can give. This is a time of establishing trust-a very important need to help strenthen the neurons in her brain. By responding to her demand for comfort immediately you are helping her to develop positively. THat is not to say that you have to spend every waking moment with her in your arms. You should lay her down after she has finished her feeding, been changed, burped and talked to for a bit. Once she is content then lay her down. But by all means respond to her as quickly as possible once she becomes discontent. Later, appoximately 5-6 months, you can attempt the cry it out philosophy.

Rachel - posted on 01/01/2010

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Quoting Jessica:



Quoting Dianna:

I am a Mommy of 5 Blessings. Put her in bed with You~ Then you will both sleep. I nursed all 5 babies, and it was So easy..... I put one of those body pillows in between Daddy & us. That pillow was a nice back support. I had baby next to me, with a pillow behind her. (which is All your baby wants is that security of smelling you, and hearing your heartbeat.) We ALL slept just fine. I went to bed, baby went to bed~ She needed to nurse, I nursed her a few minutes, and then back to sleep we all went. It was Wonderful! My babies felt the "security" they need, and we all got the rest that we needed~






Im glad this situation worked out here for this woman, but I strongly suggest you DONT bring your kids into your bed to sleep with you.  No doctor suggests this. They will make it a habit and they will not like to sleep in their own rooms, making it even harder for you to get her to sleep on her own. I made this mistake with my first, I always put him down for naps in my bed, and I would lay with him till he fell asleep and I would do the same at night time.2 years later, my son still needed to sleep with mom, in my bed. Man did I ever regret introducing him to my bed and sleeping with him. Finally after getting night after night of no sleep (my son is quite the mover in his sleep, so I got beaten up a LOT lol) I decided enough was enough. I set his bed up into a toddler bed, bought a security gate for the edge, and showed him he was a big boy now so he needed a big boy bed, no more mommy's bed. He was NOT happy. I had to endure a good 2 weeks of screaming and crying at bedtime, and middle of the night whimpering before my son even started to adjust to being on his own in bed. The best thing I could say from experience, is once your baby is old enough to be in a crib, start using it! They will cry, for sure, because its not what they want, but you have to get them used to it. Let them cry for a bit, but keep returning at regular intervals to check up on them, and give them their soother(if they have one), rub their back, soothe them with your voice or some music. The sooner they learn how to sleep on their own, the better for you and baby!





I'm amazed at how many people throw out their opinions as though they are facts.  "No doctor suggests this."  I beg to differ.  My doctor not only supports my decision to co-sleep, but he also advises it for people who are not heavy sleepers and who do not drink or do drugs before bed.  How many doctors have you spoken with?  That is such a broad statement to make and with no evidence other than that your child likes to sleep with you as a toddler?  



What really gets on my nerves is how many mothers are posting "don't let the child do this, you'll be too tired/frustrated/annoyed, etc."  I'm sorry, but I don't care about how tired all you moms are!!!  You CHOSE to give birth.  Suck it up and be a mom.  It's tiring, it's hard work, and sometimes it just hurts.  Deal with it.



.... sorry...  had to rant a bit, it just drives me nuts to hear so many selfish mothers out there worrying about themselves before their children. 

Rachel - posted on 01/01/2010

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Quoting Denise:

Lisa Moreau must be nuts to think it is ok to bedshare. SIDS is a big thing and bedsharing increases a child's risk of SIDS.


Actually, there are no cases of an infant with SIDS that co-sleeps.  You are thinking of suffocation and crushing the child.  If parents sleep heavily and/or drink or do drugs they should ABSOLUTELY not share their bed with their infant.  Sleeping with your child actually reduces the risk of SIDS dramatically.

Jessica - posted on 01/01/2010

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Quoting Dianna:

I am a Mommy of 5 Blessings. Put her in bed with You~ Then you will both sleep. I nursed all 5 babies, and it was So easy..... I put one of those body pillows in between Daddy & us. That pillow was a nice back support. I had baby next to me, with a pillow behind her. (which is All your baby wants is that security of smelling you, and hearing your heartbeat.) We ALL slept just fine. I went to bed, baby went to bed~ She needed to nurse, I nursed her a few minutes, and then back to sleep we all went. It was Wonderful! My babies felt the "security" they need, and we all got the rest that we needed~



Im glad this situation worked out here for this woman, but I strongly suggest you DONT bring your kids into your bed to sleep with you.  No doctor suggests this. They will make it a habit and they will not like to sleep in their own rooms, making it even harder for you to get her to sleep on her own. I made this mistake with my first, I always put him down for naps in my bed, and I would lay with him till he fell asleep and I would do the same at night time.2 years later, my son still needed to sleep with mom, in my bed. Man did I ever regret introducing him to my bed and sleeping with him. Finally after getting night after night of no sleep (my son is quite the mover in his sleep, so I got beaten up a LOT lol) I decided enough was enough. I set his bed up into a toddler bed, bought a security gate for the edge, and showed him he was a big boy now so he needed a big boy bed, no more mommy's bed. He was NOT happy. I had to endure a good 2 weeks of screaming and crying at bedtime, and middle of the night whimpering before my son even started to adjust to being on his own in bed. The best thing I could say from experience, is once your baby is old enough to be in a crib, start using it! They will cry, for sure, because its not what they want, but you have to get them used to it. Let them cry for a bit, but keep returning at regular intervals to check up on them, and give them their soother(if they have one), rub their back, soothe them with your voice or some music. The sooner they learn how to sleep on their own, the better for you and baby!

Mary - posted on 01/01/2010

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I piece of information I got with my kids that was helpful, was that some babies develop separation anxiety at bedtime; so bedtime routines upset them because they know mommy is leaving them soon...One expert's solution, that I read was to (if possible) put Daddy in charge of bedtime routine. Another suggestion was to place them in their crib, but stay seated beside them for a period of time and to gradually night after night reduce the amount of time you spend seated by their side....should baby get upset comfort them, momentarily, without picking them up, by gently rubbing their backs or holding their hand or giving them a comfort toy or item to sleep with. (keep in mind you may have to ween them off of the comfort item later).

Jo - posted on 01/01/2010

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I had same problem with my daughter (she is now 3). I continued to hold her and rock her to sleep up till 10mths old...she not only became heavier but always woke up during the night and we never got a full night sleep. I wish i had instigated a firmer approach earier as once we followed certain techniques she not only went to sleep without any fuss but no longer woke during the night! So the earlier you can eliminate this behaviour the better sleep you and your bub will have. There is a great book called "save our sleep" that teaches you diffrent methods to assist in puttting baby to bed with minimal fuss so everyone is happy. You can go to the website www.saveoursleep.com.au and order a copy of the book. It was a god send - hpe tyhis helps...

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I am a Mommy of 5 Blessings. Put her in bed with You~ Then you will both sleep. I nursed all 5 babies, and it was So easy..... I put one of those body pillows in between Daddy & us. That pillow was a nice back support. I had baby next to me, with a pillow behind her. (which is All your baby wants is that security of smelling you, and hearing your heartbeat.) We ALL slept just fine. I went to bed, baby went to bed~ She needed to nurse, I nursed her a few minutes, and then back to sleep we all went. It was Wonderful! My babies felt the "security" they need, and we all got the rest that we needed~

Rachel - posted on 01/01/2010

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Okay, I'm going to tell you the SCIENTIFIC FACTS, not my opinion on the matter because I think this is important. Allowing a child to "cry it out" causes chemical and hormonal imbalances in the brain. It also causes decreased intellectual, emotional and social development. An infant is not CAPABLE of self-soothing before 3 months of age, and are truly unprepared to deal with being left to cry until at least 5 months of age. I know it's exhausting... this is part of being a mother. Sorry- but, baby comes first, not your sleep.



And if you need the scientific evidence: http://www.askdrsears.com/html/10/handou...



Please, please, please- HOLD YOUR CHILD!!!

Karie - posted on 12/31/2009

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I was told by several doctors in our doctors office as well as dr's and nurses in the birthing center that you should wait until 3 to 4 months to start allowing them to self-sooth. Right now, crying is the only way she has to let you know that something is wrong. I would just keep trying to lay her down when she is asleep and do try some of the suggestions like laying her down before she is asleep but when you can tell she is getting sleepy. Make sure she is swaddled really well and has a full tummy and dry diaper. She could also be gassy, which we found with our oldest son, gets worse when they are laying flat. If you think she is gassy, try wrapping her belly with a warm towel or blanket right from the dryer. I don't know why, but this worked wonders for our daughter and was suggested by a lactation nurse.

I wouldn't let her cry too long at this age though, and definitely don't let it get to the screaming point, because at that point it will be very difficult to soothe her at all. Being the mom of four, I can certainly sympathize with your exhaustion level. Just remember, it won't last forever. Before you know it, you are going to want to snuggle and cuddle with her more than she will with you. So, try to enjoy as much as you can and I hope you can get some good sleep soon!

Mechelle - posted on 12/31/2009

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My son was three weeks old when the first person told me to "let him cry it out". Not even 2 days later, I had to rush him to the hospital because he had a bleeding ulcer. He produced three times the amount of normal acid and had to be hospitalized and later operated on. He nearly died and was in the hospital for 6 months, off and on. At this age, the baby can't articulate what his or her needs are. A little crying is good and healthy. Letting them "cry it out" is not always the best answer, and please...please hesitate before you do so. By the way, that does not mean to rush and pick them up at every whimper. Crying is also the baby's way of exercising...just be careful....that's all. Good luck!

Megan - posted on 12/27/2009

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my son always fall asleep on the breast/ or just after his his bottle, but he was always asleep in my arms, he was about 6months when we started putting him down awake, but at first he was just awake then worked our way up to fully awake just sleepy. but i really dont think at 6 weeks you should even be thinking about doing that, his a newborn, you are his world and he needs you for everything, it is hard, i know i was up every hr for feeds, but you just have to get over it, butwhen it comes down to it his your baby and you need to do what you think is best

Georgina - posted on 12/27/2009

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my babies always wanted to be held to but i found wrapping them and playing soft music helped when it didnt i would lie in my bed and the bassinet was next to the bed and some very soft light and mummy hand on their belly sent them to sleep happy and content.

Beth - posted on 12/26/2009

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Try swaddling snugly and don't let her fall asleep in your arms. Lay her down when she is drowsy, then sing or talk soflty to her and rub her head at the same time. I also had a daughter like yours and this would work at bedtime, but not at naptime. Until she was about three months I held her for an hour and a half naptime each afternoon. Don't despair, she will grow out of it! And remember, for your daughter touch is obviously very important, so remember she wants you to hold her because she feels so safe and loved in your arms. Good luck!

Faye - posted on 12/26/2009

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I have 3 daughters and I can tell you that my oldest who was never made to "cry it out" and "self soothe" as a baby is very self secure and has no problems going to sleep on her own and is very independent. My middle child who we tried the "self soothing" and "cry it out" technique is scared of everything and very clingy to us, even at 5 years old. My third daughter is now 10 months old and we realized that the "cry it out" method was very harfmul to our middle child's emotional development. We have never had to let our 10 month old cry for more than a minute or two and that's only if we are really busy. We have always responded to her crying immediately. I can tell you that we held her a lot and she was the same way at that age. She also ended up co-sleeping with us (I know there is a debate about that and I'm not trying to start an argument about it). She is now so secure with herself that I can put her down for bed and she will lay there for sometimes as much as 10 minutes just rolling around and playing with her blanket then she'll go to sleep. She does still sleep in our room so I usually sit in a chair or lay on my bed until she falls asleep so she knows that I am there for her. My pediatrician says that you can NOT spoil a baby under 6 months. I'm not sure that I fully agree with that since my 3rd daughter seemed pretty "spoiled" by 5 months or so but we enjoyed it. She still likes to be held quite a bit but she also plays independently a lot. I know it's exhausting but please hang in there and try to enjoy her while she is this age. I know that there are times when you need to shower or get things done and she may need to cry for a few minutes. I used to put my baby's swing or bouncy seat in the bathroom doorway while I showered and she loved it. She also fell asleep in it almost every morning. The other thing we sometimes did was put her in her carseat and gently sway her or bounce her on our laps. once she was asleep, we could put the seat down for at least a few minutes. I hope this helps atleast a little bit. May God bless you and your family!

[deleted account]

My sister did "controlled crying" at at 6 weeks and it only took a couple of nights and he is a dream baby now. Just says some key words, like a routine to bedtime and he knows whats coming and that its time to sleep. The routine leading up to a sleep is important too.

Renae - posted on 12/24/2009

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I tried to reply to you a few days ago but COM kept jamming up!!!



6 weeks is too young for a crying method. Crying methods are designed for babies at least 3 months and some methods like Ferber are for babies over 6 months.



If you are so exhausted you need to do something now, then there are no-cry methods you can use. I recommend gradual withdrawal. There is no crying or stress involved and it works very well with young babies.



Google it or you are welcome to contact me for instructions.

Crystal - posted on 12/24/2009

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Quoting Lisa:

It is horrible that posters are giving you such dangerous advice. Sleep training a six week old? A newborn? CIO for a newborn? Infants have actually died from this.

Even those hard-core CIO proponents don't recommend this until six months.

Consider the fact that you essentially carried her for nearly ten months- why in the world would you expect her to be OK with being alone to sleep? In her animal mind, being apart from you is to risk bodily harm and abandonment.

Current research shows that prolonged crying damages the developing neural pathways in infants.

Get a soft baby carrier like a mei tai, ergo, sling, or a wrap. She'll be comforted being next to you but you'll have two hands. Bedshare at night.



I agree with you. I've raised two children and held them nearly "all the time" when they were babies- in my arms or in a carrier. Now, they are trusting, secure boys. When they each were toddlers, I was the only parent able to leave my child in Sunday school with my children securely waiving "bye-bye". Being detached emotionally is not good for the mother or the baby. Responding to our children and giving to their needs will produce a much more secure child, and then adult than does not-being-there for your child---the CIO method is a way of abandonment by the parents.



If mommies and daddies do need a break from holding, try the 5 S's- they do work. http://www.babyslumber.com/happiestbaby....  Swaddling really works well- babies don't have to cry to "learn to sleep" on their own. Also a good book is "The No Cry Sleep Solution"- It teaches a KIND way to help the little one be ready for bedtime.

Bec - posted on 12/23/2009

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All babies / children are different. My first needed lots of patting and soothing whereas my second, who is currently 8 weeks, needs to be wrapped and put in his bassinet when he appears tired. If I dont put him down he wont go to sleep, he peeks out at me from half closed eyes! He usually calls out a 1-2 times, not a cry just Hello I am here noise, I go back to him and give him his soother if it has fallen out and just reassure him I am around. He then goes off on his own. During the day I also use a swing chair as this settles him quite well. At the end of the day you can only do what works for you and what you feel comfortable with :)

Katie - posted on 12/23/2009

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Get a baby carrier so she can sleep on you during the day! I used to use a sling and an Ergo carrier -- my little guy could sleep in it for a long time while I moved about the house. You could also try co-sleeping ... maybe if she was close to you in the bed she would sleep without actually being held?? Good luck to you!! If nothing else, remember that "this too shall pass" .. & probably a lot faster than you'd think! Everything is changing so fast at that stage, and nothing lasts forever. :)

Katz - posted on 12/23/2009

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Are you breastfeeding ? I too had trouble when my boy was that age. I was very anemic and my midwife showed me how to feed while we were both lying down so I could rest. Within a couple of days he was sleeping after a feed on my bed, and after a week I could just roll off the bed after he was asleep. It really helped me :) Good Luck.

Trynicia - posted on 12/22/2009

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WHEN YOU PUT HER DOWN PAT HER ON THE BACK OR RUB HER BACK TO CALM HER, BUT DO NOT GIVE IN AND PICK HER UP.

Megan - posted on 12/22/2009

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Unfortunately babies at this age need to be held. They aren't used to life outside of the womb yet. My suggestion, get a sling. Native Naturals makes a great one. When you need to get something done, put the baby in the sling...she'll fall asleep and you can still function with two arms. It's hard at night. I co-slept with both of my kids until they could handle being alone. With my second child we purchased a great bed that really helped. It's called the Amby bed. It soothes the baby, much as the womb does, and makes life outside the womb much more tolerable. It was a Godsend. Good luck. Also suggestion the Dr. Sears' Baby Sleep book. It will give you more insight on babies at this stage and their sleep needs.

Evelyn - posted on 12/22/2009

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I just read the title of your post and when WHAT??? Definitely tooooo young! Inform yourself from trained/professional sources... read up on it before listening to strangers tell you to do it or not. My opionion is 6wks is way too young, there are physical dangers involved! Try swaddling or a sling/carrier. Swaddling worked with my oldest and now my twins. Babies that little usually cry for a reason, diaper change, hunger, comfort, etc. You need to give them what they need!

JohnCourtney - posted on 12/22/2009

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My doctor told me what you can do is go in. Check to make sure their diaper doesn't need changed,and they aren't hungry; then if not stay for about 2 mins patting them on the back while they lie in their bed and soothe them. Then walk away. It is ok to leave them for about 20 mins. If they continue to cry then go in pick them up rock them for about 5 mins and soothe them. They em back down. pat for 2mins and leave again. I was afraid my daughter would be stubborn but the first time i did it she feel asleep after only 8 mins of crying. She turned 7 wks old today. So jus give it a try it doesn't hurt if they cry a little. You def. still want to go in when they cry at this age to help create trust and support from you for them. That way they kno if somethings wrong to cry and you will be there. But when it comes to them being fussy you just have to check their needs if they dont need anything then pat and let them go bk to slp (this is at night). But good luck! hope it works for you as well as it did for me!

Lisa - posted on 12/22/2009

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YOU HAVE OTHER OPTIONS BESIDES "CRYING IT OUT" SO DON'T DESPAIR!! My son did the same thing to the point that my husband and I took shifts holding him on our chest cat-napping on the couch til we almost went INSANE. There are 2 options to look into. 1) is there anything medically wrong. We found out our breastfead son couldn't digest the cow's milk in my breast milk so we had to cut it out of my diet. He also had reflux so we had to give him a prescription and increase the hight of his crib on one end. 2) At this point, sleeping in the crib is nice, but not necessary. If your baby will sleep in a swing, a car seat, whatever, then do it! You need your sanity. It took until 3 months before my son went to sleep in the crib and now I spend 10 minutes in the rocker in his room with a white noise CD playing softly, then put him in his crib. He fusses for about 2 minutes (not cries, just fusses), and falls to sleep and sleeps 10 hours (but still wakes sometimes at 4am to nurse). This won't last forever, so take it one day at a time and don't be afraid to call the pediatrition a million times if necessary if it doesn't resolve. And if your pediatrition isn't listening or helping, seek a 2nd opinion. I had to before my son was diagnosed and within 1 day he was better and within 4 he was cured!! My first pediatrition just kept telling me to "wear" him. Well you can't "wear" him in the shower...lol. One more tip: try a vacuum in the room or buy a white noise CD and play it loudly. It was the only thing that calmed my son when he wasn't in my arms while we were figuring out the cow's milk problem. Best of luck!

Esther - posted on 12/22/2009

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I will second the moms who recommended swaddling. My son never slept for more than 30 mins at a time until he was 3.5 months old. We tried swaddling him with receiving blankets but he always wormed his way out of those. At 3.5 months I found the miracle blanket (I bought it on Amazon) and the very first night we used it he slept for 6 hours straight. It also made putting him down much easier as the transition from my arms to his crib wasn't as noticeable for him because the snugness was still there thanks to the swaddling blanket. Unfortunately the instructions on the blanket say to stop using them when the baby can roll over which for us wasn't much later, but even those few weeks of 6 hours of sleep made a big difference.

Jennifer - posted on 12/22/2009

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I highly recommend reading "the Happiest Baby on the Block" or at least getting the DVD since you probably won't have enough time to read the book at this point. Basically, the premise of the book is that newborns (up until about 3 months in this book) fuss/cry because they are actually closer to being fetuses rather than babies as we know them. (and in this book, they say that 6 weeks is actually just about the peak of fussiness) Therefore, creating a womb like environment is key to calming them. This mainly includes swaddling, jiggling in proportion to fussiness, shushing them, and giving them something to suck on (you really need the DVD/book though for a thorough explanation of how to do this; they will fuss even harder for the first minute during this process).



Once they are asleep, keep them in the swaddle ("Miracle blanket" is wonderful) and put them in an electronic swing. You will be so surprised at the results. My baby slept for 4 hours (for a nap, not even for bedtime) the first time we put her in the swing, and of course as soon as we shut it off she woke right up.



I think it's too young to let them cry it out. They essentially have no self soothing skills at this age which is pretty much the key to deciding when a baby is ready to ready to cry it out.

Hope this helps- worked like a charm for us. This book was a lifesaver- it gives you concrete, stepwise instructions which are highly effective instead of some vague, generalized suggestions which I found in other resources.

Sara - posted on 12/22/2009

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6 weeks is WAY too young for self-soothing, do not listent to the moms who have told you to go ahead ans start using CIO with a baby this young, it is absolutely irresponsible.



I understand what you're going through, my baby was the same as yours. We did not use the Ferber method with her until she was 6 months (the recommended age to use CIO btw). I would really suggest picking up Ferber's book (How to Solve your Child's Sleep Problems-Richard Ferber, M.D.) and educate yourself on how to do it properly. I think doing it to a child who is too young could be damaging and borderline abusive. Don't get me wrong, I am a huge supporter of CIO, but it has a bad name because some people do not educate themselves about it and employ the method properly.



I want to add one more thing to this...the research that people have been pointing to in this thread against CIO is bunk. That Harvard "study" someone posted a link to is actually an original research paper, but an opinion paper based mostly on anthropological studies of parenting practices. It describes how U.S. parents emphasize independence, while mommies from other cultures co-sleep and respond faster to their little ones. It does not have any data about sleep training. The list of studies that Dr. Sears lists on his website are also bunk. There are too many to explain each here, but for example, one states that infants who cry excessively have a higher incidence of ADHD, antisocial behavior, and poor school performance. When you look at the original study, though, the crying clearly has nothing to do with sleep training. The study shows that fussiness and subsequent crying (regardless of what parents do in response) might be a symptom of an underlying problem that could come up later in life. Sears quoted another study as showing that crying early on makes a child fussy and emotionally unbalanced. Again, the actual study says that babies who already cry a lot might be showing early signs that they are slower to develop emotional control. None of the Sears studies listed shows negative consequences as a result of a structured sleep training program. I know this isn't a debate about CIO versus whatever, but don't mislead people. CIO, when used appropriately and in conjunction with attentive and nuturing parenting can be a useful tool.

Shane - posted on 12/22/2009

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i had twins ( 15 years ago ) but they always had to get themselves to sleep,they were sleeping 8 hours though the night from 8 weeks old,and 12 hour at 12 weeks old.
i always used the same bedtime with bath ,clean nappy and bottle before and then took them to thier cots,
also i never put them in their cots during the day.they stayed in a carry cot downstairs with me.it helps them to know the difference between day and night. hope this helps x

Purnima - posted on 12/22/2009

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Quoting Sarika:

Is 6 weeks too old to teach them how to self soothe or fall asleep on their own?

My 6 week old will only sleep in our arms, despite attempts to put her down in her bed - either if we hold her for 20 minutes or an hour, it doesn't matter. It is exhausting and I can't keep doing that. Any ideas on how to deal with this?


Babies usually love warm and to be cosy, so try to keep a soft pillow next to her, so that she feels she is sleeping near someone. You can even try by playing soft music . I tried this with my son and it really helped. He would go to sleep listening to the music. all the best, enjoy your day with your baby. Once they grow old they become too busy with their own activities.



 

Renae - posted on 12/22/2009

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Oh I hate it when I post and COM jams and looses it??? Does anyone else get that?



Anyway what did I type.



Ooooo this is always a tough question. I am an advocate of crying it out (ONLY when done with cry interpretation - I am absolutely not an advocate of control crying) but your baby is very young. Most sleep methods, including CIO methods, are designed for babies AT LEAST 12 weeks old, some older. But I do understand that you are exhausted and can not continue like this.



May I make a suggestion? Have you considered any other no-cry methods? I am thinking in particular of gradual withdrawal. It works well on newborns (i.e. under 3 months). It will likely take a couple of weeks, but it will be much easier on such a young baby. I understand you are tired and only you can decide if you are able to put in the time day and night that a gentler method requires. You are welcome to contact me for instructions.



If you do decide you use a crying method you are also welcome to contact me for information about cry interpretation. Sorry I cant include everything in a post because noone likes it when my posts are a page long! :)

Leanna - posted on 12/22/2009

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Quoting Lisa:

It is horrible that posters are giving you such dangerous advice. Sleep training a six week old? A newborn? CIO for a newborn? Infants have actually died from this.

Even those hard-core CIO proponents don't recommend this until six months.

Consider the fact that you essentially carried her for nearly ten months- why in the world would you expect her to be OK with being alone to sleep? In her animal mind, being apart from you is to risk bodily harm and abandonment.

Current research shows that prolonged crying damages the developing neural pathways in infants.

Get a soft baby carrier like a mei tai, ergo, sling, or a wrap. She'll be comforted being next to you but you'll have two hands. Bedshare at night.



I so agree with her! your baby is 6 weeks old you arnt supose to be doing anything untill you visit your Dr. for your 6 week checkup and if you had a c section its 8 weeks you are suppose to be enjoying this time they grow so fast and then they dont want you at all this is your bonding time... get the sling its is the best thing ever I was able to do all sorts of things with my sons in the sling, I  even went minature golfing with him in it... my kids are 7 and 14  I totally enjoyed them at that age and latter on caught up on the house... I totally miss that time of their lifes. it goes fast... they did take naps in the car seat really well and by time they were 6 months I was able to put them to sleep in there cribs.sometimes had problems but patting on the back untill they slept worked..

Melissa - posted on 12/22/2009

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Research shows that it's best to wait until babies are about 6 months. Before then, they need to know you're there to reassure them, make them feel safe. It helps them develop trust...It's hard, but I'd say wait till 6 months before you start letting her CIO for short periods of time only. It's a personal decision however. Do what feels right to you.



My daughter was the same way, she'd wake up so easily ! At first, I had to put her on a mat in bed. She would fall asleep while I was breastfeeding laying in bed, then I would put her in her crip by slipping my hands under the mat and placing her in her crib ! Also, for the first like 6 weeks, she would fall asleep in her swing alot. When that didn't work, she'd fall asleep on the bed and I would leave her there (the bed was pushed against the wall and she slepped between me and the wall)... I clearly remember things getting better and better starting at 6 weeks ! After a few months, she wasn't so easy to wake up. It became much more easy to put her in her crip...If you choose to leave her sleep in your bed, you have to make sure it's snug against the wall, that there as no cracks, no heavy blankets, pillows around her, and switch her to the crib before she can roll over, mine strated to show signs she might roll over at about 3-4 months, she only actually rolled over at about 5 months but as soon as she showed the first signs I started putting her in the crib and it went well...

Jenny - posted on 12/22/2009

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Quoting Kellee:

It is simply awful, but let her cry it out. You will need a huge box of Kleenex, because you will likely cry as hard as she does. I put my son in his bassinet and just patted him; eventually he put his hand in his mouth and started sucking it and fell asleep.



I dont want to offend, but did it ever accur to you that your baby was telling you that he was hungry by sucking on his hand..that poor baby went to sleep hungry alot of nights. :-(

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