Sleeping troubles

Jennifer - posted on 11/21/2008 ( 25 moms have responded )

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My 4 week old baby was sleeping just fine in her bassinette until 2 nights ago, now she is restless and won't settle down. If she falls asleep in our arms and we try to put her down in the bassinette she immediately wakes up and starts crying. We have been putting her in her swing just so she will sleep at night but I don't want to get in the habit of that. Any suggestions to get her back in the bassinette?

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Sadie - posted on 04/06/2009

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hey my baby boy was like thats fine for the first week then would hate being in his moses basket. we decided to try him in his cot in his own room and he has been fine i used to sleep on a campbed in his room but have now moved back into my room and just have the baby monitor on. he loves being in his cot

Emily - posted on 11/21/2008

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Marta - This seems more and more like an opinion of which battles to choose. I enjoy spending time cuddling with my children at night and will continue to allow them to sleep in my bed if they choose, but they are required to help around the house at a very early age. My older two girls (3 1/2 & 2 1/2) must get dressed and make their beds before they eat breakfast. I will help if they ask for it, but they usually just need to be reminded what they're supposed to do. They also clean up their own toys. Again I help with this, but I help by sitting in the middle of the floor (usually nursing the baby) and direct them to the toys that need cleaning up. These girls also take their hamper to the laundry room and load the washing machine (we have a front-loader).

I expect that my children help around the house, but I don't fight where they sleep. As a kid I remember looking forward to my dad going on business trips because my siblings and I were allowed to sleep in my parents "big bed" while dad was gone. Even in high school I remember my sisters and I fighting over who's turn it was to get the big bed. I guess I don't see a need to fight where the kids sleep as long as I also get to sleep, and co-sleeping allows me to sleep. :)

[deleted account]

Just a couple of things I wanted to mention after reading through the comments here. You didn't mention if you were breast- or bottle-feeding, but either way, it is MUCH MUCH MUCH too early to introduce anything but breastmilk or formula. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends beginning solids no earlier than 6 months as the digestive system is immature before this point and premature introduction of solid foods increases the risk of asthma, allergies, and obesity among other things.

Secondly, an infant under the age of six months can NOT be spoiled. It is simply not possible - recent literature published in psychology journals show that a young baby whose cries are not responded to will eventually stop crying. You might think this sounds great, but the baby has learned to stop trusting that anyone will come for him/her. These findings show that children who are attended to quickly as infants are the most securely attached and independent as they grow older because they have learned to trust their environments and feel comfortable.

To the original poster - all of my babies slept *on* me for the first two months or so of life. It seemed like whenever I put them down - even if they were FAST asleep - they would wake within moments. They are only so young for such a short time; enjoy holding your baby and consider the possibility of co-sleeping (or using a side-car arrangement next to your bed if you are uncomfortable sleeping with the baby directly in bed with you) so you can get a little more rest. Everyone knows new moms need more rest! ;) Good luck!

Stephanie - posted on 11/21/2008

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Clearly there are a ton of opinions out there on what is best for your baby. I could never do the cry it out method, as it didn't feel right to me. Though it seems to work well for others. I don't think you can spoil a baby, as they are just learning EVERYTHING for the first time. All our actions teach them what the world is about. For that reason, I try to take a very patient loving approach, where the attachment and security is present, but also helping find ways for him to learn.

When I had sleep issues with my son, I tried everything (except for crying it out) for a while. However being consistent and sticking with one method was what helped him learn to sleep. I never fed him right before sleep (I'd dance with him after feeding) and had very strict bedtime routine. I always laid him down awake. If he cried, I comforted him while he was in his crib. At first it took a while for him to calm that way, but now I lay him down wide awake and he falls asleep very quickly and peacefully. I also agree the co-sleeping (I had one attached to my bed) is a great option if you and your husband and get your rest too.

Marta - posted on 11/21/2008

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I personally don't consider housework to be juggling things that's a part of everyday life. When I say juggling I mean work and school not just my duties as a wife and mother. When you're in post secondary you've got deadlines; I don't have enough patience to be a stay at home mom and I think it's great that other women are doing it. My mother was a stay at home mom and I condone her for it it's a lot of work to raise your kids. My parents did coddle me and I turned out fine. So long as there's positive reinforcement of one's self worth at home most kids turn out fine, not all but most. I want my children to know that they are their own sovereign being and that they need to do things for themselves Mommy can't do EVERYTHING. I personally believe it starts from birth. Independance is a learned behaviour. Are you going to clean their rooms for them when they're 12? Probably not so why do the things that are obligatory for them? Sleeping in your own bed is obligatory not optional. Teach them when they're young and they'll never forget. I never allowed them to sleep in our bed and now that they're toddlers they don't come and ask. If they have a nightmare they get comforted in their own beds, they get a song maybe a story and they're tucked back in.

Emily - posted on 11/21/2008

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Research shows that children who are securely attached to their parents as infants and allowed to be close to their parents until they decide to venture out on their own are more likely to display confidence as they grow, and are better adjusted in general.

My three daughters (11 months - 3 1/2 years) are my life and they do take a lot of work, but I love every minute of it and enjoy my time cuddling with them... having my children well-adjusted is more important to me than having a sparkling clean kitchen, or having every scrap of clean laundry folded.

And with the swaddling thing, for those with older babies... try a bigger, thinner blanket and wrap it TIGHT. I still swaddle my 11 month old (who started climbing and has been walking for 2 months) and she can't get out.

Danielle - posted on 11/21/2008

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i was a sucker for my little one at this age... for about the first two months she slept ON me, on either the couch or our huge armchair... not good for me. wont do it again with this next baby.

i started swaddling around 6 weeks or so, and that worked for a while until she could break out of the swaddle, and thats a whole other bag of worms. (bag of worms?? lol is that even a saying, i think its can! lol)



i would try a little bit of everything, besides feeding her cereal, she's still too young for that. but maybe warming her bed before she gets in? that sounds like a good idea. as long as its not too hot. might work?

Marta - posted on 11/21/2008

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When it comes to the battle between having a child that is selfsufficient and independant (as much as they can be it's obviously limited) and having a child who's attached to their mother at the breast 24/7 I'd rather have children who can self-soothe. When you're juggling as many things as I am coddling is not an option! Spoiled babies are not an option! You obviously can't let them cry for 1/2 and hour straight but let them cry for 10 minutes then go in there pick them up give a hug and kiss swaddle them and put the back in bed. It might be a little stressful but within a matter of days you'll have your body back to yourself until its time to feed to baby.

Emily - posted on 11/21/2008

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Babies find the vacuuming soothing because it sounds similar to the bodily sounds they heard in the womb. A white noise machine can also duplicate this, as can the dryer.

I personally completely disagree with CIO, but if you must do it, please wait until your baby is older. A 4 week old cries because she needs something, even if it is just comfort... that is a legitimate need. Leaving an infant in isolation to scream until they pass out is completely inhumane in my mind.

Marta - posted on 11/21/2008

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Did you fall asleep while feeding her around the time that this happened? If you did then she probably fell asleep and found it to be a very nice and comforting thing. Try feeding her, if she falls asleep then wake her up, change her, put her in her bassinette and let her cry it out. She'll eventually fall asleep on her own, she'll get too tired to cry anymore. If you can handle the crying then this is a good option--it worked for both of my boys--if not then let her cry for a little bit, go into her room tuck her back in sing her a lullabye and walk out again. If you need to get away from the crying step outside for a few seconds take a few deep breaths then go and make yourself something warm to drink (It's soothing to have a nice hot cup of tea or hot cocoa).



Some people vaccuum when their babies sleep a) it muffles the crying and b) many babies find the sound soothing--I don't pretend to understand why!

HelenJane - posted on 11/21/2008

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My son, as soon as we got home, every 20 minutes would wake up screaming when he was on his back. We tried everything swaddling him, not swaddling him, putting him to sleep before putting him in his crib. Nothing worked. When we would lay him down on his back, he would sceam and make motions with his arms like he was falling. So after of 2 months of no sleeping, we put him on his belly. We had one of the Angel monitors that detect breating. But even with that monitor, for the first week of putting him on his belly, I slept in his room, and woke every time he woke, but he did fine. So, he has been a belly sleeper from the start. I think it depends on the child and the parents. You have to do what works best for both of you. This worked for us. He is now a year old and still sleeps on his belly. But so do I, his father and his brother.

Emily - posted on 11/21/2008

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Iris - co-sleeping is NOT a bad thing. In fact, it's an awesome way to allow everyone to sleep better and get some extra bonding time in.
Janessa - 4 weeks is WAY too soon to be introducing rice cereal. Current advice says definitely not before 4 months and new research is showing that the longer you wait the better (6-8 months is much better), and rice may not be the best first food, especially for a breastfed baby.

I would try swaddling, putting her to bed while drowsy but not asleep yet, and co-sleeping. We've done all of these things with all three of our girls and they're all happy sleepers. The older two (3 1/2 & 2 1/2) go to sleep in their own room, in their own beds after a calm bedtime routine and a hug and a kiss. When they have a bad dream, they come into our room and are allowed to spend the rest of the night in our bed. Our baby is 11 months and will nurse until drowsy, then fall asleep on her own in her crib which is pushed up against our bed, with one rail missing. When she wakes in the early morning (about 4am) to nurse, she just crawls over to me in bed and I don't even have to wake up.

Except for the standard wakings because someone kicked me (no more than if it were just me and DH in bed) I sleep soundly from 10pm to 7am.

Also, check out Elizabeth Pantley's "No-Cry Sleep Solution". She has some great methods for establishing healthy gentle sleep habits from early on.

[deleted account]

Hi, Jennifer! I feel your pain. My daughter was the exact same way - she didn't sleep by herself until she was almost 2 months old. Part of it was that I had to have a c-section so it was much easier to just let her sleep with me than trying to get up and down (which for the first couple of weeks just wasn't and option). My pediatrician told us not to worry about it at that age - so long as they can sleep on their own by the time they are 3 months then no "bad habits" have been formed. My daughter now sleeps on her own at night and as of yesterday naps by herself! Good luck, girl! Don't stress.

Jennifer - posted on 11/21/2008

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I forgot to say that we also figured out that he likes to sleep on his tummy. You could try that especially if she can move her head a little. Dane is so strong that he has been holding his head up since the day he came out. :)

Jennifer - posted on 11/21/2008

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I would try to move her to a crib as well. My son was just 3 weeks when I did this, and nothing is better than them sleeping by themselves. I would think that the cold sheets are part of the problem. Dane also started cereal at about 4 1/2 - 5 weeks. It will not hurt them. It will only help make them a better eater. Just don't start out too strong.

Joyce - posted on 11/21/2008

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My almost 3 month old still won't sleep on her back in her cradle without being swaddled in a blanket first. Swaddling seems to work like a charm with her.

User - posted on 11/21/2008

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When my son was little he had similar problems so I started wrapping him nice and snug in his baby blanket just like they had in the hospital, basically wrapping him like a soft taco before he fell asleep. I found he slept much better and I could lay him down without him realizing as he still felt snuggled

Iris - posted on 11/21/2008

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i used to have the same situation with my daughter. but, yes, i know, im bad, i gave in. she slept with me. i know its bad, but i was breastfeeding and working and i knew that was the only way for both of us to sleep. im not saying to try this, but it worked for me. we both got what we wanted, she felt safe with me and i got sleep!!!! lol. so really i tried a lot of things, but she would always wake up and know i wasnt with her.

[deleted account]

That sounds exactly the same as what my little guy did. She is still so young so just wants to be held. Battling with getting her to sleep in his bassinette at this stage will just make you more frustrated. We really found Harvey Karps the happiest baby on the block really helpfull ( the DVD). After the 6th night of getting up and getting him back to sleep putting him down starting all over again.. I gave in and brought him in bed with us. Then he slept for 2/3 hour stretches. Now at almost 5 months he is in his own crib in his own room.. and I must admit I miss him being in the bed with us a little. We too used the swing as a transition from our bed to his and just phased it out. Do whatever works for sleep at this stage. She is too young for any type of sleep training.It does get better!!

Janessa - posted on 11/21/2008

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You can always put a tiny bit of rice cereal in a bottle of formula to help fill her up a little.

Anne - posted on 11/21/2008

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Agree with Tara and Stephanie.
With regards to Miriam's comments - be VERY careful about overheating your baby. With regards to Sheryl's comments - your baby is not old enough to begin solid food. Her digestive system is not developed enough. Recent research shows babies can be exclusively breastfed/formula fed until 6 months, however, can start solids from 4 months (no younger).
Keep persisting with sleep settling techniques. Tara's suggestions were good.

User - posted on 11/21/2008

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Have you tried some solid food yet so she is full before bed? I used to feed my son cereal before bed to get him to sleep better. I also had to rock him a long time to make sure he was really asleep before very very gently putting him down. I think when they are this young you can break the bad habits later and try to get everyone some sleep any way you can so you can be the best mom or dad you can be!! They will eventually sleep in their own bed, so if they sleep in the swing now and you get sleep so be it!!! Good luck!

Miriam - posted on 11/21/2008

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My son used to do that, and it got to the point where I'd hold him almost all night, just so we could sleep. We eventually figured out that the transition from our warm arms to the cold sheets was the problem. We started putting a heating pad into the bassinet between a blanket and the sheet for about 5 minutes and then taking it out and laying him in the warm spot. Worked like a charm...hope this helps!

Darlene - posted on 11/21/2008

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I know she's little but have you thought about moving her to a crib? I couldn't get my son to sleep in his bassinette so at 6 weeks I tried his crib and it was magic. He started sleeping through the night within two weeks of being in the crib. I think it was the comfy mattress!! He's now 2 1/2 and STILL in that crib and is still a great sleeper.

[deleted account]

She's still so young so take your time and keep patient! She's probably trying to find what comforts her. Have you tried swadling, soft music, aromatherapy, bath time before bed...Babies go through so many stages and growth spurts. Two nights isn't quite enough time to determine her discomfort and it could just be a rough run of a few nights. She's still learning about her parents as much as you're both learning about her! Good luck!

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