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Four week old can't sleep unless held.

(4 Posts)
mummy2b2011 Thu 11-Aug-11 17:45:08

Hi All,

I have a 4 week old DD1 and am having trouble getting her to sleep by herself; she has actually NEVER slept anywhere other than on myself or DH (or in the carseat and sling)... DH and I have been sleeping in shifts, but he will be going back to work in a week and we are starting to panic....she doesn't like her moses basket and doesn't really like to co-sleep with me (she has managed 30 mins at most before waking herself up). She flings her arms and legs about so much that she wakes herself up.... and hates to be swaddled.

I feel a bit like we have made a mistake by allowing the situation to get this far, but she loves to be cuddled and sleeps really well (4 hour stretches at night).

Is this normal or should she have had some stretches of sleep by herself by now?

JeewizzJen Thu 11-Aug-11 20:12:34

My DS is 6 weeks, and the longest he's slept in his moses basket is 3 hours - and that was once. More often it's an hour to an hour and a half. If he sleeps on me I'll get 3-4 hours, so needless to say he often ends up on me! We've got into a little routine where my OH will let him sleep on him at 'bedtime' - usually around 8.30ish, giving me a couple of hours to go and get some sleep in the bed on my own. When DS wakes for a feed, he brings him to me in bed, and OH goes to bed (usually in another room as he's working). After the feed I'll put DS down in the moses basket and he'll usually manage an hour or so, when he'll wake and I'll feed him again. It's then hit or miss as to whether he'll go down again after - if he does he has to be absolutely fast asleep before I attempt to put him down. Sometimes even that makes no difference. I usually cave for his last night feed around 3-4 and leave him sleeping on me until we get up around 6. He won't sleep in the bed with me either - only on me, with me propped up on cushions. During the day he won't ever settle in the moses basket.

My health visitor suggested that some babies don't like moses baskets, and to try his cot (in my room), so I might try that soon.

As frustrating as it is, I guess it's still early days, and really he just needs to comfort and warmth of his parents to feel safe enough to sleep deeply. I'm hoping he'll grow out of it eventually. Hopefully.... grinS

Mapal Thu 11-Aug-11 20:34:48

4 weeks is still SO young, this is pretty common, maybe even normal. I know when you're that sleep deprived it feels like forever, but it has ONLY been 4 weeks and it absolutely WILL get better I promise. Your post brought back so many memories and I'm sure most parents can identify with this predicament. My hubby went back to work at a similar time, 4 weeks, and I still wonder how we coped, but you do. It was when I was going back to work after 10 months and DS still wasn't sleeping well that the panic really set in!! If your wee girl wants cuddling to sleep at the moment then I'd cuddle her. But if you're not able to get any sleep this way try lying close and stroking her and making soothing noises until she goes to sleep. She may fuss for a bit but she can't stay awake forever (even though it feels that way at 3am!) and if you always use the same way of getting her to sleep she will soon associate it and drop off more quickly.

UKSky Thu 11-Aug-11 21:08:55

Know how you are feeling. My DD was the same for about 6 weeks. I spent that time sleeping propped up in bed against a big pile of pillows whilst she slept on my chest. I found that I could drop off to sleep before her, and she'd quickly follow.

There are a couple of things you could try:

1. Sleeping bag as this is quite comforting as well as being warm.

2. When she is getting ready for sleep wrap her loosely in a sheet so when you lie her in her moses basket she's warm and snuggly and there's no cold mattress. My HV also showed me how to lie DD slightly on her side with the lower arm sticking out so she couldn't roll over. Worked a treat for a while.

I have heard that some babies don't like moses baskets because they have some "give" in them whereas a cot mattress is much firmer.

It does end. I know it doesn't seem like it now. I also let her snooze on me during the day so I could nap at the same time.

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