self soothing(18 Posts)
Hi all, my little girl is 3 and a half weeks old and she constantly wants to be held.. Won't go to sleep without being in my arms but the minute you put her down in her bed she screams. I want to get her into a routine of getting off to sleep in her own bed but at the same time my expectations aren't very high as I know she's still very young and probably just a cuddly baby. From what I understand though, if I don't nip this in the bud while she's young it'll go on for ages and I would really like to get her in a routine sooner rather than later. We've tried just putting her down into her bed tonight having been fed, changed and bathed but I've been sitting by her cot for hours now trying everything I can to get her to fall asleep in her own bed rather than on me, talking to her, rubbing her tummy, playing music, white noise, singing to her and every now and then she goes quiet like she's about to drift off and then she'll start screaming again. Without sounding like I'm expecting a miracle to occur; does anyone have any advice? I just want her to sleep in her own bed but I had no idea it would take this long for her to actually fall asleep in the first place? I don't want to give up having spent hours sitting by her cot, seemingly making a little bit of progress but I really need to sleep myself anyone?
Sweetie she is TINY! You are expecting way way too much from a newborn. I thought you were going to say she was well over 6 months old when you said "self soothe".
This is what it's like for the foreseeable future - at least a few more weeks maybe months. She has no wants that are not needs at this stage - you can't spoil her or try to "nip it in the bud". She doesn't even know she is a separate person to you yet! Give her lots and lots of cuddles- try co-sleeping safely and ask your partner to take over when you need some rest
Congratulations by the way
I'm up with my 3.5 week old too at the minute! Congrats and .
Is she overtired when you put her down to sleep. Ds can generally still only stay awake 1 hour now before he's looking tired. As soon as he seems sleepy I stick him down- if they get overtired they won't settle (my experience anyway). I have one of those projectors with white noise (vtech I think) and that was a good send with dcs1&2 and working well so far with this one too. But I find putting them down as they are getting tired is the most important thing. Good luck. And it's not easy!!! No one finds it easy!!
3 week olds don't self soothe! Please stop trying to get her into a routine, please don't think that what you do now will continue into her toddler years, it won't. Just pick her up and cuddle her until she's fast asleep, it's what she needs. She's physically and emotionally incapable of soothing herself and will be for a while.
It's knackering isn't it. You can't create bad habits right now, she's a newborn. If you need sleep then your DP and other helpful visitors should be taking the baby while you go to bed for a few hours here and there. You and DP do shifts if necessary.
Another idea if you are breastfeeding is to learn to feed lying down so you can safely nod off while feeding (make sure you have it set up so you can safely co sleep). Good luck OP it will get easier.
Self-soothing is a myth, and routines for babies are pointless. Get a sling and enjoy snuggles
I thought you were going to say 3 and a half years!! I hate the term self sooth - it's banded about and makes mothers feel rubbish for doing what they need to do, which is help their tiny babies sleep! You probably stand more chance of getting sleep if you cuddle your baby to sleep then pop her down once she's in a deep sleep then sneak to bed yourself.
At this age, they wake and sleep all the time, it's really hard going but at the moment there's nothing to 'nip in the bud'. If at six/nine months old she still only sleeps cuddling you then tackle it....now, she's just a tiny newborn needing physical comfort, please respond to her and cuddle away!
Cuddles all the way !!! It is so true that at this age there is no way you can create 'bad habits'. My dd was rarely put downable until she was about 6 months old. It is exhausting but totally normal. Do you have a supportive partner or family member who can take her when she Is not feeding for a while so you can rest ? I found a gro swaddled helped as it made my dd feel more secure and cosy when put down and I also used a sleepyhead for her to sleep in which helped. Congratulations though and much reassurance from here that it DOES get easier
Your dd is going to want to be held and cuddled to sleep for many more months, that's what babies do. Of course she won't be happy being 'put down' to sleep, babies don't put themselves to sleep. Your dd wants to be next to you, to feel and smell you, that's what will help her fall asleep. You teach babies to be put down to sleep much later on.
It's also far too early to expect a baby to fall into a routine who has only been on the earth for 3 weeks. We're obsessed with routine. Go with the flow, your baby is gong to go through a lot of phases and growth spurts over the coming months and she will change constantly.
Please Cuddle/rock/soothe your baby for as long as she needs in life, the'newborn' days go by so quickly (I know at the time it seems like it's never going to end). I've been awake most of the night cradling my 6 week old and I also have a 14 month old who likes to Begin the day at 5am. They're only small for a short time so cherish these precious moments.
Blimey, that's very young! I don't understand the concept of self soothing. The baby wakes up on a firm mattress with a seemingly thin sleeping bag in a room of 18 degrees. They realise they're all alone and start to cry. After a couple of minutes they suddenly think "oh right, I'm happy with this, I'll just pop back to sleep for a few more hours". I don't get it.
Without sounding like I'm expecting a miracle to occur; does anyone have any advice?
You are expecting a miracle
I get it though, no one prepares you for how much they're going to want to be near you, constantly, even though it makes perfect sense cos that's where they've been for the past 9 months! There's so much DO NOT CO SLEEP advice from health professionals when I found it was basically CO sleep or don't sleep...so I would say accept things the way they are now, don't waste time trying to get her to self settle or sleep in her cot, it won't work and will just stress you both out, enjoy them curled up on you chest snoozing away, it's a precious time and goes very fast in the grand scheme of things. My baby is 4 months and I already miss those snuggly newborn cuddles where they're basically asleep or eating, deffo look into getting a sling aswell so you can eat/have a cup of tea while they sleep.
Try a fizzy chair - ours loved his even from tiny. We did not even think about 'teaching' him to sleep until 6 months.
He also had a sleepyhead so felt cocooned when in his own bed.
self-soothing is a myth
Useful leaflet on caring for your baby at night
We found feeding them to sleep and then holding them until deeply asleep and transferring them gently was the only way. At three weeks even that might be a little optimistic. Are you breastfeeding? Could you set yourself up for safer bed sharing (if you don't drink or smoke) and then try feeding lying down?
It will get easier.
Obviously things may change with my 3 week old but sometimes he falls asleep on me. Sometimes when he's sleepy but not asleep
I put him in his Moses basket and he falls asleep. That's the way I've done it with all 3 and it works. My older two don't show any emotional
Scars from not being cuddled to sleep all the time. In fact they are happy loving thoughtful cuddly characters. So.... Maybe some do need to be cuddled to sleep all the time but mine didn't and don't and in real life most of my friends would leave babies to settle themselves lots of the time. Do what works for you. It is very early days and as pp have said it is gone so quickly so enjoy those cuddles!!! (Ds is snuggled up on me now- but did sleep in Moses basket all Night and I will Put him in Moses basket at lunch for nap- in theory... If he cries I'll take him out). Good luck. It's hard but try to enjoy it.
Firstly congratulations on your new baby
3 weeks old is still very very young. It's best not to worry about self soothing and routines until later on, at this stage it's all about doing what works!
Both of mine gradually fell into a routine naturally over the course of a few months. It started at around 3/4months with them getting tired for bed at around the same time every evening. Then by around 6/7 months they were taking their naps at regular intervals too. Every baby is different, but by 7 months I was able to pop them both down in their cots and they would drift off by themselves. I didn't really do much to encourage this, it just sort of happened over time. As they got older I started giving them the opportunity to drop off on their own, which may or may not have helped. How ever if they cried I picked them up and tried something else.
Enjoy the cuddles, this time passes so quickly. My second is now 9 months old and I can't quite believe how fast time is going.
Babies can go to sleep without being held - having twins proves this - you have no choice !
She could be getting acid burn being laid flat - lift the mattress up by putting a folded towel under it to keep her head higher -
Put her down in one quick movement not slowly slowly - makes a difference
Is she being swaddled? The first three months are often called the 4th trimester for a reason.
No point in even thinking about this until she's much older.
Self soothing and "rod for your own back" are myths. She won't need this forever. Enjoy the cuddles before she becomes mobile and runs away from you.
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.