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Baby won't sleep unless in my/my husband's arms

(16 Posts)
Ohlalala Mon 21-Mar-16 01:10:27

Hi everyone,

My baby is 6 days old and won't sleep unless in my/my husband's arms. So far we have only managed to get her to sleep in her cot once every day for one or two hours. The rest of the time, she's ended up sleeping in our arms. I am very much aware that she's very young and in principle I am very happy to hold her while she sleeps (within reason - we are getting knackered!) but I am also worried about getting her into a routine whereby she'll need to rely on us (and ours arms!) to sleep. Am I justified in worrying about setting 'bad' habits at such an early age? Will we struggle to get her to move to falling asleep and sleeping in her cot later on? (By the way we have tried a few things like warming up the cot, leaving my husband's shirt next to it, spending time by the cot to appease her,...). What age is best to start having a more rigid bed policy and routine?

BeaArthursUnderpants Mon 21-Mar-16 01:40:50

At 6 days you do anything you need to do to survive!!! Don't worry about habits and things for a couple of months yet. And don't worry, it is not unusual at all for a baby that young to only sleep in arms. She's been inside your body for the past 9 months so she's used to the closeness. It's exhausting for the parents but you survive somehow, and they grow out of it. Are you swaddling her? Make sure you do it nice and tight. You will get through this. Anyway what's your other option? You can't leave a 6-day old baby to cry.

BeaArthursUnderpants Mon 21-Mar-16 01:50:54

Oh and congratulations! You're in the thick of it now but this will all be a blur later. You literally can't make any mistakes at this point as long as you keep your baby fed and warm and clean and respond to her cries. That's ALL you have to do right now. (Not that it's easy!). Good luck -- it gets better!!!

Ohlalala Mon 21-Mar-16 01:58:39

Thank you BeaArthurs. I agree- there is obviously no way we would let leave her to cry anyway.

We have tried swaddling but it doesn't work either.

Ohlalala Mon 21-Mar-16 02:09:07

Just saw your second message. Thank you for your kind words!

pickleandflux Mon 21-Mar-16 16:10:19

We were the same but it does get better. Tried things like swaddling, rocking, warming her bed, white noise etc etc, but it just took time to improve things. She is still so new and the world is a scary place so she needs closeness. Don't worry about bad habits - she is too young and things will naturally improve I'm sure. Meantime take all offers of help so that you can rest as much as possible.

Coconut0il Mon 21-Mar-16 20:01:22

Congratulations on your DD. Please don't worry about bad habits at such a young age. She is adjusting to her new surroundings and just wants to be close to you. No hot water bottle, shirt in the basket or swaddling worked for DS2 either. He just wanted to he held. The only way we got any sleep in the early days was to take turns. One holding, one asleep. Google the fourth trimester, it's an interesting read.
This time will go so quickly. DS2 is 7 months now. He's had a loose routine since about 4 months. Prior to this he slept downstairs in the evening on one of us. At 4 months he started to grumble downstairs at about 7 and wouldn't sleep until we bought him up to the dark bedroom. He has a nappy change, pj's on, bf and a few nursery rhymes and he's normally asleep quite quickly. I didn't do anything, he just decided 7 was his bedtime. Lots of people include bath in bedtime routine but DS2 loves it too much and gets totally excited so we do that earlier in the day instead.

TiredOfSleep Mon 21-Mar-16 21:58:58

We had this for the first two weeks, increasing to a few hours after midnight after a week. It's a very short term thing, don't worry.

Gingernut81 Wed 23-Mar-16 17:17:45

Same here, we did shifts through the night sitting with DD after trying every trick in the book. We eventually found that she'd sleep in her carry cot, I think because it was a bit more cocooned, and then moved up to a Moses basket & then bednest. We also tried rolling up muslins & towels & putting them down the side of the carry cot/Moses basket to make it feel even smaller! It does get better!

AnnaBegins Wed 23-Mar-16 17:27:13

We had the same thing, and just seconding what everyone else has said, your baby can't form habits yet. Have you tried a sling, like a close caboo or stretchy wrap? Saved our lives! Also we had a cocoonababy which he preferred to the Moses basket.

StepfauxWife Sat 26-Mar-16 00:45:34

Just hijacking this thread somewhat while I hold my three day old DD!

Is it acceptable to have baby sleep in a sling with the carrier in an upright position?

houseeveryweekend Sat 26-Mar-16 01:14:18

My son would only sleep on my OHs chest for the first couple of months of his life... he would scream blue murder if we tried to put him in his moses basket.... so to get rest we just let him sleep on my partners chest. After two months we started having him next to us in bed (away from pillows and blankets) and he accepted that but would only sleep on his front (caused me no end of worry)
Then after 5 months we moved house and he had a cot in his own room and the first night he just settled in there no problems at all and SLEPT STRAIGHT THRU THE NIGHT! and has done ever since! (except once over Christmas when we were staying at someones house) and he seeps on his back now..... I don't think you should worry at all about where he sleeps at 6 days old, you should just make sure he feels as secure as possible as that will make him calmer generally. I stand by those who say not to let a baby that young cry, they cant be 'spoilt' by being picked up too much. I think the more secure they are made to feel at that young then the less clingy they will be when older. xx

nutbrownhare15 Sat 26-Mar-16 09:08:02

I had this and ended up bedsharing as it meant everyone could sleep. Look up safety guidelines if it's something you might consider ( James McKenna's work very reassuring. My little one is now 8 months and sleeps in her cot- but it's sidecarred to our bed for maximum ease when feeding her at night. Just do what you need to get through these early days. I spent so much time worrying about the future that I almost forgot to enjoy the present a lot of the time. Things will get a little easier over time, and problems you imagine may never materialise. Enjoy your new baby, I can't imagine mine that small any more 😞

nutbrownhare15 Sat 26-Mar-16 09:12:05

And in answer to your question Stepfauxwife yes but follow safe baby wearing guidelines, google TICKS for details. And if you have one go to your local sling library / sling meet for advice and support.

namechangedtoday15 Sat 26-Mar-16 09:17:46

10 weeks here of sleeping on us day and night. Went into a moses basket easily after that. Seems she just needed that closeness in the early days. Just go with the flow now and just enjoy your baby!

TangerineTrees Sat 26-Mar-16 12:38:01

Exactly the same here - sling (& eventually sleepyhead) helped hugely.
It does get better. Though I'm sure it absolutely doesn't feel like it at the moment! They just want the comfort & security. And really, what's more lovely than your newborn snuggled up on your chest? Enjoy it if you can, it will pass quickly enough.

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