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DS won't nap or sleep in his cot, only when held

(25 Posts)
strangerjo Mon 18-Apr-16 20:20:26

My son is 7wks and will only sleep when held. Even if we get him to fall asleep in my arms, he miraculously wakes up the second he's lifted off my body and then he won't settle. On the very rare occasion he's made it asleep into the cot, he'll stir for a while then wake up and cry. If anyone has any suggestions I'd really appreciate it.

Flisspaps Mon 18-Apr-16 20:43:48

Sounds pretty standard. I got a sling with DS because he was a full on Velcro baby.

namechangedtoday15 Mon 18-Apr-16 20:45:35

My DD was like that for 10 weeks but gradually got better as she got bigger. Hang in there!

kissedbyamoonbeam Mon 18-Apr-16 20:46:49

I had one of those. Tight swaddling worked a treat.

mexymoo Mon 18-Apr-16 20:52:14

My DD (almost 10months) has only started napping in her cot about 6 weeks ago, she was prem and spent 13 weeks in hospital so when we got her home we were more than happy for her to nap on us. She wouldn't entertain a Moses basket at all. I think at 7 weeks it's to be expected, a sling is a great way to allow you to get things done while baby is sleeping or you could just enjoy relaxing with baby on you smile

Thataintnoetchasketch Mon 18-Apr-16 20:53:49

My LO is exactly the same - he's 15 weeks and even when he's shattered after swimming he still won't nap on the couch/pram/cot and wakes up after 5 minutes. I have no advice - we're trying things differently at night this week to try & encourage him to sleep longer but I don't think it's fair to try & tackle day naps at the same time.

musicalmama Mon 18-Apr-16 20:55:07

Will second the right swaddle. Also when they're so tiny never under estimate how much sleep they need and don't let them get overtired. Google maximum baby wake times for a chart and get him down before he's too tired. Could also try gradually patting and shushing to sleep through the tears but being there when he wakes up (take your phone) then gradually just shushing next to cot. Then just put him in the cot swaddled and leave. Worked for my LO over a week or so but takes commitment. I Stayed in a whole week pretty much and obv won't work with every baby. Good luck!

crayfish Mon 18-Apr-16 21:53:07

Yep, pretty standard. My DS was like this until about 4 months and then miraculously decided to nap in his cot, no idea why but I did keep trying him every few days or so. Now he's 9mo and wouldn't sleep being held in a million years, happily naps in his cot though.

7 weeks is very young. I know you probably don't want to hear it but try to enjoy it, I quite miss our snuggly naps now although I get a damn site more housework done

MummaGiles Mon 18-Apr-16 21:55:20

Very normal. My DS was like that until 5/6 months then changed in the course of a week and suddenly would only settle when left alone in his cot. I got a sling (connecta) at about 4 months because he got very heavy rocking to sleep in my arms for naps.

It won't last forever - promise. Enjoy the cuddles and don't feel guilty about it.

RandomMess Mon 18-Apr-16 21:56:52

I did pick up put down with my youngest when she was only a few weeks old. I saw it as letting her learn that she was safe to be sleepy and on her own in the cot.

I put in the cot when I knew she was tired, she complained, I picked her up and cuddled her until calm then put her down again. She complained, I picked her up and I cuddled her until calm again - and so on!!!

Only took a few days (at the most) until I could lay her in the cot and she didn't complain.

There should not be any crying going on - if they aren't happy you pick them up and cuddle for as long as needed!

mrsmugoo Mon 18-Apr-16 21:57:32

Totally standard. Wished someone had actually warned me about this before having a baby!

Diddlydokey Mon 18-Apr-16 21:58:56

& a dummy

strangerjo Mon 18-Apr-16 22:20:11

Thank you all! I enjoy him sleeping on me until it's night time and I'm on the sofa fretting I'll fall asleep with him on me and my SIDS anxiety.
I have a sling I've not tried yet because I still have a lot of pain from my c section but I'll give it a go. I have a swaddling blanket but again worry about overheating and SIDS....but maybe I'll give it a whirl too.

jessplussomeonenew Mon 18-Apr-16 22:25:33

If you are worried about falling asleep, you may want to Google safe sleeping guidance and set up your bed as a safe environment - if you're going to fall asleep asleep it's much better to do it in a prepared place than unplanned and much, much better bed than sofa!

mrsmugoo Mon 18-Apr-16 22:39:56

Btw - I'm 33 weeks with my second and this time around I'm simply not bothering with the Moses basket or crib! Baby is coming straight in bed with me in a sleepyhead. So many stressful moses basket transfers and frustrating wake ups after 2 seconds. Just not bothering with it this time - I'm snuggling with that baby!

BerryB Mon 18-Apr-16 22:41:16

Sleepyhead and swaddling worked for us

UptownFunk00 Mon 18-Apr-16 23:19:27

DD2 is like this too at nearly 10 weeks.

I'm so glad it isn't just me.

Poodilicious Tue 19-Apr-16 19:49:32

Hey - posted this a few days ago to someone else who had a similar question. It really worked for me, hope it's helpful :

Poor you - it's exhausting, I am in the same position with my 4 week old but have found a solution in the past few days!

For some people it's fine to have a baby permanently attached to them, for others (especially those who have other children to look after) it's just not feasible.

I, like you, thought that letting your baby fall asleep on you at such a young age would not create a habit - but trust me - with some babies it does. We went from having a baby that would settle fine in a Moses basket or cot to one that could ONLY fall asleep being held. The more you do it, the worse it gets as they are not learning to self settle and instead depending on you for it. I didn't believe the people saying "you're making a rod for your own back" but I sadly think it's true.

I've just spent the past 2 days trying to break the habit - it's been bloody hard but finally he's sleeping completely on his own & settling beautifully for all naps.

These are my tips:

1. Swaddle very tightly. If it's at ALL loose & they can move their arms then they'll get frustrated. Mine seemed to hate it & struggle against it but I persevered & now it really relaxes & comforts him.
2. Dummy. I was in 2 minds about this but it really helps soothe & comfort them
3. White noise - very loud. I use my baby monitor but you can use your phone or white noise machine

These 3 together really help comfort & soothe the baby which will help them transition from your arms to Moses basket.

The next step - and this is KEY. Make sure you put them down to sleep within 45-60 minutes from waking up. Not from when the feed started but from when they actually wake up. Newborns can't usually stand being awake for longer than this & if they become overtired it really interferes with the self settling process.

So feed, wind, change, swaddle and put down in Moses basket within the hour. Add dummy & white noise if you want extra help. Then leave them to settle. Most likely scenario is that within a few minutes they'll be crying. Go back in, pick them up, give them a cuddle, a pat, rock them - whatever they like. Then put them back down again. You basically just have to keep repeating this process again & again & again until they fall asleep. There's no 'crying it out' and you're not leaving them as you're responding to every whimper. But eventually they get used to the Moses basket being their lovely cosy place & they fall asleep.

I did this yesterday. The first time I went in around 20 times. It was horrendous & felt like it was never going to end. It was so tempting to just hold him in my arms & let him sleep there but I persevered! The second time only had to go in twice. The third only once! And now today he's settled first time for both naps! It's very liberating being able to put them down! Much as it's lovely to have cuddles, to have a baby that can self settle & is also amazing...

Anyway hope this is of help! Good luck! Xxxx

mrsmugoo Tue 19-Apr-16 20:27:40

I'm sorry but that's rubbish. Google "fourth trimester.

Single digit week babies don't learn to self settle! Nor are you making a rod for your back by cuddling and holding them at that age.

Just cuddle your baby. If you have another child then try using a sling. This is coming from someone expecting their second - my first was a Velcro baby and I didn't understand at the time that it was normal and to just roll with it.

There is plenty of time for teaching self settling and independent sleep when they can actually cognitively deal with it.

Diddlydokey Tue 19-Apr-16 20:56:23

It isn't rubbish mrs some babies can self settle and certainly get the hang of it easier than others.

I did shush pat from 12 weeks and ds took to it really well - he really fought being cuddled to sleep.

mrsmugoo Tue 19-Apr-16 21:49:53

Not at 4 weeks old though!

Poodilicious Tue 19-Apr-16 22:01:54

Mrsmugoo are you saying that no baby under the age of 4 weeks can ever fall asleep on their own and all can only sleep being held?

mrsmugoo Tue 19-Apr-16 22:38:26

No obviously not. But if your 4 week old only sleeps on you or being cuddled then any techniques to try to "teach" to self settle are going to be pointless. Just cuddle them. They will learn to self settle eventually.

As said - single digit week babies / fourth trimester etc... I think it's pretty widely accepted that at this tiny, tiny age that babies just biologically want to be held and be close to their mother.

mrsmugoo Tue 19-Apr-16 22:40:39

Poodlilicious for what it's worth I think your advice is pretty sound but something I'd apply to a 5 or 6 month old. Not 4 bloody weeks sad

Poodilicious Tue 19-Apr-16 23:09:18

I think it's totally fair enough for a mum to decide that they do not want to co-sleep & carry their baby in a sling for every nap. Everyone's different - some people are happy to do it, others aren't.

I obviously love cuddling my baby & there's nothing better than snuggling up & him having a nap on my chest. But when my toddler needs to be bathed or put to bed or when it's the middle of the night & he's screaming because he only wants to be held (not necessarily by me by the way, just by anyone) then it's not so fun.
So the only thing you can do for them if you want them to sleep is help them to settle in their Moses basket. And this way worked for me in a way that involved no crying, no leaving the baby... Just lots of rocking, patting, cuddling, shushing & putting down again. He's now sleeping so much better both day & night, more relaxed & happier. And I can cuddle him lots when he's awake & get on with everything else when he's asleep. It's worked out very well for us so I really don't see the harm in suggesting it to someone asking for advice.

I think the mistake is to automatically jump to the conclusion that anything that involves not carrying a baby 24 hrs a day is cruel, heartless & unloving.

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