Newborn DD won't sleep unless she is being held(44 Posts)
I'm a first time Mum and had my DD on 30th December.
She sleeps really well but only when being held or laying next to me or my OH!. She just won't sleep in her Moses Basket even if we put her in there when she is asleep.
For the last few nights we have had to take it in turn to stay awake with her to hold her.
After an induction and a labour that then went over the second night we are both exhausted and just would like to be able to get a couple of hours sleep overnight as well as trying to catch up in the daytime. I'd also like her to be able to sleep in her Moses Basket during the day.
Any tips or advice would be so helpful.
It's totally normal! Exhausting but normal. It took ds weeks to sleep without being held.
Take it in turns, try a sleepyhead, try swaddling, try a stretchy sling. Learn to feed lying down if you breastfeed and consider co sleeping (look up how to do this safely.)
I suggest swaddling. You can use a Muslin cloth for this. There are videos on how to do it on YouTube
Its a newborn....
It takes a while for them to adjust... I'd lower my expectations especially given she's only a few days old!
As PP have said try swaddling/sling/co-sleeping.
Is she breast or bottle fed?
You can both takes truns sleeping day / night.
My DH and I were zombies for the first 6 weeks... and my DD was EBF and only slept on us. I allowed him to sleep at night...while I took the brunt of the on / off sleep at nights. He would take care of the all daytime stuff...cooking washing cleaning...nappies baths...I would just feed her and rest. He was home for 3 months.
It's better to have one parent rested IMO. So maybe revise your strategy ...while still trying to get her to sleep independently.
Try swaddling and white noise. All 3 of mine has slept In their cots from day 1 but needed different things. DC1 needed to be swaddled. DC2 needed nothing. DC3 needed white noise (myhummy is amazing!!).
Snap! My little girl was also born on the 30th! Congratulations
We're tag teaming who gets to sleep
She's Breast Fed and loves nothing more than falling asleep on the boob, releasing me and then snuggling into my nipple in her sleep.
Good to hear we don't have the only Velcro baby 😁
Totally normal I'm afraid. Just make sure you are tag teaming and getting 3-4 hour blocks of sleep each. The exhaustion will continue, but you will get used to it and learn how to cope.
Thanks for your replies.
I thought it was normal and know it's a massive adjustment to her being in the world and understand that it's reassuring for her to be with us. I don't expect her to just sleep by herself and I would love to sit and hold her all day, was just looking for some advice if there was any that might help adjust to having some time sleeping in her Moses basket, because I'm so exhausted.
I will try swaddling, it was just the midwives said this isn't recommended due to possible overheating and I'm just really anxious about doing anything that could harm her. I guess doing it with a muslin cloth would help prevent this.
I'll also try some white noise to help settle her.
She is EBF, which we are both obviously still getting used to and learning.
@SpaceDinosaur Congratulations to you too!!
My DD is also breast fed and loves to fall asleep after feeding although she also likes to poo while feeding so we have to then change her which wakes her up.
It is good to hear that it's normal, being first time parents this is all new to us and I wasn't sure if there was anything that could help her settle and us catch up on some sleep. It didn't help I had two nights with no sleep before she was even born!
Please listen to the midwives advice re swaddling, it is not to do it safety reasons, they don't give out random advice for nothing
Agree with PP re co sleeping safely, it worked like magic for mine and we all got some sleep!
Some babies just really don't like Moses baskets. We bought a lovely one and ended up giving it away to friends unused! We had (slightly) better luck with a little crib with bars pressed up right against the bed, and then got a co-sleeping cot which was a total lifesaver.
Congratulations! My DD was the same, I slept upright propped on pillows with her asleep in my chest for the first 3 weeks (completely against all advice but we actually got decent sleep!)
I then swaddles her in a sleepyhead. I used this swaddle [https://www.sleeptightbabies.com.au/shop/ergococoon-air-summer-bamboo-swaddle/]
It was great as it's extremely lightweight but 'premade' so I didn't heave to deal with origami after the multiple night changes...!
Definitely try a Sleepyhead! DS1 would sleep for an hour or so in his crib when newborn but usually had to resort to holding him. We got a Sleepyhead when he was a week old and immediately got 4 hours in a row. He would sleep in it at night and during the day on the sofa next to us. Not cheap but worth every penny. Will be using it for DD due soon. Also second swaddling. DS would wriggle out all the time mind you so we switched to sleeping bags as soon as he was big enough.
There is no problem with swaddling. Midwives give out crap advice all the time (check out loads of the threads on here!!). It's important that new parents don't get too exhausted, and it is worth trying various ways to improve your DCs sleep, for their benefit as well as yours.
However there will always be loads of people of MN telling you to expect nothing more from your baby than broken, disruptive, non-independent sleep. It doesn't have to be like that.
Congratulations OP my DS is 7mo and I loved the newborn stage. Google the 4th trimester, it's really interesting and talks a lot about why babies need lots of contact.
Someone lent me a ringsling when DS was little and it was honestly a revelation. I can't recommend enough. I used it through teething and colic and when he couldn't sleep during the day and if he was whingey for no reason. It also meant I got up snowdon with him! DS would go into such a deep sleep that I could transfer him to his cot/pram without waking him too.
Definitely try out feeding lying down at night. I love it, and it feels less like an affront to the senses. Icoslept until 8 weeks and then he slept in his cot in his own room. Re swaddling, our midwives gave us the same swaddle-and-die information (and the same for cosleepjng actuslly) but both my community midwife and my HV said they have to say that because accidents happen. I never swaddles DS but he did like being tightly covered/wrapped and there are safe ways of co sleeping.
If you don't want to cosleep, what happens if you go for the transfer once your DC is asleep?
The messing her nappy every time she feeds will stop soon, DS stopped at about 2 weeks I think and that made it easier because he would just go back to sleep and we wouldn't have to disturb him wth a nappy change.
Congratulations again OP!
My DS was exactly the same. It took 2 weeks to get him to settle in his crib. We just get trying and then eventually one night he did it. We tried it lots during the day time too to get him used to it.
For the first week we sat up holding him taking it in turns. For the second week I coslept.
Now he is 10 weeks we still cosleep sometimes if he isn't settling in his crib easily.
Congratulations on the new member of your family.
What you're describing sounds like absolutely normal and desirable, although new and tiring for the parents, newborn behaviour.
You can feed in your sleep, so everyone in the family gets to sleep :-), while safely bedsharing according to the safe bedsharing guidelines cosleeping.nd.edu/safe-co-sleeping-guidelines/.
Best wishes for the awe-inspiring weeks and months ahead.
DS2 is 6 months now but he wouldn't sleep in a Moses basket at all, neither would DS1. Babies are used to being warm and curled up, then we put them in a Moses basket which is open and cool and it's against their instincts to feel safe in there. We did swaddle DS1 which worked a treat (he's only 20months and midwives taught us how to swaddle in the hospital) but DS2 didn't like it. After week of DH and I taking it in turns to sleep on the sofa downstairs holding DS (god bless a chaise sofa) We eventually bought a swaddlepod and a bedside cot which were the best things we purchased.
My DS2 was born at 35 weeks and spent the first 10days in an incubator in the SCBU. We weren't allowed to hold him for longer than 10mins before he had to go back into the heated incubator and we had to leave him every night to go home. Enjoy all the cuddles, at 4 days old I hadn't held my DS for longer than an hour since being born.
DC2 was like this. Two things which helped us -
I slept on a mattress on the floor (which was there for co sleeping but she wasn't having that - only being held would do!) then I put the carrycot from the pram on the floor next to the mattress. She would tolerate that longer than the cot. Wish I'd tried a sleepyhead.
At 5 weeks gave in and gave her a dummy - miraculous! She'd stay asleep longer than 20 mins.
Re. Swaddling - actively encouraged by my midwives, they did it in hospital and showed me how. (NHS unit, November 2015). Didn't make much difference for either of my babies mind!
Good luck, you'll find what works for your baby soon (or trying will keep you busy till they grow out of it). If it's any comfort DC2 slept through much earlier than DC1 who was a good newborn sleeper.
I'll have a look into a sleepyhead and a co sleeper cot. Does a sleepyhead need to go in a cot rather than a Moses basket?
@MoreThanUs Thank you for that, I know it's normal but I just want to do what's best for all of us and I think me and my OH being able to catch on a little bit of sleep will also be good for our DD. Particularly when my OH goes back to work because if she doesn't sleep apart from on me I don't see how I will sleep if I can't sleep at night or during the day!
Thank you. I will google the 4th Trimester.
Even if she is fast asleep when we put her in the Moses Basket she wakes as soon as we do.
@Aliveinwanderland We've been trying in the day too to get her used to it but without much luck either!
My first was the same. Me and DH took it in turns to stay awake with him as we were terrified of co-sleeping and he hated swaddling. It didn't last long from what I remember - a couple of weeks probably.
Our 2 week old is much better at sleeping in his basket or crib. We have a Babymoov Cosydream this time which really helps. It's a bit like a sleepyhead. But I think he's also a better sleeper in general.
OP remember that when you transfer her to the Moses basket she goes from smelling you strongly & warm to losing this. Some people keep a hot water bottle in the Moses basket to warm it slightly while the baby is fed then exchange them. Also worth having a small comforter toy in there that smells of you.
I also recommend white noise/sounds & a dummy. My DC falls asleep every night to the Eddie the Elephant nightlight on the heart noise mode. But he also loves white noise & lullabies that I play him
Join the discussion
Already registered? Log in with:
Please login first.