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Settling 5 wk old to sleep

(8 Posts)
Lisa229 Fri 17-Aug-07 12:30:01

Ruby is 5 weeks old and is 3 and half weeks premature. For the first 4 weeks she pretty much fed and then fell asleep. This last week she has been more awake and also less settled when she is tired, ready to sleep. I put her down either asleep or sleepy and 5/10 mins later she's crying. As soon as I go in and pick her up, she stops and is asleep on my shoulder. I am happy to do this as she is still so little but my husband and MIL think we should let her cry a bit to settle herself as I will be making a rod off my own back. Who is right? Somtimes we have to pick her up and settle 4 or 5 times which can be draining in the night.

Thanks for any advice. Second time mum but feel like a first timer.


Mumpbump Fri 17-Aug-07 12:35:06

Depends on what you want to do and how happy you are at leaving her to cry at this stage or later. I cuddled ds to sleep for the first 8 weeks and then got tough with him. I will do it again with no. 2, ds permitting!! They're so small when they're new and used to being snug inside that it just seemed a bit heartless to me to leave ds to cry and I found it too upsetting. But your dh and MIL are probably right that your dd will learn sooner to settle itself if you do leave her to cry for a few minutes.

MegBusset Fri 17-Aug-07 13:31:14

Personally I would cuddle and enjoy this time with your little one... she is biologically programmed to want to be near to you, as you are to respond to her cries!

Meeely2 Fri 17-Aug-07 13:34:50

at this early age, they don't 'learn' behaviour - i.e. you are not teaching her bad habits by picking her up to soothe. However if the nights are getting tedious and you need some more sleep, maybe try swaddling her - wrap her up tight so she feels secure - babies do hate having all this space to move around in.

A bedtime routine would be an idea around now too, bath bottle bed - sets of her sleep triggers so she knows its time for night nights and will be able to self sooth.

Good luck - you will know what is right.

Mumpbump Fri 17-Aug-07 13:40:26

I would second the swaddling suggestion - it worked really well for ds...

Lisa229 Fri 17-Aug-07 16:44:27

Thanks for the advice. We had been swaddling but she kept fighting to get out of it as she seemed to want her hands so we have now got her in a sleeping bag. We also do a bath, feed, bed routine which we have been doing for the last 2 weeks. It's only in the last few days she has been hard to settle to sleep at bedtime and in the night. She does seem to have got more windy the last few days too, do you think that it is what it could be and what is best to help it?


Mumpbump Fri 17-Aug-07 16:46:55

Ooh - just remembered that ds went through a windy, unsettled period around 4-5 weeks. I took him to a cranial osteopath. He had two sessions and it completely settled him - although he howled pretty much non-stop for 48 hours after the second session. She said his neck muscles were tight which were putting pressure on the nerves leading down to the diaphragm and that it was made worse by the growth spurt which occurs around this time. Maybe worth thinking about?

inkstigmata Sat 25-Aug-07 15:13:55

@ Lisa229: The "first 4 weeks" you mention is in my experience just a honeymoon period when they are in such a baby-fuzz that they fall in and out of sleep very easily without much ado.

I disagree that a 5WO can't be helped to settle herself--my DD1 and DD2 were doing this quite easily by 7 weeks with a bit of help from us which included allowing some crying. My DD3 is 5 weeks as well and has recently started getting harder to settle. Sometimes we intervene and sometimes we let her cry a bit (and sometimes it works).

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