7 week old won't sleep anywhere apart from in my arms

(20 Posts)
Faraz Sun 22-Nov-20 12:26:34


I am really struggling with understanding why my seven week old won't sleep anywhere apart from either in my or my partner's arms, or next to my partner in the adult's bed.

My baby sleeps in her own next-to-me-crib for less than 10% of her sleeping life. This makes it incredibly difficult to do anything during the day because whilst she sleeps, at least one of our hands are tied, so we have no respite even when she is sleeping.

I love spending time with baby when she is awake but I don't see how we can function if we have to hold baby or lie next to baby for 24 hours a day (approx 18 hours whilst she is asleep and 6 hours whilst she is awake!)

During the first two weeks after baby came, I was very strict in only allowing baby to sleep in her own crib but this all changed when I started sleeping in the spare room (because I work and mum is on mat leave). Mum then started putting baby next to her during the nights on the same bed and holding her in her arms during the day. Now baby just won't sleep anywhere else.

I would like to know how many people let their baby sleep in their arms and bed during the first few months and for what %, compared to letting/making baby sleep in the baby's own bed?

Also, have we created bad habits? Which we can help baby unlearn? And if so, how?!

OP’s posts: |
Moonsbury Sun 22-Nov-20 12:30:55

Enjoy the cuddles, and stop stressing about it. 💐

Needmoresleep123 Sun 22-Nov-20 14:57:05

Read about the 4th trimester. No bad habits yet!

Ohalrightthen Sun 22-Nov-20 15:05:02

Sounds about right for 7wks.

simonsays23 Sun 22-Nov-20 15:10:49

Do you have a baby carrier or sling ? Godsend x

OakleyStreetisnotinChelsea Sun 22-Nov-20 15:13:35

You cannot spoil a baby. She is biologically designed to need to be close to her care givers day and night. That's how the human race survived! Putting babies down and expecting them to sleep alone is really a very recent development and pretty unique to western, industrialised nations. For example up to 33% of parents in anglophone countries think their baby has sleep problems but only 7% of Japanese parents do. Japan has a long tradition of bed sharing. Babies wake at night for many reasons, as parents we need to shift our perspective of what normal is and stop pathologising infant sleep.

You might find some of the resources from basis online helpful


Make sure you are bed sharing safely and consider buying a sling so that you can potter around getting on with things while baby comes along for the ride.

lemonsquashie Tue 24-Nov-20 14:31:20

Ah this is normal. Keep trying and they do get used to it

You could try a sling for day times so you have your arms free?


Faraz Sat 28-Nov-20 14:46:16

Thanks everyone. Really helpful to know that we are not doing anything untoward.

OP’s posts: |
Mylittlepony374 Sat 28-Nov-20 14:48:59

Google the 4th trimester. Totally totally normal. Mine always slept in my arms. I miss it now.

Mylittlepony374 Sat 28-Nov-20 14:49:40

And no you're not creating bad habits. You're creating strong attachment.

PeggyMoo Sat 28-Nov-20 14:52:49

I have a 4 week old and in the same position! This is my second and number 1 was the same. It’s such a slog (although people say enjoy it it is so exhausting!)

I am more relaxed this time as I know it is a phase and will pass. Keep going and let your partner sleep when she can - and often this does mean bed sharing!

Justtickingboxes Sat 28-Nov-20 14:52:55

Babies have spent 9 months being carried and rocked during pregancy - so totally normal that they feel safest and most relaxed on a warm person, ideally you smile

Matilda1981 Sat 28-Nov-20 14:53:10

My 4th dd didn’t sleep anywhere other than on me (in a sling or on my chest) for 8 weeks - I couldn’t put her down - ever! She slept on my chest in bed, made it as safe as possible - my arms propped up around her - not recommending it at all and some would say I was stupid doing it - with three other young children all at home due to the first lockdown I had to get some sleep somehow! She’s 8 months now and sleeps in her own cot in her own room for all naps and nighttime sleeps - she just suddenly changed at 8 weeks and I could put her down!

Nowisthemonthofmaying Sat 28-Nov-20 14:53:43

Agree with all the comments above - this is totally normal, and don't worry about 'bad habits', I can guarantee she won't be sleeping in your bed forever! Make sure you're set up safely (look up the rules from the Lullaby Trust) and enjoy those baby cuddles while you can!

LTurton Sat 28-Nov-20 23:32:35

I don't have any advice at all as I currently have a 7 week old who is the exact same, so much so he isn't overly happy in his pram or in the car as it means we aren't holding him. I'm currently on the early shift while his dad has a snooze, then he will get up at 3am and change over, that is just how we are managing at the moment as we know this will pass 😊 we do keep trying to put him down but it unsettles him so much that sometimes we just cuddle and that's fine by me (as one day he will not want to cuddle me!). It definitely does help to know that others have the same situation! One day we will look back and miss the cuddles (even if we will be finally getting some sleep back!).

Justajot Sat 28-Nov-20 23:38:28

You have just brought back really fond memories of my DD1 as a baby. This is totally normal. I was a bit gutted when my DD2 was happy to be put down to sleep.

Just settle down with some box sets and enjoy it.

niki26 Sun 29-Nov-20 06:15:57

I watched the entire 7 seasons of Gilmore Girls when my daughter was born! She's 11 weeks now and has been sleeping in her next to me crib for the last couple of weeks. I love the smiles she gives when she wakes up and I lean over to greet her!

PerditaNitt Sun 29-Nov-20 07:57:38

Agree with the PP that this entirely normal at this age.

That said, it is absolutely exhausting and it is helpful to find a few solutions to help you through. My older one always fell asleep in his pram (bassinet), so I would often go for a walk and then bring the pram into the hallway once he had fallen asleep and I would get an hour to myself (to do laundry...). Make sure your bassinet is suitable for sleeping in (some brands are) and check lullaby trust for guidance. Sometimes my younger one would knock out in his baby bjorn bouncer. There is a setting which is safe for very young kids (which is quite flat so their neck doesn’t slump), however, i don’t think it is advised to let them sleep in there for long, so I would allow him a 20 minute cat nap, which at least got him used to sleeping without being held.

Swaddling can help some babies (it didn’t work for my kids!)

Try to make sure you are both eating well and looking after yourselves - sleep deprivation can be a horrible thing!

StormoftheCentury Sun 29-Nov-20 08:05:30

Holding a sleeping baby is one of life's greatest pleasures. As pp have said you are meeting your baby's needs, not spoiling him/her. I think it's nature's way of helping the mother to relax. Though it can be stressful when it's constant! My DH used to take our baby out for a walk in the sling. It gave me a break and baby still had the comfort and reassurance of closeness

NaughtipussMaximus Sun 29-Nov-20 08:41:25

It’s is normal but it is really hard. My health visitor advised putting DS in the Moses basket/cot as soon as he fell asleep on us, every time. We didn’t do it because when he fell asleep the last thing we wanted was to risk him for waking up straight away!

Anyway, we did manage eventually to get him sleeping for a good stretch in his cot at night (from 7-2) but the rest of the night and all day times naps were on my chest or DH’s. That lasted until we sleep trained him at 6 months because it was that or one of us driving off the road.

I do want to add that. If you have a secure job, especially if it’s office based or you’re working from home, you shouldn’t leave your wife to cope with every night while you’re in the spare room. Yes, she’s on maternity leave but as you’ve noted, she can’t sleep when the baby sleeps so if she can’t sleep well at night OR during the day, she’ll be heading for either an accident or PND due to sleep deprivation. At the very least, she should get both weekend nights to sleep in the spare room.

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