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Is it actually possible to settle my 2 week old in his cot? Going spare!

(49 Posts)
hopefully Wed 01-Oct-08 11:16:45

DS is 2 weeks old today, and has yet to settle in his moses basket/cot. if he falls asleep on me, aand is left for a while before being moved to his cot, he'll sleep for perhaps an hour in the basket.

i'm not desperately concerned by the length of the sleeps (usually 2 hours from start of feed to start of feed, with one stretch of 3-4 hours in each 24 hour period), but i am basically not sleeping, as i am essenttially feeding him to sleep.

i'm not prepared to co-sleep, as i am a v heavy sleeper when i do sleep, and this doesn't solve the daytime naps issue (sling also not a favoured option, as i think he'll then be even more horrified at leaving me at night).

we've tried settling him in his moses today, going to him every time he cries for more than a minute, and he has yet to be quiet for more than 5 mins together, and hasn't dropped off yet (except when allowed to feed, when i'm fighting to keep him awake).

i know many will think me horrifically cruel, feel free to post as well, all opinions welcome! I can take it!

If anyone's got any tips we can try, I'd be eternally grateful, as DS is getting ever more over tired, and I am swiftly losing the plot at night...

shoedweller Wed 01-Oct-08 11:19:48

You are not in anyway cruel to let him cry for one minute! Trouble is that each cry tears through you and there are too many in a 1 minute period!

Is he putting on weight?

WhereTheWildThingsWere Wed 01-Oct-08 11:21:00

First of all I am sympathetic, I really am, this is a really tough bit to get through.

But your ds sounds competely normal, this is how a lot of babies are at this age, it will all sort itself out in time.

Just try to relax lots and if you get a chance sleep when he sleeps.

MrsBadger Wed 01-Oct-08 11:23:44

[warning: you may not want to hear this]

this is normal and natural
up till 2wks ago he was in a 24/7 cuddle
he needs time to get used to it
A minute is too long (imo) for a baby this small to be left to cry - just pick him up.

at night feed him to sleep, put him down in basket by bed, go immediately to sleep yourself and get an hour or two before the next squeak.

during the day feed him to sleep, put him in the basket on the living room floor and get yourself a shower or a sandwich before the next squeak.

The fist six weeks are the hardest so don't put any pressure on yourself to do anything else at all - make dh cook and leave the housework well alone.

Dropdeadfred Wed 01-Oct-08 11:23:59

Swaddle him? perhaps he doesn't like the feel of a big open space (cot) to sleep in..after all he's been curled up inside you for 9 months smile

MrsMattie Wed 01-Oct-08 11:24:02

Have you tried swaddling?

When you put him down, what are the circumstances like? Have you experimented with pitch black room / night light (some babies sleep better with light, some with none).

Does he wake as soon as you put him down, or is it that you are able to put him down once he falls asleep in your arms but he wakes up again too soon?

Does he sleep in the same room as you, beside your bed?

You're not horrifically cruel. You have a very young baby and are struggling with sleep deprivation. We've all been threre!

MrsMattie Wed 01-Oct-08 11:25:11

Also agree - this is completely normal (sleeping for tiny stretches, feeding almost continuously) - but still worth trying a few things to see if it'll help him settle.

IAteDavinaForDinner Wed 01-Oct-08 11:25:48

Oh goodness FAR too early to worry about this IMO!

Just hold him - it's knackering but it will pass. He will learn the whole settling himself thing in time, he's much too small to learn anything at all from being left to cry.

My biggest regret is trying to get my poor tiny baby to "learn to settle himself" too young - it just led to tears all round and achieved nothing.

I know how tired you are (really, I do!) but please hang on in there and do what he wants you to do. IMO it's really important at this stage for both of you.

hopefully Wed 01-Oct-08 12:23:10

Shoedweller he is putting on weight, not at an enormous rate, but is gaining. I think he spent the first week basically sleeping through feeds (me blissfully unaware, as he was latched on), so has only been feeding properly for a week. However, he appears to be getting his fill now, as he will easily go 2 hours between feeds, just not any of it away from me!

WTWTW I was clinging to the 'it will sort itself out' hope, but I honestly don't see how it will, as I don't see him magically learning to settle himself if all he's ever had is us to settle him.

MrsBadger I am so stressed about the feeding to sleep thing, as I think it's going to be the hardest association to break, and again I don't understand how he's magically going to stop doing it if it's the only thing he's known.

Dropdead and mrsmattie we do swaddle him, although he is ridiculously strong (9lb 8oz at birth and a week overdue) and frequently manages to get his hands out, startling himself.
He sleeps in his moses basket either on the bed or on stand next to the bed, but as our room isn't very dark, we use his nursery during the day.
If he has slept on me for an hour or so, he will stay asleep if I put him down, but anything less than that and he'll wake up the moment he is put in the moses basket.

I know that feeding frequently is normal, and I don't actually have a problem with that side of things - even every 2 hours is fine, but at the moment I'm only managing to rest for a v short period of those 2 hours, as he is on me for over half of it.

I am so upset, as i can only assume that the next thing to do is to go for formula, so that at least when he sleeps he will do so for longer without waking up starving. really really don't want to go down this road, but have been clinging on to hope that it will improve in a day or two for what seems like a long time now!

LaTrucha Wed 01-Oct-08 12:40:49

Just thought me and DH's experience of the first few weeks of DD's life might be useful.

We woke DD every two hours to feed her - poor tot - because she was slow to gain weight. WE fed her both breastmilk and formula and neither made any diffeence - she put on more wieght with breast though.

That's by the by - what I wanted to tell you was our different experiences. I was mainly in charge of her and NEEDED sleep the way you do now. So, after a feed, I swaddled the baby tightly and left her pretty quickly in her moses basket. She had often fallen to sleep. The point is I put her down quiclky.

DH, when giving her a bottle, kept her in his arms for at least 40 minutes after every feed. It has always been far more difficult for him to put her down (although less so now as she's 9 months).

As for the feeding to sleep thing goes, I don't know. I often still do, especially for daytime naps and when teething and my DD sleeps terribly. But she CAN and often DOES settle herself in bed so I really don't think feeding her to sleep has much to do with it. I think she's just a bad sleeper. My hunch would be that 2 weeks is too young but I don't know when old enough would be.

shoedweller Wed 01-Oct-08 12:55:35

There are things to do to increase your milk supply besides feeding frequently. You could express between feeds (now that you have such a thing) and take fenugreek tablets. Fenugreek causes your prolactin to increase but you need to take it in overdose (3 x 600mg 3times a day)so that you smell of maple syrup.

Becky77 Wed 01-Oct-08 13:12:06

Have you considered giving her a dummy? I found it really useful for settling my DD early on and then not too tricky to wean off at about 12 weeks when I think it is much easier for them to self settle.

noonki Wed 01-Oct-08 13:18:54

I had the same with mine we:

Swaddled and then used sheets to tuck in under materess

put used breast pads in the cot and my unwashed t-shirt

ps my DS2 always had a cry before sleep, we followed a three cresendo rule, let them cry three cresecendos (so about 15 seconds of crying) and if they don't settle down after that pick them and give them a big cuddle

and don't worry to much at this age, they won't be bad sleepers if they fall asleep on you sometimes, just try and if they fall on sleep on their own sometimes, that's great as they get used to it, but doesn't have to be all the time,

good luck

Starshiptrooper Wed 01-Oct-08 13:34:46

Really, really, it will improve. Mine was like this and I was demented. We used a sling for day time naps and still do. It didn't affect the night time sleep and she was sleeping well from around 6-7 weeks, badly again at 4 months and well again the last couple of weeks. At 2 wks they don't know the difference between day and night but once they get the hang of this they start sleeping longer at night. Start doing some sort of bedtime routine - massage, bath etc and eventually he'll understand that it's bedtime. Don't despair! Lots of babies go through this.

WhereTheWildThingsWere Wed 01-Oct-08 13:38:30

It will get better, honestly.

I know you feel desperate and that it feels so hard, but in a few months you will wonder what all the fuss was about. Until just 14 short days ago your baby was safe and snug in you and has known little else, feed her to sleep on the boob, hold her whilst she sleeps and just get some rest.

Trust me you are not creating a dependancy/rod for your back/sleep association. Your baby just needs you to comfort her, you are her whole world.

This bit goes so quickly and is always a bit of a blur, before you know it shw will be causing no end of trouble and you will be sad that this incredibly special time is over.

Fwiw I never made any attempt to get the latest baby wildthing to sleep on her own and yet at 7 m she has 3 naps of 1 1/2 hours each during the day all in her pushchair.

Just try and enjoy your lovely new daughter.

And congratulations btw. smile

WhereTheWildThingsWere Wed 01-Oct-08 13:40:13


him and son so sorry.


Neenztwinz Wed 01-Oct-08 13:50:06

Was he a forceps/ventouse delivery? He could just be a little out of line... might benefit from cranial osteopathy.

My DS wouldn't settle at all at night for the first seven weeks of his life, he would only go to sleep if he was rested on my chest. After session with osteo he was like a new baby. Worth a try for £30.


I was really doubtful that osteo would work which is why it took seven weeks to get round to doing it, but it was very good.

hopefully Wed 01-Oct-08 14:47:33

Thanks for all the advice everyone, I really appreciate it - and also really appreciate no one making me feel like the worst mother in the world for wanting DS to sleep!

He actually nodded off earlier sucking my finger, so I promptly sent DP out to boots for every single dummy they stock (we tried one a couple of days ago, he didn't like it, but SIL suggested different shaped one may work...)

We're going to keep trying to get him to settle himself at each nap, but get less worked up and just abandon it if it's not happening - I don't think there's any chance we could cope with this at night, so I don't see the point in being obsessive about it if we won't do it every single time.

Thanks for the cranial osteopath suggestion - he was a natural delivery (I struggled through it on G&A, and then spent 2 hours being sewn back up with a spinal hmm), but it might be worth it just to make sure we've eliminated any discomfort.

hopefully Wed 01-Oct-08 14:56:04

Oh, and if anyone has any suggestions for helping him accept a dummy, I'd be grateful!

StarlightMcKenzie Wed 01-Oct-08 15:04:45

Message withdrawn

scaredoflove Wed 01-Oct-08 15:20:04

At 2 weeks old, they need cuddles. If he falls asleep on you for couple of hours, can you not sleep then. I spent most breastfeeds sleeping, couldn't keep my eyes open

I know you said no to co sleeping as you are a deep sleeper but I think you will be suprised at how differently you sleep when with your baby. You won't be making bad habits at these early days. Why not go lay on the bed with him and doze. An hour of full relaxation on a bed helps to revive

Formula won't help either, it made no difference to sleep for the 2 that were ff, my bf ones actually slept better and longer

2 weeks is so young to expect them settle themselves

StarlightMcKenzie Wed 01-Oct-08 15:23:24

Message withdrawn

Neenztwinz Wed 01-Oct-08 15:32:23

I'd agree with co-sleeping suggestion. i think you would be suprised at how easy you find it. Lie baby on bed with no covers and lie next to him on your side, position your arm and leg so that you don't roll onto him. Once you get the hang of it it is bliss! I would def try it in the day - get your DH to watch you if you are worried.

You are not a bad mum for wanting your baby to sleep! You have plenty of time to sort out any sleep-association problems which arise so just do whatever it takes. I just used to feed my babies all the time, get them tanked up! Good luck, it does get easier.

gingerninja Wed 01-Oct-08 15:35:19

I agree with the co-sleep suggestions. If you're a deep sleeper with a new born you're a lucky lady (I was wide awake at ever sniff or fart). Try it during the day as Starlight has suggested.

What about a cot side car so you can put a hand on his tummy or face or something. My DD used to only sleep whilst holding my arm in a vice like grip. The times I wished I could actually saw my arm off. Honestly I would have given that arm up for a full night sleep.

I echo everyone else. It will get better, these first few weeks are hard hard hard but you'll look back in a couple of months and barely be able to remember it.

Becky77 Wed 01-Oct-08 19:34:48

Try a NUK dummy... They worked really well for us and for friends of ours who recommended them. None of the others seemed to fit properly under her nose! Nowhere really stocks them but you can buy them off their website

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