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Is a 4 week old really too young to have sleeping 'habits'?

(9 Posts)
SheWillBeLoved Wed 26-Aug-09 20:48:12

I always thought so, but I'm starting to change my mind.

DD is 4 weeks today, and for the first 3 weeks, she happily settled herself to sleep in her crib. A week ago, she started to really fight her sleep, and so I comforted her to sleep just so that she could doze off and break the cycle of being over tired.

Now though, she won't go to sleep without being cuddled tightly, rocked, and bum patted simultaneously. DP currently has her over his shoulder after she has fought for the past 2 hours. She looks absolutely shattered. She cries, but stops the minute she is held, starts to fall asleep/does fall asleep, but then wakes up and cries again the minute she realizes she's no longer being held.

I just want to stress that I absolutely do not mind cuddling her to sleep if this is what I have to do - I know how natural it is for her to be close to me. I'm just wondering why she suddenly can't and doesn't seem to want to sleep without being held. Is she really too young to 'know' that fighting her sleep and crying will get her cuddled to sleep?

MrsTittleMouse Wed 26-Aug-09 20:52:51

In my experience, yes it is. Funnily enough, DH and I were discussing our two as newborns just now. First time around was very stressful, trying to get everything "right". Second time around, whatever it took to get us through the first 6 weeks was fine by us!

BonsoirAnna Wed 26-Aug-09 20:53:53

Yes, definitely. A former school friend of mine is a professor of biorythms and is quite adamant that before 6 weeks there can be no routine for human babies!

FlamingoBingo Wed 26-Aug-09 20:55:54

She happily settled herself to sleep before because that is what newborns do. At three weeks they all decide that now they've lulled you into a false sense of security, now is the time to shock you!

Sorry, but that's normal 4 week old behaviour, not a learned pattern!

After four babies, I feel I should advise you to do whatever works so you get rest and sleep - they will grow up fine so ignore the 'rod for your own back' comments!

LightningBolt Wed 26-Aug-09 20:55:55


lilacpink Wed 26-Aug-09 21:07:54

Yes, I would say at 2-3 months you could try to encourage more sleep at night (encourage more feeding in the day), but my DD didn't start a real pattern until 5-6mths and I've heard that's v. common. If you're willing to follow a v strict routine it'll be more quick, but you'll have the guilt of hearing lots of crying. On the other hand I would say it's good to not leave it too many months. Controlled crying can help when you've done everything else (keep popping in to briefly reassure and leave, no lights or activities or picking up) - but again I would say around 3-6mths.

SheWillBeLoved Wed 26-Aug-09 21:28:05

Thanks for the replies I think I knew the answer, just wanted some reassurance that it is normal and we haven't 'broken' her wink

Was just such a sudden change from having no problems sleeping, to fighting her sleep whenever she is tired and not wanting to sleep without being held.

Have just bathed her, given her a massage, and she is now taking a feed. Hopefully will wind her down enough for her to catch some sleep. Must have only slept for 3 hours max today when I think about it, even though she hasn't been left in her crib for more than 10 minutes. The rest of the time has been spent with her feeding or fighting sleep. If I notice she isn't settling in her crib or she is crying, I'll get her out and cuddle her but she still fights She looks so so tired.

mumcah Wed 26-Aug-09 21:29:40

Have you tried swaddling her?Might help her feel secure and cuddled.

SheWillBeLoved Wed 26-Aug-09 22:02:38

mumcah - yes she's always swaddled, otherwise she wakes herself up by smacking herself in the face shock

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