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Baby has an aversion to sleeping in crib...help!

(13 Posts)
larlylou Wed 27-Jul-05 20:19:40

I have a 3 week dd (second child although you wouldn't believe it by my lack of knowing what to do) who will not settle in her crib. She did do to start with but as time has gone on all she wants to do is sleep on our shoulder/chest. The only way we get her in to her crib is when she is absolutely zonked out after sleeping on us for an hour or so and then lying her gently into her crib - this usually works however, it has failed on a couple of occasions. I have just learnt that she cluster feeds at night time which isn't a great help to getting her down so her usual bedtime at the moment is around 10pm (although I do start the bedtime routine at 6pm to get into bed for 7pm but end up having her up feeding and fussing for a short period before she falls asleep on us and then we carry her to bed). Once she has had a feed and is really pooped from it I wind her then put her in her crib and tuck her in. She will stay there for 5-15 minutes before she screams the roof down. I have had to leave her for 5 mins or so while dealing with ds1 and she just gets hysterical so I pick her up and as soon as I do that she stops crying, cuddles in and goes to sleep....why? Is it overtiredness and she has lost the ability to settle or just simply that she hates her crib and being on her back. I am too afraid to put her to sleep on her tummy as I am aware of the implications and when she is on her tummy she lifts her head up and gets her nose and mouth stuck on the mattress which freaks me out.

I am even trying a hot water bottle in her crib to warm it up before she goes in. Night time feeds are hit and miss as to whether she settles or not, sometimes she does, mostly she doesn't and eventually she sleeps on my chest with me sleeping sitting up. This for me is very tiring and I am just not getting enough rest to deal with her and ds during the day, especially as she isn't napping properly for me to rest with her.

Has anyone got any suggestions as to what to do. I am totally lost and don't know whether I am getting myself into a bad habit by getting her to settle on us (this is for all sleep - any nap and she will not settle in her crib).

Do I leave her to cry and see if she will eventually settle, going to her to reassure her now and then, even at this tender age or do I pick her up and cuddle her to sleep (although deep down I feel this is wrong as she will become dependant on it and we will never get her to settle and it will be harder work to get her to sleep in her bed in the long run).

Help....I so don't know what else to do, what's the right thing or whether I am missing something obvious.

Sorry this is sooooo long.

Gillian76 Wed 27-Jul-05 20:22:33

She's still very young at 3 weeks. Personally I wouldn't leave her to cry at this stage. Don't see anything wrong with cuddling her to sleep

katylou25 Wed 27-Jul-05 21:15:36

I always cuddled DS to sleep for first 6 weeks or so - by 8 weeks he was sleeping through thte night and now at 6 months he goes into his cot , plays with his teddies before going to sleep all by himself - daytime and nighttime. I think 3 weeks is too young to leave her to cry and don't think you can 'spoil' them, or set bad things up for the future at that age - they need to feel reassured and comforted, and with that comes the independance, security and happiness that forms good habits later on

katylou25 Wed 27-Jul-05 21:16:10

oops read that back and it sounded a bit harsh - wasn't intended to!

morningpaper Wed 27-Jul-05 21:17:38

I agree that cuddling to sleep sounds good at this stage.

A trick though to avoid the hour's wait - when she's in a deep sleep, she should be REALLY floppy - try lifting an arm and if it flops back down with absolutely NO resistance, then it's safe to try to put her down. This was the method I used.

Good luck and congrats!! xxx

Angeliz Wed 27-Jul-05 21:21:48

Personally, i would not leave a 3 week old to cry.
Babies need reassurance that you're there and i think if you leave her it migt actually work against you and she'd get scared. I have a 5 month old and she goes off in my arms with her last bottle while i'm getting her big sister to sleep too.
I don't see the harm in it (only problem i forsee is if i have another!).
I think at 3 weeks give her all the cuddles she needs and she'll become more secure in the knowledge that you're there.

chicagomum Wed 27-Jul-05 22:25:50

had exactly the same "problem" with ds and dd both eventually (by 6-8 weeks) were in the crib and by 4 months in cots in their own rooms, just go with it (if you try to force the issue neither of you will be getting sleep and you know what its like when you're exhausted - particularly if this is your second so you've got antoher one to cope with during the day)

shrub Wed 27-Jul-05 22:33:03

have you tried putting her in an 'amby nest baby hammock'? i've heard lots of good things about them - i'm sure jimjams has used one. another thought is car seat - have you a rock a tot one or one that rocks? i put my ds3 in that to help him sleep and swaddle him really securely in a blanket that has my scent on it.
if breast feeding i have found the key is to try and feed them as much as possible up to midnight and hopefully she will gradually over time sleep longer into the night. its very early days though. take care x

shrub Wed 27-Jul-05 22:46:56

would try link for you but ds3 wants feed - try searching mumsnet archives under baby hammock. there might be one for sale..?

lovinit Thu 28-Jul-05 04:49:26

LL, I did not want to make the same mistake as DD1 so from day one also did not rock her to sleep although could not avoid her feeding and then not being able to wake up. Once she was 3 weeks old, I started to let her cry a while, up to 20 mins, but it was like a whimpering ... when it became proper crying I would go and pat and shh or cuddle and then put back down so that when she did eventually fall of, it was always in the cot ... I found that after crying for a lilttle while, she would tire herself out and that she jsut needed me to go in and give her a bit of soothing to send her off ... I am still trying to make this work, and only started on Monday to be very serious about it and have had her stay in for all her naps, and in fact she has not been out of the house . I also had my Mother who is around help to do it as well so that I could take DD1 out to play . I know there is a camp that is totally against leaving a baby so youngg to cry, but I am not in that one, as I believe that some do need to cry to sleep, it is like us tossing and turning , until eventually they find the most comfortable way to drop off. I have just put DD2 down, swaddled and I know she is really sleepy.. I imagine that she will lie there for 10 mins, get really sleepy, cry for a bit and then I will go in at the end to pat her back and help her to close her eyes by shielding them ...will let u know what happens

larlylou Thu 28-Jul-05 14:10:43

thanks for all your helpful responses. She happily settled by me in my bed last night. It was great but I was terrified about her sleeping with us, especially regarding SIDS (my sister had this when she was a baby so it has been drummed into me that it is bad to have your baby in bed with you so I don't feel hugely comfortable about it but we did both sleep well). This morning she settled well in her crib for a nap as I slept with a comforter all night, as soon as I put that next to her she calmed down. Only, I went to check on her which disturbed her and woke her up so she had the remainder of her nap on dh's chest. For her lunchtime nap she cried for 5 mins (health visitor on phone so couldn't get to her immediately) during that call it all went quiet and she settled herself. This time I have actually put my t-shirt over her crib mattress so she has double the smell of me for comfort - I'm hoping this soothes her. She has now been soundly asleep from 11.45am - 2pm and I'm just going to go and get her to feed before my boobs explode!

I am just going to go with the flow - still incorporate the bedtime structure but if she doesn't settle and ends up downstairs with me goggling the box then, cool - we'll cuddle each other for company and comfort (but I don't think I'll be saying that if its the same when she's 3 months!).

Am finding Mumsnet such a treasure trove of information at the moment and am really thankful for everyones support.

jambot Thu 28-Jul-05 19:42:25

I use a 'tag' blanket for my dd. Now 4 and a half months. Initially started off feeding with it draped on me in the approximate position that her head would be. So she would feed with her head on it and it's absorbing your smell at the same time. Put the blanket in the cot so that her head is lying on it. As she got older and was able to touch things I started putting it into her hands and stroking her face with it. Now when it's her sleep time I give her her blankie and she immediately puts her thumb in her mouth, puts the blankie half over her face and is asleep withing minutes. Have only just recently moved her into her cot. She was sleeping in a large carry cot until then. Perhaps the vastness of the cot is scary. Why not try her in a carry cot and then put that in her cot? That's what I did to start with. She also slept on her side inbetween a wedge until 3 months. Helps restrict the startle reflex that often wakes them when on their backs, and also makes it much easier to bum pat. I did lots of that to settle DD during the first six weeks. If she battled to settle, a few minutes of firm, rythmmic(?) bum pats would calm her and she would eventually go off. I tried to avoid picking her up where possible and would only do so if she really got upset. Despite all of the above, I also had a few nights of sitting up sleep with her on my shoulder. I think it just takes newborns a few weeks to settle into their new lives, but laying down a few basics from the start will also help them settle. I also found that introducing a bedtime routine from about 4 weeks has helped her settle very well at night. Hope this helps you a little. Good Luck.
Got my tag blankie from www.babysense.co.za. By the way the Baby Sense book that you can also buy there is fantastic and a lot of the ideas in that have helped me a lot.

larlylou Fri 29-Jul-05 09:01:17

Thanks Jambot. dd is at the moment in a rocking crib (about the same size as a moses basket). Her cot is up and she does lie in that when I am dealing with ds1 so she gets used to it but she looks so lost that I couldn't put her in there to sleep...I'd lose her!

During the day she napped happily her in crib but last night I couldn't get her in it for love of money so she slept by me in the bed. At least we both got some sleep even if I don't particularly feel comfortable doing it. If I leave her to cry at all in the night it disturbs ds1.

I am insitlling structure into her little life as my son has a structured routine which works really well for him and last night was the first time that she actually went down to sleep in her crib and not cluster feed (even though ds did wake her up but she settled back so I think her feeding has a lot to do with overtiredness).

We'll get there! Every day at the moment is quite different with her so we can only go with the flow really.

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