mom keeps telling me to "put him down" - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 16 Old 02-09-2011, 07:54 AM - Thread Starter
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My baby is 7 weeks today and is pretty fussy (though it is getting a tiny bit better). He is also an extremely light sleeper unless he is super tired, and he always tends to want to nurse to sleep, but often we will be able to get him to sleep in the Moby during the day. He can also sleep for long periods of time on walks if we wear him, but the stroller is not as effective. He can spend up to 20 min. in his bassinet or his bouncer when awake before crying, and has taken one 40 min nap in his swing to date, and has screamed every other time I've put him in it. Point is- he pretty much wants to be held/nursed all the time.


We bedshare and I love it because he wakes up several times during the night and BFing is easier and I feel that it is less disruptive for both of us. I have had some fears though about him being 2 and 3 years old and still sleeping in our bed, which is not what I want for our family since I do plan on going back to work in the Fall.


Lately my mom has brought up several times that I need to put him down more to get him used to it, because it is going to be harder down the line to get him to sleep (this is my first baby). She says he is learning that he needs me to sleep and it will be 10x more difficult to break him of that habit later. She is not being pushy about it and tells me so and that I am free to do what I think is best, so I think she is just genuinely concerned (we have a good relationship). However, I don't necessarily have a positive outlook on "sleep training" and I feel like he is just 7 weeks and he needs me to sleep at this point in his life (I have tried to nurse him lying down and sneak away- doesn't work!).  At the same time, I haven't really tried to put him down to sleep alone b/c I assume it won't work, and I am happy with the situation we have. Part of me deep-down is wondering if I am creating a habit? Can anyone who has BTDT tell me what the case was for them with their LOs? Thanks!

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#2 of 16 Old 02-09-2011, 08:04 AM
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The baby needs a lot of movement still after being carried for 9 months. They often do not feel "okay" when you put them down.

I found after 3 babies that they need to motion and to be held and carried until they are able to sit up completely and are almost at the point of crawling. There are certain times during the day that my 9 month old still needs to be carried around to feel better.

I don't think you can get your baby "used" to being put down with out letting her cry.

It's fine to put the baby down as long as the baby is content. You can try and if there is fussing then you know that is not a good time.

Babies are really good at letting moms know what they need.

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#3 of 16 Old 02-09-2011, 08:04 AM
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I think that for the first 12-16 weeks, you do whatever it takes for baby to sleep. I couldn't put down DS1 at all when he was little, or screaming would ensue. For DS2, I put him down a lot in the first 5 weeks or so, and then he started to need swaddling or holding. Just follow what feels right to you! There may be some to there being a sleep association (between you or whatever "prop" you are using and sleep) later on, but at that young age, you don't have to worry. At about 4-5 months, you can start "training." By training, I don't mean CIO, but just try to put him down (if you want) every once in a while, or try new ways to get him to sleep, etc., and then comfort him, pick him back up, whatever is  necessary (which probably will be). Eventually LO will be ready on his own time. I was worried about a sleep association with DS2 and bouncing on a ball -- had to do that to get him to fall asleep for the first 15 weeks! Now, though, I can hold him in my arms, he fusses a bit, then I rock a bit, and then usually he's out. Only have to bounce if he's really worked up!


One thing that has been CRUCIAL to us in terms of being able to put down DS2 is swaddling for all sleeping -- naps and night time. He is not at all happy when I put it on, but it is impossible for him to fall asleep without it (except in the carrier, which is kindof like being swaddled to me:)). He is 4.5 months now, and still can't fall asleep without it. I think it mimics being in your arms, feeling like they are being held.


Anyway, bottom line, for now, don't worry about it!! They need what they need when they are tiny like that!

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#4 of 16 Old 02-09-2011, 08:05 AM
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Oh 7 weeks is sooooo teeny!!!


I can tell you this - I didn't put down my 1st kid - DD - to sleep alone until she was 6 mo - and around that time she started napping solo and falling asleep on her own.


With my 2nd - this 7 mo old DS - I held him for most naps and napped with him (or wore him, or he napped in stroller) for about 6 months too - and now he will nap for about 2 hrs all by himself in his crib. I nurse him into a coma and then put him down. Nights are pretty much the same thing - except he wakes every 2 hrs to nurse and we bedshare after his first waking of the night.


I did try to put him down occasionally to sleep earlier - but it often didn't work so it just wasn't worth it. And I guess  it probably does create a habit to some degree, but it's a habit that I'm OK with. It's a habit that says "I'm going to be here for you when you need me."


Good luck!

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#5 of 16 Old 02-09-2011, 08:12 AM
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Oh and I want to add.

No, I do not think you are creating a habit. You have a newborn baby. They really need a lot of holding.

None of mine would be put down for more than 20 minutes until much much later.


As far as the not wanting to cosleep. You will just see how you feel when the baby is older. You will decide if you have to night wean and then transition the baby to his own bed. Don't worry, you have plenty of time to figure that out.


Also, just remember, this is not how the baby will be forever. The first 3-4 months are the fussiest. That little baby is trying to get used to the air, sights, sounds, digesting food, the world. It's hard work for baby and mom. They need to be comforted a lot.

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#6 of 16 Old 02-09-2011, 08:17 AM
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Originally Posted by whozeyermamma View Post
 And I guess  it probably does create a habit to some degree, but it's a habit that I'm OK with. It's a habit that says "I'm going to be here for you when you need me."



yeahthat.gif  Exactly!!!!


I also agree with: if he seems content to be put down, I see no harm in it. But usually at that age most babies need to be held nearly all the time, and helped to sleep. Children are so unique and varying, that I don't think you can say definitively: this will create a habit. For some babies, it will, for some it won't. And you have to remember: sleep changes, and changes again, and then changes again. Meaning: what works now may not work in a few weeks, then you'll find something new, and a couple months later that will have to change again. You baby may be content to fall asleep alone at some point, only then a few months later to need you to help get to sleep again. Or vice-versa.

It sounds like you're using your instinct, which is always correct. Just go with the flow...if you feel like it experiment and see what happens.


In the Sears' Baby Book he says: Most babies do not need to be "put down" to sleep, but "parented down" to sleep. I agree, and from reading this forum I can tell you it seems to be mostly true.


Good Luck!

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#7 of 16 Old 02-09-2011, 08:17 AM
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I felt just as you do now when my DS was that age, and now that he's older and things have changed and changed again and changed AGAIN, I truly believe habits don't form that young.  DS is now 6.5 months and I'm still not sure his needs are a "habit" vs. an actual true need.  He's just too little.  I could not set him down for the first 5 weeks of his life, so I didn't, and now most of the time he'd rather NOT be held - he wants to try to crawl, or play in his exersaucer, or ride in the stroller which offers him a better view of the world than the Ergo.  I just go with it, and eat up the snuggles I get at night which is the only time he's cuddly for more than about 2 minutes!

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#8 of 16 Old 02-09-2011, 08:29 AM
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We did a slow transition here with no problems. For the first three months Cecilia only slept on me-- nobody else, just me. Around 3 months or a little after, I began trying the swing. Gradually she worked up to taking longer and longer naps in the swing, and by 4-5 months she took all of them there, and started the night there. Around 8 months her swing's motor broke, so we were suddenly without. I transitioned her to sleeping in the bed for naps, and it worked quite well (on her tummy worked best). Now, at 10 months, she sleeps in the bed for everything. We've coslept since birth and have no plans to change that. smile.gif

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#9 of 16 Old 02-09-2011, 08:45 AM
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I "parented" my older daughter (now 8) to sleep until she was at least 4. Everyone criticized us. We co-slept for most of her first 16 months, then rocked to sleep, once she was out of her crib I would lay with her.

Last night we did the bed routine and she was reading in her room while I was changing DS 10 months. She came out 10 minutes later and said she was ready to go to sleep. It doesn't happen every night, but we have never had a sleep argument. She never makes excuses to get out of bed.

It wasn't my favorite thing to lay in bed with her every night for a half hour, but it was easier for me than a crying kid or putting her back to bed every 10 minutes.

He will learn to sleep on his own, eventually. It's not always convenient to put a child to bed like this, but parenting isn't all about my comfort.

Some babies figure it out from birth and others at 6 months and others at 2 years. I'm always a fan of following your instincts and doing what you feel is best.

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#10 of 16 Old 02-09-2011, 09:56 AM
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I only have DD to go by, but I can tell you that yes, it does create a habit, but not necessarily a bad one, and if you're okay with it, then it's all good. I co-slept with DD full-time until she was 18 months (I went back to work when she was 6 months - she did nap in the swing until she was about 10 months once I was back at work), and at that point we put her on a mattress on the floor in her room, and once she was asleep I would sneak out and sleep in the "grown-up bed" until she woke, at which point I'd go in with her. Gradually she started sleeping longer and longer stretches. I night-weaned her completely when she was about 2.5, but could have done it much earlier I think. And it was easy - no crying. She has been a magnificent sleeper and I am so happy with the gentle progression that we're doing the same with DS. There's no conflict, no training, no trying to convince DS to sleep. At naptime, I nurse him down then either fall asleep with him (bliss!) or get up and do stuff around the house. DS never enjoyed the swing either.


I agree - "putting them down" if it works is no problem - our nephew is like that. But if it doesn't work, or you don't want to, then don't. It WILL work out. And breaking a habit when they're old enough to talk is generally much easier, IME.

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#11 of 16 Old 02-09-2011, 10:20 AM
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Good luck!

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#12 of 16 Old 02-09-2011, 12:06 PM
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This isn't exactly what you're asking ... but I think sleep is a process for kids - my DD (now 7 1/2) has run the gamut over the years - in our bed, in her bed, in her crib, in her bed all night, in our bed all night, in her bed to start, in our bed later. Honestly, it doesn't matter to me. My kids won't be sleeping with me when they're 12. With babies - there is SO much going on in the first year - first the "4th trimester" - then teething, then developmental milestones - it's a wonder they ever get any rest.


Before the baby was born, DD would read a few books on her own, we'd tuck her in her own bed and - goodnight. Once a week she slept in our bed - we made it a kind of fun routine - "family bed night," as a way to prepare for the baby to come since I didn't want her sleep disturbed all night by the baby. This worked great. (So yes, this means she co-slept off and on for 7 years!)


Since the baby was born, DD has "regressed" (some would say) in her sleep - in that she wants one of us to "parent" her to sleep in her bed - lay with her, rub her back, whatever. Or she wakes in the middle of the night and wants one of us to be with her. Who can blame her? This little guy is getting all the attention all day long and she wants some time to be "babied" too. We're happy to do it. I'm sure she'll go back to her regular ways soon.


No matter what age they are up until their pre-teens, I don't have any problems with "parenting" them to sleep - however and whenever they need it.

Me (40) DH (49) daring DD (9) and darling DS - almost THREE! (born June 25, 2010 in an amazing, unplanned homebirth.jpg

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#13 of 16 Old 02-09-2011, 01:10 PM
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With such a little baby, no, you aren't creating a long-term habit -- little ones change so fast! 

My DD would only sleep in my arms the first 3 months or so, but now, at 6 months, she won't sleep in my arms except after nursing. And she won't co-sleep anymore either -- we wake her up too much, I guess. Point is, they change really fast and 7 weeks is little bitty still.


Enjoy it while it lasts!

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#14 of 16 Old 02-17-2011, 12:11 PM
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TG for this thread.  My DD is 3 weeks old, and I thought I was losing my mind.  I can't put this (3rd) DD of mine down for anything.  She even hates the swing, very much unlike her older sisters.  Now that I know some kids are like this, I just have to get into the habit of wearing the Moby 24/7.  I'll be interested to see what happens over the next few weeks...for both her sanity and mine. 


Thanks for reminding me that babies get to be a lot more independent when they start to sit/move on their own!  Until then, this is normal...

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#15 of 16 Old 02-17-2011, 03:09 PM
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Every baby is different. I am one of those mamas that I hold my babies all the time for the first 6 months, I shower with them, hold them through naps, all night long long. One of my kids has still wanted to be held all the time for the next year and a half, one of them was pushing me away by five months, and the other two took off crawling at 6 months and have been very independent since. They all have different personalities and needs, but they all need held in the beginning. When people say things to me, I tell them that holding children makes them more secure which then makes them more independent later on. Being a first time mom is hard, just keep trusting your instincts!

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#16 of 16 Old 02-17-2011, 09:15 PM
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don't worry about doing anything to shape your kiddo's future habits at all now.....7 weeks is so so young, it's just about getting through the day (and night) at this point.


i for one, hated co-sleeping, never intended to do it for any length of time, never wanted to end up with a babe that could only sleep on me/in a sling/in a car/whatever, and also worried about creating habits...but i did what i had to do for those first couple months and then gradually started working on getting her out of my bed and sleeping on her own and all that jazz later on. 

other posters have already summed it up, they change so much and you have time.


as for naps, it's not unusual to only get short naps at such a young age. i don't think i even got 45 minutes until 2 months or so. it doesn't mean they will always be bad nappers, they just learn to consolidate sleep as they get older. i think for me i had just gotten used to hearing that babies sleep for 2 hours at a time that i didn;t realize that for the most part those are older babies that are taking such long naps (and fewer ones as well.)


so don't fret. 

my dd who forced me into co-sleeping against my will was in her own bed before 3 months and in her own room sleeping long stretches at 5 months. not only did it work itself out but she actually turned out to be one of those kids that does better alone. at around 4 months i first heard her waking up at night and putting herself back to sleep on her own. my horrible 20 minute napper where putting her down was always a struggle started sleeping for at least 1.5 hours at each nap by 6 months and put herself to sleep (after nursing.) 

i'm not saying it came easy peasy and that we didn't have to work at was a slow transition to crib, she was swaddled until at least 8 months and it was a slow weaning process, and we've had regressions like anyone else....but there were definately no "bad habits" to break from the newborn days.



oh and the same goes for daytime stuff. i don't think i ever put dd down as a newborn, she just wouldn't have it, but she turned out to be a very independant baby who could spend alot of time on the floor playing by herself and exploring. it's just her personality and the attention she had as a newborn did nothing to make her less so.

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