How do I get a 5 week old to go to sleep.. - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 41 Old 10-10-2006, 09:48 PM - Thread Starter
 
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without being in my arms?

Anyone care to share how they've been able to achieve this? Right now, I"m trying to take her in when she's drowsy so she can put herself to sleep.

Late at night, we're getting in to the habit of her having to be held to sleep. I wake up in the morning with her sleeping on me and she's on her stomach which makes me really nervous.
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#2 of 41 Old 10-10-2006, 09:52 PM
 
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At that age, ds pretty much fell asleep in my arms, usually nursing. I would lay him down once he was asleep. I don't think they need to "learn how to put themselves to sleep" at that age. It will happen on it's own when they're ready.

Mary
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#3 of 41 Old 10-10-2006, 10:05 PM
 
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When they are so little, they are still getting used to the world outside your womb, so it is natural for her to want to be near you in the safety and warmth of your arms. I don't think you should worry about her going to sleep on her own. That will come when she is older - maybe even much older (!) - it is more important now for her to be comforted and close to you. Have you tried a sling? My DD loved being in the cradle carry in our ring sling and slept a lot like that when she was little.

hth...
Callie

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#4 of 41 Old 10-10-2006, 10:11 PM
 
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The best advice I ever got concerning comforting and sleeping my newborn came from the book THe Happiest Baby On the Block, by Dr. Harvey Karp.

In it he discusses shhhh-ing, swaddling an sidelying bounce....all of which really helped my ds and I....

I highly recommend that you check it out at your library or pick it up!

Sarah
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#5 of 41 Old 10-10-2006, 10:25 PM
 
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Slinging really worked for us at the beginning...I wore him til he fell asleep, then I just laid him down in the bed (not the crib, too far down to bend over without waking him up), and gently untied the sling.

Another way we do it is to start out nursing, resting the baby in a sleep pose on a nursing pillow, covered with a blanket, and when he drifts off I am able to carry the whole pillow into the bedroom and gently slide him off onto the bed. I doubt the baby will want to fall asleep at five weeks old without you. How about putting your arm around the baby, letting her sleep in the crook of your arm? We did that when he was really really tiny, if you're worried about the baby sleeping on you. My son slept on my chest on his stomach for the first few weeks, but I was comfortable with that.
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#6 of 41 Old 10-10-2006, 10:49 PM
 
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It's normal for babies to want to be held to sleep. And inconvenient to most of society, apparently, based on all the crummy comments you may get about "spoiling the baby." People seem to think you'll have to hold your baby until college or something. The put themselves to sleep while drowsy ability is rare until a good bit older. The first few weeks are just triage - get through it in any way that works for you. And you won't look back and think "gee, I wish I held the baby less."

At that age, my daughter went to sleep from nursing, walking with daddy, or being in the sling. Sometimes bouncing on an exercise ball. During deep sleep (limp limbs, slow breathing), she could be moved to the co-sleeper. It takes an infant about 15-20 minutes to enter deep sleep, so it takes a little patience if you need to transfer the baby.
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#7 of 41 Old 10-10-2006, 10:58 PM
 
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My son is 14 weeks and sleeps in the crook of my arm at night. My older son did the same...

During the day, he sleeps in a carrier on me, or in arms if I'm sitting or now I lay with him in my bed and he has actually napped like that this week and I can get up and play with older ds or do things I can't do when wearing him.
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#8 of 41 Old 10-10-2006, 11:43 PM
 
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You're still in the "survival" stage, so don't worry about what anyone thinks. You're certainly not going to get your baby into any bad habits by carrying her! Both my boys slept on me, face down/sideways/faces buried in my boobs, for WEEKS.
Ditto the suggestion of a wrap/sling, because you really can't put 'em down at that age. I spent more of the first six weeks of my boys' lives watching TV than I had in my entire life otherwise.
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#9 of 41 Old 10-10-2006, 11:49 PM
 
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Swaddling and side-lying nursing to sleep....might help.
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#10 of 41 Old 10-11-2006, 12:53 AM
 
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My DD still goes to sleep in my arms, the sling, or the car seat. She is 10 1/2 mo. I don't see a problem with it. I love watching her fall asleep - it never loses its appeal for me!

Postpartum doula & certified breastfeeding educator, mama to an amazing girl (11/05) and a wee little boy (3/13).

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#11 of 41 Old 10-11-2006, 01:02 AM
 
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It's not biologically appropriate for a baby of that age to go to sleep alone. They're designed to sleep in contact with mom.

-Angela
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#12 of 41 Old 10-11-2006, 01:05 AM
 
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Keep that baby in your arms if you can, mama. To me there is nothing more beautiful, peaceful, & loving than holding a sleeping babe. All six of mine slept in my arms whenever they slept! I loved it. Cherish it. It will be gone all too soon.

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#13 of 41 Old 10-11-2006, 01:07 AM
 
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At 5 weeks old, the only way any of my kids ever fell asleep not in my arms is if he or she was in somebody else's arms (or the carseat)! With babies #2 and 3, though, I never had any problems putting the sleeping baby down in the crib or my bed if another child needed my attention.

Enjoy your baby, and don't worry about setting up any "bad habits." All you're doing is teaching your baby that the world is a safe place and her needs will be filled. This makes for a secure child who will feel safe leaving your arms and exploring the world when she's ready.

Ruth, single mommy to Leah, 19, Hannah, 18, and Jack, 12
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#14 of 41 Old 10-11-2006, 01:18 AM
 
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I think its pretty unrealistic to expect that from a 5 week old or even a 5 month old.

Mom of a 7 yr old, 4 yr old, and 1 yr old. Wow. How did that happen?
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#15 of 41 Old 10-11-2006, 03:01 AM
 
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At five weeks old, I didnt want my baby to sleep anywhere but in my arms. Your soooo in love at that point but at the same time soooo tired. Try to sleep in with the baby - breastfeed on your side and push baby's body up against you...maybe after 30 minutes or so you can slide away. I would usually put something like a pillow up against the baby so he feels like ur still there . sometimes it works and sometimes it doesnt. I agree with op that its still too young to expect the baby to sleep on his own or be away from you.

Baby needs you!!!!

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#16 of 41 Old 10-11-2006, 08:16 AM
 
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This may not be the most popular answer on MDC, but I have a baby who needs his space to fall asleep (as do I! I can't sleep if anyone is touching me). Around 4 or 5 weeks, we started putting him down by himself after nursing. Of course, we stayed with him, patted him, gave him a binkie, etc, but he really liked being able to go down by himself.

So I don't think it's an unrealistic expectation at all, with the caveat that I have the kind of baby who is happy to do that. More snuggly babies than mine may beg to differ.
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#17 of 41 Old 10-11-2006, 10:02 AM
 
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I found nursing to sleep in the bed to be my old standby method. We also nurse to sleep on the Boppy and then move to the bed, and occasionally he falls asleep in the car seat, and I move him to the bed and nurse just a bit more... He's just shy of a year right now, and these are still the methods we employ.

I will say that when I was cosleeping with him at a very young age, I was nervous, but I made sure I was careful. You know, the bed was tight up against the headboard, the sheet was taut, and I used one blanket, non-puffy. I also slept topless, to keep excess material out of the way. The coolest thing, though, was that when he was little little little, if I took a deep breath, so would he. In a way, I think sleeping right beside me was a cue for him to stay in sync with me, and I definitely observed his breathing fall into the same rhythm as mine. Comforting, if you ask me.

I only halfway coslept with my first child, so this is sorta new territory for me. Right now, my "plan" is to ask him when he's about 18 months if he wants to move to his sister's bedroom. Guess we'll play it by ear.
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#18 of 41 Old 10-11-2006, 10:08 AM
 
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The only way any of my DS would sleep at that age was on their tummies.

Jeana Christian momma to 4 sons Logan 18, Connor 15, Nathan 6, and bonus baby Jack 1
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#19 of 41 Old 10-11-2006, 10:16 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mamao'two View Post
I think its pretty unrealistic to expect that from a 5 week old or even a 5 month old.
:
Babies usually do need mom to sleep, normal and nothing to worry about.
It is usually several yrs. before they can sleep alone.

~Marie : Mom to DS(11), DS(10), DD(8), DD(4), DD(2), & Happily Married to DH 12 yrs.!
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#20 of 41 Old 10-11-2006, 10:23 AM
 
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My son did not "sleep" until he was 2.5 years old. He would always take 2-3 hour naps throughout the night.

at 5 weeks...it was just survival, mostly he slept on our chest listening to our heatbeats, or in his sling or baby bjorn.

My dd slept only after nursing. As she was done nursing I would gently lie down in bed with her with my arm over her and hopefully fall asleep too! She would only ever sleep for 4 hours during the night and had 2 2-hour naps during the day.

What is the frustration? Night time? Day time? Are you sleeping with babe every chance you get? very important
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#21 of 41 Old 10-11-2006, 10:46 AM
 
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Babies are designed to sleep with their mothers. Mothers are designed to be hyperalert to their babies, even during sleep. There's nothing wrong with her falling asleep on your chest. Are you worried about SIDS (re your comment about her sleeping on her stomach?) Co-sleeping actually reduces the risk of SIDS, as does breastfeeding, of course.

I would sleep with her if at all possible- grabbing that precious sleep whenever you can. If not, I'd sling her, nurse her, and go about your life!

~*Kristi*~
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#22 of 41 Old 10-11-2006, 11:32 AM
 
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my little one is the same age.
sling, arms and nursing down work best for us.

typing with one hand as he sleeps in my arms....

thanks mdc for making this age easier to deal with!

louloubean in love with bryan, mom of boo squeak and nor nor: and 7 chickens
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#23 of 41 Old 10-11-2006, 11:42 AM
 
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Both of my boys would fall asleep if they were swaddled tightly. My 2 month old needs me to nurse him to sleep, but after he is asleep I can put him in the co-sleeper for his nap. He's right next to me at night in bed, so I don't need to swaddle him then. It takes some practice, but it can be very effective once you get it down!
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#24 of 41 Old 10-11-2006, 11:44 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruthla View Post
Enjoy your baby, and don't worry about setting up any "bad habits." All you're doing is teaching your baby that the world is a safe place and her needs will be filled. This makes for a secure child who will feel safe leaving your arms and exploring the world when she's ready.
:

I think expecting a 5-week-old to fall asleep on her own is very, very unrealistic, and you are only going to be disappointed if you continue to strive for this...

I still rock and rock and rock and rock my 11-month-old to sleep. And my 5-year-old still wants me to lay down with him or rock him to sleep half the time, too.
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#25 of 41 Old 10-11-2006, 11:45 AM
 
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Originally Posted by mommitola View Post
It's normal for babies to want to be held to sleep. And inconvenient to most of society, apparently, based on all the crummy comments you may get about "spoiling the baby."
I have yet to understand this mentality. Nursing my DD to sleep, even at almost 7 months old, is STILL the easiest, quietest, fastest, most fail safe method ever. I have tried walking, rocking, singing, car rides, etc. I just don't know what goes on in a persons head when they think rocking for an hour, then listening to them cry and fuss for another hour is somehow "better" for all involved. 20 minutes on the boob and she's OUT. It doesn't get much easier then that!

As for the original poster, DD didn't want to be on her own at that age either. I didn't get a sling till she was 7 weeks old, but I just held her. Now she's great at being moved while she's asleep, doesn't bat an eye. It does get better, and like others have said, I think getting them to fall asleep on their own at that age is a little unrealistic.

A sling or wrap would be my suggestion. I wore DD for all her naps until about 4-5 months old (unless I napped with her).

Frankenstein never scared me. Marsupials do. Because they're FAST.
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#26 of 41 Old 10-11-2006, 12:03 PM
 
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Hiya, Dr Searsat askdrsears.com has fabulous info on sleeping.
I have a 4 week old baby and found his breakdown on the stages of baby sleep helpful. (Although, I sleep with my baby and always nurse him to sleep any other time.)
He talks of the symptoms of light sleep, which can last about 20 minutes. ITs characterised by fluttery eyes, squeaks, mouth movements etc etc. And how this is a vunerable period of sleep for baby, so if your cribbing it: don't move baby yet, or disturb him as he will wake.
Wait till you see these movements stop.

Again, check out his sleep info: its helpful
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#27 of 41 Old 10-11-2006, 12:15 PM
 
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My kids must have been sound sleepers, because they fell asleep nursing and I just laid them down. They slept better at this age than later on. Now my grandson has never fallen asleep eating and won't fall asleep in anyone's arms. He's the type of baby that just has to be put down to sleep. He is 10 months old now and still won't sleep in arms. I think some babies aren't as cuddly (we wish he was!).
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#28 of 41 Old 10-11-2006, 02:31 PM
 
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Gosh, I just love having my baby fall asleep in my arms. I think it is the most beautiful thing. One day she will be a teenager and try to sneak in at night, so this is a special time that won't last. I wouldn't think of it as a habit, I would think of it as the natural thing to do. In most of the world that is how babies sleep. At 5 weeks, she is still getting used to being outside in this world. It takes a long time for them to adjust.

If you are worried about SIDS, which I was, obsessively, then swaddle her before she nurses, and when she falls asleep, hold her for a while longer, and then gently put her down next to you. Since she will be rolled up tight, she won't notice as much when you put her down. I slept with no pillows, with my head right next to hers so that I could hear her breathe. (like I said, I was obsessively worried!)
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#29 of 41 Old 10-11-2006, 08:35 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Don't get me wrong. I love to watch her fall asleep in my arms, but I'm past the point of exhaustion right now. I almost fell asleep watching her today b/c I'm so so so tired. The other night I was so petrified of SIDS that I couldn't sleep a wink. I just laid awake thinking my job is to make sure she is still alive in the morning. I was afraid the comforter would kill her or the pillow or me...

It's been a little rough for me.
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#30 of 41 Old 10-11-2006, 09:21 PM
 
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The comforter isn't going to kill her. Neither are the pillows. Neither are you. Put her in your bed, below the pillows. Use a light blanket. Sleep.

-Angela
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