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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Does anybody have any tips for a 6-week old that will not sleep unless we are holding him in our arms? Either my wife or I can pretty easily get him to fall asleep after nighttime feedings but the problem comes when we set him down in his co-sleeper and he pops right awake. This is true no matter how long he is sleeping in our arms. We have been spending most nights sleeping with him in a chair or sitting up in bed but this is causing us neck and back pain and preventing us from really sleeping.<br><br>
Thanks,<br><br>
Michael<br><a href="http://www.thetinyrevolution.com" target="_blank">The Tiny Revolution</a><br><br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/nocirc.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="nocirc"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/malesling.GIF" style="border:0px solid;" title="Malesling">: <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/cd.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Cd">:
 

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My baby has slept on or next to me, in bed, since birth. She wouldn't even sleep in the crib at the hospital. She is 4 1/2 months old now. She can now stay alone in the middle of the bed if I want to get up. Yep, it's exhausting.<br><br>
Are you frightened about sleeping in bed with such a small baby? I'd be much more frightened, myself, of dozing off and dropping the baby! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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When ds was that size I used to sleep with him in my armpit with my arm around him. Does that make sense? That way we were both laying down and I was able to sleep. It also made it easier to nurse. We could do the side-laying position (though, this took awhile to get the hang of). Another thing is that it made me feel better to have my arm around him because I knew then that he couldn't get up under my pillow or under the blankets (we would keep our blankets at waist-height). If you are nervous about co-sleeping it really is safe if you follow safety guidelines. I'm not on my home computer so I don't have my bookmarks, but I know there are lists out there. Maybe someone else can help you out with a link?
 

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When my dd was an infant, it seemed like she could only sleep in our arms. Then, I realized she would also sleep in the car seat. She just liked the feeling of being snuggled, which our car seat offered. So, I would nurse her to sleep and gently pass her to the car seat and there she slept until she outgrew it at 6 mos. From then on, she has slept in our bed. I think sitting up also helped her digestion. I think this is why she did not like laying down to sleep. I talked to the ped about it and he said as long it was done safely, there was no harm. We would put the car seat right near us and covered her by having a blanket under her that would wrap around her slightly. That way, she could not cover her head even if she wiggled. This also helped with travel as we were always carrying her bed, no matter where we went.
 

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Both of our twins would only sleep on someone or being held by someone till they were 3 months old. It sucked. I actually hired a couple of high school girls to hold them while they napped so that I could rest my arms once in awhile.<br><br>
It was crazy, but it passed.
 

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My dd was like this for the first four months of her life. The only way we coul dboth get sleep was if she slept across my stomach. I think it is important to remember that newborns (for about the first 4 months) hate being still (b/c they are used to constanly being "rocked" in the womb) and when they are on you they feel the soothing movemnts of your body and the comforting familliar sounds of your heartbeat. You may also want to try swaddleing that seems to help some babies. Good luck. It will get better.<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up">
 

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Is there any chance that your baby may have GER? My ds is the same way, and we figured out that part of it is that he is in a more upright position in our arms or in the car seat, and that when he is lying down the reflux bothers him more. Propping some pillows underneath the mattress might help. Of course, it's just more snuggly to be in your arms, too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
We suspected GER in the beginning but he seems to sleep fine totally lying down in Beth's arms or on a Boppy on her lap.<br>
Last night was pretty much a success. Beth fed him while she sat up and then was actually able to get him to sleep for a few hours in the co-sleeper. It is amazing how great even 3 hours of sleep can be. For his next feeding, she fed him with him on a pillow and her lying down. It took a little work to get started but he does have pretty good head control for his age and he finally latched on. She was then able to sleep with him in the crook of her arm for a few more hours. This is the first time that we have had him in the bed for more than a little cat nap. It is so beautiful to watch them sleep together. We are pretty well educated on co-sleeping so I don't really have any anxiety about that.<br><br>
Michael<br><a href="http://www.thetinyrevolution.com" target="_blank">The Tiny Revolution</a><br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/goorganic.jpg" style="border:0px solid;" title="go organic">: <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/nocirc.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="nocirc"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/malesling.GIF" style="border:0px solid;" title="Malesling">: <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/cd.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Cd">:
 

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my babe at 9 weeks is the same way. it gets a little exhausting during the day b/c he doesnt like to be put down anywhere for naps. most of the time i nap with him but its not always possible. i dont have any advice for you...sorry...just wanted you to know you are not alone.<br>
i always sleep with E in the crook of my arm at night...i have to switch sides b/c my arm and neck get sore, but its the only way he will sleep.
 

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<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">It is amazing how great even 3 hours of sleep can be.</td>
</tr></table></div>
<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/banana.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="banana"> Isn't it?<br><br>
This will continue to get better! Definitely try swaddling him and laying him next to you on the bed. I also like the idea of having somebody come over specifically to hold the baby; it might be hard to arrange at night, but if they could hold him for daytime naps then you could nap too or run around getting things done. Maybe you have some friends with older children who would just love to hold a baby again? <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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the suggestion about holding a babe is a good one. my dss goes to a mom's house 2x a week to stay with 6 week old twins while the mom does things.<br>
dss is soon to be $14..i dont know what she is being paid, but it cant be that much. prob. around $30 or so a week. wish i had that (and pls. dont even ask me about my 15 yo ds1....you DONT want to go there).<br><br>
hope you guys get more rest soon,<br><br>
rach
 

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i don't have anything to add except that it's so great to see a dad who is so involved. bravo!!! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up">
 

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My 4 1/2 mo DD was the same way. She would only nap in arms, in the sling or if I was in bed with her, until I learned how to swaddle her well. (I wish I would have known how to swaddle her right when she was younger!!) But, alas, it works now. I followed the swaddling instructions in the book "Happiest Baby on the Block". Now my routine is swaddle, nurse, unlatch and place DD in her bassinet. Being wrapped helps her feel like she's being held so she doesn't startle when I lay her down anymore.<br><br>
Also, she'll stir after about 40 mins. If needed I pick her up, let her nurse to settle back down and then place her back in the bassinet.
 

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I haven't read all the responses, so I hope this isn't repetitive. All three of our babies were like this when they were little. They loved to be held to sleep. Have you tried sleeping with one hand on the baby? This worked for my kids. As long as I was touching them, they felt secure and didn't startle and wake up. Also, I would nurse them lying down in bed and found they unlatched and stayed asleep better this way.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
We have now had two great nights in a row. Everybody's suggestions have been very helpful. It almost seems like there is a biological instict in babies that when you are at the end of your rope they give you a little break. It also seems instinctive that for us that when you have a good night it is easy to forget about the the bad ones.<br><br>
We did a lot of swaddling in the beginning but as he has grown he does now doesn't like his arms swaddled. I really think we need to revisit this. Swaddling has been recomended many times and we have also had great success with other techniques from "The Happiest Baby on the Block. It also means a lot to know that we are far from being alone in this problem.<br><br>
Michael<br><a href="http://www.thetinyrevolution.com" target="_blank">The Tiny Revolution</a><br><br><br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/goorganic.jpg" style="border:0px solid;" title="go organic">: <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/nocirc.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="nocirc"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/malesling.GIF" style="border:0px solid;" title="Malesling">: <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/cd.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Cd">:
 

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I remember complaining about this to my mother-in-law, and she said, "babies aren't stupid, OF COURSE they want to be held all the time, wouldn't you?!"<br>
She also told me to hold that baby as much as possible because they grow up fast. Now, my 12 yr old is 5'10" tall. When I go to get my 2 yr old out of his crib and tell him to give me a hug and kiss, he says, "nooo don't like it!" I know it's bone tiring exhausting having a new baby but whatever happens, "this too, shall pass". I know it doesn't seem like it'll ever happen, but one day your beautiful baby will be rolling his/her eyes at you saying "whatever mom, chill out". So my advise would be to hold that baby for as long as possible.<br><br>
BenJulieMattzMom
 

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mblanford said:
It almost seems like there is a biological instict in babies that when you are at the end of your rope they give you a little break. It also seems instinctive that for us that when you have a good night it is easy to forget about the the bad ones.<br><br>
I have noticed this too! Whenever I reach the point of saying, "that's it, you're going to have to start sleeping in your own room" or "maybe we should switch to bottles" We have a great night. My husband and I have come to expect this pattern, though I have to say, I have really gotten use to this lack of sleep thing so most nights we do alright even if I am up every two hours! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wild.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wild">
 

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DS was like that. For 3 1/2 months he would only sleep on my chest. I also had to hold him 24/7. He had colic and GERD, but he also just needed touch.<br><br>
Hang in there. Eventually I was able to get him to sleep next to me in in the bed. I would wear him to bed in the sling and then slowly remove myself from the sling. I would still keep it snuggled around him, and I was also sure to be craddling him in my arms so he thought he was being held.<br><br>
It's a long tiring road, I know. But at the age, the baby's wants are his needs. See if you and your wife can take shifts, and always sleep when the baby sleeps.<br><br>
Good luck!
 

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We have a similar situation, but our 9 week old will often only fall asleep in a sling. He has been this way since birth. I am hoping to find other ways to get him to sleep as he grows, but for now this works the best. If you tried wearing your babe to sleep at least you could walk around and have your hands free for a bit. Also, after our ds is in DEEP sleep we can lay him on our bed (still in the sling) and he won't wake up. Maybe that could help you as well because beds can be cold and then the sling would still be toasty warm next to the skin! Slings have been my lifesaver! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin">
 

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That was my whole babymoon! Holding a sleeping infant is what drove me to MDC - I needed something to do with while sitting there with the kid on me. Slings were the best way to get my dd down at that age too... nursing too, but she sure liked movement and a close body. Still does, I guess, but now she sometimes kicks ME out of HER bed at night! hmph.<br><br>
I blame her need for movement on the fact that I was very active during the pregnancy, but who knows. It just sounds good. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1"><br><br>
Yes the need to be held while sleeping passes, but I would encourage you to keep giving him chances to - um, get used to it, I guess. I picked dd back up the second she stirred everytime I tried putting her down. Didn't even give her a chance to fully wake up again, let alone cry. She has NEVER slept through the night and it MIGHT have a little to do with my helecopter parenting back then... Anyway, I guess my point is that I sort of wish I had waited a few seconds to see if she resettled and fell back to sleep back then. But that may be a result of all that "mainstream" junk hitting me too.<br><br>
However, for the record, she can now put herself to sleep alone in her own room and we did no special "sleep training" or anything. Its only at night and not after she wakes back up again, mind you, she comes into my bed at that point... but I need to make the disclaimer that they don't need to be forced to learn to sleep on their own. And it gets much easier to put them down without waking them up after their nervous systems get more "organized."<br><br>
By 3 months I was putting her down in her crib for regular, fairly routine naps.
 
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