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Infant Care (up to 18 months old) Message Board

Infant Care (up to 18 months old) Board Index

I have a 5 1/2 week old baby who we are having great trouble getting to sleep at night. For the first few weeks one of us would rock her to sleep and not put her in her co-sleeper until she was asleep and she seemed to do well this way. But from everything I've read, it's best to put baby down when she is drowsy so she can learn to fall asleep on her own. For the last 3-4 nights we have tried this approach. We have even tried different bed times ranging from 8:30- 11:00. We started getting her in a routine of sorts, bathing with the lights dim in the house, feeding her and holding her for a few minutes until she is sleepy and then laying her down. However, even if she drifts off for a few minutes, she wakes up screaming and crying like she is scared. She cried last night for what seemed like an eternity and after a long time I finally picked her up as her crying was making her hoarse. The good thing is when we do finally get her to sleep which involves rocking her to sleep and then putting her down or put her in her swing to fall asleep, she has started sleeping 5 hour stretches. The last 2 nights we moved her co-sleeper in to her own room, do you think this may have something to do with it? she is used to being in our room. I have just read so many approaches and wondered if anyone has encountered a similar issue and what maybe worked for you? Maybe we are just trying the crying it out method too early or it may not work for her, she has a very strong personality :). We even had her at the doctor and we are trying a new formula since she seemed to be gassy but I don't think her night time screaming is gas. Thanks to anyone who has advice.
i think each baby is different my ds was in his cot in his room at 8 weeks and was sleeping through till 5 am i think i was just lucky he has always slept well however it is only in the last month really that i put him to bed drowsy before that i always rocked him in my arms to sleep so he felt secure to drop off. now his bedtime varies from night to night usually between 8pm and 1030pm depending on his cues. i do not use cio but then i don't need to he sleeps when he is tired through till 7am now but he is almost 5 months.

the first 3 weeks he went up to bed with us in his moses basket next to me, then from week4 he went in his basket in my room before me when he appeared had dropped off in my arms. from when he went in his room he slept through because i was not jumping up every time he breathed with a sigh to check him which was waking him up. he is in the room next door so any cry would wake me immediately as i sleep with one ear open for him. i would not stress too much he is still a newborn at 5 weeks and is just getting used to this crazy old world. he will make his own routine soon enough. oh and i always always go to my baby when he cries in his cot usually he only needs me to shush him or pop his dummy in his mouth or change a nappy then he goes straight back to sleep. he has never ever woke up screaming. if he does stir i do what is necessary to settle him which he does very quickly and i never need to pick him up to settle him. i wonder if it is because i respond to him if he does a little cry that he feels secure enough to sleep knowing i have not left him completely.
[QUOTE=Cookiem26]I have a 5 1/2 week old baby who we are having great trouble getting to sleep at night.[/quote]

That's TOTALLY normal!! Remember, your baby slept with you, ate with you, listened to you, an rode with you for 40 weeks. She has only been on the oustside for 5 short weeks. It can take some babies just as much time on the outside, as they were on the inside, to get used to being "alone". Your baby is just now starting to learn that you and she are two separate people. Until now she has thought you should always belong together.

[quote]But from everything I've read, it's best to put baby down when she is drowsy so she can learn to fall asleep on her own.[/quote]

This is common among people who follow Dr. Ezzo and Dr. Ferber. Personally, I do not subscribe to this theory for the reasons I stated above. I believe that the first two months are basically the 4th trimester, and that physical closeness is important to very young infants. For some this means rocking to sleep, nursing to sleep, cuddling to sleep, or in my case, actually sleeping [i]together[/i]. It's normal, and completely natural. ALL lactating mammals sleep with their young until they are weaned. It is a biological an physiological normality. Follow your instincts on this one. If you feel your baby does better and is happier being nursed/cuddled/rocked to sleep, then DO it, and forget what "they" say.

[quote]We started getting her in a routine of sorts[/quote]

Routines are not very reliable until about 3-4 months of age. Until then you'll think you've got it down to a science, and then baby will change her mind. Go with the flow, follow your baby's lead, and soon enough she'll set her own schedule. It's much less stressful this way then over analyzing why she isn't sleeping.

[quote]However, even if she drifts off for a few minutes, she wakes up screaming and crying like she is scared.[/quote]

She probably is. Remember, you have been right there for her for 40 weeks. She's still adjusting to being a separate being, and part of that is being startled and disorientated upon waking. It's normal. Just be there for her as soon as you can to comfort and sooth her.

[quote]She cried last night for what seemed like an eternity and after a long time I finally picked her up as her crying was making her hoarse.[/quote]

I do not believe in CIO, and I'm sorry you tried this. At 5 weeks old your baby is crying for a reason. It is her only form of communication. Answering her cries as soon as you can validates them, and promotes a trusting relationship. She will learn to trust that she can count on you to help her when she needs it. CIO in older babies is up for debate, and it may have its time and place, but 5 weeks, in my opinion, is way to soon to start this. She is crying for a reason at this age.

[quote]The last 2 nights we moved her co-sleeper in to her own room, do you think this may have something to do with it?[/quote]

Possibly. She is used to falling asleep to the sound of your heart beat and placenta. If you feel you must put her in her own room so early, you could try a white noise machine. It might remind her of some familiar sounds and help her feel not so alone.

[quote]I have just read so many approaches[/quote]

The BEST advice I got was to ignore what everyone says. That goes for the pediatrician, your mother, people on the net, everyone, and just follow your heart and instinct. Women have been raising babies since the dawn of man without the help of books or male doctors who have never raised children. Do what works for you, and do what YOU are comfortable with, and ignore everything else. Just remember, your daughter won't be sleeping with you, breastfeeding, or wearing diapers in college. She will outgrow all of it when SHE is ready. Parenthood is not a race. Relax, and enjoy the ride. There will come a day when your baby doesn't [i]want[/i] to be rocked to sleep, so enjoy it now!

I actually just moved my daughter's crib INTO our room today. She is too big for her bassinet, so now our bed and her crib are pushed together. I see nothing wrong with this arrangement. She's a baby, and she needs her mama.

Good luck!
i get ds to sleep by rocking him or nursing him. at night, if i am going to bed at the same time as him i put him to bed with me. this way he stays asleep cause i can just pat him on the back if/when he starts stirring. if im not going to bed yet then i get him to sleep and lay him on the couch so i can be right there to sooth him to sleep before he gets good and awake again if he does start stirring. (by the way, my ds is 6 weeks old)

i believe in CIO, but NOT at 5 weeks. at this young age you should respond to your babys cries asap. this will build her confidence in her ability to communicate her needs/wants, and reassure her that you love her and will meet her needs. however, i have a very fussy baby that cries at the drop of a hat, so i have started trying to sometimes let him "fuss it out" as i call it, but when the fussing turns to crying i pick him up immediately. usually i'll do this when he's been changed, fed, cuddled, and is not sleepy and then i'll put him in the swing and if he starts fussing i'll wait and see if he just stops after a min on his own, or if he progresses to crying. i never do this at bedtime though, because i want him to sleep!

you may consider letting your baby sleep with you until she starts sleeping through the night. after that you can always transfer her to her crib in her own room, but for now it may be easier for everyone to co sleep. i plan on moving ds to his own room when he starts sleeping through. i only plan on comforting him for the first week while he gets used to his crib, then will try CIO, but i don't plan on this until he's probably at least 6 months. by that time he will be plenty confident in his ability to communicate his needs, and he'll be secure in the fact he is loved and his needs will be met.

however, if CIO is the way you definately want to go at this point, thats up to you, it's your baby. im sure she'll turn out fine if you are responding to her needs/wants in a timely manner the rest of the time. my MIL and my mother both say i should let ds CIO, that they did this with me and DH at such a young age, and we both turned out fine. its just not for me and my baby.
I was up at all hours with DD until she was about 3 months old. I think the longest stretches she slept in the middle of the night was 4-5 hours...which mostly occurred after 12:30-1:00am. I also tried the low lighting, quiet times, and bedtime routines at decent, normal bedtime hours. DD was just too new to understand any of that. There was no real sense of a normal or decent hour for bedtime fo me or DD in the first 3 months of life. I think your description of her not really having a bedtime & not sleeping consistently sounds pretty normal to me. That's probably not what you wanted to hear...but that's just how it was with me too. Things will change & evolve as your baby gets older.

2 months old is when I moved DD from bassinett in our bedroom to crib in her own room. Still up at all hours, but DH and I slept a lot better in the hours we did sleep. I think DD did too. We weren't aware of every single little noise & waking each other up. Yes, it was a PITA for me to get out of bed all the time to comfort and breastfeed DD...but DH and I didn't want to have anything to do with co-sleeping.

At about 3 months, her sleep continued to get better and her "bedtime" was more like 9-10pm. Bedtime routines started being somewhat effective around this time too.

At 4 months bedtime was 8pm consistently, and that's when I started CIO.

I used CIO very successfully & a firm believer in it...but didn't start until DD was 4 months old. I personally feel 5.5 weeks is too young for CIO. I think babies that small really can't comprehend/understand/interpret what you are trying to teach them. They just want to be safe, secure, and comforted...and the baby doesn't want or need anything but Mom holding her at that point.

As for putting baby to bed sleeping versus awake...I would go with putting to bed while asleep at 5.5 weeks. I did that up until 4 months old. I don't think that had any effect on her sleeping habits when I started CIO and started putting DD in her crib drowsy.

Sounds like you are tired yourself and are looking for some relief. I can tell you that it does get better. It's very hard having a new baby. People could talk to me all day about how hard it was being a new mom & the sleep deprivation. I never truly understood it until I had a baby of my own.

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