32 answers

Baby Wakes up When I Put Her Down... HELP

My baby girl is 2 1/2 months old. She will NOT sleep unless I am holding her (during the day). At night she does great. She goes down about the same time and sleeps for up to 6 hours straight. But during the day is another story. She wakes up in the morning to eat and then falls back to sleep on me. I lay her down in her bassinet and she immediately wakes up crying. I have tried laying her in our bed but she still wakes up. She does this ALL DAY LONG. She fights sleep so bad. I feed her, rock her, pat her, sing to her... whatever it takes to get her to sleep. She finally goes and then poof she's up again crying when she leaves my arms. I am trying NOT to rock, pat, sing, etc. to her so that she can learn to fall asleep on her own but even when I do this she wakes up once I lay her down. I am letting her cry for a few minutes to see if she will go back to sleep but she never does. How can I get her to sleep without me and to get on a schedule? HELP

P.S. I can't figure out how to reply to what has been written so I thought I'd do it here... lol
I have tried putting her in her swing, car seat, floor, bassinet, crib, my bed, you name it. My arms is the only place she wants to sleep. I would LOVE to sit and hold her all day but I can't because I have two sons also, 6 years and 2 years. She is a tummy baby also. At night she will sleep both ways but prefers her tummy. :-/

What can I do next?

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My baby would do this (and still does it at 1 yr old) when she was cold. She'd warm up against me and then get chilled when I set her down solo. If I put an extra layer on her or a thicker blanket, 9 times out of 10 she'd go to sleep. Sometimes at that age though, she'd just plain want to be held. :)

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You don't mention whether or not she is being swaddled. And if she is she may not be swaddled tight enough. Also, is she lifting her head at all when she cries? She may have acid reflux like my girls did.

I would not place her on her tummy to sleep at all. SIDS is a real problem at this age. I used sleep positioners to put them on their sides.

Good luck! I hope you find something that works!!!

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I always laid my babies down BEFORE they fell asleep. It taught them that when they laid in their bassinette (until 3 months old) or their crib, it was time to sleep. If she's eating and starts to fall asleep, keep her awake until you can get her laid down. It will help her establish some great sleeping habits

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My second son was the same way for the first few months and I had a 3 year old, also. I would never let a baby that young cry, so I put him in a sling which was no easy task since he weighed 10-18 lbs. at the time. It was the only way to have my hands free and for him to be sleeping for more than 10 minutes or not crying. About half the time, I did just hold him in my arms most of the day. Believe it or not, you can do almost anything with one hand. Eventually, after lots and lots of tries, he would let me put him in his bouncy seat or swing for short periods which grew longer as he became more comfortable with them. As far as not rocking, patting, or singing, why not? If it helps her fall asleep and signals that it is time for a nap, I would consider that a good thing. You can't develop a schedule without taking into consideration what the baby wants and needs. Like another mom said, just watch closely and develop your schedule around her. It is much easier than trying to fight her natural insticts. Good luck!

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My son loved his baby sling. I'd wear him all day and he was very happy.

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When they are little like that I just did my best to make sure the baby was comfy cozy and snuggly all over...making more of a nest for them to feel all consumed in hard, flat and cold surfaces don't always cut it...I used pillows and blankets and the arm of our couch mostly!?

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I could have written this letter back when my son was your daughter's age. I can give you two suggestions that helped me. First, it's okay. Your baby wants to snuggle with you right now, but she'll grow out of it. I think my son was about 3 months old when he was finally willing to sleep in his bassinet out of my arms. By then, I was tired of just sitting around any time he wanted to nap, but now, I kind of miss that tiny baby that would cuddle in my arms. Every couple of days, try to set your baby down again, but if it doesn't work, accept that. At about 4 months, you should begin trying to put your baby down awake, and letting her soothe herself to sleep.

The second thing I recommend is investing in a sling or Baby Bjorn. This way, your life doesn't have to stop when it's time for Baby to sleep - she can come along for the ride. I felt like I was rotting away when I had to stop everything because my son fell asleep and I couldn't put him down. With the Baby Bjorn, I just kept going with him asleep right next to me. It was a lifesaver.

Good luck.

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My son was like that. The swing was a real blessing.
If you haven't, try swaddling her before lying her down. Or maybe putting a heating pad on the crib mattress for a few minutes to warm it up (don't leave it there when you lay her down - just use it to warm the sheets then remove it).

1 mom found this helpful

My six year old was that way. I put her in a sling and carried her around my hips or on my chest while I did what I needed to do. She was fine in that until she was about 15 months old. We could go to the movies etc. One person came up to me and told me "What a cool purse!" and then did a double take when my dd swung her arm around it in lol!

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Hi A.,
My daughter was the same way....until I figured out that it was because I was laying her down on her back....she only would sleep when she was on her tummy....I know they say not to put them to sleep this way, but for her it was the only thing that worked...when she was on her back it was like she would startle herself and wake up....she didnt get in more than 15 minutes of sleep at a time...once on her belly everything changed!!
Meg

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Mine did this as well. It was hard not being able to do anything but I took the approach of if he needs me I'll give him me. I ALWAYS tried to lay him down. It just took time. Eventually he learned that napping alone wasn't the end of the world. I always laid him on his back or side though. I did this because he would roll to his side since the day he was born if he could. He also didn't like being swaddled after the first couple weeks. He thought freedom was good I guess. Every baby has different preferences and sometimes it's just a matter of waiting it out. Have you looked into baby wearing? I know that saved me while he worked out of this phase. Wraps have a learning curve due to learning to wrap it around you and baby but I really liked the security of them...so did he. Otherwise slings are easy for many people as well. HTH.

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You don't mention whether or not she is being swaddled. And if she is she may not be swaddled tight enough. Also, is she lifting her head at all when she cries? She may have acid reflux like my girls did.

I would not place her on her tummy to sleep at all. SIDS is a real problem at this age. I used sleep positioners to put them on their sides.

Good luck! I hope you find something that works!!!

1 mom found this helpful

I understand your situation. I have two boys, one is 3 and the other soon to be 2. Both were early, It was hard but I let them go 15 minutes to go to sleep on their own, then I got a music box. They still use it when they take naps. It might drive you crazy, but, see if it works...Good luck!

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Everything I've read about sleep and babies says to lay them down DROWSY but not already asleep. It will help them learn to fall asleep on their own. Perhaps she'll cry a few minutes and fall asleep on her own. If she cries for longer than you can tolerate, go in there, try patting her back telling her she's okay and if you're lucky, she'll be soothed knowing you're still there and fall asleep. Key point I learned though was to put them down Drowsy, not Zonked out. Good luck.

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I am all for sleep schedules, and sleep training, but she's still too young. Wait until she's closer to 5-6 months before trying any CIO. For now, try her swing, or a vibrating chair. If she is your only baby, let her sleep in your arms for awhile, its a wonderful feeling and once you do sleep train, she will never sleep in your arms again.

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Sounds like you both would benefit from babywearing. You will want to try out a few styles of baby carrier before you buy yours so that you can find one you both will like. With my two that was how they napped for the first 6 months or so, then they grew out of needing mommy to nap and I could lay them down.

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You need to not let her fall asleep in your arms, but once she starts fussing about sleep, walk her to her OWN BED and lay her down. Dont walk, bounce, swing and all that other jazz. It just gets them more aggitated. Also people assume babies cry for need to be played with, which is wrong, they cry for a need of food, sleep, or discomfort. Babies that age only stay awake about, I dunno, 10 or 15 minutes or so after the feeding and diapering . and then they are ready to go back down to nap. So, as soon as she starts to fuss after her feeding, lay her in her crib..She will continue to cry until she falls asleep. that is normal. let her cry it out.

Once she wakes from a nap,and you feed and diaper her as normal... but then wait an hour or two more for her to "fall" asleep,and she doesnt do it, and then try to pat or bounce or lay her down to get her to sleep, she will be overly exaughsted and she will not be able to calm her nervous system down. Hence she will cry forever. So the key is to get her down before exaustion.
It is not going to be easy to change a habit but you should do it now, because the older they get the harder it is to change it. Keeping a journal of when they wake is a good guide- time can get away from you faster than you realize- it may only seem she has been awake 15 minutes but when you check the log you may realize she has been up an hour or longer! Journals are a godsend.
Again don't wait until she gets exaughsted and passes out in your arms but, as soon as she fusses, probably about10 -20 minutes or so after the feeding, walk her to her room and lay her down. Don't pat her or any of that other jazz. Just let her cry a bit, she will fall asleep.

1 mom found this helpful

I always laid my babies down BEFORE they fell asleep. It taught them that when they laid in their bassinette (until 3 months old) or their crib, it was time to sleep. If she's eating and starts to fall asleep, keep her awake until you can get her laid down. It will help her establish some great sleeping habits

1 mom found this helpful

This is probably not what you want to hear right now, but I don't know if what you want to happen is going to happen except with time. Here are some suggestions, though:
1. Try putting a hot water bottle in her crib and take it out right before you lay her down so you're laying her down in a nice warm spot.
2. Let her sleep on her belly (we got a breathing monitor so we didn't worry about SIDS).
3. Let her sleep in a swing or bouncy seat.
4. Consign yourself to wearing her for naps and get a comfortable sling, wrap or carrier and then just let her sleep as you go about your day.
You can probably get her on a nap schedule of some kind around 4-6 months, but before then, anything goes. Good luck.

1 mom found this helpful

My first baby was like this too. You already have a lot of suggestions below so I will keep this short. I definitely recommend getting some kind of sling or something so you can wear her during the day if she absolutely won't sleep without you. I, personally, love the Baby K'tan but everyone has their own preferences so you might want to try out a few different styles before buying one.

Second, can you get a hold of "The No Cry Sleep Solution" by Elizabeth Pantley? In it she talks about her "Pantley Dance" that was a life saver for me. Between that method of getting my baby into the crib, changing to flannel sheets (with a blanket under the sheet for a little extra cushion on the stiff mattress), and positioning my kiddo on his side or stomach (with careful observation or a monitor!) we finally got our baby to sleep independently for naps. On the days that wouldn't work I would put him in his swing or carseat (I think he liked the cuddly feeling) if I couldn't wear him in the sling for some reason.

Good luck to you! I know it is tiring when your baby has sleep problems, especially when you have other kiddos that need your time and energy.

1 mom found this helpful

Well, I think 2.5 is well old enough to understand what she's doing is wrong. If I were you I'd talk to her sternly and tell her that she has to learn to sleep on her own, and you can't hold her all day. My daughter was a year old when I had to use this tactic, and she only did it a day or two because I wouldn't give in. Since she is so much older and she's gotten so used to you helping her fall asleep your probably going to have to just kiss her put her in her crib and let her cry it out till she goes to sleep. This might last a few days. Believe me, I took the binkey away frOm my daughter using the same method. Never forget, your the mother. Your the one in charge, not them. I know its gonna be hard seeing as you have two other kids, but you both would be much better off nipping this in the bud right now.

Just remember, stay strong. Good luck!

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I agree with the mamas below. The belly is what both of my kids preferred. I know they say back is best, etc. etc. BUT, the funny thing is...with my first baby (who's 6 now) it was "ONLY put them on their SIDE!!"...then, with my second baby (who's 3 1/2) it was, "ONLY put them on their back!!!".... lol..the truth of the matter is.....do what's best for your baby. I know I hate sleeping on my back. If I were so little and unable to roll onto my belly all by myself, I'd cry too! =0) It's worth a shot.

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Hi A.,

My daughter was like that also for the first 4-5 months, also only for naps. The tricks that worked for me were:
- I was letting her falling asleep in my arms as it was the only way. I was taking my boppy pillow with a blanket beneath it. Then she would fall asleep "in" the pillow. Her body was touching either the pillow or the blanket beneath. When asleep, I was transferring her and the boppy and blanket softly and smoothly to her bassinet. As she was staying in exactly the same position and cuddle into the warm blanket, she didn't wake up. Visitors were always asking why is she sleeping on her side/in a boppy. So, it looked weird but worked.
- Other days, I would just carry her in a front sling (the large wrap from mamankangourou). There she was held tight and comfy and I could move around and she wouldn't wake up.

Things got much better when she could turn around both side by herself.

Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

My baby would do this (and still does it at 1 yr old) when she was cold. She'd warm up against me and then get chilled when I set her down solo. If I put an extra layer on her or a thicker blanket, 9 times out of 10 she'd go to sleep. Sometimes at that age though, she'd just plain want to be held. :)

1 mom found this helpful

One of the best pieces of advice I received as a new mom was from a friend on how to get my newborn son to sleep in his crib. She told me to buy a small square electric heating pad. As the baby tires in your arms, plug in the pad and let it sit on the spot of the crib that you intend your child to sleep. Only let it sit a few minutes and absolutely test the area once you lift the pad to make sure it isn't too warm! (it cools pretty quickly if it is).

The goal is to warm the sheets just enough so baby doesn't go from warm mom to cold sheet. The shock of the change in temperature is probably startling your baby awake. It's very similar to the warm water bottle or boppie suggestions and one folks use a lot back east where I grew up. When you lay your baby down, he/she will snuggle to the warmth and have a better chance for napping.

1 mom found this helpful

For my son the answer was feed, play/wake, sleep. When he would get up we would feed him, and then keep him awake (at 2.5 months that time varied), then when he got sleepy or fussy, put him down. If you are okay letting him cry it out, then do so. When he woke up again, feed again (usually about every 3 hours at that time), etc. I also wouldn't suggest laying her down asleep. It will happen sometimes, but try to put her down when she is groggy but not asleep. This will help her learn to put herself down. I think at the beginning we had some "rest" time as opposed to sleep time (okay, the rest was for me, but it was still needed), but they get the schedule down after a few days. Remember she is used to what you are doing now, and this will be an adjustment. Just be consistent and you will be very happy that you are doing this now.

Oh, and definitely give the swaddle a chance, they are less likely to startle themselves.

I have to say that while a lot of people believe that 2.5 months is too early for CIO, we started earlier than that and by 8 weeks, he slept through the night, and is still a great sleeper.

1 mom found this helpful

Have you tried putting her in her car seat or swing? It could be that she likes the body heat and bundled feeling of being held - or she likes your heartbeat, etc. Have you tried swaddling?

My kids slept best in the car until about 3 months. I was a field-based sales representative and drove 150-200 miles/day. It was a familiar, comforting environment for them.

A baby that young is not old enough for crying it out - she's completely instinct based at this point in time which may include needing you to hold her for comfort.

Our pediatrician's advice about schedules was this: whose benefit is it for? Most parents want the schedule for them without taking into consideration that baby's needs change very rapidly over the first year. He suggested we let them let us know what they needed and when, and a routine will fall into place on its own.

I hope that helps. It's hard to feel bound to your child and not be able to do anything else, but you'll only get these precious moments for a short period of time. Enjoy them!

1 mom found this helpful

Hi, I couldn't stand to hear my baby cry so I understand your want to have a happy baby. I had a bit of the same problem. I read the book THE NO CRY SLEEP SOLUTION. One pointer is to put the baby down as she is getting sleepy. Your baby will cry and you pick her up and console her and put her back down as she gets sleepy again. The baby will wear out and she will finally stay asleep. It teaches the baby to eventually fall asleep on her own. It takes patience to do this, but I recommend the book. It helped me a lot. Good Luck.

Have you tried a Miracle Blanket? My daughter wouldn't sleep in her crib until I started using it. She was 22 inches, 9lb 14 oz at birth and strong so she got out of regular blankets very easily. She didn't cry in the Miracle Blanket unless she was wet or hungry so it was truly a miracle for me! She used it until around 6-8 months (I can't remember because she's nearly 6 years old now). Once she outgrew the length, I just swaddled her arms. Once she no longer wanted/needed it, she let me know. It was an easy transition.

She also loved the Fisher Price Flutterbye Soother crib toy. It plays music, but also plays a little rotating animation on the ceiling. I don't know if they still make it. My daughter turned it on whenever she'd wake up in the middle of the night (starting at 8 months old until she was around 3 years old).

After three years of waking throughout the night, she's now a very sound sleeper and goes to bed quickly and on her own. So using these things when she was younger did not cause any long-term needs for something to help her go to bed.

Good luck!

put her down in her crib awake! she has to learn how to fall asleep all on her own. this is a great time for her to learn this. if not it will get much more difficult when she is one or two and she doesn't know how to fall asleep without your help. let her cry to 15 minutes, then go comfort her but don't pick her up. give her another 15 minutes. should take 3 days. then she should be set for the rest of her life!! one of the first things parents need to teach their children how to do.
as for a schedule check out baby wise. great book!

Sorry for the late response, but I'm just catching up on emails. Have you looked into wearing her? My two sons loved to be held all of the time. Try the sleepy wrap. It is awesome! It's very comfortable and my boys loved it. They would sleep all day in it if I would let them.

http://www.sleepywrap.com/

I believe in letting them cry it out. It could take up to one hour if over that I then would give in most wear themselves out after 20-30 min. She is going to have to learn this as long as she is not wet or hungry. G. W

Updated

I believe in letting them cry it out. It could take up to one hour if over that I then would give in most wear themselves out after 20-30 min. She is going to have to learn this as long as she is not wet or hungry. G. W

Hello,

My son lived in a little cuddly infant seat for his first 6 months. During the day he often napped in it. It has settings to vibrate softly or play soft music. I attached the web address for one at Target to give you an example of it. Best of luck to you!

http://www.target.com/Infant-Seats-Baby-Gear/b/ref=sc_fe_...

Ok, that was exactly how my daughter was & boy it drove me nuts too! IShe's almost 9 nine now, but I remember what I did. :) I would lay her down an keep my arm wrapped around her for a bit, then I would slowly VERY slowly move it away. It worked! :) If we were on the couch and I had to get up I would slowly roll her off my chest/stomach were she always laid and I would roll to the side and cuddle with her next to me. Then, I would slowly get a little bit away, eventually just my arm and then VOILA! FREEDOM!!!!

Around 6 months we started the cry it out stuff- wow, that would take up to an hour at times but eventually she got it.

You might try swaddling her. I swaddle my 4 month old in a blanket, and rock him to sleep then I am able to lay him down to sleep on his own. Praying that you are able to find something that works for you and your little one.

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