42 answers

My 3 Week Old Baby Won't Let Me Sleep!

My daughter is 3 weeks old - she is my first child - and I am having a terrible time getting her to sleep in her crib...or anywhere else for that matter. She will only sleep while being held. She will fall asleep in my arms, and then when I lay her down she either wakes up immediately or within 5-10 minutes. This poses a problem for me! Especially at night - I have learned to sleep on the couch with her on my chest, but this is not comfortable for me nor can I do this forever. Someone please help! PS: Yes I have tried putting her in the swing and a vibrating chair for infants...neither works. She just wants to be held!

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

The last 2 nights have been MUCH better with my baby girl. She still is waking every 1 1/2 to 2 hours to eat, but she has gone right back to sleep after eating and is sleeping in her crib! I was AMAZED because the only thing I did different was put the shirt I had on that day in the crib with her so she could smell me...some people suggested I do that and I guess it worked! A couple of times she has woken up when I laid her down but I just kept my hand on her and whispered to her and she went back to sleep! So I don't know if the shirt thing worked or if she just reached this milestone on her own, but either way I'm not taking any chances - she'll be sleeping with my shirts until she's 12 just to be sure! Haha thank you so much to everyone who responded!

Featured Answers

My youngest son was that way. The only thing that worked for him was to let him cry it out. I could not let him cry the whole night. I did it in stages. The first night I would let him cry for 5-10 mins then go in and pat him on the back and let him know I was there. Then I would leave the room for another 5-10 mins and if he continued to cry I would rock him back to sleep and try again. After several night I would extend the time I would let him cry. True: he got worse for a while. I know you don't want to hear this but it took me a month to get him to sleep for an extended amount of time. Some people tell you that if you pick her up when she cries then it will make it worse because she learns that if she cries enough then you will come. I say that is what we are suppose to do! My youngest was 1 before he slept all night. He is two know and will kiss me and put himself to bed; so, it doesn't last forever! I would try letting her cry and nap time first so you don't have to lay awake at night and listen to it. :) Let me know if this helped.

Hello well first congratlations on the new baby.I'm sorry to hear about the sleep.I just had a baby about two months ago and he was the same way.I tryed a good warm bottle and a really soft blanket nothing around his face just around his body while I held him.Then i put him down.I hope things work out for you.T.

I kind of had the same problem with my daughter. The only place I could get her to sleep for any length of time, other than my arms, was the boppy pillow. I would put it on the love seat and put pillows all around it and put her in the "dip" of the boppy so that she would be embraced by the boppy. Then I would pull the love seat closer to the sofa so it a sort of twin bed and I would sleed on the big sofa while she slept on the love seat. My daughter did very well in a bouncy seat with out it vibrating; I would bounce her with my foot. Just try to be inventive and if all else fails: let her cry, it won't her to wail for a bit and once she learns that she will not be picked up for every whimper life will be a lot easier on you and her. Good Luck.

More Answers

Hi N.,
First I must beg you do NOT let your 3 week old cry it out, She is 3 weeks old and needs to hear your heart beat and feel safe. She is a tiny new person in a big world, and YOU are needed by her side for the first few months. I use a sling with my son and we love it, I don't know what I would do without it. (i love my Over the Shoulder Baby Holder).She will fall asleep while you get things done around the house, and it is an easy transfer to keep her in the sling and put her down while she sleeps. Co-sleeping is a wonderful bonding experience at night, and lowers the risk of SIDS. It also increases both of your chances of sleeping longer!
Please keep in mind that every other country on this planet co-sleeps and carries their child. As does every animal in the animal kingdom; it is Natural for a little one to be against the mother and hopefully instinctually it is for you too. Please go to AskDr.Sears.com for video examples of crying it out vs. his method should you choose to have her sleep on her own. Crying it out method has also been linked to lower I.Q due to the oxygen loss of crying that long and hard (oxygen levels decrease when crying hard) and lower self esteem due to not being able to trust the mother to keep them safe.also, take naps when she does, after a few tries she will learn to sleep next to you and not on you, my son did not like the swaddler, but it sounds like that may be a good idea as well.remember she needs warmth, and a heart beat make her feel safe and secure. good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

Hi N.,

Have you tried co-sleeping? When my son was born, I spent a month sleeping on the couch, with him in my arms, and it was hard on ALL of us. However, one night I tried to nurse him while I was lying down in my bed, and he fell right asleep. Sometimes just feeling comforted by mommy's nearness can help a baby. If you do try co-sleeping, there are a number of relatively inexpensive baby beds that fit in the bed or attach to the side of your bed to make it safe. Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

Theres lots of things you can try and the key to getting any to work is to be consistant in w/e method you use. Wether ur adult OR child routines will always hold as long as it's consistant. There is a lotion that helps soothes baby's at bedtime..it worked with my first AND second, it's not a knock out pill but if you put it in with a rountine bath and the rub down after it will tell her it's time for bed and the lotion does help sooth them..I have tried it myself. You could also get a co sleeper like the other mother suggested and buy one of those zip up swaddlers that keep her feeling snug. Also, try not holding her or allowing other people not to hold her so much during the day...daily rountines also play a part in night time routines as well. Some say to add cereal and such to the nighttime bottle but I've tried that and to no success not to mention doctors don't recommend giving cereal in the bottle. But w/e you choose I will assure you that if you stick to it for a while she will catch on. Like the other mother, I disagree with the letting them cry method but if you choose to try and lay her down and let her get use to it on her own then go in there every 5 to 10 mins, pick her up rock her a min and lay her back down and repeat until she goes to sleep. It will be hard at first but if you can just stick with it she will adapt.

Have you tried swaddling her in a baby blanket? That helped my daughter sleep when she was a newborn. The only other thing that worked was a paci. Hope it helps!

Hi N.. I know this is hard, but you have to let her cry. Try doing it during the day, if possible. I went through this with my yongest daughter, and it was just awful. She always wanted to be held, and I needed to so other things, like pee, or get some food. At night was the worst, because I felt like I had no free time. I started during the day puting her down for her nap. She would cry, and it sucked, but after a few days, she got used to it. I just kept letting her know that I was there by talking to her when she started to cry, but I would not pick her up. I also would take a shirt that I had worn that day, or the day before, and put it in the dryer for a few minuets, then put it next to her, or even cover her with it so she could still smell me. Hope this helps. I also hope you get some restfull sleep.

My first child was the same way! I did what you are doing now - I held her. Big mistake. She is now 3 and still has to be held to go to sleep. She will sleep in her own bed for about 2 hours now, but then wakes up and wants to sleep with Mommy holding her.

With my 2nd child I did it totally different! Yes, I rock him to sleep every night. When he is almost asleep or right after he falls asleep I put him in his crib. He used to wake up right after I'd lay him down, but I let him cry himself to sleep. Now if he does wake up, he looks around, wiggles a bit and lays down and goes back to sleep. As a sidenote, if he cried (or wakes up and cries now) for more than 15 minutes I go in and get him and start the process over.

This was recommended to me by our pediatriciaion with our first child, but I didn't listen, and now I'm paying for it.

You might want to ask your pediatrician what he/she thinks you should do. You can always call and leave a message (they should at least call you back by the end of day) or if you have a visit coming up very soon, ask then.

Good Luck!

Three weeks is too young to let her cry it out. I was a big fan of the Ferber method, but not until at least 6 months or so. My second child was a bit like this and I let him sleep with us for the first few months. We all got a lot more sleep. I also used a front carrier (baby bjorn) a lot during the day and he liked that a lot. White noise also helped a lot. I used to put him to sleep in his car seat or bouncy seat in the bathroom with the fan on! This will pass.. hang in there!

Sounds like my second daughter. She slept well her first few nights, then did not EVER want to be put down. In our situation, it turned out to be acid reflux (aka GERD). They put her on an oral liquid medicine, and she was sleeping through the night within 72 hours (she was 5 1/2 weeks old). Remember she is really little, and I believe that letting her cry it out won't help. Good luck!

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