21 answers

Newborn Baby Won't Sleep at Night in His Crib or Bassinet

Hi Mom's,

We need help. Our newborn (12 days old) baby boy will NOT sleep in his crib or bassinet at night. During the day he is fine and will sleep in either place. At night as soon as we put him down he cries. I usually put him down sleeping but he seems to know that he is down in his bassinet. The only way he will sleep at night is in our bed on my chest or husband chest.

He is starting to stay awake more during the day so it is not that his days and nights are confusing.

Any suggestions on getting him to sleep at night in his crib? We don't let him cry too long at night because we have a 23 month old daughter we don't want to wake her up.

Thanks in advance,
L.

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Featured Answers

i went through the same thing with my daughter she did not sleep a single night in her crib the only thing i could get her to sleep in other than my bed was the pack and play as long as it was next to my bed then we went to a youth bed with rails next to my bed and the wall so to her it was like an extention of my bed then in to a double bed with her sister if not that try a rocking seat that work sometimes for us

M.

Are you swaddling him? Babies need that for the first 3 months. My baby would be swaddled but also slept in the car seat for about the first 2 months. He loved the tightness of it. Made him feel like in the womb again I guess. Read, Happiest Baby on the Block.

More Answers

Hi L.,
I too had the same issue, and found that when we put a warmer surface for him to sleep on (he's now 3 months), he did better. Swaddling him really helped as well. It still does.

For everyone- a note of CAUTION-
I used the "Swaddle Me Infant Wrap" by Kiddopotomous, and my baby somehow wiggled himself into a position where he was literally choking himself. Please be VERY CAREFUL when choosing a swaddling blanket. I've gone back to regular blankets, but some people like the Miracle Blanket.
The Swaddle Me one has velcro, so if your baby's strong enough, they can maneuver it, but still can't get the velcro open, causing a strangulation hazard.

Are you still swaddling? There are swaddlers on the market that allow the swaddle to stay in place all night long (by folding under the arms - sort of straight jacket-like). I'd try one of these.

L.,
I agree that you should not let your baby cry, not only for your daughter's sake, but he is too small and not at all ready to "learn to settle himself to sleep"
Do you "mind" him sleeping on you?
I thought it was the most amazing sleep I had ever had when I had my daughter and she slept on me.
She too would not sleep in her crib, pack and play or bassinette when we first took her home.
She slept right on my chest for the first few nights and it was total bliss for the 2 of us. The only way she would sleep other than on me, was in her carrier seat. I used the Kiddopotamous cushion support....I don't remember the exact name of the item, but it cradled her head and entire body. she didn't want to lay flat and wanted that cuddled feeling all the time. But HATED being swaddled!!
Give the carrier seat a try...it may just help your little boy through his transition.
I was even concerned about her sleeping in there and discussed it with our pediatrician and he was fine with it as long as we were turning her head and making sure she was not getting a flat head with it's use...(That never happened b/c of the cushion)
Just enjoy the snuggles now...as you well know, it doesn't last long and they grow so fast. Enjoy your baby boy...
He will soon be sleeping in his crib...he just needs a little time.
P.

Try putting a ticking clock near his crib and leave a very low light on in the room. Or maybe you can get one of those baby music toys for him. Often babies need noise to sleep. After all for 9 months they have heard your stomach noises and your heart beat and people talking.

Hi L.:

He may want more time to adjust to the new environment. He gets to feel the rhythm of your heartbeat as he did in the womb. Place one of your blouses around him when he's sleeping and keep a tape recording by his crib (you can find one with the sound of a heartbeat or womb) to help him to transition.

Hope these suggestions help.

All the best,
N.
Maternity-Newborn Practitioner
www.WholeCreations.com

Our son wouldn't sleep in his bassinet at that age either. For about the first month of his life he slept swaddled in his bouncy seat with the vibrator on. I think the swaddling plus the closeness of the bouncy seat around him made him feel more secure. My husband also thought maybe he didn't like sleeping flat. Whatever the reason it worked. I eventually stopped using the vibrator and after a little while I moved him to the bassinet (still swaddled). Now he's 3 months old and he sleeps really well in his crib without swaddling (it's too hot in our apartment to swaddle him). I just gradually made changes and he seemed to be fine with it.

My son was the same way. It is completely normal and will pass. Until then, yes, use a swaddle blanket, and do whatever you need to do to keep the baby and yourselves happy. If that means keep him in bed with you, then fine, do it. I never liked the baby in bed with me since I was always on hyperalert and could not get any sleep eventhough I was exhausted. I think the swing and the carseat are the best ideas. Our son slept in the carseat until he was almost 4 months old and started to be able to climb out. At that point we went to the pack and play. He hated his crib until about 6 or 7 months old. Don't let him cry at only a few weeks of age, he only wants to feel love and reassurance.

don't get him used to your bed.. because they get used to it.. and you can't get them out of it. try the swing, try the car seat.. some babies sleep awesome in the car seat. they also make a thing that you can buy in the stores that make a purring noise and motion to put the baby to sleep. you attach it to the mattress... and it vibrates.. go to baby r us.. and see if they have something like that.. good luck

Our baby also didn't fall asleep at night (at least not for more than 20 minutes) in her crib. We then put her in our bed, and she fell asleep beautifully! We got a Snuggle Nest, which has great reinforced sides, so we didn't have to worry about rolling over on to her. I think she loved to be near us, and found the smells/sounds comforting. It was a huge help. At about 1.5 months, she was ready to move out of our bed, no problems. Try a Snuggle Nest, or any co-sleeper -- especially if your baby falls asleep on your well, which is a great way to tell that she wants to be closer to you. And don't worry about spoiling her at this age -- she is too young to be spoiled. Plus, she just spent 24 hours a day inside of you, so 10 hours near you is still NOT spoiling. :) Good luck!

Wow, it sounds like I wrote this. My baby boy is 14 days old today and has not wanted to sleep in his bassinet and crib either. However, here is what I am doing to get some sleep. My son has slept at night in his car seat. Last night he did sleep in the bassinet for the 1st time. We swaddled him and put him in a sleep positioner. He couldn't move nor do I think he wanted to. He slept in the bassinet for the night when he wasn't nursing. I hope this helps.

i went through the same thing with my daughter she did not sleep a single night in her crib the only thing i could get her to sleep in other than my bed was the pack and play as long as it was next to my bed then we went to a youth bed with rails next to my bed and the wall so to her it was like an extention of my bed then in to a double bed with her sister if not that try a rocking seat that work sometimes for us

M.

sleep with your baby. it is the best thing you can do for him- promotes closeness, lets him know you are there, fosters bonding etc. it is totally safe and seems to be what he wants. As a working mom I also found it was a great way to connect at the end of the day.
Enjoy this closness, it doesn't last forever.
We co-slept with our baby (now almost 9) also becasue he wouldn't sleep well in the cradle and I needed to get some sleep. It worked great and is now a wonderful memory.
Good Luck,
S.

Both my kids were like this. Neither of them would sleep unless they were touching me. This is what I did. Once he's asleep, slowly pick him up and move him to the bassinet. If he wakes move him back to your bed. Then the next day try again. Eventually he will stay asleep in his own bed. Also, it could be your heartbeat that he's finding soothing (he has heard it for 9 mos after all). There are teddy's out there that make the same noise, look into getting one. You can keep it in the bassinet with him. Now, once you have successfully moved him to the bassinet and he's slept there a few weeks, start the whole process over again with moving him to the crib. Oh and something else that may help, put the t-shirt that you have worn all day in the bassinet with him (I know ehhh gross), but it smells like you and he loves your smell. This works too.

I had the same problem. Is it *possible* that he is gassy or has acid reflux? Have you talked to your doctor yet? It took me a LONG time to realize that reflux was his problem. My baby had/has both gas and reflux.

In the beginning, we used a "snuggle nest" that kept our baby on a slight angle while he slept.

Most recently, I purchased a Nap Nanny online. It is basically a foam chair (la-z-boy) that keeps the baby reclined at a 30 degree angle for feeding and/or sleeping. You can strap him into it. Do a search and check it out! It works like a dream! Good luck!

I know this sounds weird but I would cover my now 9 month old's bassinet mattress with my t-shirt or gown so that it fit as tight as a fitted sheet because my scent was all over it, she thought she was sleeping on me. When I did that she slept the longest--

Hi L.,

I just wanted to second (or third?) any suggestions involving scent. I used to lay a spit cloth or receiving blanket under my torso to nurse in bed (this also saved our bedding many times!), so when the baby was sleeping I would move him with the cloth still in place. I think the body heat kept him from waking up when I laid him down on his cold sheets, and my smell helped keep him asleep, too. Swaddling is also a nice option. I also just wanted to give you some encouragement--your baby is only 12 days old and spent the past nine months (more or less?) snuggled and cradled close inside you. It is normal for him to need that closeness and to want to hear your hearts beating. He is much too young to be crying himself to sleep. Have you thought of investing in a co-sleeper? They make ones that are level with your bed so the baby is near you for nursing but sleeping in his/her own space. Good luck! This will get better!

I have the same problem with my now almost 3 month old, I have a cradle rocker similar to this, that he loves to sleep in because it snuggles him. Definitely the best investment we made!

http://www.target.com/p/fisher-price-snugamonkey-deluxe-n...

Hi L.,
Congrats! My newborn son is 14 days old and is the same way. I have a co-sleeper I put in my bed. Once he falls asleep on my chest I simply roll him in that and rub his belly. This usually works. Otherwise, I am up most the night and I wake my husband up around 4:30 for daddy duty. Hope this helps.
R.

Are you swaddling him? Babies need that for the first 3 months. My baby would be swaddled but also slept in the car seat for about the first 2 months. He loved the tightness of it. Made him feel like in the womb again I guess. Read, Happiest Baby on the Block.

Read/buy the book The No-Cry Sleep Solution by Elizabeth Pantley. I had a very similar problem, except that my daughter wouldn't even sleep in the crib or bassinet during the day. I took the easy way out and co-slept forever. It was the best way for us to all get sleep, of course it's not for everyone. I got her her own twin size bed at 2 (layed right on floor with bedrail)and she has been sleeping in it ever since. Of course, I have to usually lay down with her at first most nights, but then she is asleep through the whole night!

He knows when he has been put down because the bassinet is cold compared the warmth of your body. He craves your warmth and the sound of your heartbeat to sooth him. I've heard those bears with a heartbeat work and you could try putting a hot water bottle in the bassinet to warm the sheets. He's too young (neurologically) to let cry it out anyway so just keep trying and eventually he will get used to it. Try to remember how no phase lasts forever.

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