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,

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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


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.

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.

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,
Maternity-Newborn Practitioner

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

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