2 Week Old and Sleep Issues

Updated on April 08, 2010
S.K. asks from Minneapolis, MN
19 answers

Hello! My 2 week old DS prefers to sleep in his bouncy seat at night rather than his bassient. He also sleeps better during the day in his car seat than his crib or Pack N Play. Are we starting a bad habit by letting him do this or is he too young to develop bad habits? Should we let him sleep where he wants or make him sleep on his back in the crib? On his back he will sleep for about 10 minutes and then wake up and cry. A nurse at his clinic told me that we should do the Ferber method and let him cry for 10-15 minutes before checking on him, etc. He seems too young for that. At this age I thought you were supposed to hold them as much as possible because you cannot spoil a baby. Help!

We have a 2.5 year old DS who also liked to sleep anywhere but his crib/bassinet but he was sleeping flat on his back all night long by age 10 weeks. I am confused!

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answers from Minneapolis on

All 3 of my boys slept in the bouncy seat until they were at least a month old, if not 2. At 2 weeks I wouldn't worry about it.



answers from Detroit on

At 2 weeks I think he is a little young for the ferber method. My son slept in various places for the first 4 weeks, then I started putting him in the crib and started him on a bed time routine and it worked really well. I started using the Ferber method around 4 months and that worked really well also.

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answers from Chicago on

Do anything necessary to help your son sleep in the first 8 weeks. At week 8, start a routine but still do whatever is necessary.

You cannot do Ferber or any other CIO until the child is at least 5 months old. They are not physically capable of soothing themselves. Between 12-16 weeks, they can start to learn how to sooth themselves.

Every kid is different. My daughter was a terrible sleeper, my son much better. I've done nothing different. Each kid has different needs.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Sacramento on

I'm a big proponent of CIO, but not at 2.5 weeks. That's just too young.

Our son also slept better in his car seat. We just let him sleep where he was most comfortable when he was an infant. For a while, he slept in his car seat on the floor in his room at night. The doctor didn't think this would cause any harm. We only did that for about a month. Once he was a little older (two or three months), we really forced the "use the crib" issue and did CIO at 11 weeks. Until then, we were just grateful for any stretch of sleep. He would only nap in 5-10 minute increments during the day no matter where he slept, so we had to do anything to get him to sleep at night. At seven, now he's a fantastic sleeper (and in a bed!), so the car seat time didn't affect anything.



answers from Denver on

I have 3 children and their sleeping habits at all ages have been completely different. Don't compare your children or expect the same from one based on the other...it'll just make things harder on you and your baby. He is only 2 weeks old! He is far too young for any sort of sleep training! If any 'training' is needed, I suggest based on my own experience that 3 months is a good general time to start. Mostly, though, listen to your instincts! There is no one right answer even though you'll hear a ton! Stick with what you are comfortable with.


answers from Fayetteville on

Hello my son is only a week old now, he sleeps in his crib, pack n'play, with my husband and I in our bed (only nights he is fighting sleep) and in his swing. Right now it shouldn't matter. I like K.F's answer. My son is doing just fine and sleep ok. Do what you feel is best. Good luck. :)



answers from Minneapolis on

Be careful because yes, you could be starting a habit that could be hard to break. However he may prefer sleeping sitting up more for a couple of reasons. One reason could be if he is getting any kind of possible inigestion it is easier for the body to digest if it is up at an angle, you could try putting him in his crib with something called a danni sling. This is a sling that you strap to the crib so when you elevate the mattress the baby doesn't roll or slide to the bottom of the incline. Another thought could be that he likes the snuggy feeling of things close, you could try putting him in a sleep sack and swaddling him. The nurses's idea of the Ferber method is not a bad thing, it helps them to learn to self sooth.



answers from Stationed Overseas on

The car seat and the bouncy seat are probably more comforting than laying flat on his back. He's only be out of your tummy for two weeks! He still needs to adjust being able to stretch out and having more space. He is so very young if he likes sleeping in the car seat let him. You cannot form a bad habit at this young of age. My daughter slept in her car seat until 5 months. I and my doctor had no issues with this. She then moved to her crib with no problems. And way to young for the Ferber method.



answers from Stationed Overseas on

I don't agree with cry it out, modified or not, at any age. As for newborns and their sleeping patterns, I let my 2 month old sleep wherever he will sleep. If he falls asleep on his play mat on the floor he sleeps there. If he falls asleep in his swing that's where he stays, etc.
However, for nighttime only, once I'm ready to go to bed I wake him, change his diaper and nurse him back to sleep then put him in his playpen in our room. Generally because he's tired and not fully awake anyway this isn't a problem and he goes right to sleep. If it were I'd just co-sleep, which is what happens when he wakes up at 3 or 4 in the morning. I just pull him in with me and go right to sleep.
And as for how he's sleeping, obviously he's safer on his back but he's apparently not comfortable that way. There are different devices, usually made out of foam, that would prop him up if he's more comfortable in a reclined carseat like position.
I would think the goal with a baby would be to get them sleeping at night and eventually through the night not necessarily sleeping in a bed in the right position. I'd be more concerned with sleep deprivation for you than I would be about whether or not the baby sleeps in his crib or playpen. That will come with time. And besides eventually he'll learn how to roll over anyway and you won't be able to control how he sleeps anymore. Keep him comfortable and get some sleep until he learns how to roll over then just put him in his crib and he'll roll on to his tummy and go to sleep. No worries.
Good luck!



answers from Indianapolis on

Your 2 week old probably likes the comforting womb-like feeling of the surroundings of the bouncy seat and car seat. I personally don't see a problem with letting him sleep there for now. Until they're around 4 months, they run completely on instincts anyhow, so if it helps you get the sleep you need, I'd run with it. He's not old enough to be forming habits at this point in time.

One of mine had no problem being in the pack-n-play next to us as a newborn, the other hated it and needed to be held all night. We did what we needed to for everyone to sleep well.

Different kids, different personalities, different needs.

Here's a link that might help, though it's very general and certainly doesn't apply to each kid specifically:



answers from Boise on

Have you tried to swaddle? Is the pack and play in the bassinet mode? I am just thinking of that cozier space. I know that I did quite a few sleeping on my tummy nights with my son at first. Some also just truly prefer to sleep on their tummies, but I am only comfortable with this if I can be right there, and awake. I just didn't like it at night, and with enough swaddling, my son ended up being able to sleep on his back....until he learned to roll over at 3 months.



answers from Honolulu on

He likes to sleep in the car seat and bouncy seat because it is more like a "cocoon" and more cozy.... like the womb he just came out of.
He is STILL adjusting to everything. He is only 2 weeks old.

But, I would put him to sleep in the crib or a Moses Basket (which is what my son slept in and LOVED). And the Moses Basket is very cozy around an infant. Infants like to be held/or cocooned because it feels most secure to them... like the womb.

The bouncy seat especially is not made to hold a baby for hours or all night... and a newborn's skeletal structure cannot support itself in those positions all night or all the time or for consecutive hours. The car seat is perhaps better, but I would not rely on these things to get your baby to sleep... in the long run. At some point, you HAVE to put him to bed not in a "seat" but in a bed.

And yes, that Nurse is WRONG.

All the best,



answers from Anchorage on

At 2 weeks he can sleep where ever. I started a modified CIO with my boys at 2 months. I would put them to bed at the same time each night, awake, and leave. If they started to cry I would set a timer for 5 minutes (15 is way to long if you ask me). After 5 I would go in and comfort without picking them up or feeding. I would just rub their back or tummy and sing or talk softly until they were calm. Once calm I would leave again, and if they started to cry I put another 5 on the timer. I never had to go in more than once. This method works well at night too. If my boys woke at night I would wait 5 minutes before going in, I almost never had to go in, they always self soothed before the 5 minutes was up. Because of them learning this early it came natural to them, and they were sleeping through the night(and so was I) at 2 months old.



answers from Des Moines on

Yes he is waaaayyy too young for Ferber method!! At 2 weeks old let him sleep when and wherever he will sleep - your instincts are right, he is too young to develop "bad sleep habits". Don't sweat it - he'll get used to sleeping "flat" it takes all babies awhile to get used to this. By the way, I'm one of those "bad" moms who let their babies sleep on their tummies by the time they were several weeks old. If they can pick their head up while laying on their tummy and you don't put them face down in some big fluffy blanket, they will be fine and sleep soooo much better on their tummies. But, you do what you feel is safe.
Congrats on the new baby and God bless!



answers from Detroit on

It is a really bad habit to have but at this age it really doesn't matter. Are you wraping him up tight before laying him down that helps also. There is no way you can spoil a baby so do what you think he needs, you would know better than anyone. Just remember that every child is different. It might take him a shorter or longer time to sleep all night. It will happen.



answers from Fort Wayne on

he may have GURD (aka reflux). so it hurts to have the acid come back up. have your doc do a barium xray. my little girl was very unhappy to be laying down we had to have her proped at about 10 deg incline. the doc also put her on baby zantac. which helped a ton. by about 4 months and having her on solid foods she was no longer having the heart burn. now she is 9 months and sleeps tummy side whatever.



answers from Charlotte on

Hi S.,

He needs to weigh at least 12 pounds before starting the Ferber method, (this comes from my pediatrician, not a book), and if there are any reflux or colic issues, that puts a monkey wrench in plans for sleeping well through the night. Yes, it's good to hold your baby and you can't really spoil him this early. But you don't want to set yourself up for bad habits for later, so it's good to think about it now. If you hold your baby so he can sleep, he will not learn how to sleep without you holding him - bad, bad idea.

I tried very hard to keep my younger son on his back or side because I was worried about SIDS, but he just could not settle this way. My ped told me to go ahead and let him sleep on his stomach - babies have been sleeping that way for centuries. So I did it, and finally my son got some decent sleep. The point is, try different positions - side or stomach, before you give up and let him sleep in his car seat. Babies usually can't stay on their sides unless you roll a blanket up and wedge them like that, by the way.

All babies are different, and you can't expect them to react the same to different stimuli - they all have different personalities. This is just the beginning of showing you how much different he will be from his brother! LOL!

All my best,


answers from Milwaukee on

Do you know if he has Acid reflux? I know with some babies that if you lay them on their backs while sleeping they wake up and wont be comfortable sleeping unless sitting more upright. I sell the Snuggle Me Cushions and I see alot of moms comment that they need the cushion because their little one has bad Acid Reflux.



answers from Des Moines on

i slept sitting up holding my son from birth to 4 weeks. i was exhausted but he didnt like laying in down either. eventually i found that he slept well if he slept next to me in bed. all through month 2 i would keep trying the bassinet and crib he would get in a few hours by himself and then the rest with me in my bed. by month 3 he was in his own crib in my room and suddenly decided he wanted his own space so he moved to his room. 3- 7 months he was on his own in his room he still woke at least 4-5 times to eat. and around 7 months decided to sleep straight through. once in awhile he would wake up and i would still go in and snuggle him quickly before laying him back down to go to sleep. I was a mom that held her child constantly. he wouldn't nap in his crib until about 5 months so i held him for all of his naps. some say that is wrong and "teaching him bad habits" but my son has slept on his own since 7 months and if i do have to get up with him it is only for a quick hug and he is back to bed. when he does wake up at night which is nearly every night he doesn't need me anymore i can hear him talk and laugh until he goes back to sleep. so if you want to hold your baby do it!

Next question: Transitioning Newborn from Car Seat to Crib/ Ferber Method