Getting 7 Week Old to Sleep Alone

Updated on May 01, 2010
T.S. asks from Dayton, OH
15 answers

Hey moms! My daughter is almost 7 weeks old. I am having a hard time getting her to sleep without me holding her. Any advice? I have tried about everything including how I lay her down, laying her down when she has been asleep for a little bit, trying to lay her down when she is somewhat awake, swadling her....etc. I know this is a phase that she is going through, but it is wearing on me. I cannot get anything done during the day because I cannot lay her down and I am having to hold her at night. I have also tried having her sleep in different spots such as the bassinet, swing, bouncer, etc. Any advice would be much appreciated! Thanks!
To add: I have to return to work full time in just over 2 weeks, so she will be going to a sitter. I need to do something as the sitter will be unable to hold her all of the time due to watching other children.

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answers from Kansas City on

Absolutely do not let her cio at this young age!! She's way, way, way too young! Hold her and love on her, they just grow up way too fast! I would consider a sling, but remember too, this is just a phase and they grow out of this neediness really quick. My 3mo was like this, and it only lasted about 3 weeks. Just hold her and enjoy the fact that she depends on you to help her. She needs you right now, and that a good know someone needs you so much! Good luck to you.

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answers from Indianapolis on

Please do not let her cry it out at 7 weeks old. Crying won't hurt her, but she only knows instincts at this point in time, and crying is her way of letting you know she needs something. It might be food, it might be a diaper change, it might just be the comfort of being held and comforted in this big, scary, cold world unlike your womb.

My second child was "grumpy" - I wouldn't go as far as colicky. I was really worried about day care, but they're pros, and she did great despite my fears. I was also diagnosed with cancer my 4th day back to work after maternity leave with her, and sometimes, not knowing if I would survive, holding her and knowing she needed me was the only way I could get through the day.

I'm not a lenient parent by any means, but with infants, I think we need to realize they don't understand and only act on instincts. My guess is that she's either cold, has reflux, or just needs the comfort because she can't soothe herself right now.

Good luck getting back to work.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Gainesville on

You absolutely DO NOT leave a 7 week old to cry it out! Are you guys nuts!? A bit of crying is to be expected but you don't leave a 7 week old to cry it out to sleep. It's not good for them, it doesn't exercise their lungs or any of that other nonsense that moms were told years ago. What it does is flood their little system with stress hormones. You can not teach a baby to sleep at this stage. You can begin routines so baby will learn what to expect and what is expected but you won't see those results at this point. Even dr Ferber ( whose method is commonly called cry it out) doesn't recommend this until age 6 months!

Your baby is in what is called "the 4th trimester". It is the first 3 months or so after birth when baby needs and craves the comforts of the womb. That's why they like closeness, being swaddled, held, the sound of things like vaccums, rocked, etc. These are all feelings similar to what baby had in the womb.

You may also just have a high needs baby. That could just be your reality. Check out what dr. Karpov and dr sears have to say on both of these subjects.

Try swaddling her before you get ready to put her down to sleep and try a crib wedge. If she has even a bit of reflux laying flat can be painful.

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answers from Stationed Overseas on

Please do NOT let her CIO. She is way too young for this. If you need to hop in the shower or do something real quick then yes it's probably ok to let her cry. But otherwise you are just letting her get more upset and that is not teaching her anything at all. Try the carseat, mine slept in hers until about 5 months. It was the only place she was comfortable and felt secure. If your sitter is experienced with infants I bet she will be able to help as well.

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answers from Dallas on

7 weeks is too soon to cry it out - in my opinion. Babies need to feel secure. You could try wearing her in a Moby sling - or some other type. My son is the same way - what worked for us is a tight swaddle and shushing - I also "wore" him quite a bit. Good luck.



answers from Evansville on

Have you tried a baby carrier such as a wrap or sling? They are especially good for children who don't want to be put down. You can carry the child close to you without having her in your arms so you can actually get work done.



answers from Fort Wayne on

I guess I see another option besides CIO and holding her until this phase passes... :) With my kids, I saw a daycare provider place my son in a pack-n-play, and he started fussing. They firmly "rocked" the pack-n-play back and forth with one hand (without moving it off the floor of course). It worked pretty much every time. I also had luck putting my son in a bouncy-seat that vibrates, and my sister said the only place her kids would sleep when they were that little was in their carseats. Of course you need to be careful that there are no choking/suffocating hazzards near these if you choose to try these methods. Also, my daughter refused to sleep on her back. The only way I got her to sleep was sleeping on her tummy. She had a strong neck, so she was able to turn her head from side to side from birth. That made me feel better about letting her sleep on her tummy. You just have to take precautions to keep her safe.



answers from Boise on

Gotta do the cry it out, but you can make it a bit easier by having some background noise, laying her down while she is drowsy but awake, and swaddle well. A bedtime routine can also help. Good luck.



answers from Cleveland on

You mentioned you tried laying her in many different spots so you may have tried this, but I found with one of my children that sleeping in the infant car seat carrier was what worked. I think it may be because they can feel all wrapped up and cozy and they are kind of sitting up. The doctor told me not to worry and that she would tell me when that was no longer comfortable-and he was right! She slept like that for weeks!

I also would use rolled small blankets after i swaddled them and would lay them on their side in the crib, swaddled with a rolled blanket on either side. I dont know what the doctors are currently saying about side, back stomach sleep, but the side thing worked in the newborn stage for us.



answers from Dallas on

You aint gonna like this honey, but you're gonna have to let her cry it out, We got to learn the hard way huh. I know i sure did, I asked my mama the same question she said "i told u not 2 b holdin that baby all the time, when u gona start listenin 2 me girl!, now u gotta learn the hard way!" Neither 1 of u is gonna like it, but she aint cryin blood & if u dont start now she is gona get older & it will b harder, believe me!! Its for her own good, so good luck to you, oh & what i would do is sing to her & walk away singin or put a monitor in her room where she can hear u singin. that worked for me.



answers from Dallas on

As much as babies love being held, they need to learn how to soothe/fall asleep on their own. I'm not a huge fan of cry-it-out, as it just broke my heart to hear my little ones crying so loudly. All 3 of my children benefited from having a bedtime/naptime routine, so they kind of anticipated it. Usually after 1 1/2-2 hours of wake time, I started winding down our activities.....swaddled tightly using The Miracle Blanket (true miracle!!!), rocked in glider, read story, and then sang a few lullabies. Then kissed baby and said good night. So maybe try a routine, which will more than likely be followed by a little crying from your baby since it's all so new to her....being cuddled in mommy's arms is the perfect place to nap, but just not realistic :) If she cries for more than a few minutes, go in, try to quietly talk to her and reassure her it's ok while gently rubbing her tummy, then try to leave room again.

Enjoy your precious little one. They grow up quickly!!



answers from Indianapolis on

Have you tried putting her in a sling or baby carrier close to your body? I used to get things done that way.



answers from Grand Rapids on

i know there is A LOT of debate about crying it out, but that's what i had to resort to with my first two kids, and fortunately i didn't make the same mistake the 3rd time around and from the get-go put my baby down for naps when she was awake and she's the best sleeper ever! your baby will get better sleep if you are not holding her, and so will you! and in turn you will be a better, rested momma!



answers from Chicago on

Hi T.,

We went through the same thing with my son (he's now 5.5 mths) I thought that he will never sleep unless I'm holding him! I think at 7 weeks old she's still adjusting to life outside the womb! First I would make sure that she's full, burped (some infants take longer to burp), changed, and swaddled! If you're not using the pacifier, try to introduce it to her, some infants have a strong sucking reflex! If she still cries, pick her up, hold her for a min or two and then put her down awake! Usually most infant will start to settle in their sleep after the 8th weeks! Also, establish a sleeping routine for her! You'll be surprised how effective it is even at this early of age! Good luck!



answers from South Bend on

My son (9 yo now) used to be like was hard! What finally worked for him, was to put a heating pad (not too hot of course) on what ever I planned on laying him on. Just before laying him down I removed the pad (tested the temp to make sure it was not too hot, never put baby ON heating pad) and laid him down (with the blanket he was using while holding him). I would lean over as far as I could and did not remove him from my chest/stomach until he was down on the pre-warmed surface. Make sense? It killed my back at times, but so did holding him while he slept without waking him (light sleeper). The few times that would not work, I ran the hair dryer until he fell back to sleep.

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