Transitioning 7 Week Old from Being Held to Sleeping in Bassinet / Crib.

Updated on May 11, 2011
M.M. asks from Oak Park, CA
22 answers

I tried asking this question a few days ago but I guess I didn't explain my question very well. So let me try again. I have a 7 week old that we've been holding while she sleeps. I'd like to train her to sleep in her bassinet but don't know how to do it. She cries and of course we pick her up and sooth her and she falls asleep in our arms. When we put her back down, she wakes up after 5 minutes and cries. What is a good solution to getting her to accept her bassinet or crib? My first daughter (because I didn't know better) slept with me until she was 4 1/2 months. Then transitioning her to her crib was very difficult and took a while of her crying and crying until she finally learned. I'd like to avoid that if possible, so I'm trying to do the right thing now and hopefully it will result in an easier sleep situation later.
Does this make sense to anyone? If so, do you have any advice for me?
Thank you!!

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So What Happened?

Thank you all for so many helpful ideas. I've decided not to let her cry if possible. I've been swaddling and will continue to swaddle. If she doesn't accept the crib at night (she does sleep in it during the day), I will try the bouncy seat and /or continue to let her sleep with me. I am very safe with her in bed with me. She sleeps on top of me with my arms and body propped up with pillows. It sounds like motherly instinct is the best way to go. My instinct tells me to just comfort her any way she needs. I get so much unsolicited advice from family and it makes me question myself. I have learned from all of you that I shouldn't question what I already know to be right, love and snuggles even if she sleeps on top of me for the next 3 months :o
My husband agrees with this as well. Thank you all so much. It's been so helpful xoxo

Featured Answers



answers from New York on

Hi M.,
I had the same problem with my daughter...each and every time I would try to put her in her bassinet she would startle and wake up...eventually I found that it was because she didnt want to sleep on her I would swaddle her and put her on her belly/side in one of those positioner's....from then on she had no problems...I know some people are totally against putting newborns on there belly, but it worked for us....until this day, she was 5 in April, she is a belly sleeper!!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Janesville-Beloit on

If you aren't already, I would swaddle her. We used the Miracle Blanket, and it really felt like a miracle :). Also, for the first couple months, my daughter didn't like to be flat on her back in her bassinet and slept better in a bouncy seat, so I would sleep on the couch with her in her bouncy seat next to me...eventually then I was able to move her to her bassinet once she was used to sleeping on her own. Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

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answers from Gainesville on

First there is nothing wrong with co-sleeping as long as it's done properly and safely. And there is a right and wrong way to co-sleep. Baby never sleeps between mom and dad-dads just aren't as in tune, no blankets, firm mattress, etc. My oldest slept with us till he was around 6 months old and then we transitioned. My second slept with us off and on till she was around 4 months. She just wasn't a baby who needed co-sleeping like my son was.

Look up 4th trimester. That is where your baby is. you will find great info to help you soothe her as she has no idea how to do it (nor should she) at this point. She still wants, needs and craves the comforts of the womb. That's why swaddling works so well for young babies.

I too highly recommend The No-Cry Sleep Solution, The BAby whisperer and Dr. Sears Baby Sleep book. These all have *invaluable* tips, tricks and info on infant sleep. The better I understood infant sleep the easier it was for me to develop a great sleep plan that worked for our family.

I'm sorry but it absolutely breaks my heart to hear people saying "be prepared to let them cry or they'll be fine crying" She is 7 weeks old. There is never a reason for a 7 week old to cry much at all over sleep. They know what they need (note I said need not want) and they are very adept at telling mom and dad. An infant can not be spoiled. They only have needs. They run purely on instinct at this age.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

SWADDLE, SWADDLE, SWADDLE! And if possible, swaddle in a blanket that you've laid on, or lay something which would have your scent in the bassinet/crib next to her. Further, consistency is key. It'll be difficult, but you have to keep at it, and stick to it.

Good luck!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

Try swaddling. Or cosleeping. Or both! :)

Here is some information on why CIO should be avoided:

Of course, there is lots of info out about this. If you are married to the idea of a "method" you might give the No Cry Sleep Solution a try, but it is really not appropriate for a child as young as 7 weeks.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from San Diego on

Good Morning, once she falls asleep lay her in her bassinet, if you are sleeping her on her back, she's going to wake up, most baby;s do not sleep well on their backs. depending on how old you are, you probably slept on your tummy, my 3 did, with no problems or issues. It's not the bassinet or the crib, they don't know the difference. make sure you are not laying her down as soon as she falls asleep, I used to wait about 10 minutes after they feel a sleep before i laid them down. What you are saying makes a lot of sence. I have an 8 week old in my daycare, when I put him him on his tummy for tummy time he usually falls a sleep, he sleeps longer, and more peaceful on his tummy than on his back. I know i told you this in my respond to your last post, for some baby's I would say most babys in my experience get a falling feeling when they are on their backs, so they wake up. Think about this when you hold and nurture your baby how do you hold her? is her heart and chest against yours or do you hold her with her back against your chest, On their tummy's it gives them a cuddle feelng, that on their backs does not. If sleeping on their tummys causes crib death then how come when my mom was having baby's no one even heard of crib death, my mom had five, our neighbor accross the street had 6 all slept on tummys all had sruffed animals in their cribs/craddles all had warm fluffy blankets and are all grown healthy adults. I have been a mom for 27 years and I have been a Home Daycare provider for 14 years, and becaue of my experience i believe the number one sleep issues are due to baby's sleeping on their backs, and being picked up every time they cry. I hope this helps. J. L.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

Just keep trying! my daughter was like that...she would either startle or wake up after 5 minutes and I would try for HOURS to get her to stay asleep when I put her down. Have you tried swaddling? It is the only thing that worked for us.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Cumberland on

I remember your question about CIO method and when it is age appropriate. I would look into Baby Whisperer or No Cry Sleep Solution. They both have good non CIO suggestions for helping children sleep. Baby Whisperer is more routine oriented and systematic and No Cry Sleep Solution has a variety of flexible ideas you can use. Hope this helps.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

I too let my 7 week old baby sleep with me about 70% of the time. Sometimes the first part of the night I'll put him in the crib and then when he wakes up to eat I'll let him sleep with me second part of the night. I had twins four years ago and never let them sleep in the bed but this time we have different circumstances and have to have this baby sleep in our room and he is so loud that we both sleep better when he's next to me. I swaddle him but every single night he grunts and grunts trying to get himself free (we also use the Miracle Blanket so he isn't able to get out of it). At first I was stressing myself out about him sleeping in bed with me and worrying about when I'd have to transition him but since it lets us both sleep better this way I decided to just relax about it and enjoy the bonding and closeness. We'll figure out the transition stage when the time comes (in less than a month when we'll move into our new home)



answers from St. Louis on

do it NOW or it will be too late!

yep, swaddling is the key. & be prepared to hear her cry. It won't hurt her, but will stress you.....



answers from Bloomington on

Yes, with my first we did what you're doing now. I was exhausted because everytime I laid him down he'd wake up and cry. With my second, I put him in a vibrating bouncy seat next to the couch where I was sleeping. He slept great from the beginning!! So, you may want to transition to something that cradles her body first, then transition to the crib.



answers from Las Vegas on

You might try starting up a daytime shedule. Wake/eat/play/sleep. Feed her when she wakes. Then watch for signs she is tired (may be as little as 30-45 minutes) at that age and then swaddle or place her in the bassinet drowsy but awake. She may make a little noise but if she is not histerical she is probably OK. Give her a few minutes to settle. If you work on establishing a routine she might adjust to it. Also helps to put them down before they are overtired - easier for them to fall asleep.

Good luck. I snuggle my 6 month old in a Moby wrap for some naps becuase he has trouble sleeping becuase of his reflux but if I hit the timing just right he can fall asleep in his crib for naps and nightime.

Good luck!



answers from San Diego on

Neither of my kids would let me swaddle them, they just hated it. They were both big babies and had very good head control. At 6 weeks I had them sleeping through the night in their own bassinet. I know not everyone is comfortable with it but what worked for me was putting them on their stomachs to sleep. If nothing else I would suggest to you trying to let her sleep on her side with a banket rolled behind her for support. Also if you know she isn't hungry when she cries, instead of picking her up, try putting a paci in her mouth. She has trained you guys to pick her up everytime she cries it sounds like and now you need to train her to self soothe. Good luck mama.



answers from Los Angeles on

HI there, my son was the same way. I was like you trying to find a solution right away but it was a slow transition for us. I slept with him up until maybe 8 weeks then i couldn't handle the lack of sleep anymore. I had him on a schedule which i think is the most important thing and at nap times i would let him sleep until he woke up crying. Then i would play or read with him until he got tired again. Then back in the crib. There was sometimes even up till now (he is 1) that i napped with him just because he sleeps better by my side. But now, forget it! He is a mover and will kick me in the face while sleeping. So maybe look for solution and slowly ease. Remember there will be a point in time where your little one wont want to be (or in my case) cant be cuddled at night anymore. Enjoy it while you can, i love holding my little guy whenever he lets me.



answers from Los Angeles on

Swaddling. It worked for my both kids. I didn't cosleep with my both kids. But, around like this age, it is normally for them cry, wake up etc as they are getting to be more aware of the world. So, I think you may have to be a little bit patient with this. Swaddling helped a lot though.


answers from Houston on

I think back sleeping makes it hard for babies to get comfy. I second the idea of swaddling and using a positioner to get her comfy on her side. It really does help! With my second, the moment he had head control he was on his belly and I never had trouble with him sleeping on his own. I know that some aren't good with this, I talked it over with my pediatrician, so maybe you can do that as well. I think when they go from nestled on your shoulder to flat on their back it is such a shock! Side sleeping is what is actually recommended, I used to roll blankets up really tight and then place them along side my swaddled infant to get him on his side. He slept very good that way, and then went on to belly sleep after that with no problems. Good luck! It is hard, but they do sleep eventually!



answers from San Diego on

OMG good luck! I did the same thing and 18 months later i'm still holding my son to sleep :( at 27 lbs . It took a lot of cry it out but i didn't use that until nine months, now when i sleep him in my arms i put him in his crib and stays there, but before nine months it was very hard. I promised myself i would never do that again so I suggest to do something quick, like now, before its harder on you and the baby. Good luck



answers from Pittsburgh on

First - side sleeping is better than prone sleeping but still has a much higher incidence of SIDS than back sleeping. Not something I would take a chance with. Also there are some new recommendations about swaddling - much less recommended than a few years ago. I would research this as well.

I would try putting her in her bassinet when she is looking tired but is not asleep. You can stay with her but the idea is to let her fall asleep on her own. If she starts crying, try picking her up until she stops and then putting her back down awake. It may take a little time and of course all babies are different.


answers from Los Angeles on

My son is 7 weeks and I fold a thicker blanket twice and put it on top of his bouncer (he doesn't need to be buckled in YET). He never sleeps in his crib, takes all his naps in the bouncer and at night sleeps there till he wakes up hungry and I just bring hiim into bed with me. My 2 yr. old was the same way, always slept in the bouncer till she absolutely couldn't fit in it anymore. Good Luck!



answers from Los Angeles on

I didn't have a chance to read all the responses, so forgive me if I'm redundant... We used a sleep positioner along with swaddling. It seemed to help DD feel like she was still being cuddled. :)



answers from Santa Barbara on

i had the same problem with my daughter and came to a breaking point. i did a few things:
1.- i realized she hated sleeping on her back so i put her on her stomach. i know, i know you are supposed to do that but i survived (as my mom said). on her back she felt vulnerable and alone. when i put her on her stomach it changed things.
2.- every time she napped i would put her down in her bassinet. i brought it down stairs with me and she napped in it during the day so at night she would be used to it.
3.- my sister in law came over and took over night duty for 2 nights. i was at my breaking point and this not only let me get sleep but it also helped my daughter sleep. when i wasnt right there she seemed to wake less and go back down easier.
right after i started doing these things she started to sleep through the night (at 6 weeks!) i realized i cant do everythign by the book...go with your instinct.



answers from Honolulu on

Each baby is different.

I Ditto Dori W. below.

A baby/newborn- wakes, cries, feeds. The parents get less sleep. It just is.

What worked or did not work for one baby, will be different for another.

Both my kids were so different from each other. And they had GINORMOUS appetites and I was nursing. I went by their cues.

Also keep in mind, that a newborn needs to 'bond.' And bonding is important for their development and brain development too.
Each baby, having different personalities and needs.

There is no single 'right' method.
But knowing your baby's cues.

Some babies, with crying it out, simply have "learned" to give up. That is why they stop. It gets them nothing.

You also have to discern, that a baby waking or crying, maybe simply needs to feed. Feeds can even be every single hour. ie: cluster feeding.
So feed on-demand.
A baby this young, will not have a pattern or schedule of sleeping. Yet.
Many babies also fall asleep in the parents arms. Because, it is soothing and comfy. AND, a baby, was used to being "cocooned" in the womb.
In a small space.

Also, babies commonly wake/cry/make noises when sleeping. So, "discern" the type of 'cry' she has. If it is hunger/or needing you. For my kids, I KNEW their cries. I also knew, if it was just a transient noise-cry, they made as the slept. Or, IF they were not awake-awake, but just making noises, I did not disturb them. Otherwise, I would just be disturbing their sleep and actually waking them. Instead.
So, 'discern' your baby's cries and noises.

And hopefully she is napping.
If not, over-tiredness makes it harder for a baby to fall asleep.

Also, too much stimuli, before sleeping, can prevent them from being able to sleep.

At this age, even a bath, is a major activity.
Babies, usually get tired and need a nap/sleep, after being awake for about 2 hours.

She is pretty normal for a newborn.

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