View Full Version : He wakes up as soon as we put him in the crib!

01-07-2004, 10:52 AM
My son is 6 weeks old and he is driving us crazy. At 9:00 p.m. we start his last feeding and then we put him in a sling where he usually falls asleep promptly. We wait a few minutes until we are sure he is asleep then put him in the crib where he immediately wakes up and stays up until his next feeding at midnight. Even at the later night feedings he still wakes up as soon as he is put in the crib, but he usually gets himself back to sleep in a few minutes. It is only this first time in the crib that he gives us trouble.

What can we do to prevent him from waking up as soon as we put him down? Should we give up the sling?

Meredith in NJ

01-09-2004, 05:02 PM
Meredith, I just want you to know that what you are experiencing is not unusual. Lots of us mommies had the same experience. At that age, the babies would rather be held to sleep, and they often wake when you put them down.

I don't think the sling is the problem, and in fact, that seems to be where he feels the safest and the most comfortable. Lots of women move to slings to help the babies sleep and to give their tired arms a rest at the same time. I don't really have any great advice for preventing the baby from waking when you put him down. I just wanted you to know that it will pass. My son slept in our arms and on our chests a lot in those first few months. And if he is able to go right back to sleep later in the night, it sounds like he is figuring out how to soothe himself and is sorting out his nights and days.

Swaddling might help. Maybe if he's wrapped tightly, he won't feel so "loose" when you put him down. Just a suggestion.

Also, white noise helps babies to sleep. You can buy white noise machines and tapes, or you can simply record the hairdryer, vacuum, clothes dryer or whatever and play that.

Dr. Harvey Karp has a really good book called "The Happiest Baby on the Block" that lots of moms swear by. He talks about how there is a 4th trimester, during which time babies aren't able to soothe themselves and need some things that remind them of home (in the womb). It's widely available online and in bookstores and in fact was just revised and updated recently. You can also find it at the library. He gives the 5 "S's" (shushing, swinging, swaddling, etc) that help to soothe almost any baby.

Good luck, and hang in there!

01-13-2004, 10:07 AM
Thank you for the reassurance. What you mentioned about swaddling makes a lot of sense, I will give it a try. He has always resisted swaddling, busting out as soon as possible. He likes his arms to be free, but I will definitely give it another try.

01-14-2004, 12:26 AM
If he likes his arms out, try swaddling with the arms out. We swaddled after the first week and it worked wonders. Then when DD wanted loose, we swaddled without arms.

01-21-2004, 05:41 PM
I agree, it seems like this is a pretty common thing but when it happens to you, it feels like you're all alone! We went through a similar thing with Dylan, except he started it at 3 days old. I was nursing, so we just ended up co-sleeping for the next 2 months. We got into a routine that had him completely calm and settled by the time we got to the point of putting him down: started out with a warm bath, dressed him in jammies, read a book or two, nursed, then DH would rock him to sleep in front of the exhaust fan above the stove (white noise) until he was passed out and only then could we lay him down (in our bed) without waking him. We went through this until he was about 3 months old. Then he had to go to daycare, we CIO and moved him to his crib at the same time, but it worked well and now he sleeps from 6:30pm until at least 7am every night. And now we can put him down wide awake and he'll soothe himself to sleep within a few minutes.

Somethings you might want to try that worked for us: warming his crib sheets with a heating pad (make sure it is not too hot), swaddling w/ or w/o arms, sleep positioners, white noise of soft lullaby CDs, extra blanket under him in the crib (crib mattresses are so hard!! I know they are for safety reasons, but a little extra padding should be ok). Setting up a bedtime routine was the one thing that really helped trigger bedtime for Dylan. When we first started, it would take over an hour to get him to bed (including the 30 minutes it took to rock him to sleep) but now it can take less than 20 minutes, sometimes we take it slower just to spend more time with him! He starts to yawn in the tub, and by the time he gets the bottle his eyes are already drooping closed.

Also, your baby is still SOO young, what you do now may be long forgotten in just a few weeks time. Just hang in there. We went to such extremes, including co-sleeping which wasn't originally in our "plan", b/c we felt that sleep by any means was worth it. Good luck!

Momma to Dylan 7/31/03

02-12-2004, 12:37 PM
My husband and I had the same problems with our son who is now 4-months old. Starting at about 6 weeks he too would wake up soon after we put him in his crib at night and start crying. "Sleeping Through the Night: How Infants, Toddlers and Their Parents Can Get a Good Night Sleep" by sleep specialist Jodi A. Mindell, PhD, was a Godsend. I checked it out from our local library (ask about an interlibrary loan if your library doesn't have a copy).

The most helpful advice we learned was to start putting him to bed when he was drowsy, not sound asleep. Dr. Mindell believes babies need to learn to lull themselves to sleep so that when they wake up in the night they can fall back to sleep without crying for their parents.

We changed his bedtime routine. Now he gets his last feeding before we get him ready for bed. Then we read a couple books to him, rock him and sing softly. As soon as his eyelids start dropping, we put him in the crib. He doesn't always fall asleep immediately - in fact he did cry the first couple nights we tried this new routine - but he now sucks his thumb/fist and/or looks around quitely and drifts off to sleep.

In her book, Dr. Mindell also recommends using a routine similar to the CIO theory. Internet searches using her name provide information about this technique.

02-12-2004, 07:22 PM
Learning the signs that your baby is ready to sleep is very important. I would use those as well as different methods of soothing babies so they are better able to fall asleep. I just wanted to mention that none of the experts seem to recommend any type of actual sleep training (such as CIO, etc) until a baby is at least 6 mths old. I personally could never use CIO, because I feel like my crying baby needs something and I need to provide it, but I know people who have used it successfully. Before 6 mths, though, they aren't ready for such training. Just wanted to put that out there.