Babies: 0 - 3 Months

HELP - my baby will only sleep when held!

My daughter is 2 weeks old and a great sleeper - as long as you're holding her.  She can sleep for hours uninterrupted in someone's arms.  But the second you try to lay her down in her bassinet, crib or pack n'play, she knows and starts crying until she is picked up again.  We have tried to let her cry for a bit, but she only screams louder.  How can I make the transition from my arms to her bed smoothly without waking her?

Re: HELP - my baby will only sleep when held!

  • Could you try rocking her? Could you get a sleep positioner? What about swaddling?

    She wants to feel "closeness."

    My DS will still do this from time to time. I'll let him sleep in my arms until I know he's knocked out.

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  • I think this is pretty normal in newborns. One of the things that helped us was swaddling her tightly and then holding her in that blanket so the blanket smelled like us and was nice and warm when we put her down. She still didn't sleep more than 1/2 an hour for a long time in her moses basket, but suddenly one night about 3 or 4 weeks old it just clicked and she was fine.
  • Also keep in mind she's used to being held 24/7, which is what they are in your womb.  It may take some time for her to feel comfortable not being held in order to sleep.  She wants to be with you right now :)

    as PP said, if you haven't already try swaddling...make them feel like they're in the womb.  Try white noise.  We had to make sure DD is fast asleep before putting her in her PnP or bouncy otherwise she wakes up and fusses.  She still does this a lot, but is better (she's sleeping swaddled on our guest bed right now lol).


  • She's a newborn - she just spent months being snuggled inside of you so the world is a cold, scary place - of course she wants to sleep with you!  Please don't let her cry alone - at this point she can't soothe herself at all.

    I would suggest wearing her.  A wrap like a Moby or Baby K'tan will let her have the closeness she needs and give you the ability to get things done.

    And remember, one day she's not going to want to be held - so enjoy it while it lasts!

  • try putting her in the carseat to sleep. my pedi. said it was fine and that at 4 months we should stop if we haven't already. dd will sleep for 6 hours in the carseat(not strapped in and on the floor), or 3 hours in her crib. guess which i've been choosing for the past few nights? a happy mommy = a happy baby! good luck!
  • DD was like this. Just recently she started sleeping in her swing, but she still doesn't like her crib. I didn't mind holding her, especially after I went back to work, so I just put up with it.
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  • I agree about the swaddle and then I had also put one of my shirts over her bassinet matteress and in her PNP. Another suggestion was to put a hot pad to warm the matteress for a bit before the baby gets put down so it is not a cool surface from your warm body.

    GL...I know my DS has gas and it is painful and he will only sleep in my arms when it acts up.

  • Thank you so much for the suggestions! ?When we brought my daughter home, we were swaddling her, but got away from it because she didn't appear to like it. ?We went back to swaddling again thanks to your suggestions and actually got some sleep last night!
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