Babies: 0 - 3 Months

Can't put LO down at night...going crazy

My DD is 3 weeks old today and I know it should be expected to still be in the sleep-deprived, up-all-night phase, but I don't understand her behavior.

She will sleep 2-3 hours at a time during the day between feedings with no problem. However, as soon as we go up to bed and put her down, she will cry immediately or within 10 minutes...over and over. She often acts like she has terrible gas during this time, but not always. She is content to be set down during the day but not at night. 

The only way she wants to sleep is on me, or in our bed on her side.  I really can't sleep like this, I can't sleep holding her and can't get comfortable with her in the bed. 

I feel like I am losing my mind at night when we go to bed and it's 3 hours before I even get to close my eyes.  Any advice is appreciated...


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Re: Can't put LO down at night...going crazy

  • Do you swaddle? White noise?  Some sort of light?
  • DS sleeps best when held too, but we have had some luck lately with the swing. Hopefully it will continue, but the last week or so he's done 4-hour stretches in the swing (either motionless or turned on). He must just like the snuggled feeling as opposed to lying flat in his bassinet. Worth a shot--- whatever works, right?
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  • I could have written this post. Our DD was 3 weeks yesterday and is exactly the same way. She'll take naps for hours if I'm holding her. And she sleeps pretty good at night if she's in our bed or arms.

    Guess I don't have much 'advice' to give since I'm in the same boat. I got a moby wrap which helps me get things done during the day. And at night.....I just deal with it for now. I breastfeed so it's actual easy to just roll over and feed her. She goes right back to sleep after.

    Good luck!
  • Has he been like this all along, or I'd it just start? There's a growth spurt that hits around 23 wks that could be causing the problem.

    Try swaddling. If LO fights it, do the final before bed diaper change, swaddle, then stick them right on your breast. Once he latches on, he'll likely stop being bothered by the swaddle. It's worked great for us. DD just nurses to sleep once she latches on.

    Last night was a lot like you're describing, though, and I think it's partly to do with growth spurt number 3. I don't know why they bother differentiating between the three different growth spurts in the beginning. It's basically one solid spurt for 6 wks with days thrown in where things are super.

    Anyway, some things to try. If you're nursing/holding LO to sleep, don't put them down as soon as their eyes are closed. Wait about 20 min so she gets through her REM cycle, when she'll be harder to disturb. Try different sleep outfits. DD can be fussy about what she sleeps in. Some nights it's a swaddle, some nights a sleeper, some nights a long sleeved onesie and socks with a blanket over her legs tucked under the mattress.

    If LO is gassy, try different burping positions, make sure you're feeding with her head above her belly, and you can always try gas drops like Mylicon.

    White noise is great, too. We don't have a noise machine, so last night when u DH ally thought if white noise I downloaded an app on my iPad, stuck it not to her cosleeper, and we were other out within 20 min. Not sure if it was the noise or she finally exhausted herself from all the crying, but either way, we finally got some sleep.

    Good luck'

  • I agree with the white noise and tight swaddling. We also made boundaries took 2 rolled up receiving blankets and tucked them on either side of her down low near her waist so it is not near her face. The combination of swaddle, white noise and "boundaries" has worked for all 3 of mine! Good luck
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  • I have been having somewhat of the same problem, too. LO can sleep pretty well during the day the past couple of days, but then is pretty wide awake during the evening and night time and hasn't let me sleep. Last night was not too bad, though. Do you wake her up during the day to feed her? If not and she wakes up on her own, you might want to try waking her up to feed her. That may help for her to sleep a longer stretch at night. Also, as other posters said, if you're BFing, put her on and let her soothe herself so she stops crying (mostly for your sanity). You can try the 5 S Harvey Karp theory, too, which is Swaddling, Sucking, Swinging, Sideways (she can start out that way, then put her on her back once she falls asleep), Shushing. Hopefully it is just a growth spurt and that it will pass soon. Good luck:)
  • image jo4janet:
    I have been having somewhat of the same problem, too. LO can sleep pretty well during the day the past couple of days, but then is pretty wide awake during the evening and night time and hasn't let me sleep. Last night was not too bad, though. Do you wake her up during the day to feed her? If not and she wakes up on her own, you might want to try waking her up to feed her. That may help for her to sleep a longer stretch at night. Also, as other posters said, if you're BFing, put her on and let her soothe herself so she stops crying (mostly for your sanity). You can try the 5 S Harvey Karp theory, too, which is Swaddling, Sucking, Swinging, Sideways (she can start out that way, then put her on her back once she falls asleep), Shushing. Hopefully it is just a growth spurt and that it will pass soon. Good luck:)

    To go off of this suggestion to wake her up to feed her, also add in cluster feeds the last few hours before bed (DD goes down around 9-10, we start feeding once an hour around 6-7).  Make sure she's eating at least some every hour to get her nice and full, then do your final top off right before you put her down and after you swaddle her. I got that suggestion from lucieslist.com and it usually works out well.  It keeps DD from getting completely empty, so she doesn't get to the point where she's needing to eat rightthissecond, which keeps her from getting worked up.  It'll at least get you (hopefully) one long stretch in the beginning of the night, which is better than nothing. And make sure you're burping her.  For that last feeding, though, I suggest feeding in the dark and trying to burp her in whatever position she falls asleep in (for us it's usually on my lap when she's done eating) to avoid waking her up.


  • My DS is three weeks old today too, and he has nights like this lately. It's not every night all night, but usually in the early early morning. I ask DH to hold him for 30-60 minutes, so I can get some real shut eye if I'm feeling totally drained.
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  • Are you swaddling? The beginning can be rough but it gets better.
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  • if shes happy on her side, why not let her sleep that way? 

  • Last night we used a swing and she slept for 3 hours! It was amazing. I just read it takes at least 10 minutes for them to hit a deeper sleep so maybe hold/rock baby for 10-15 minutes to lull baby then lay in a swing or crib and that might help her stay asleep.
  • Thanks so much for all the suggestions, definitely a lot of things I can try!

    I was swaddling at first but a couple times she struggled to get out of it and got worked up so I stopped, but I think I'm going to try again.  

    My DS was a really, really terrible sleeper for a loooong time, so I think I'm panicking early this time thinking she will be too...but I know it's too early to call that.


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