Babies: 0 - 3 Months

My baby won’t sleep in his bassinet

My sweet 7 week old little boy will not sleep in his bassinet. He sleeps in the bed with my husband an I. Once he is sleeping really good I try to put him in his bassinet but, he will immediately wake up. How do we fix this??

Re: My baby won’t sleep in his bassinet

  • Hi Mama! I completely understand your situation; it can be really tough when your little one doesn't want to sleep in his bassinet. Firstly, remember it's quite common for newborns to crave that close contact. They've been snug inside you for nine months, so the vast openness of a bassinet can feel strange to them.

    Here are a few things that worked for me:

    1. Warm the Bassinet: Sometimes babies don’t like the cold feel of a bassinet. You can try warming the bassinet with a hot water bottle before placing your baby inside. Just ensure you remove it and check the temperature with your hand to ensure it's comfortable before putting your baby in.
    2. Swaddling: Swaddling can give babies that snug feeling they had in the womb, which can be comforting.
    3. Wait Until Deep Sleep: Babies have light and deep sleep cycles. If you try to move your baby during a light sleep cycle, they're more likely to wake up. Wait about 20 minutes or so after they fall asleep to ensure they're in a deep sleep before attempting to move them.

    Lastly, always ensure that if your baby is in bed with you, you're following safe co-sleeping guidelines. Every baby is different, so it's all about trying different things and seeing what works best for your little one. Stay patient, and remember, this phase will pass. 💕

  • edited November 1
    Biologically, babies need our bodies to help them regulate their breathing, immune system, and sleep cycles. Moms can sync sleep cycles with baby, actually, and while both remain in more shallow sleep, it’s a beneficial growth time for baby in REM, and lighter sleep keeps caregivers’ brains aware of what’s going on with baby in the night. It’s all by design. 
    I’ll include an article from a Berkley science periodical, but to sum up what I remember, the history of babies sleeping separately from us possibly began with an order from the Catholic church in Northern Europe that babies sleep in a separate bassinet to prevent poor mothers from intentionally rolling on their babies to limit their family size. 
      It later became fashionable/trendy for the affluent who could afford bigger homes to have more than one room for individuals to sleep in. Not to mention that cultural trends in parenting were changing as well. Dr. Spock and Richard Ferber influenced parents to put their babies to bed in a separate area. Ferber claimed that coddling a child was unhealthy and that they needed to be toughened up, aka. learn to be alone. Hence the “cry it out” method. 
      Current research explains a lot though. Even when babies seem to be adapting to sleeping alone, sleep research shows that cortisol levels (stress hormones) can remain high in babies, which is not a good indication that it is natural for them to be isolated. In young babies, oxygen saturation dips more frequently throughout the night apart from mom and stays more stable when baby is with her. It stands to reason that ( as parents are asking why their babies are unhappy sleeping apart from them), babies aren’t designed to be alone, at least for a period of time developmentally. 

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  • My baby didn’t like the bassinet either. He’s almost 11 weeks now. Game changers for us were the hot water bottle trick and the baby shusher (Amazon)
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