View Full Version : 6-week old sleeping questions
11-29-2008, 10:37 AM
Currently my 6 week old son is sleeping with us in bed. This is not ideal - and certainly not what I thought we would be doing!! It is just so much easier to let him sleep on me (or next to me) as I know he will sleep. Obviously this is not safe and not something I want to continue. The only other place he will occassionally sleep during the night is in his bouncy chair. All of this only happens when he falls asleep at the breast or I soothe him to sleep.
1. How do I get him to sleep in his bassinet. He likes to be swaddled but kicks out of the swaddle easily when put down so don't want to do this at night. I would like to use the sleep sacks but he seems to thrash around and wake himself up. (I am watching him do this now and have just given him his pacifier and that seems to be helping a little)
2. What "schedule" should we be on if any? Right now I just feed him around 10 or 11 and we all go to bed. Is that reasonable for this age? He sleeps between 3-5 hours at night, wakes up to feed and then goes back to sleep for another 3 hours. Also, should he be on some sort of sleep schedule during the day. Right now we just let him sleep when he wants and I am starting to see a pattern.
I have very upset with myself for allowing this co-sleeping and am desperate to end it but at the same time it is so much easier at night. We try to put him down in his crib or swing during the day when he falls asleep but it is so much easier when I know that if he wakes up it is not a big deal.
11-30-2008, 09:34 PM
Well, 1st of all congrats on the new baby. I am having my 2nd daughter in 5 days. These are a few suggestions I have. How well does he sleep in the bassinet?? Even though he likes to be swaddled- if it wakes him up try just covering him up. 10 or 11 oclock is a VERY late bedtime for a 6 week old. Normally at that age 8 oclock is an appropriate bedtime. ( I have a 2 yr old and her bedtime is 9 pm and that is TOO late) The main reason an earlier bedtime is suggested is because 10-12 hours of sleep is recommended for babies. It's great that he sleeps 3-5 hours at a time. Around 6 weeks old is about the time it is recommended that you try to get your infant on a schedule in the day time. At 6 weeks he should be taking 3-4 naps a day (depending on how long he sleeps). In the day time he needs to be sleeping the same place that you want him to sleep at night time. He needs to associate the "bassinet" or "crib" with time to sleep. Do you put him down after he falls asleep or when he is awake? He needs to be able to sooth himself. I hope some of this helped. Good luck.
1.) If there was an easy answer to this one I think you could make millions. Every baby is different. My son was a lot like yours. He didn't like to sleep without someone holding him. Just like everything else, learning to soothe themselves to sleep is just that, something to be learned, not something a new baby already knows. A few things to try: establish a routine that you do every night to signal it's bed time (For example: bath, feeding, swaddle, kiss goodnight), keep the bassinet in a draft-free location away from high traffic areas of the house, try a little white noise like a fan or a soothing CD, introduce a "lovie" like a blanket that you always use at bedtime. From here, you'll have to decide what works best for you. There's the old stand-by cry-it-out method where you lay baby down and let him cry until he falls asleep. For some kids/parents this works great. After a couple nights of 1/2 hour to an hour of crying baby gets the picture and starts falling asleep with less and less crying. A variation on this for those of us who cried at hearing their child's tears, is to let them cry for 5 minutes. Then go in and rub baby's tummy or do something to let him know it's ok. Then leave the room. (Don't pick baby up, just a pat or a kiss.) Let baby cry for 10 minutes this time before going back in to reassure baby. Again do not pick him up. Keep repeating this process, increasing the "cry" time each time. Another option is trying to avoid the tears by slowly doing less and less soothing each night. Eventually you just sit on the floor by baby's crib while he falls asleep, and move further and further away each night. I don't know much about this method, but I think Dr. Sears just wrote a book about it. You could probably find more info by googling something like "no tears Dr. Sears".
2.) Schedules again depend on the kid. My son didn't have a set schedule until 8 months or so. We roughly tried to have him in bed by 10 and up at 6, but that was pretty flexible. The important part is that they are getting enough sleep each day in total (I think a 6 week old needs around 16-18 hours each day, but it's been a while since my son was that young so I'd double check with your Dr.) and that their schedule or lack there of is working for the rest of the family. That being said, there is nothing wrong with a little structure if your son can deal with it. Maybe start with a certain bedtime. Once he's doing well with that, move to a certain time for afternoon nap. Eventually fill in the other naps/feeding times to work with his natural tired/hungry times. Remember once you get a schedule set, expect it to change as he gets older. Good luck!
12-01-2008, 07:38 PM
At this point, don't worry about a schedule...just work out a good routine. For us, it was: wake, diaper, feed, "play", sleep. Around 12 weeks is a reasonable time to start thinking about a schedule.
What kind of blanket are you swaddling with? We found that the stretchier thermals were best. She didn't "break out" of them like with the flannel or cotton receiving blankets, and they didn't cook her like the fleece ones.
I always recommend "Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child" by Marc Weissbluth. You may want to check it out.
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