(Closed) I literally hold my 6 week old all night, every night…

posted 8 years ago in Babies
Post # 32
31 posts

I just had to chime in here b/c I understand the frustration and anxiety that goes along with a baby that won’t sleep where they are “supposed” to. (wherever you think that should be)

I have to ask, are you breastfeeding? My little guy did the same thing. Cried and cried at night when I tried to put him down.

Then I switched to formula and he has been sleeping in his crib through the night since 3 weeks.

Of course, he’d wake for night feedings but even those stopped around 3 or 4 months and he now sleeps all night.

So in my case he was hungry b/c my supply was way too low. Just throwing it out there!


Post # 33
2865 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: City, State

@BearyLovely:  I am sorry! Just to let you know, it does get better. I was the same way and outgrew it in a few weeks. I have been sleeping on my own for 27 years without any problems and my parents lived to remind me how tough I made the first weeks 🙂


Are you exclusively breast feeding? Have you ruled out GI issues? Mine turned out to be gas and I was allergic to mom. Formula feeding became necessary for me.


Post # 34
1568 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

Good rule of thumb: First rule out that he has no medical issue. Chances are he doesn’t but you just want to be sure for your peace of mind. Acid reflux can be very painful or even bad gas (stomach cramps) can be hard to cope with when your that tiny. On the other hand, you are going to be in a lot of pain too if you don’t get back to a normal bed mattress soon – your poor back. If he has been deemed healthy – see what the Dr. suggests about letting him cry it out and for how long is acceptable before soothing him again. So sad for the little ones but he knows he loves you and that means the world I bet.

Post # 35
2835 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: August 2011

Use a boppy to make him feel like someone is holding him.  That’s what we did with my nephew.

Post # 36
2063 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

I’d first make sure that there’s no medical issues–it’s a bit uncommon for a baby that young to cry that much (although, yes, you could have trained him to need to be held) and newborns mainly cry when they need something physically, like hunger and sleep, or have some sort of physical problem reflux (and feel better upright) or gas or…? 

If you rule out medical issues and think that it’s likely that you’ve trained him to need you and it’s separation anxiety, then I think you need to either try cry-it-out or take steps to wean him. Swaddling will help, as will leaving in intervals. 

A note on cry-it-out (CIO): I recognize that this is a hot issue and will vary between parents, so this is ONLY my .02 cents. I have a lot of AP (attachment parent) friends who would tell me that CIO disrupted my baby’s emotional connection to me and made him experience separation anxiety and abandonment. And when he cried, it made me crazy because that’s EXACTLY what it sounded like. But here’s what I decided: even if they were right and he was experiencing emotional distress, I counted too. And in some ways, I counted more, as his mother because if I wasn’t getting sleep (which I wasn’t), then I wasn’t able to take care of him SAFELY during the day (and I really wasn’t–I realized this one day when I was so tired and I completely blacked out, waking up with him on my chest on the couch. He was sleeping and we were fine, but he could have just rolled off onto the floor. What would have happened had I been driving?) AND, if I was getting so frustrated and experiencing so much anxiety myself, then I’d probably not only exacerbate his anxiety, but also start to resent him for making me feel that way.

In the end, we ended up doing CIO with our son–but we didn’t know it was a technique. Literally, we got so worn down and so tired that the night came that neither of us could summon the energy to go get him anymore. And he cried and we cried and it wasn’t a good night, but after that, he started to sleep on his own. I realized that back in the day, when my great-grandparents were farming? I bet they just let the baby cry because knowing them, there was no WAY they’d get up to rock a baby to sleep if they had to get up at 4am and do manual labor. 

So, I can’t tell you whether CIO is the *right* method; I’m just pointing out that you count too. Taking care of a baby is stressful–and that’s if they’re an easy baby. Taking care of a baby who cries all the time is seriously stressful. if you need to put him down, put him down in a safe place, let him cry, and do what you need. He will be ok. 

Post # 38
1236 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: February 2011

@BearyLovely:  Definitely get your LO checked out for acid reflux, you could also try eliminating dairy and soy from your diet for 2-3 weeks and seeing if that makes a difference. You might also like to try a swing or rock-n play.

here’s a link for you to check out: http://safebedsharing.org/safetyguidelines.html

And lastly, please PLEASE don’t leave your newborn to CIO!! You haven’t “trained’ him to need your presence, he’s still in the “fourth trimester’ and only just settling into life on the outside and by attending to his needs you’re helping to develop valuable self-regulation and neural pathways. 


Hang in there mama, it will get easier!!

Post # 39
1042 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: November 2011

@BearyLovely:  One of my girls was super needy like this, but we later discovered it was because she was constantly overtired and overstimulated. Once we got a routine (especially bedtime routine where she would go down at 6:30 or 7pm) in place, she stopped almost immediately! We loosely followed the one in Gina Ford’s (admittedly annoyingly prescriptive and rigid) Contented Little Baby book, and it worked an absolute treat–both of our twins would go down in their cots while still awake and were sleeping through by 12 weeks, no CIO needed.

Other thoughts for the meantime:

– a baby carrier like a connecta integra or a k’tan might at least help you to have hands free if routine still doesn’t work

– vibrating bouncers are miraculous baby-putter-to-sleepers

– white noise!

– getting out in the fresh air each day often helps babies to sleep better at night

Post # 40
2842 posts
Sugar bee

@BearyLovely:  I would just let him sleep in his car seat. One of my babies screamed every time I tried to lay him in the bassinette. I didn’t want him to suffocate in our bed, so I just let him sleep in his car seat right next to my bed (strapped in). I got to sleep lying down, you should try it. He might just not like being flat on his back.

Post # 41
735 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

One thing to consider might be to reframe the issue, and give yourself permission to parent the way that you’ve been parenting with some better tools! Dr. Sears/Attachment Parenting might be up your alley – he’s got a bunch of books and a website, but basically he advocates safe co-sleeping, baby-wearing, exclusive breast feeding, and not crying it out, among other things. If you are choosing to co-sleep and are feeling like it’s a safe choice you might not feel like you have to sleep sitting upright. And if the baby is in a sling or carrier, you won’t need to sit on the couch all day! We did this with our LO, and it’s been great so far – she’s six months. She would sob when we put her down so we just didn’t. The Attachment Parenting stuff says that you don’t decrease independence by doing this in the long run – you’re building a firm foundation for it. Don’t feel like you have to not do what you’re doing if it feels like a good parenting style to you! 6 weeks is just a little teeny tiny baby, and it’s normal that what he wants is to be held. 

Post # 42
2343 posts
Buzzing bee

My daughter was like that as well. I eventually had to let her cry it out and it took probably three days and she was broken of the habit. It was terrible and I cried hearing her cry but it had to be done

Post # 43
1016 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

I would read up on safe bed sharing and take baby to bed with you! My son was the same way and he doesn’t have any medical problems, he’s just a little momma’s boy! I was TERRIFIED at first to bedshare because everyone says how dangerous it is, blah blah blah. Well, falling asleep sitting up in a chair with baby is definitely more dangerous than bedsharing…and I was doing the same thing and not getting ANY sleep bc my little porker was waking up to breast feed at least every 2 hours throughout the night. It was finally my mom that told me to practice side-lying breast feeding during the day and just take him to bed with me at night. It took a while to get the hang of side lying breast feeding, but we finally figured it out. I also read a ton on how to safely bedshare (baby still lies on back, blankets only to your waist, baby stays tucked under your tricep and you stay lying on your side, etc.). I didn’t sleep very well at first doing this bc I was so terrified that he wouldn’t be able to breathe, but after a few nights, he started sleeping longer and I became confident that I wasn’t going to suffocate him, so I started sleeping longer, too. Now, he is still in bed with us (he’s almost 4 months old) and I don’t think I could sleep well if he wasn’t right next to me now! He also sleeps all night now (He does stir to breast feed once or twice throughout the night, but doesn’t actually ever open his eyes because I get the boobie to him before he wakes up fully). It’s marvelous not having to get out of bed, go grab a crying baby, valm him down, feed him, then try to our him back to sleep. I feel like I get plenty of rest at night and I am hardly ever too tired to function. Bedsharing has been my life saver, but I realize that it doesn’t/won’t work for everyone. Here in the US we harp about how unsafe it is, but it is standard practice in many other countries that have much lower SIDS rates than we do. It actually is protective against actual SIDS when baby stops breathing with nothing obstructing their face, but it does increase the risk of suffocation slightly (although most times when a suffocation occurs it is because whomever rolled onto baby was under the influence if something and/or not following safe bedsharing practices). It might not be for you, but might be worth a try! I never thought I’d be this “well-rested” with a baby! 

ETA: excuse the iPhone typos. Too lazy to go back and fix them lol

Post # 44
1016 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

One more thing I thought of–I work pretty long hours sometimes for school, so snuggling my son all night doesn’t make me as bitter about having to spend so much time away from him during the day. I love co sleeping with him! Hubs loves it too bc he doesn’t wake up at all during the night since our babe never actually cries at night anymore, just stirs, eats, and falls right back to sleep. We aren’t huge night time cuddlers, so it hasn’t impacted our love life too much. We cant DTD with baby sleeping in bed anymore, so co-showering with DH has also become our new best friend. Sorry for the Tmi but a lot of people worry about that so I thought I’d mention it 😛

Post # 46
271 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2014

I haven’t read through all the replies. But it may pay you to look into attachment parenting if you haven’t already. EVERY baby is different, but some need extra comfort. My DD did and after heartbreaking trials at ‘CIO’ we started listening to our own instincts which involved babywearing, co sleeping etc. Have a look at ‘The Natural Parent magazine‘ they have a facebook page and some really helpful info. There is a lot of research about the dangers of CIO and the ‘controlled crying’ methods are bull really, you cry, the person you loves picks you up and you think “Great, they’re finally listening to me” and then they put you back down just as you get comfy and walk away? Seems just as cruel as any of those methods. 
Ignore anyone who says “Aren’t they sleeping through?!” etc etc, every baby is different and if people are actually truthful, your kids sleep patterns change constantly, we go weeks without waking, and then there’s teething, illnesses, growth spurts, hot weather, cold weather, daylight savings…There’s studies of thousands of children up to the age of 4 and you know what? They found NO common sleeping pattern!  

OF COURSE they work for some people, but it can’t help to look at alternatives. My DD is now 2, people said she would be clingy and needy because she sleeps in our bed. She’s very secure because she knows if she needs us we will come. She will happily say goodbye and stay at grandma’s or go off and do her own thing for HOURS without any intervention so in our world, the clingy thing is a myth. 

Good luck! You’re doing a great job! I really hope you find something that works for you but just remember – this too shall pass! 

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