Infant sleep tips/tricks?

posted 2 years ago in Babies
Post # 16
693 posts
Busy bee

Literally nothing except for a flat, hard, bassinet or crib is “approved” for safe sleep. Would you be comfortable on that? We tried to play by the rules too, but the night (about 2 weeks in) that I discovered my son would sleep in his crib with a thin eggshell foamie thing under the sheet, a nice warm blanket and a soft, very flat baby pillow, there was no going back. I also fashioned my own “dock a tot” from blankets and that worked well too when we were travelling. 

ETA – take the next few days/weeks/months to find what works for you and your baby and go with it. Use common sense and your baby, like 98% of the rest of the babies in the world who won’t sleep on a flat, hard crib, will most likely thrive. (and yes I just made that % up but I think it’s probably pretty close.) 


Post # 17
562 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2013

The site isn’t letting me tag people, but I strongly agree with carolinabelle. I get pissed when it comes to unsafe sleep and people recommending it. Just because your baby didn’t die while you were using unsafe sleep practices, it doesn’t mean someone else’s baby won’t die. I take no chances when it comes to this kind of thing. It’s just like strapping your furniture to a wall. If it’s preventable, you do everything in your power to prevent it.

Anyhow, my second-born loved his Summer swaddles, arms straight down at the sides. Slept for 4-hour stretches right away…which made the 3-month sleep regression a real smack in the face. Anyhow, OP, good luck to you. We’re just coming off a month of bad sleep (awake every 1.5 hours, just started sleep training, hallelujah!), and it was brutal, but as PP’s said, it gets better.

Post # 18
1832 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

Try doing a very tight swaddle with baby’s arms strapped down by his sides. It gives the secured feeling from the dock a tot and the startle reflex of the arms won’t wake him. And it has to benpretty tight too. Not so much they can’t breathe but the tighter the better or else they will break out and won’t get that womb-like sensation. They’ve been used to nine months of being extremely constricted so all the space is very unsettling to them. That and a very good loud white noise machine!! No music, no timers, just a nice loud fan or basic noise machine that runs all night worked great 

Post # 19
575 posts
Busy bee

Well… you admit yourself it was hell. I felt the same way while not sleeping. I did my research and I was not willing to do that to reduce a risk of dying by 0,01%, knowing well that the risk of sleep-deprivation-related injuries to me and my family would increase to a two-digit percentage. Everyone does what they feel comfortable with. However, giving recommendations without considering the cost of those recommendations is not good policy on the side of APA.

Post # 20
575 posts
Busy bee

And as for attaching your furniture to the wall – last time I did that, it did not cause me to not sleep for three months at a time. So in this case, clearly the benefits outweigh the cost.

Post # 21
738 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

Your baby is so very new to the world! Bottom line is he is adjusting to life outside of the womb and probably has night and day in reverse! I think the key is ensuring bed time is clear I.e. dim lighting and minimal noise etc. 

He will adjust to this in time it just takes getting over this hurdle ! Good luck ! 

Post # 22
9554 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2012

Dd would not sleep more than 45 minutes at a time and we ended up cosleeping. I was completely against it in the beginning, but I was literally falling asleep sitting up after 2-3 weeks of it. The first time I barely caught her as she rolled off my lap I decided something had to give. You gotta do what you gotta do.

I will say some things that are approved in the EU are not approved in the US. I think some of it is due to companies worried about being sued. I mean I’ve heard of NICUs using rock n plays for premature babies, but god forbid you put a regular healthy newborn in it for a few hours…

Post # 23
3224 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2015

Westwood :  to be fair, the NICU does a lot of things that you should not do at home. Those babies are monitored 24/7 by hospital grade equipment and nurses, which is why it’s okay for them to do. 

Post # 24
60 posts
Worker bee

For my family, safely bed sharing was the solution we used to survive. My pediatrician pointed out that the data about co sleeping doesn’t control for drug or alcohol use, mental illness, weight, cigarette use, or sleep surface – therefore it is basically useless. (I fired my first pediatrician – this was the second one who is great!)

She told me my baby was at a much higher risk of me falling asleep on the couch or chair with her, or god forbid behind the wheel. For what it’s worth, i strongly believe every family must do what’s right for them. However, the doctors and nurses in the hospital who just repeatedly said to put baby to sleep on her back alone in a crib clearly didn’t have my baby. I would have loved to be getting up every 1.5-2 hours – we instead literally would never have slept. She woke up the INSTANT she was set down, and you name it we tried it (4 bassinets, rock n play, dock a tot, swaddles, weighted swaddles, heating pad first in bassinet, rocking, nursing, bouncing, walking to sleep. Seriously…everything)

You will get through this, and please do what you need to do to function! I encourage you to try bed sharing safely, if you are comfortable, as you may get a bit of rest that way. 

Post # 25
138 posts
Blushing bee

also.. apparently using swaddles at night is unsafe as well now…   pretty much everything is unsafe…  soo I just get sleep using unsafe methods and make sure Ican hear and see her from wherever I am… but if shes gettingsleep shes a happier baby.  Also, a lot of people dont have the perfect flat mattresses.. many babies co sleep with their mothers…..  One more thing.. sids can happen on a perfectly flat mattress.. some babies just stop breathing for NO reason… 


my trick is letting her breastfeed right before she sleeps.. its a crutch but im desperate sometimes.

Post # 26
8245 posts
Bumble Beekeeper


yorp127 :  we use the halo bassinest and it is fantastic. She sleeps well generally, but in the early days we would put in the vibration if she was fussing and that would knock her out (it’s timed so it shuts off after a little while). It also has sleep sounds built in and it swivels for easy breastfeeding access during the night

Post # 27
709 posts
Busy bee

blue_cat77 :  I mostly bedshared, but your analysis is a bit glib and naive. Your chance of having an accident is not 2%, unless you’re talking about lifetime odds. And if you are talking about lifetime odds, then any increased risk period only lasts for the time you are sleep starved. That’s three months, out of what, 80 years?

Also, while bedsharing certainly helps, it absolutely does not eliminate sleep starvation. My daughter didn’t magically sleep hours on end just because we bedshared, she still woke up every couple of hours to nurse. I still obsessed over her latch, etc. She was markedly less fussy while we bedshared. 

So while it worked for us, and I suspect it may be true, I can’t in all honesty find strong evidence stating that previous data were muddied by couch sharing or substance abuse. So unless something in our understanding of SIDS radically changes, I’ll probably get a sidecard sleeper if I have a second. 


Post # 28
702 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2016

 The Halo swaddlesack was our lifesaver too…I specifically didn’t put any on my registry becuase they’re only useful for a short period of time. The hospital gave us one and I ran out and bought 2 more when I finally figured out that it worked on day 4. My first two nights were in the hospital and I barely slept. I tried putting him in regular swaddling, and those little velcro swaddlers and I just wasn’t good at getting it to fit right. Also I think he was getting cold at night, and that’s why the fleece swaddlesacks helped so much.

Also, I tried to co-sleep with our baby in the pack n play bassinet at the end of my bed. I had it in my head that it would be so great. He’d sleep there and when he got hungry I’d just roll him into bed, feed him in the dark, change a diaper here and there and he’d go right back to sleep. NOPE. that did not work for me at all. Every little noise he made woke me up…and I was never falling into a deep sleep. I kept having these half awake dreams that I had accidentally fallen asleep with him in the bed, and then I would panic and search the bed for him only to find that he was in his bassinet…or I would think that my pillow was him or I’d wake up realizing I was trying to nurse my pillow…yea… And, it was harder to get him from the bassinet to the bed than I thought, and even though my baby is a great latcher, I wasn’t exactly skilled enough to get him on there half asleep, in the dark…and it was a diaper change every hour or two, which meant turning all the lights on and both of us waking up, and I honestly hate the diaper station on the pack n play. 

I finally caved after the first week and gave up on having him room with us (even though I know it’s recommended). I put him in his crib with our  baby monitor. That helped me so much. It made it easier for me to only get up when he actually cried, and not from every little sleep murmur, plus I stopped having those weird half-asleep dreams.

LO is now 6 weeks, and we’ve gotten into a somewhat reliable rhythm. Here’s what works for us…He goes into his crib between 9 and 10…I still use the swaddlesack or a sleepsack, over a long sleeve onesie. I keep the house at around 70 degrees. I put him in there after nursing even if he’s awake, and he self-soothes with either a pacifier or just by sucking on his hands. I don’t use any kind of noise machine and I don’t try to make the house quiet…I want him to be able to sleep with normal household noise. He’s usually fine in there until between 1am and 2am. Then, I nurse him until he’s satisfied, and I just do a quick check on his diaper (just a smell check so I don’t disturb him if not needed). If it’s dirty I change it, and nurse him a second time to get him tired again. If not, I just lay him back down. Then he’s out until 5am, and it’s the same, nurse, check, change if needed routine. Then I can usually get him back down for another hour, which is when Darling Husband gets up for work and he will snuggle with him for an hour or so, and puts him back down so I don’t have to get up until 8 or 9am.

Time helps, because you get to know your baby’s noises. I know what’s just general fussing/wakefulness, and what’s real, “I need you mom” crying now. I attend to the crying, and I let the other noises go. I’m not going to lie and say I never did anything I wasn’t supposed to in the early days…I put him on my chest to sleep when I was desperate. I felt bad about it…but I did it. The one good thing is–it gets easier every day. He’s able to eat more, and therfore sleeps longer intervals, I’ve learned how to meet his needs. We still have rough nights (5 week growth spurt…OMG)…but most days I’m able to feel at least mostly rested.

Post # 29
621 posts
Busy bee

It is incredibly irresponsible for people to make unsafe sleep suggestions that go against the AAP recommendations. Everyone has to make their own choices for their family and that’s on them, but PLEASE, do not recommend unsafe practices for other people! I firmly believe that bedsharing can be made safe but it is with very strict guidelines, and certainly not with things like the dockatot. 

That said, OP, your baby is SO little. At that age they often have their days and nights mixed up. You really just has to accept that at this age, you’re not going to get much sleep. Alternate with your partner so each of you gets a little sleep, enlist all the help you can get and take naps during the day, do what you need to do to survive while keeping baby safe at night. It will pass quickly and your baby will figure out days and nights and start to stretch sleep a little. You can’t expect any kind of a routine or consistency for a while; baby has to figure out a rhythm and feeding and just being in the world! Hang in there mama, these days are SO long and tough but you will get through it! 

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