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My LO is 11 days old now and for the past 4 nights, he flat-out refuses to sleep in his crib. During the day he's okay but at night between 9pm to roughly 2am, every time we get him asleep he starts crying the minute we put him to rest in his crib. I have a swing/bouncer but I don't like leaving him in there unsupervised all night - I feel that what is best for him is sleeping flat on his back. I've had a few people suggest swaddling but he absolutely hates it because he likes to sleep with his arms raised above his head. Co-sleeping is also not an option because our double bed is not big enough and my husband can be rather violent in his sleep (sometimes he sits up and starts punching his pillow).
Last night he was up fussing from 9pm to 4am. Didn't want food, didn't want diaper change, only wanted to be held in very specific manners, etc... I finally got him in a deep sleep by breastfeeding him on the couch while lying down beside him (rather than sitting upright and holding him) and letting him nuzzle up to my breast for a few minutes after he was done. Then I lied him down and he finally slept for 2 hrs, then woke up at 6am, I did the same thing again, and he slept until 9:30am. I'm not sure if that did the trick, or if he was just so exhausted after 7-9 hrs of fussing that at that point that he would have slept regardless.
Does anyone have any other suggestions on how to get him sleeping in his crib?
I would keep trying to swaddle him. It usually makes babies feel snug and secure especially in a big crib. If its in your budget a Rock n Play is a great option. Babies can sleep safely in them and they have a slight incline. We cosleep/bed share but our LO naps well in her Rock n Play.
With my other LO's, when they would wake up in the middle of the night, I'd change their diaper, swaddle them, nurse them and then put them down. If it didn't work in the bassinet, I'd have to put them in the bouncer, (it has a slight incline) it also has a vibration feature that has always worked. I don't know if this LO will be any different, but it worked for my youngest two.
__________________ Children are a heritage from the Lord,
offspring a reward from him. Psalm 127:3
So I tried swaddling Marcos with his arms out last night. He didn't hate it but I don't think he loved it either. He cried almost all afternoon and evening regardless of what we did: swing, bouncer, nursing pillow, carrying, swaddling, etc... nothing seemed to calm him down for more than 10-15 min at a time. He then basically tired himself out at 1am and slept until 6am. This afternoon is infinitely better, I think he is burnt out from yesterday? (as are DH and I, quite frankly) but he still has a hard time with the crib. I finally pulled out the pack n play this afternoon and will try that out tonight to see how that goes. It's more enclosed than a crib so maybe he'll react better to it.
In the beginning of the night Zachary is more awake and needs to be held to sleep. My dh often takes the shift from 10-1 or so, rocking him in the recliner. The rest of the night he usually does ok just going back to sleep, but sometimes won't settle so he sleeps with me.
Side lying nursing has done the trick for us on the hard nights. We don't seem to have crib problems, so I don't have any advice that hasn't been offered already except maybe lay his head down on a shirt you wore that day and see if he will be satisfied sleeping on it.
It's still early days, and he will probably get used to it in time. However to help the process, try letting him sleep next to a small soft toy that smells of mum! Sleep with the toy yourself at first for a night or two and then put it next to him in his crib. It's certainly worth trying. It helped me out with my baby, but you just have to watch if he forms a strong sleep association with the toy.
Also, it's good that you're trying to do this during the day. It's generally easier for babies to get used to a crib this way, before sleeping in it at night.
Alternatively, you could try using a bassinet and move him to a crib when he's a bit older.
My older son HATED sleeping on a flat surface. That's why we got the Rock N' Play sleeper this time around. She goes to sleep just fine in it (still wakes up every 3 hours but goes back to sleep easily most of the time once we set her back down). I don't think that laying flat on their back is a natural position for a newborn. They want to feel more comforted. I'd suggest something like a Rock N' Play sleeper and/or swaddling. You can swaddle while keeping the hands up by the face.