Please help, baby will only sleep in our arms. Advice??

Hi all. My little one was born on Friday after a 3 day labour and then c section. First day in hospital he slept well in the crib there. The next few days there and since we have come home it has gotten worse and now he will only sleep in either mine or my husband's arms. I'm finding it really emotionally hard. Please advise if you experienced anything similar. Really am quite desperate x

17 Replies

  • Hello, congratulations on the birth of your baby! You have had a rough time haven't you! Your little one will still be traumatized after a difficult birth, so will want to be close to you to feel safe. It's a big change for them after been snuggled up in that nice warm womb! Have you tried swaddling? X

  • Yes congratulations!

    I would give the swaddling a go. They feel secure with it. You can get special swaddling blankets now so you don't have to mess around with a flat blanket.

  • Hi both thabk you. Yes had tried swaddling but he was trying to get his hands out and getting distressed, with arms out he could make it too loose and no effect. Wonderful news is that I think my husband may have cracked it! LLittle one is breastfed but have had to top up with formula (tiny amounts) just to get some sleep and in his rocker comforted with a bit of formula he has slept for 1.5 hours. So relieved!!!

  • Mine has never been a fan of swaddling either. She likes her arms up above her head! He is just a new baby trying to get used to this mad world he has arrived in. Hopefully you will get him to settle more as the days go on. x

  • Swaddling, make sure your baby has a full tummy & clean nappy. Swaddle and put down, do the same after every feed, even in the day. Your baby will soon get into a routine and settle. My first was like that and my midwife said where would you rather be cuddled up to mummy or in a moses basket on your own, you have got to start being hard or it will drive you mad.

  • I know this may sound like a obvious question but what's the temperature like in your bedroom when you're trying to get him to sleep? - as this can determine sometimes why a baby dosent settle very well.

    I also think swaddling with a light baby blanket is quite good too as I used to do it with my LO who is now 4 months old.

    I don't do as often now as I just think she has become so used to it she just throws off the covers at the 1st chance she gets :)

    When you do try swaddling him are you covering his arms?

  • Have you got a swing? Mine have alk loved sleeping in a swing wrapped up.he is only tiny and still getting used to this big world so only natural he wants to be snuggled. Also could you pop him in a sling? Oh and massive congratulations!!!!!!!! Xx

  • Congratulations..does he hav a name. I had a sling..was great. .was able to do dinner or do bit of housework and he slept while I did it xx

  • Has ur milk come in properly? Can takea few more days after a section....I always topped mine up and found it helped how u have cracked it and congratulations xxx

  • Congratulations.

    I agree with the ladies above, my new bubba loves his swing. I hadn't used one with my twins but my little man didn't want to sleep without his mummy until he got a swing. At first it took some getting used to but now he can't get enough of it!! x

  • Thanks all :) He is called Matthew Alexander and was 8lb 8.5 ounces. At some point will tell all about my birth story. The sling is a very good idea, I have one and had forgotten, ha! Swing he certainly seems happy in now, so pleased as it just felt like one thing too many. No my milk hasn't come in which is why he was going spare and being so unsettled. He is latching well, hasn't lost much weight and I am keen to keep up with the breastfeeding, just needed a bit of a top up with formula. Feeling so much better, thank you all for your advice x

  • My LO was the same, he has always loved the closeness of being in someone's arms and even now he will sleep longer when being held rather than being in his Moses basket & he's 16 weeks. The thing that helped us most is white noise. My boy falls asleep to the sound of the cooker hood extractor fan & stays asleep much longer than if it was quiet!! I also play white noise on my phone & put it near his Moses basket. After being inside a noisy womb for 9 months it comforts them to have noise around them. We also have a fleecy blanket over his mattress as it's cozy & it feels like my dressing gown which he likes! Also try gently heating the mattress with a hot water bottle before you put him down. And try putting a top that smells of you (put some breast milk on it) next to him as they have a strong sense of smell & that'll help him think that you're close. As others have said, swaddling really helped us when he was little. We used a thin muslin and covered with a cotton sheet. I also agree with the sling idea as well, it allowed me to get jobs done round the house as he could sleep for up to 2 hours whilst feeling close to me x

  • Congratulations! I know it's tough, you're hormonal and exhausted and recovering from major surgery don't forget (I had c-sec too in November). My baby girl didn't like being put down either, but initially I think it's totally normal, they just need the warmth and closeness of mummy or daddy. My advice would be to keep trying with putting the baby in the crib - we used a gro-swaddle but my baby likes her arms out, put a hot water bottle in the crib / basket to heat the sheet through and then remove before you put baby in - the warmth seems to help. I spent much of the first couple of months with baby glued to me, during the day, I bought a Moby wrap sling at 6 weeks and wish I'd bought it earlier - baby loved it, stays close to you but you have 2 hands free! Keep going - it really does get easier!

  • Thank you. Again just makes me feel better hearing others have experienced the same. Will definitely try the hot water bottle and sling x

  • My son was like this for the first two weeks, fell asleep beautifully in our arms and as soon as we put him in his Moses basket he would wake up within minutes.

    We tried most things but found if we took his Moses basket off the stand and places it on the floor or in his cot he slept, it was the unsteadiness of the stand that he didn't like.

    To offer you some hope, as I felt very much like you at this time, he started to sleep through from 10wks!!!!

    Good luck x

  • Thank you! So nice to know we aren't the only ones to have this issue. Really hoping he sleeps through that early, would be great! X

  • I had similar problems at the start, but to be honest I think he was maybe just too cold when I look back :-/. We put a hot water bottle in the crib so the sheets were toasty when you first put them down. The swaddling worked too, but my baby would manage to get his arms out however tight it was. Thankfully we then moved quite early onto the sleeping bags, think can use from about 9lbs?!? It enables you to get baby in and out all night, without disturbing them too much, plus they are snug and warm all the time.

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