Calling all moms with infants…

For the life of me, I’m at a loss for getting Hudson to fall asleep on his own. Ok, he’s only 4 weeks old, so I know I technically shouldn’t have any expectations for him to fall asleep on his own quite yet, but I don’t want to start any nasty habits if they can be avoided.

A little rundown for you. Lately, he’s been awake more often, and often he likes to fall asleep taking a bottle or being held. We do let him spend time on the floor on his play mat, or in the swing or bouncy seat. He can fall asleep in the swing just fine (although that, too, is a habit I don’t want to depend on).

During the day I try to put him in his bed to nap, regardless of where he falls asleep. Sometimes he does fine and transfers just fine, but other times (like today, for example) he wakes up within minutes of being put in his bed. Then, within minutes of being picked up, he’s out like a light again. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. This often happens a lot at his 3am feeding (which has been taking us- err…. me- until 4/4:30am ish to get him back to sleep). Usually, when it happens in the middle of the night I put him in bed swaddled real tight and rub his head, pat his butt (sometimes we lay him on his side to sleep), and shhh-shhh-shhh him. But, c’mon… at 3:30am jumping through those hoops to get him to sleep isn’t exactly what I want to be doing.

Today I tried laying him in his bed and letting him fall asleep on his own but he only ended up fussing and getting very agitated. I’ve tried laying him down drowsy (when his eyes are just starting to close) and he always seems to startle himself or wake back up a few minutes later.

What should I be doing? At this age, does it matter how they fall asleep? I can’t remember how we did it with Porter. I’m not sure exactly what we should or should not be doing as far as getting Hudson to sleep.


  1. Awww…hang in there! I found that swaddling was a huge help, and when that wasn’t quite enough I broke don and used the pacifier and my daughter started sleeping through the night at that point. That was at 7 weeks.

  2. With Gavin we had to wrap him really tight in a blanket…arms to his side and it worked! I think his flailing arms & legs woke him up, or he didn’t feel safe enough without being bundled.

  3. we did the whole ‘baby whisperer’ thing with max… followed the cycle of eat, ‘play’, sleep and 90% of the time we put him down awake, in his own crib. i would swaddle him up tight and pat him on the back (he pretty much always went to sleep on his side) and do the ‘ssh’. i swear i’d do it forever sometimes… felt like for his whole nap… but honestly that probably only happened a few times. i’d commit myself to doing it for like 10-15 minutes and just stick with it (i realize this is going to be a lot harder with another one running around, btw). i’d actually look at my watch. at the time this whole routine seemed like SO much work… and i did work my tail off doing this stuff. but, looking back now, THANK GOD. it was really only a few weeks of his life and now he is so good at going to bed on his own. we’re totally spoiled. at night we bring him up to bed, read him a few books, lay him down with his nuk and blankie, and leave. i would say we only have to go back in his room maybe 1 night every couple weeks… and that’s usually just to give him his nuk because he’s dropped it out of the crib. i’d say that 5 nights out of 10, i don’t even hear him make a peep after i leave the room. he’s totally comfortable and secure enough to fall asleep on his own. part of this is just his personality, obviously… he’s a super laid-back kid. but, i have to get a LITTLE bit of credit for it, right?!? :)i don’t know if it matters so much at 4 weeks… i think with my next one i’ll start as soon as possible… but i think you’re on the right track just by realizing you don’t want to start any bad habits now. one thing the baby whisperer lady always says is ‘start as you mean to go on’… which means, if you don’t want to be doing something to get him to sleep when he’s six months or a year old old, don’t be doing it now. makes sense, i guess. good luck!!

  4. Honestly, I wouldn’t worry too much about it at this point – this is the “get them to sleep however you can stage”.Callie falls asleep in her swing every night, Morgan did as well. We used/use soothers with both of them and swaddle. I was worried about starting bad habits too but Morgan was sleeping 12 hours a night by 4.5 months – in his crib, no soother (although he did suck his thumb!)Until the 4-6 month stage, they don’t really form habits. That’s more the point when you want to be worried about it as that’s when they start remembering.I would just go with it so that you and he get as much sleep as possible. They all figure it out!

  5. IMO 4-6 months is too long to have to put babies to sleep with help/props (i.e. being rocked or the swing, etc.). I’m talking for me specifically… for my sanity :)!! (And I think they most definitely form habits before then! At least my kids did!)My kids both started sleeping through the night at 8 weeks and were on a good nap schedule, going down on their own before 3/4 months. Our key was swaddle, swaddle, swaddle. My kids lived for the swaddle. Sawyer too liked to sleep on his side and needed lots of extra pats sometimes to finally drift off. I remember this time -4/6 weeks- being tough because they’re just started to like being awake more. We did exactly what Kim said about Max… eat play sleep routine, catching the “window of opportunity” and getting them sleepy but putting them down awake consistently.Good luck!

  6. Oh man, I need the same help myself! I am reading everyone else replies and taking notes. 🙂 Grant is the same way as Hudson and I am EXHAUSTED!

  7. I totally ditto Heather’s comment! Lucy especially needed to be swaddled until about 4 months. Both of my girls suck fingers, but they actually didn’t start doing that until after they were falling asleep on their own and sleeping through the night.Good luck and hang in there!!

  8. We did a combo of Babywise and Baby Whisperer too and Grace was sleeping through the night at about 7 weeks (6-7 hours). I think it is important to get them on a schedule as soon as possible but don’t stress, he will start getting into a routine in his own time. I think 4 weeks is too young to develop “habits”. Just follow the “eat, play, sleep” rountine around the clock.They are only that little for so little time so soak up all that cuddle time. It sounds like you are doing all the right things, keep it up and it will pay off soon!

  9. I am not the one you want advice from. To get Matthew to sleep as an infant required walking the halls for an hour every time he woke up. Then we discovered he’s a tummy sleeper. He slept 8 hours a night starting around 6 weeks, but that was only when we rocked him to sleep. Now, at 22 months he still needs to be rocked to sleep for naps and rocked for a little bit at bedtime but he stays up talking for a while after we put him in his crib. The nurse told us that the first few months are figuring the baby out because once you figure it out, they change things up and told us to do whatever it took…unfortunately we stuck with that attitude too long.

  10. I also ditto Kim’s comment….I’ve read that until 4 months of age don’t worry about forming habits, just get them to sleep the best way possible for you….walking, rocking, swaddling, ect… The pediatrician told me the 4 month rule as well, he said anything before that is just meeting his needs.I have talked with people who completely disagree, and say babies form habits from the minute they get home (my aunt who is a nurse said this??) So, her advice was to start a pattern from day one…as Heather said. I’m just a sucker and I can’t stand to hear Nolan crying, especially when I know I can soothe him back to sleep in just a few minutes…that’s just me though.I will admitt that we did everything WRONG with Donnie, who finally slept through the night at 10 MONTHS!!!!(You’re already aware of that though :)) I’ve learned my lesson from him, and realize by 4 or 5 months they should be able to sleep through the night without being soothed back to sleep…live & learn, right?! LOL!!Good luck & I’m reading ALL the comments for advice myself….Oh, BTW Heather let me read “Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Baby” when I didn’t know what to do with Donnie, and it was wonderful!(I found out I was doing everything wrong…hahaha!!) I would reccomend reading that for some helpful hints.

  11. I just left a freaking comment stating the secret to getting all children to sleep and it wouldn’t post. wtf?Ok, kidding. It didn’t really have any advice at all but I’m not writing it again!! haha….

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