Baby not sleeping? Why does my baby wake up when putting them down? And what I can do about it?
So it’s time for bed and you nurse your sweet baby and then carry him lovingly to his crib. You take a moment to enjoy the peaceful look on his face before gently lowering him onto his little mattress.
Then suddenly, as soon as he ever-so-slightly touches the bedding, his eyes pop open wide like a doll’s and he begins to cry mournfully, as though the whole world is ending. And now you must begin the process all over again!
This frustrating bedtime dance has been happening to moms since the beginning of time.
We swear they were just sleeping in our arms and then, BAM!
Table Of Contents
Why Does My Baby Wake Up The Moment I Set Her Down – By Dana Oblemen
Why Is My Baby Not Sleeping?
So what’s going on?
Why does my baby do this and what are we doing wrong?
Why is this happening when all we want to do is go to sleep ourselves, read a book, spend time with our spouse or even simply use the bathroom?
And more importantly, what can we do about it?
Before you think this is some sinisterly evil plot by your baby to keep you from having a life, rest assured that it’s not.
Babies have a very different sleep cycle than grown-ups.
Part of the problem might just be that you are not allowing your baby to fall into a deep enough sleep before setting her into her crib. You’ll have to hold off on your victory dance for a short while, until you’re sure baby is really, truly asleep.
It takes up to 20 minutes for babies to achieve this state of deep sleep.
My 16 month-old does this to me if I try to rush her into her crib.
Before moving her into her crib, I’ll lay her gently in my lap, supporting her head and bottom, and gently use my legs to help sway her into a deeper sleep.
At this stage of the game, I know from her facial expression and her flickering eyelids that she is completely asleep. Because of how I’ve got her in cradled in my arms, it’s easy to shift her off of my lap and gently into her crib.
Will it work for you? Give it a try!
There’s another reason that your baby is waking up as soon as you put him down. You’ll know it if you wait longer to put him down and he still insists upon waking every single time.
This is particularly common for smaller babies, but even bigger babies may experience this as they go through milestones. It’s kind of flattering really. The reason is because your baby simply wants to be with you.
Why does my baby want to be with me every minute?
Genetically, we’re programmed as little babies to sense some danger has occurred when we’re separated from our parents, especially our mothers.
To battle this issue, you’ll just have to convince your baby that you love them and that they are safe and secure. Of course, it’s not going to be as easy as saying, “Don’t cry, baby. Mommy loves you!”
It will take lots of reassurance from you, not to mention heaps of patience as you help your baby move through this phase of separation anxiety.
And I assure you, it IS just a phase.
It will pass. Your baby will never be this small again, so instead of lamenting that you are sleep deprived, try to remember that it will not be like this forever.
You will eventually get a chance to sleep and go to the bathroom, I promise.
Try to work with your baby on the problem and go with her cues. Don’t just leave her to cry it out at this stage.
Your goal here is to help reduce her anxiety.
If she feels unsafe or abandoned, this will only continue to cause problems. Comfort her and she will develop confidence as she grows, knowing that you will indeed be there for her.
Remember, when babies are small, they know nothing of this world, but they do know who Mommy is.
To your baby, the way that you smell is pure heaven and your touch is everything.
When my youngest was only a few months old, she awoke while I’d snuck off for a shower.
My partner tried desperately to calm her, but nothing worked. I hurriedly dried off and dressed myself and as soon as I took hold of my daughter, her crying completely ceased and she let out a very relieved “Ahhh” as she burrowed her tiny face into my neck.
That was all she needed. Once she knew I was there, she went back to sleep.
Sometimes the simplest things can be a big solution as well.
Baby Sleep Suits and Your “Scented” Clothing
Simple, like putting one of your unwashed t-shirts over the crib mattress. Your baby will be able to smell your scent and should find this very soothing and reassuring.
For me, my personal best solution for my little one to sleep (without sleeping on her tummy) was a sleep suit.
The only reason I knew about this was the daycare had one for her to try because she would not sleep on her back. She was a tummy sleeper by her first month after the swaddling didn’t work anymore.
How To Swaddle:
This was a “Thank My Jesus” moment after I got more than 2 hours sleep. She is 6 months now (as of Dec. 1, 2015) and sleeps through the night in her Merlins Magical Sleep Suit. (this is a affiliate link and I do make a commission if you buy one from my site link 🙂
She has been sleeping through the night since she was 4 months old. Before that she was sleeping through the night but on her stomach.
I know, I know all you mommies out there can strike lightening down on me BUT it was the only way she would sleep.
Other “Baby Not Sleeping” Factors
And sometimes, other factors might be to blame for this refusal to fall asleep.
Like the temperature of the room.
Is it too hot?
Or too cold?
Is there too much noise?
I always use white noise to aid in getting my baby to sleep. It keeps the rest of our household sane too because I don’t have to shush everyone constantly. The white noise drowns out all unpleasant sounds for the baby, even those made by her very noisy big sister!
You know your baby best, so follow your instinct.
Remember, your baby needs you now more than she’ll ever need you. And she’ll never be this small again. She’s only going to get bigger.
Treasure those sweet moments with her and she will feel your confidence, which will help her feel safe both in and out of your arms.