How do you get a two-month-old baby to sleep and stay asleep? It can be tricky, but we’ve got some advice.
A Mamas Uncut Facebook fan writes in asking for advice about her two-month-old daughter. She says that her daughter won’t sleep by herself and will hardly sleep, period. She and her husband have tried everything, but are starting to lose their minds due to sleep deprivation.
A Mamas Uncut Facebook fan asks:
“My 2-month-old daughter will not stay asleep: Advice? My two-month-old daughter will not sleep by herself and honestly hardly sleeps at all unless it’s in the truck. We have tried everything from propping her up to laying her flat to playing music to sitting with her for hours, keeping her calm, and letting her cry it out. Nothing helps. It’s to the point we have to put her in our full-size bed to get any sleep, and there is hardly enough room.”
We are getting dangerously sleep-deprived. This has been going on since the second week we brought her home. I will fall asleep standing; my husband falls asleep at work. It’s causing us to fight and be irritable. She is fine, she’s not gassy or anything. She will fall asleep in my arms, and as soon as I lay her down, she screams and won’t stop, but if I pick her up, she immediately falls back asleep. It’s a never-ending battle. I know newborns are like this, but this is a little too much. Something has to give. (I apologize if I’m not making any sense I’ve literally had no sleep in weeks) So, what do I do? I feel like I’ve tried everything. Please… Help me!“
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Advice from Kelly Murray, Sleep Consultant
Big hug to you Mama. It definitely sounds like you’re in the weeds. Caring for a newborn is no joke; it is exhausting. Especially when you have a child who isn’t sleeping. First off, I would recommend adjusting your wake windows. The wake window is the amount of time that a baby is awake in between naps. Typically, I find parents of newborns tend to inadvertently keep their babies up too long. As a result, the babies become overtired and their bodies produce cortisol (the hormone that makes you alert) to fight their fatigue and it makes it more challenging for them to fall asleep. I would recommend using a one-hour wake window from the time you pick her up out of her crib in the morning or after a nap, until the time you put her in her crib for a nap or bedtime. Preventing overtiredness will help a great deal!
Additionally, aim to put her in her crib child down drowsy, calm and awake. If she starts to fuss, give her a couple of minutes to settle. If she doesn’t, pick her up and walk around the room until she’s quiet. Once quiet, put her back down. Repeat the process until she falls asleep or an hour has passed. If an hour has passed and she is not sleeping, you can either feed or rock her to sleep or give her a feed and then try again. It’s up to you. You may not be successful on the first night you try. That is OK. It could take some persistence, but they eventually learn to settle and sleep in their bassinets.
[All images via Shutterstock.]
About Kelly Murray
As the founder and owner of Kelly Murray Sleep Consulting, I get the privilege of helping parents create sustainable solutions for their families to get the rest they need.
Because, after all, well-rested babies and parents do everything better.
I’m the mom of two rambunctiously adorable kiddos, and wife to my amazing husband of 8 years. We live in the Lincoln Park neighborhood in Chicago, and in the warmer months, you can find us at the parks, beaches, museums and on the 606 bike trail. We love a good adventure! When my kids wake up every morning, the first thing they ask is “where are we going today?”
My greatest goal is to raise children who work and love hard. This is a big reason I prioritize sleep in my house. Who has the energy to work hard or the patience to be kind when they’re sleep deprived? I don’t care if they are the smartest or most athletic kids, I just want them to be good people who try their best at everything they do.– Kelly Murray Sleep Consulting
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