Our newborn (11 days) daughter sometimes - about once every three times - has trouble sleeping unless she is being hugged, cuddled or carried by me or my wife.

We have tried leaving her crying for 10 minutes, but after that time there was no sign of calming, so we took her to cuddle her to sleep eventually. She slept peacefully from then on for a few hours.

The question is: is such behavior of ours going to introduce bad habits later on, or are we allowed to do it for now, at least sometimes?

What are the signs to watch for to avoid bad sleeping habits in the future?

2 Answers 2


For a newborn, no this is not a problem at all - it is perfectly normal. Your baby has spent the last few months held really tightly, so this new world is definitely a shock to the system.

What many parents do is move to swaddling - with the arms tightly wrapped - to help baby sleep easily.

It actually sounds like your baby is doing quite well - many won't sleep for hours at this early stage. One of ours would manage 40 minute stints and then want his next feed - that phase lasted quite a while!

Also have a read of the questions in the Related tab to the right or with the tag.

  • Yeah, ours also has long periods of activity, sometimes she stays awake for an hour - just lying or being carried by us and watching the world around. Anyway, thanks for your answer!
    – Dariusz
    Nov 17, 2013 at 2:33

You shouldn't try controlled crying techniques until the child is six months old. Before then crying is their method of telling you that they need something from you.

While holding them to comfort them is lovely, it doesn't help them learn how to put themselves to sleep.

So, you need to work out a way to comfort them, and then put them down to sleep.

Swaddling helps. Watch out for temperature. Making sure baby is burped properly helps too, especially if baby is bottle fed.

  • Note: probably 6 months adjusted age... if you have a preemie, it makes a difference. No use in trying to force self soothe if the kid doesn't have the needed skills to self soothe. You're just frustrating both of you. May 17, 2015 at 18:13
  • Actually, we were told "You cannot spoil a child under one year" - that would mean even six months may be too young to let a child cry. But that's really something every parent must judge on their own.
    – sleske
    Jul 30, 2015 at 10:34
  • 1
    @sleske I agree. My point is mostly to try to prevent people using sleep training under 6 months where we definitely know it's harmful.
    – DanBeale
    Jul 30, 2015 at 10:35

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