I am having some trouble to get my daughter of 2 months to go to sleep.

Until now, it was very easy to get her to sleep, and she slept most of the day and night. However, a week ago, it began to be increasingly difficult. Now she barely sleeps during the day, and at night, putting her to sleep can last until 2 am.

What we are doing : we feed her, then we cuddle for a while. Trouble begins when we put her in bed, where she begins to cry, going crescendo. Lullabies no longer work, neither does reassuring. Taking her seems to be the only option, and she does calm down (along with some burping she probably got from crying). She can even fall asleep in our arms ! But as soon as we put her back, she wakes up and cries.

Is there anything we can do ?


3 Answers 3


There are as many answers to your question as there are children - even my two were entirely different. Look at the various questions we have had on the subject to get some ideas, certainly; this one, this one, etc. The tag is full of good answers.

In your specific case, I would look at a couple of possibilities. Has something physically changed? Maybe she's outgrown her current pajamas and they're too tight? Maybe she is getting too warm in the swaddling blanket, or as Dan noted in the comments, needs swaddling? Maybe she's a very early teether, or has some low grade infection (does she have a fever?). Lots of small possibilities.

It's also possible that it's none of the above; she's just in a stage. Sorry about that, but we all have gone through them - my almost three year old is going through one now, he wakes up most nights with a nightmare. Thanks, growing imagination and mental capacities. It happens, and sometimes you just can't fix it.

If it's too much for you, consider working things out with your SO where one of you sleeps all night somewhere else - downstairs, at a friend's or relative's house, etc. - alternate nights, or even better, swap after 2 or 3 nights (one night often isn't enough).

Also consider a sleep specialist. A friend of mine had great success with one; she came over, helped teach the parents how to get their baby to sleep, and also helped teach the baby how to go to sleep - and largely their problems went away after a few more days, although who knows if this was a placebo effect or not. Still, they were a big fan, and if nothing else they had someone to take care of the overnights for a few nights. You could even hire a babysitter for the night as needed.

Do pay attention to your needs, though, as it's likely to spill over to the baby (especially if she's nursing - stress hormones seem to go through).

  • Swaddling ! I don't know why, but we indeed stopped doing that shortly before she began to not sleep that well... We'll try that again. Apr 15, 2014 at 15:00

Babies do sleep a lot in the first 6 weeks - anything else expends too much energy. In fact, my first didn't even bother to wake to feed most of the time, she would just feed as she slept.

Remember that your baby is only tiny still, barely fresh from the womb. She is not designed to be put down and left - consider young monkeys, so attached to their mums that they literally cling to their fur as mum wanders about and feeds herself. Your baby is as yet unaware of the social pressures put upon babies to go to bed at a set time and sleep for a predefined length of time. Her little body will only recently be starting to settle into an appropriate biological cycle (circadian rhythm) - that is, she is only just learning the difference between night and day. You can help this along by regular feedings in the day, opening the curtains and ensuring she can see that is bright/light outside and then winding down gradually in the evening, but it is far too early to expect her to just lie down and go to sleep at X time.

If holding your baby helps her sleep then the logical answer is to hold your baby. Take it in turns with each parent if necessary, but at this stage of parenting the priority should be on keeping everyone rested and trying to shush baby to sleep til 2am rests nobody.


I'm not sure I agree with the attachment parent above. If your baby has just been fed and is sleepy, get her down in her cot straight away, swaddle her hands enough to dampen her startle reflex and stop her waking herself up all the time. You may indeed need to help her settle and let her sleep on you if it is colic or something giving her positional issues (like gut pain), but it's no reason to give up on cot-sleeping. If you fall asleep on/with your baby and roll over, it has the potential to be fatal - unlike the crying and screaming, which is just exhausting and upsetting.

She may have colic/wind, and her screaming makes her swallow air. If you're obeying all the SIDS guides, she's lying on her back and may be uncomfortable - giving her a dummy to suck while she goes off to sleep may help. Pulling any blankets tight across her and tucking firmly may also help.

An iphone/android app called 'the wonder weeks' may also help you identify when growth spurts and changes in your child's brain are causing unsettled periods.

Remember also that children don't start developing a meaningful routine until 3 months of age - at this age they should be getting around 16 hours a day.

Are you spacing feeds enough? Is your child sleeping badly because she is napping on the breast and going to sleep without feeling full enough? If so, you can express and do top-up feeds of 50ml+ 30 mins after she finishes feeding on the breast.

  • Nowhere did I say give up on cot-sleeping, I simply suggested taking it in turns to hold the baby. Top-up feeds are counter-productive, and can affect breastfeeding. I would advise against it without the advice and support of a lactation specialist/consultant.
    – Jem
    Apr 30, 2014 at 10:50

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