My newborn fusses when I lay him down. How do I break him of this habit?

My newborn fusses when I lay him down. How do I break him of this habit?

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For a newborn, wanting to be held isn't a "habit" — it's a need. Try to look at it from your baby's point of view: After nine months spent nestled inside you, being alone in a big crib with no warm body nearby can come as quite a shock. Although every baby is different, almost all of them get a bit agitated if a parent lays them down while they're still wide awake. Most need to be "parented" to sleep — nursed, bottle-fed, or rocked until they drop off.

Of course, this doesn't mean that you should never expect your baby to lie contentedly in his crib, or that you can't take steps to help him learn to soothe himself. He may wake up from a nap before he's urgently hungry, for instance, and gaze at something that catches his attention for several minutes.

Encourage these moments of quiet wakefulness by making his crib or bassinet interesting as well as comfortable and safe: Change his mobile from time to time, or regularly rotate the other objects you've hung above his sleeping spot. In a few weeks, he'll also begin to discover and to play with his hands; seeing, and then feeling, sucking, and controlling them is a game that often keeps babies occupied for five or even ten minutes at a time.

Once he's a few months old and can entertain himself for short periods of time, your baby should fuss less when you lay him down. One glorious day, he may even be ready to get himself off to sleep without much help. Once that happens, there are two things to try: One is to nurse or cuddle him until he's so sleepy that it's more effort for him to protest when you lay him down than it is to simply slip into slumber. The other is to find a compromise kind of contact — such as rocking, patting, or stroking — that helps bridge the gap between being held and being alone.

Keep in mind, though, that these are transitional measures. Gradually withdraw them, and in six months you should be able to put your sleepy-but-still-conscious baby in his crib and leave him, happily, to doze off on his own.

Watch the video: Baby Sleep Music - Calming - Lullaby for Babies Relaxing (February 2023).

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