My 4 week old seems to be in pain in her crib

by Dawn Cleverley

Question: Hi, My 4 week old daughter will not sleep in her crib. I put her down and she will sleep for approximately 30 minutes and then whilst still asleep - she starts throwing her arms and legs about and squealing and sometimes crying - all whilst still asleep. She also looks to be in pain.

As soon as I sit up and hold her to my chest she starts to sleep calmly again.

I am not sure what to do as at the moment either myself or my husband are up all night holding her. Is this normal?

Many thanks,


Heidi's Answer: Hi Dawn,

I am thinking of a number of possibilities that could cause your little girl to be uncomfortable in her crib:

- her diaper, clothing and/or covers may be uncomfortable (too tight, too warm, ...)

- the mattress she is lying on may not be comfortable

- she may have digestive issues related to acid reflux

- she may have a nerve stuck in her spine which causes her pain when lying down

To help us pin it down more precisely, please add some more information (just post a comment below):

- Does she also seem uncomfortable when lying down during the day, when awake (e.g. playing)?

- Are you sure she is not awake when she does that squealing or crying? What happens if you put her down again as soon as she calms down?

- What happens if you wait a few moments before going to her?

- How are her naps?

- When has this started?

- How does she go down when first going to sleep? Awake? Asleep after feeding/holding?

This and any extra info you can think of will help us get a better idea of why it is happening.


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Sleeping problems
by: Anonymous


Thank you for your reply.

My daughter now seems to have stopped the crying - although she is still very vocal in her sleep!!

In response to your questions below - she is fine when being changed and lying down.

We usually put her down asleep as she doesn't settle when awake.

Her naps are difficult as she will not go in her crib in the day - so her naps are either on me or in her pram - this is another problem!

She has been fairly vocal in her sleep since she has been born.

Thank you for your help!


About naps
by: Heidi - BabySleepAdvice

Hi Dawn,

Good to hear that the crying has stopped now.

If she's just vocal but seems to sleep well otherwise, don't worry about it further. Do read the sleep apnea pages on here ( to exclude that.

Abot putting her down asleep, if that results in good nights afterwards: it's OK to keep doing it for now.

You can start with the self soothing method (, but there's no rush. It will be easier in a month or two.

For naps, if you manage to have her nap at more or less fixed times each day in the pram or in the sling on you, that will help set the regularity. That in turn will help to have her nap more easily in her crib:

Good luck,

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