My newborn baby - 3 week old wont sleep

Question Up until now i was able to put my 3 week old into cot/moses basket after a feed and he'd settle and sleep. now he just cries and i have to hold him for up to an hour til he settles, but when i try to put him down he wakes up. i can see he is tired and fighting sleep. even when he does sleep it s sometimes only for 20 mins. i am at my wits end with exhaustion

Heidi's Answer: Hi Ciara,

There can be a number of things playing.

An easy one may be burping after the feed. Many young babies get so drowsy or even fall asleep while feeding that they are too sleepy to burp. Then they soon wake up with some digestive discomfort. So however sleepy he is, do make sure you carefully burp him after every feed, and hold him upright for at least 15-20 minutes before putting him down.

It can also be acid reflux, waking him up. No worries, most cases are not serious, let me refer you to my newborn acid reflux page. You will quickly recognize the symptoms I describe there if that's what you see in your son. I you do see the frequent and forceful vomiting though, you should see the pediatrician.

Another thing to look out for is whether it is the lying flat that causes him discomfort. some babies do get a vertebrae nerve stuck and can be in pain when simply lying down. You would notice that if he is also crying or not comfortable when lying down during the day when awake, seems unable to find a comfortable position, ... Let me know if that is happening (just post a comment below). Or, have a look at my cranial osteopathy therapy checklist to see if you recognize one or more of typical symptoms.

If none of this seems to be the case, you can help him settle by holding until he sleeps (up to 30 minutes). Then put him down. If he always wakes then after 20 minutes: go to him after 15 minutes and place your hands on his tummy, around his shoulders, or stroke his forehead. Gently, so as not to wake him, try to keep him asleep by reassuring him.

Good luck, take care,

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