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Crying to Sleep at 7 weeks

Our daughter is 7 weeks old today and for the past week we’ve had to let her just cry herself to sleep at night.  If we hold her she falls asleep in our arms but when we go to put her into her bed she wakes up.  It usually takes her about 20 minutes of hysterical crying to fall asleep.  Is she too young for this?  Is she going to be traumatized for life?  Should we try something else?  It’s so upsetting for me to watch her scream but I don’t know what else to do.

As a general rule, I don’t recommend parents force their kids to “cry it out” until they are at least 6 months old. Some children (younger than 6 months) do cry nightly when falling asleep. When our children have gone through this stage, they typically cry for less than 10 minutes. Twenty minutes sounds like a long time. Long term you do need to teach your child to settle themselves down. However, at 7 weeks I would not force the issue.

In your daughter’s case, it is essential to stick with a consistent bedtime routine. A bedtime routine will help signify the beginning of nighttime. Our newborn bedtime routine begins around 10 pm (1) feed (2) bath (3)dress/swaddle (4)feed again/top off. During this process dim the lights and speak calmly. After only a few nights of this routine, you will see your child relax and prepare for sleep.

You may also try a double wrap. Our 2 month olds usually like to be swaddled. Try to wrap her in a cotton swaddling blanket and then again in a fleece blanket. Hold her while she falls asleep and then place her in her bed. Most children won’t notice they have been set down when double wrapped.


Written January 2011 by
Dr. Gordon, Orlando Pediatrician


 is intended to help parents understand the needs and behaviors of children. The information presented in the site is the opinion of Gregory Gordon, M.D.and does not reflect the opinion of his partners. This website is owned exclusively by Doctors insights LLC. The advice in this site does not apply to all children. Always consult your healthcare provider for your individual needs.

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