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Settling & Sleep with a 5 Week Old

Settling & Sleep with a 5 Week Old

The baby sleep problem

I have a 5 week old son, I am wanting to try and lengthen out his sleeps at night and also help his sleep patterns during the day.

Daytime - He has days where he will go down easily each time and sleep for 2-2.5 hrs. Other days he doesn't want to sleep & will cry once put in cot and when he does sleep may only be for 1 hour at time. He want to feed each time in between also.

Nights - We are doing bath/feed/bed and he has been sleeping for up to 4 hrs just after this, then his sleeps can be anywhere from 1.5-3 hr stretches, more often than not 1.5hrs after that long stretch. He wants to feed each time also and doesn't accept dummy. He is swaddled.

Obviously he is still very small and I don't expect to have him in a routine now, but just wondering if there are any suggestions I can try and be putting in place now to help lengthen out these sleeps and get good habits in place. He does go down well after each feed at night.

Our recommended baby sleep solution

There are certainly some things you can do that will making settling your baby easier and also help him sleep for longer.


The best information on settling newborn babies is The Happiest Baby, by Dr Harvey Karp. This is available as a book or DVD. This will teach you simple and incredibly effective techniques get your baby to settle, go to sleep and help him sleep longer. Using Dr Karp’s techniques, you will be able to settle your baby in minutes.

Tired Signs

Have you seen the Plunket ‘Sleepytime’ video on tired signs? If it’s hard to settle your baby, it may well be that he is over-tired, which often gets worse through the afternoon. Yawning and eye rubbing are late tired signs, so look for glazed eyes or jerky legs and put him into bed. The longer you leave him up, the harder he will be to settle. Click here for more info.

The Secrets of the Baby Whisperer is also excellent, as it teaches you the difference between hungry and tired signs. It may well be that your baby is still tired when he gets up, rather than hungry.


Swaddling /wrapping is absolutely essential to settling a newborn and helping him sleep - click here for my swaddling instructions so you can ensure he stays wrapped through the night.

I recommend using a large, stretch cotton wrap for swaddling. At least 100x 100cm is essential, most ones in baby shops are only 70 x 100cm or smaller.

Another great option is either a SwaddleMe if he is escaping your wrapping. SwaddleMe can also be used in the car-seat, which is a real advantage if you are out and about during the day.

White Noise

White noise is also be very effective for getting a baby to sleep and to stay asleep, as it reminds them of the swooshing and gurgling noises they heard inside you. Try radio static, the noise from the dishwasher, vacuum, hairdryer or I have some amazing CDs, including household noises that lots of customers have found very effective. Experiment to see which white noise works best for your baby. Eg wrap him, put her in his bouncinette, dummy in and put him in front of the dishwasher. He should go to sleep in a few minutes.

Play the white noise louder than he is crying for it to be effective, then once he has settled, leave it on quietly right through the sleep (or through the night).


You might also want to try some movement, as this also recreates another condition your baby was used to inside you. Baby carriers are great!


Your baby is too little for a routine with specific times, but I do recommend using Feed/Play/Sleep during the day. This helps him to learn to fall asleep by himself, and it also means you know why he is crying. You will know that it’s time for a sleep rather than another feed. Click here for more information on newborn routines.

Feed/Play/Sleep is the same concept as the EASY (Eat, Activity, Sleep, Your Time) that is covered in the Secrets of the Baby Whisperer. This can be used from babies soon after birth.


It would be worth trying a dummy towards the end of a feed, when he is calm and settled. Then when he is used to it, I would use the dummy when you first put him into bed.

Over the next few weeks as he gets bigger, then you can offer the dummy when he wakes in the night. This can help to stretch out the time between night feeds, and eventually drop the 2/3am feed.

I hope that information helps. Basically just use all the tools you can at the moment, as the better your baby sleeps in the day, the better he will sleep at night, and vice versa.