How to get your baby to sleep without being held? It’s a question that many parents find themselves asking if their baby is used to being held or rocked to fall asleep. This post should give you some pointers on how to do it and help you with any other sleep problems related to infancy.
There are many ways to help your baby sleep through the night, but rocking and co-sleeping are seen by many as the most natural and intuitive ways of getting the baby to sleep. However, it’s important to remember that these methods are not ideal in the long term – they can get your baby accustomed to sleeping when tired, which may be dangerous later on.
- 1 How to get your baby to sleep without being held? Best 10 Tips
- 1.1 1) Don’t rock your baby to sleep
- 1.2 2) Don’t feed your baby to sleep
- 1.3 3) Put Them Down Drowsy But Awake
- 1.4 4) Learn Your Baby’s Behaviour
- 1.5 5) Don’t Rush Them Through Naps
- 1.6 6) Let your baby sleep in a snug place
- 1.7 7) Make sure they aren’t too hot
- 1.8 8) Use a pacifier if your baby fusses at night
- 1.9 9) Document Their Sleeping Patterns
- 1.10 10) Invest in a good mattress
- 2 Why Won’t My Baby Fall Asleep Without Being Held?
- 3 How to Help Your Baby Fall Asleep Without Being Held?
- 4 Why Do Babies Love To Sleep While Being Held?
- 5 What To Expect When Sleep Training Your Child?
- 6 When can babies fall asleep on their own?
- 7 When should I put my baby down drowsy but awake?
- 8 Conclusion
- 9 FAQs
- 9.1 When should a baby be able to sleep without being held?
- 9.2 How can I put my baby to sleep, so they don’t wake up when I rock?
- 9.3 How often do babies need to be put down drowsy but awake?
- 9.4 Why can’t newborns sleep without being held?
- 9.5 How to get a newborn to sleep without being held?
- 9.6 What if my baby keeps waking up when I put her down?
- 9.7 Can a newborn fall asleep while being held?
- 9.8 Will holding a baby too much make it harder for them to fall asleep on their own?
- 9.9 At what age do babies sleep through the night?
How to get your baby to sleep without being held? Best 10 Tips
Don’t worry. Help is At Hand. Fortunately, however, there are some ways that you can help your baby to sleep – without having to hold them in a rocking cradle. The following tips should help you get your baby sleeping on their own.
Here are the best 10 tips on how to get your baby to sleep without being held:
1) Don’t rock your baby to sleep
Rocking your baby to sleep will encourage them to fall asleep while they are being held, making it harder for them to adjust when they are older. Your baby doesn’t learn how to work out how to fall asleep independently, and this method may result in your child becoming a restless sleeper later on in life.
2) Don’t feed your baby to sleep
If you feed your baby to sleep, they may end up associating falling asleep with the feeling of being full and satisfied. This, then, can make it even harder for them when they’re tired and hungry later in life. If you feed them to sleep, don’t try to take the bottle or breast away once they start to drift off – this may help them learn to fall asleep without being held.
3) Put Them Down Drowsy But Awake
If your baby has been going to sleep for a long period without being put down, it may be difficult for them to fall asleep naturally. Similarly, if you find your baby is always sleeping on your chest, it can make it even harder for them to learn how to fall asleep without being held.
4) Learn Your Baby’s Behaviour
As well as doing the above tips, you may want to learn more about what your baby is trying to tell you when they become distressed or distressed in their sleep. Understanding the difference between their cries can help you to work out how to deal with the situation – and see it as a great opportunity to show them how they can use their resources to calm down.
5) Don’t Rush Them Through Naps
If your baby is crying a lot at naptime, try to resist rushing into their room every time you hear them. Instead, let them cry for a while for them to learn that you aren’t going to pick them up. Although this may be difficult to hear, the more you hold, feed, and cuddle your baby to sleep during naptime, the harder it will be for them to sleep when they are older.
6) Let your baby sleep in a snug place
If you’re worried about your baby having an accident at night, try to get them to sleep in a snug place. A cozy crib or swaddle may make falling asleep easier and also help reduce the risk of crying or other accidents.
7) Make sure they aren’t too hot
If your baby is too hot, they may not be able to calm down as effectively when they start to cry. Make sure they are always comfortable when they are sleeping, and avoid being close to heaters and other heat sources.
8) Use a pacifier if your baby fusses at night
If your baby is fussy at bedtime, try using a pacifier. This way, they may find that falling asleep is an easier process – and you’ll be able to tuck them in each night easily. A pacifier has also been shown to help babies learn how to fall asleep without being held.
9) Document Their Sleeping Patterns
If you keep a written log of how your baby sleeps, you may notice a pattern in their sleeping habits. Similarly, checking up on your baby when they aren’t doing well can help if they’re distressed at night. If you notice that they are not sleeping well at night, try to figure out what’s causing it.
Is it a night terror? Is it hunger? Or are they just not feeling comfortable? This way, you may be able to work out how to help your baby sleep better from the comfort of their own bedroom.
10) Invest in a good mattress
A comfy mattress is vital if your baby is going to sleep well. If you don’t invest in one, it can make it difficult for them to relax and fall asleep at night. You might have to buy a sleep-training mattress, as these can be an ideal option for protecting your baby from being too hot.
Why Won’t My Baby Fall Asleep Without Being Held?
Many babies will drift off to sleep while being held. This can make it very difficult for them when they need to fall asleep on their own – or learn how to sleep in their own room.
If your baby is used to sleeping with you, it can be very hard for them. As well as keeping them warm and safe, it also makes it easier for them to fall asleep without being held.
But babies should be sleeping in their own cribs from an early age – this is where they learn how to fall asleep without being held.
There are several reasons why many babies, especially newborns, won’t fall asleep without being held.
1. Your baby needs to eat
Feeding your baby every time they fall asleep may begin to doze off with food in their system. This can make it harder for them to sleep once they are hungry, especially if you have a hungry baby who isn’t used to sleeping for long periods.
2. Babies want to be close to you
As well as feeding them to sleep, you may also be holding them close. This is because they are used to being close to you when they fall asleep, making it difficult for them to fall asleep on their own – or in bed.
3. Babies don’t want to be alone
Finally, your baby may not want to be left alone. Even if they are beyond being close to you, they may still want to be in your arms or cuddled up close. This is because they aren’t used to being alone at night and are desperate to have a warm and comforting presence.
4. Your baby associates sleep with being held
If your baby is used to falling asleep while being held, they may have difficulty sleeping without it. This is because they have associated falling asleep with being held close and find it difficult to separate these two events. It may be a good idea to get them into a routine where you put them down drowsy but awake so that they begin to associate falling asleep with finding sleep on their own.
How to Help Your Baby Fall Asleep Without Being Held?
If your baby is used to falling asleep during the night, and you are finding it difficult for them to fall asleep without being held, then it can be helpful to see it as a learning experience.
You may want to encourage your baby to learn that they can fall asleep without being held. Here are a few ideas on how you can help them by helping them through their struggles.
1. Try to get them used to fall asleep without being held first.
As well to getting them used to falling asleep on their own, it can be helpful to try and get them used to falling asleep without the crutch of being held. It’s not easy for them at the start because they may be afraid or confused – but after a few nights of waking up, they should realize that they can fall asleep on their own.
2. Make sure they aren’t too hot.
While this may seem like, if your baby is sleeping close to you and is too warm, it can make falling asleep difficult for them. They may be uncomfortable when they start to cry – and you will be able to lower the temperature in their room a little bit more.
3. Try moving them
If you’re holding your baby while crying, try moving them away from you just a little bit. This way, they’ll realize that they can fall asleep without being held – and from there, they should be able to drift off while they are close to you.
4. Try talking on the phone
If your baby doesn’t have a problem with crying but finds it difficult to fall asleep without being held, try using a toy phone. This may make them associate falling asleep with hearing people talk on the phone, hopefully drifting off themselves.
5. Try music
Try playing some music if your baby finds it difficult to drift off without being held. Maybe you can play your favorite tune on the guitar or piano for them, and this should distract them from beginning to fall asleep. Remember that this may not work for every baby, but it’s worth a try if you’re struggling to teach them how to fall asleep independently.
Why Do Babies Love To Sleep While Being Held?
Even though it can be frustrating when babies are used to being held before they have even learned how to fall asleep on their own, there are still several reasons why some babies love to sleep while being held by you.
1. They are sometimes clingy or just want a high coefficient of attachment with you
This is often the case for breastfed infants, and you can sometimes find them holding onto your breast even when they aren’t hungry. Or, you may find them clinging onto you at night when they’ve woken up and don’t want to be away from you.
2. They are comforted by your smell
Your scent can soothe the baby, which may make them feel very safe inside your arms at night. If your baby loves the smell of their diaper cream, this is an even better reason for them to sleep while being held!
3. You’ve always done it
If you have always held your baby while they sleep, it may make them feel very confused when they are in bed without you. This is because they don’t know how to fall asleep without being held – and this is the first time in their life that they have had to experience something like this.
4. They learn how to sleep by doing it with you
If babies fall asleep while being held by their parents, they will automatically do the same thing when they are on their own at night. They will learn to fall asleep without being held, making it easier for them the next time you put them down.
5. You’re used to sleeping with your baby
If you’ve always slept with your baby, they may assume that they should be holding onto you when they fall asleep, too. This is because it’s a habit that you’re comfortable with, so they begin to sleep while being held by themselves.
What To Expect When Sleep Training Your Child?
The approach you take to sleep training your child will depend on your child’s age and what kind of help they need. Sometimes, it’s best to go at things gently – teaching them how to fall asleep on their own in small amounts each night. If you’re finding that it’s very hard for your baby to fall asleep without being held, we recommend looking at the baby’s sleep training plans in our guide.
When can babies fall asleep on their own?
Your baby will begin to fall asleep while being held when they are between eight and twelve months old. This is when they should be able to understand how to fall asleep on their own, and once they sleep well on their own, you can begin to put them down drowsy but awake.
When should I put my baby down drowsy but awake?
Once your baby is good at falling asleep without being held, you’ll find it easiest for them to drift off themselves after breastfeeding at bedtime. Make sure you wait 90 minutes after the baby has gone to bed before you begin to put them down, drowsy but awake.
If they are already asleep, it will be difficult for them to be expected to go to sleep on their own. You’ll find it easiest for them if you ease them away from your body just as they’ve stopped breastfeeding – and then place them down in their crib.
It’s normal for your baby to want to be held when they’re trying to fall asleep – and you may even wake up and find that they are already asleep in your arms at night. This can be a very sweet thing to happen – but it can also cause your child problems when it’s time for them to learn how to sleep on their own.
If you have trouble putting your child down drowsy but awake, then the next step is trying the tips in our guide.
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When should a baby be able to sleep without being held?
A baby should be able to sleep without being held when they are 8 to 12 months old
How can I put my baby to sleep, so they don’t wake up when I rock?
You can either use a blanket or place them on the floor and rock them.
How often do babies need to be put down drowsy but awake?
It would be best to wait until your child is ninety minutes old before you put them down, drowsy but awake.
Why can’t newborns sleep without being held?
Because newborns can’t make themselves fall asleep, they rely on someone to help them.
How to get a newborn to sleep without being held?
You have to hold them when they’re tired. Just lay them down and let them sleep. They’ll be fine. They’re not going to remember you holding them.
What if my baby keeps waking up when I put her down?
Babies are not used to being awake for a long time, so you must ensure that she is awake before putting them in the crib.
Can a newborn fall asleep while being held?
Yes, this is normal, and you shouldn’t worry about it as it will happen frequently.
Will holding a baby too much make it harder for them to fall asleep on their own?
No, it will only make the transition to sleeping on their own easier.
At what age do babies sleep through the night?
This can vary because there is no such thing as a baby who sleeps through the night.