How do you put your baby to sleep?

Christine - posted on 01/18/2010 ( 67 moms have responded )

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I have a 6 month old baby girl, and every night I rock her to sleep. I'm worried that as she gets older she won't be able to go to sleep on her own. I don't want to put her down with a bottle, I know a lot of people do that. What does everybody else do?

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Chet - posted on 02/07/2014

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I always nursed to sleep. It was easy and peaceful. Our kids started putting themselves to sleep when they were ready. They're all great sleepers now. Babies don't need to learn to put themselves to sleep before some magic age to be able to do it eventually.

Kristina - posted on 01/22/2010

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I used to do that with my son to. Until he got to big for me to pick up lol. Hes only a year old but hes almost as big as a 18 month old. When I found that rocking was to much of a hassle I started with a bath before bed. I give him a bath and then drain the tub and fill it up again with some really warm water and put his toys in. Usually he splashes around and plays and the warm water relaxes him and makes him tired ontop of all the play. Afterwards I give him a baby massage and then get him dressed and lay him down. I give him a bottle and put on the baby channel (Direct TV offers it) and it has nightime programing. Its soothing music and calming pictures and my son usually falls right to sleep without any hassle.

Andrea - posted on 01/21/2010

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We started this when my son was two months old, and he's still putting himself to sleep - after feeding your baby, rock him for a little while, until he's almost asleep and can barely keep his eyes open, but is still awake, then lay him in the crib and rub his tummy or back so he knows you're still around. Mine goes right to sleep, and we've gotten to the point where we can walk away after laying him down and he's right out. But don't let anyone tell you you shouldn't rock your baby to sleep - babies need that comfort, and they'll eventually grow out of it. Enjoy your little one while you can!

Amanda - posted on 01/19/2010

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I have read in a lot of books they say don't rock them but whatever works for you.
Since my baby was 4weeks old he has been self-settling and he is nearly 3months now. So if your concerned maybe try self-settling, the book i read is 'save our sleep'. Just take what you need out of that book and disregard what doesn't fit with you family.

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Juliana - posted on 01/24/2010

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I had the same problem and around 4 months I started putting my son down in his crib for a nap while he was awake. We started giving him this green frog blanket to sleep with so I would put him down, give him the frog and soother and turn on his moblie. He would be ok for a few minutes then start complaining because he would want to get picked up. I would go back in, talk to him, stroke his head etc then leave again. At the beginning, I would end up picking him up and rocking him as I always did but as time went on, I could just walk in, stroke his head and he would roll over to fall asleep. Now (8 months), I put him in his crib awake, turn on the mobile, give him his frog and soother and leave...he falls asleep on his own. It takes time but your daughter will eventually get there...i started with the naps because the crying at night seems so much more traumatic...at bedtime I do the same routine every night...bath, pj's bottle, book, breastfeed, bed.

Jamie - posted on 01/24/2010

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i did the same thing that you do i would snuggle with mine to but then i went through the cry it out fase. when i put him to sleep now i put him in his bed and turn on his music box that hangs on his crib and he falls asleep to that.

Stacey - posted on 01/23/2010

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With my kids we have aroutine every night where I get their pj's on and we brush teeth then read a book. I still rock with my youngest when we do this. Then I tuck the in and put on a lulaby CD that plays for an hour. When they were little sometimes I would have to go in one or two time to give them their paci or blanket, but most of the time after this routine they are out.

Maranda - posted on 01/23/2010

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We do the same routine everyday and night. He gets bathed at 6:30 and has his bottle and gets put in his crib. He rolls right over and goes to sleep. He has been doing this since he was 6 months old. He never wakes up at night unless he doesn't feel good which is very rarely.

Lindsay - posted on 01/22/2010

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i put my 4 month old down sleepy but awake for all naps and bedtime , i give her a pacifier (which they say can decrease the risk of SIDS) and a little blanket which she enjoys rubbing on her face , i know your not supposed to use blankets but once she has soothed herself to sleep with it , i move it so its not anywhere near her face . that has been working for her now for a month or so ... she goes to sleep really really well ....

[deleted account]

Hi Christine. You have raised a perfectly valid point. There is a very real chance that your baby girl will become dependent on being rocked to be able to sleep. Try and develop a consistent bedtime routine and stop rocking her before she actually falls asleep.

Lisa - posted on 01/22/2010

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With my first child (10 now), I bought a teddy bear that had the sound of a heartbeat. I know this won't work for every child, but it did with my first. With my second (now 8) I rocked him until about 6 months and then would put him in bed with a warm sippy and I had to push up and down on his crib until he fell asleep, yeah I know right. I then purchased a bouncy seat that vibrated and it worked much better. After he fell asleep I could then transfer him to his crib. With my daughter (now 4), Well, she was my easy one, I would place her in her crib with a bottle, she would finish it throw the bottle out and off to sleep she went. I had to wind her music machines though. It is much harder to get them to sleep as they get older, but for now just try different things and you will find what works. I hope this helps.

Jazmin - posted on 01/21/2010

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i have a 2 yr old and he he sleeps on his own sometime i always had to rock him to go to bed ...i gues it all depends on how active you child is...i do play groups alot and that seens to make him sleep on his own without me rocking him to sleep and if she refueses to go to sleep in her crib ( i know it sound mean) but let her cry herself to sleep sooner or later she will fall asleep, i give my boy a teddy bear try that it works too

Kacey - posted on 01/21/2010

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my daughter use to be the same way..i got a glow worm doll and while i rocked her have it laying on your shoulder playing and eventually lay her in bed/crib and put doll next to her...this worked with my neice and nephew so maybe it will for you..good luck..

Christy - posted on 01/21/2010

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i sing my daughter the same 4 lullabies every night then sit with her for about 10 minutes in the dark just holding her hand. if she hasn't fallen asleep by then i give her a kiss and tell her it's time to go to sleep, good night, mama loves you. she usually doesn't cry at all anymore when i leave the room and on nights that she does it lasts less than 5 minutes.

mine is 18 months old though and we just started getting her to sleep in her own room about 5 months ago. before that she co-slept with us and it was not quite as smooth sailing with the sleep in the beginning. i think as long as you make up a bed time routine and stick to it she will learn to go to sleep on her own.

Heather - posted on 01/21/2010

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I think part of the issue about not rocking to sleep is not about spoiling, but about helping a baby learn to go to sleep on his/her own. I've read that babies who are always rocked (or always nursed) to sleep may have troubles putting themselves back to sleep (self-soothing) when they awake at night, which can be many times, like during a transition between sleep phases. They say you should put a baby in bed drowsy, but awake.

We don't have a lot of issues putting our 7 month old to sleep at night. We make sure: she gets enough sleep during the day (sleep begets sleep), her last nap of the day has her up at least 90 minutes before bed time, to keep a bedtime routine so she knows what to expect, and to keep the same bed time each night. I think these factors help her to fall asleep on her own.

Best of luck to you! :)

Deborah - posted on 01/21/2010

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I have a 6 month old baby girl and I put her to bed with a bottle and now I can't get her to sleep through the night without it!! I have read that if you slowly ween her off of that comfort she will learn to self sooth! Easier said than done cause it is really hard not to replace the bottle for me with something else like a binki or me!

Theresa - posted on 01/21/2010

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As much as I loved the time spent rocking I didn't want my kids to get into that habit. There are some nights when rocking them to sleep just isn't realistic. I started putting them in their bed when they were sleepy, but not totally asleep. I would turn a lulliby of classical CD on very low for some music , shut the door and leave. My kids all did pretty well with that. Of course there are times when for what ever reason they didn't want to go to sleep and would cry. Usually the crying would only last a few minutes and then they would go to slepp. Sometimes I would go back in and rock them a little longer and that would do the trick. Never put them to bed with a bottle. It rots their teeth.

Katherine - posted on 01/21/2010

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I was rocking my little girl to sleep (more for me then her I love to hole her)but once she bit threw her last bottle nipple I couldn't anymore cuz that's what was helping her sleep so I had to put her in her crib with a hug and a kiss. then I sat on the floor and listened to her scream as she fell asleep. she did that for 3 days (with less and less time screaming) now its a hug and a kiss and I lay her down and shes good.

Devin - posted on 01/21/2010

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My son is 7 months old, and when it's time for bed or a nap I wait until he's tired (but not asleep) and then put him in his crib. He puts himself to sleep without my help. Occasionally there's a night here or there when he cries and whines for 20 to 30 minutes, and when he does I go in and pat or rub his back until he's calm, and then I turn the lights down and leave. You have to "train" or teach your baby to put him or herself to sleep or you'll end up having to help until she's two. You can give your baby a pacifier instead of a bottle, or get a musical mobile, or put something that vibrates in the crib with the child. I have a mobile that has a music box on it, and I use a vibrating box that came from a bouncy seat, and I keep a fan and radio going to give a little white noise and that combo seems to work.

Nakita - posted on 01/21/2010

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I just put my daughter in the crib, and thats that, no crying or nothing she goes right to sleep!

Kayla - posted on 01/21/2010

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I agree with you, Corinne. It is hard at first to listen to the baby cry. But like I said, when you know that they are fed, changed and the only reason they are crying is because they're fighting sleep, then you have to just let them sooth their self.

[deleted account]

I had to bite the bullet so to speak and make my daughter learn to self sooth. She cried a lot the first couple of days but learned quickly. She goes to bed with a stuffed animal and talks for a bit before she falls asleep.

Crystal - posted on 01/21/2010

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I think before you let her "cry it out" you should read the Baby Sleep Book. In my opinion it's not the best method, and if you let her cry it out for more than just a few nights you could do some serious damage. Just my opinion! I'm not judging anyone else's parenting. But after reading the pros and cons, I couldn't do it. It just doesn't feel natural.

Kayla - posted on 01/21/2010

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My mom started rocking my neice to sleep the day she came home from the hospital! And she had to continue to rock her to sleep until she was about 2 years old!!
With my 8 month old, I put him in his bed and give him his cup and he goes to sleep!

Giseli - posted on 01/21/2010

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My 5 month old boy has a bottle around 5:30pm and around 6:30 or 7pm i just lay him on his crib and he falls sleep on his own, and if he complains i just let him complaining until he falls asleep:) good luck!!

Kimberly - posted on 01/21/2010

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By 6months you should be able to let her cry it out at night. Keep her busy, make a specific bedtime routine (get ready, drink, book, bed). It will only take a few nights of crying but SO worth it in the end.

Jeanette - posted on 01/21/2010

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mine is 6 1/2mos old and last month we began working on falling asleep alone - first i would put him in the crib at bedtime and keep a hand on him but not much talking - then eventually i took my hand away - now i put him down and he is asleep in about 5min - 10 on a difficult night - it took about 2 weeks being consistent - also helped me i believe to have a very regular routine - ours is bath at 8-815, massage, fresh diaper and pjs, then last bottle, sit up for 15m or so then upstairs to bedroom for 15m quiet music with story time - then baby put in the crib while very quiet/drowsy but still awake - i also have the twilight turtle which is the last light on and it stays on with quiet music - the music runs out first in about 10m then turtle shuts off - most nights are now completely quiet with no crying

Jessika - posted on 01/20/2010

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We have been rocking our son to sleep since he was a newborn. His is now 13.5 months. He is so GO GO GO during the day, I LOVE the quiet snuggle time that we get together when he gets rocked before bed. However I just rock him to settle him and make him drowsy. We lay him down when he is still awake and he falls asleep just fine. If it works for you then I would keep doing it. =)

Arianne - posted on 01/20/2010

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I have a routine of giving my son a bath, reading him a story, rocking him a little bit to music and rubbing his back until he is asleep. I leave the music playing for him all night which seems to help. Remember every child is different :P

Kristen - posted on 01/20/2010

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My little girl is 6 months too and I give her the last bottle for the night then I lay her down and she usually goes right to sleep, but she is in the bed with me. I know everyone says you are making a huge mistake, but I will just have to suffer the consequences later i guess. I have an alarm clock beside my bed with a cd player and if my baby is fussy sometimes and doesn't want to go to sleep, I will put a cd of lullabies on and she may fuss for about 5 to 10 minutes or so, then zzzz's for all of us. Good luck!

Kellie - posted on 01/20/2010

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I also rock my 6mo. old to sleep. Every night at around 9pm I change into jammies, give her a bottle, and rock her to sleep. The way I see it is that there will be a day where she will not want me to rock her to sleep anymore. My sister rocked her kids to sleep and they stopped needing it around 1. Plus, I love doing it. :)

Kim - posted on 01/20/2010

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well my son is already 3 years old. Last time my maid used to rock him to sleep. When i took over.. he got the bad habit.. and i slowly change it by.. tapping him to sleep in the bed and sing him a song. Slowly slowly he gets it. Or dun do too drastic change.. maybe u can still rock her to sleep in day time.. and at night change the method. Then when she gets used to it.. then is possible to get rid of rocking her to sleep.

Kassie - posted on 01/20/2010

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I wish I could be helpful. I do wonder the same thing. My oldest son is 2 and he just started sleeping in his own bed again. Lately after bath is ready to be out. But he will only fall asleep if I lay with him in my bed or if he is sitting in my lap. My youngest will fall asleep on his own for the most part. I have routines every night ending with the bath and then to bed. Find what works best for you. They say kids will begin to do things when they are ready.

Crystal - posted on 01/20/2010

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Read the Baby Sleep Book by Dr. Sears. It changed my life! It totally made me feel like a good mom for doing what was best for me and my baby.

Lauren - posted on 01/20/2010

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I rocked my little girl till she was about 5 month, shes 6month old now. She does now and again get rocked if shes bit grumpy which i dont mind. But I also tried putting her down in her cot and seeing if she'd send her self to sleep but all i got was tears and blowing raspberrys! haha. I now lay her down in our bed next to me and stroke her nost for about a minute whilst shes layed next to me and she turns on her side then shes asleep. I lay next to her for an extra 10-15minutes to make sure shes asleep as she likes to feel my face to know im there and thats it. We then transfer er into her cot.She did sleep in her cot previously for quite a while then all of a sudden she'd wake up as soon as she was asleep after bout an hour crying BUT asleep! strange i know. Shes got cold at the moment so think wen shes porly she likes mummy cuddles in bed! But i have to say i ALWAYS have a happy baby when she wakes, always have a smile! SO whatever is working stick to it! People say she wont go to sleep on her own if u dont try but if shes happy thats what best! xxx

Gina - posted on 01/20/2010

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I rocked my baby to sleep too and feed him a bottle and he still wasn't sleeping thru the night, it was also very exhausting so I did it cold turkey when he was a year old. I just laid him down tummy full and he cried maybe for a few minutes but got fell right at sleep, in the middle of the night i'd just check up on him and rub his back for a second or two and whispered "go night night" just so he knew I was there, It took a few days but then he never woke up in the middle of the night again. Some parents don't like to let their babies cry but that was my last choice, I was desperate to get some sleep, and it worked for me and him.

Renae - posted on 01/20/2010

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Marie - turning onto the side to pat and then rolling them onto their back is a very common way of putting babies to sleep that is often recommended by professionals. I'm not sure what it is you are concerned about? Dont you put your babies on their back to sleep these days? The person was not saying to make the baby hold its head straight, the baby will usually turn its head to the side to sleep.

Marie - posted on 01/20/2010

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im sorry i have just read down and there is one mom there that says about rocking the baby on there side and then butting the baby down on there back im very very sorry but i do not like that at all my point is wot if that baby needs to be sick and can not turn there heads in time to the side and thay chock on it

Marie - posted on 01/20/2010

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hi there im a mom of almost six kids and my two youngest kids my three yr old i have to lie with her to get her to sleep and my 1 yr old i have to rock to sleep in her pram and then leave her for 20 mins and then but her up and some times she wakes there is nothin wrong with but ur child down with a bottle to be fair but that is tha only way eemy to little ones will go to sleep

Renae - posted on 01/19/2010

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PS changing to putting her in the cot awake and jiggling or patting in the cot rather than holding and rocking will make it easier in the future if you do have to do sleep training.

Renae - posted on 01/19/2010

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If it is working for you, keep doing it. There are some pitfalls with rocking - some babies start taking longer and longer to get to sleep from around 8 months and by 10 months are taking over an hour to rock to sleep. So if your baby starts to become more difficult to put to sleep then you might want to do something about it. Also 25% of babies who are "helped" to sleep (in any way, rocking, patting, whatever) will start to wake every couple of hours during the night sometime between 5 and 12 mo. Again, chances are you will be in the 75% who dont have this problem. If you are happy rocking then keep doing it, if things start to become difficult then msg me for some sleep training methods.

Ivannia - posted on 01/19/2010

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Routine. need time but works. What i always do is dinner, bath, 20 min tv with milk, teeth, book, good night, I love you, sleep well. bye bye. Also try using a time frame every night!

Shana - posted on 01/19/2010

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Enjoy the time you get to spend rocking her . I did that with both of mine but just before she goes to sleep put her in her bed and tell her night night and walk out she may cry for the first few times but hang in there .

[deleted account]

ive put my son down to sleep everyday since he was 2 weeks old awake, never with a bollte he got his bink an his dogg an that was it an went to sleep, once in a great while i would co sleep with him but i didnt do that very often because by the time a baby is 3 months old they no whats supossed to happen in there day an i did not want to be one of those moms who had a 11 month old who didnt wanna sleep by there selfs, what ever you wanna do you have to start ealy babies are all about routine an they learn very early what it is

Erika - posted on 01/19/2010

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During the day I put my 10 month old down right after I have fed her. I just take her in her room and lay her in her crib. She falls asleep on her own! At night I nurse her and she usually falls asleep while nursing and I lay her in her crib.

Hope this helps a bit.

Erika
http://www.4MyFamilyandMe.com

Brittany - posted on 01/19/2010

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with my little guys (7 months and almost 2 years) we all sit on the couch (i hold the baby and my husband holds our oldest). the baby drinks his bottle and we all just relax. they share a room...so then we go lay them down in their bed. the oldest has his blanky he has to have, and usually a sippy cup of water. the baby has his binky and a new toy he got for christmas. (it is scout the dog...you program it to know your baby's name and sing songs). we turn on the lullaby mode on his doggy that lasts 10 minutes...and before it is over both boys are asleep! : )



i think that rocking to sleep is just fine...although i do know someone whose daughter is 3 and she will still not go to sleep by herself. she has to be laying on her mom to fall asleep...and still sleeps in bed with her parents (i dont think she ever used her crib or toddler bed)

Brooke - posted on 01/19/2010

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i have 5 girls.....ages 15-5 yrs..i rocked them all. Once your baby gets more active a rock can turn into a holding pat... kinda like a small rock but not so much..its more the the pat at this point that sooths the baby...it kinda weens them. BUT i haveta say, its nice that i rocked my girls/patted thier bottoms forever because even now that they are older they come to mama just to snuggle i pat them on thier backs still...lol. I love my moments where they are all grown up but still mommmies lil girls. :) do what you think is best hunny.

[deleted account]

Megan -

Donovan (5 months old) has never been a great sleeper but he use to always give me 3-4 hours first thing at night, then a 2 hour stretch and then every hour or at least 45 mins after that. I think this is a perfectly fine pattern for a newborn to 3, 4 or 5 month old. But since about the beginning of December, he has not slept longer than 2 hours at a time. I don't get that chunk of sleep at the beginning! He can then either wake every 45 mins - 1 1/2 hours the whole night or the other thing he does is sleep for 2 hours, feed, slepp for 2 more hours then wake for an hour or two (or three) in the night. I usually get him back to sleep in the wee hours of the morning for another hour or so. And so it continues - lack of sleep for all our family, me, Donovan, my husband and sometimes poor Ivy (my 2 year old that also gets woken up) :( Apart from the sleep thing, he is a happy healthy baby. Big for his age (last week weighed in at 8.92 kg's) and he truly is happy and giggling all the time while he is up. I am truly at a loss as to what is going on and what I can do to help????



p.s. Sorry to Christine as I appear to have 'hijacked' your conversation about how to get your babies to sleep to a conversation about the tales and woes of Donovan. :)

Megan - posted on 01/18/2010

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Belinda-
my daughter started sleeping through the nite at a month or so and I rocked her to sleep. My son on the other hand does wake up 1 time for a night feeding STILL!!! He did sleep through the nite at 2 months and got sick at 3 months and started waking up again after that. You little one might be teething. Or he may have reflex...babies with reflex have a hard time sleeping when they are laying down on a flat surface and not elevated! You might want to look into that.

I laughed when I read you don't let him cry and when he starts you run to him patting, stroking, ect.....I do the same thing! Maybe he is teething and that is why he is not sleeping well. Has he not slept well since he was born or just recently?

Megan - posted on 01/18/2010

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You keep on rocking that baby......Believe me it is fine to rock him to sleep. There is no such thing as spoiling a baby! I rocked my daughter to sleep and now rock my son to sleep. Eventually they won't want you to rock them to sleep and the older they get the more they fall asleep even in odd places. lol......Pretty soon you will be saying where is my baby he is all grown and independent. I think you should rock him until he doesn't want to or until he is a little older. I think I rocked my daughter until she was 1 or one and a half. It is good bonding/snuggling time with you and your baby and they like that comfort.



I would not put her down with a bottle either. I think you are doing a very good job at what you are doing just keep doing it. Seriously as they get older they get more and more independent and soon will fall asleep playing and you will pick her up and put her in her bed no problem. And then there will be those times that you die for and she wants to snuggle with mommy and be rocked. :) rocking my son to sleep is my favorite time of the nite!

[deleted account]

I also rock my 5 month old son to sleep. However he wakes up in the night a lot!!!! Sometimes more than 6, 7, 8+ times. As I rock him to sleep it is fair enough for him to request to be rocked to sleep at night aswell. I have a question - For all of those fellow mums that rock their bubs to sleep, how long and how much does you bub sleep at night. Are you up all hours of the night rocking too?

In the last 2 days I have started to rock him to a drowsy state and then pop him in his cot to then do that last bit of falling asleep without me hoping that in a while he will cotton on to falling asleep on his own and therefore put himself to sleep at night. It worked 2 times only (in the day) and now I feel it has back fired 100% as he now fights sleep (which he never did when I rocked him) and it is now taking an hour+ to get him to sleep day and night. I don't agree with any crying to get to sleep so of course when he starts to become upset I tend to him eg. patting, stroking, singing and picking up an re-rocking to a drowsy state and as I said he just fights sleep to no end now and has started to cry in my arms as I rock him which he NEVER did before I tried to put him in his cot to do that last bit of falling asleep. Why did I bother?? Oh that's right he keeps waking at night! It seems like a vicious cycle. I'm starting to get desperate....

Oh yeah, I used the exact same methods on my now 2 year old and she is a great sleeper for 2 years of age. Go figure?

Tarah - posted on 01/18/2010

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i was told to wrap the baby up niceand tight then roll them on their side and gently pat their bottom until they are asleep or almost asleep then when they are in a deep sleep rollthem onto their back and tuck them in properly.

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