rocking vs. falling asleep on their own

Dawn - posted on 03/06/2009 ( 17 moms have responded )

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i was just wondering what your opinions were on rocking a baby to sleep vs letting them fall asleep on their own. my MIL thinks that it's cruel to put a baby under 2 in the room alone to fall asleep. and when my daughter was a baby and she would keep her overnight she refused to just put her to bed. she would keep her up and play with her until she fell asleep in her arms. so that through me off because i had been putting her to bed since she was about 6 months old by herself! and with my son...he sleeps longer and sounder if he falls alseep in his crib. i know my MIL likes to nit pick everything i do but i just wanted another opinion on the subject. is it cruel or not? i say not.

17 Comments

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Elizabeth - posted on 03/12/2009

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I say that it is not.  I did not rock my first two and they would go down on there own and sleep all night.  My youngest child, I did rock however.  I knew she would be my last and I wanted the extra bounding you get with rocking.  I think everyone has their own opinion on this, but your MIL needs to respect your wishes and do as you do.  I know mine does.  My mom on the other hand, well that is a different story.    She thinks all my kids are her kids.  I hope this helped :)

Megan - posted on 03/12/2009

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You're the mother and the best advice i've been given is to do what you feel and 99% of the time that will be right (from my MIL), every baby is different and at the end of the day you know that little person better than anyone else. I've found since i've had my little girl that sometimes she will put herself to sleep other times she wants the cuddles and it suits us just fine. I've found that grandparents are always alot softer than when they had there own becuase they dont have to be there 24/7.

Krystal - posted on 03/11/2009

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you do not ned to explain anything to anyone. it's as simple as that!



YOU know what is best for your children. yes, you can listen to suggestions from others about what worked for them, but in the end it is you who is responsible for your children. know that what you are doing is best for your children because you are their mother!



good luck.

Sarah - posted on 03/11/2009

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I am in the same boat! I put my daughter to bed fully awake and tell her night night and then leave the room. some nights she just goes right to sleep but other nights she cries a little, like less than ten minutes. But when she's over at my MIL's, she won't listen to my instructions and so she holds/rocks her until she goes to sleep. this can be very frustrating because then when she comes back home she expects me to do the same thing. But i just stick with my plan...i put her to bed by herself! i have found that she sleeps much better, wakes up less in the middle of the night, and takes better naps in the middle of the day. I can't get my mother in law to do what i tell her to so i've just realized that she's not ever going to. I just let her do her thing and i just do my thing! ...oh my daughter is 14 months old.

Heather - posted on 03/10/2009

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I totally agree with Katie. I put both my boys to bed awake and let them self soothe. If they continued to cry (which was rare) I would go in pat them on the back to let them know it's okay and then walk back out. They both (ages 2 and 4.5) go to bed right away when I put them in bed. Rocking them to sleep gets them in a habit and then they will not go to sleep unless you rock them. I really like the Babywise & Toddlerwise books by Gary Ezzo. (sp?) Get them into good sleep habits now and they will be much better off as they grow up. As for your MIL, tell her that if she can not respect your wishes they will not be spending the night with her. Because you will end up having to deal with them and possibly start from square one when they come back to you. She needs to respect your "rules" and apply them. They are your children and you have every right to expect that she goes along with your parenting decisions and not undermine them. She'll change her tune when she sees that she's not getting to see them as much. I had to do this with my MIL and she came around. They don't have to agree with it, they just need to follow your lead.

Ranetta - posted on 03/09/2009

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I think whatever works for you and your family is best. All children are different. I rock my 11 month old to sleep and he puts himself back to sleep if he wakes up in the middle of the night. I think kids (and parents) have different routines and like things different ways. I dont think there is a right or wrong way to do it.

Joy - posted on 03/08/2009

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It is not cruel. It is a normal part of life that you have the right to teach to your baby. If you dont do it when they are babies you will probably run into a bit of trouble when they are toddlers and it will be impossible for you to rock a toddler to sleep. It is your babies right to learn how to self settle to sleep so she/he can have a good nights sleep without any help. Is your baby, you do what you feel is best!!

Katie - posted on 03/06/2009

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just ignore her. when they are with her she can do what she likes, but when they are with you ur the boss. with my son i always put him to bed by himself and he learned to self soothe. this is a really important step for them and the earlier they learn it the better. if it becomes a bigger issue try having your husband explain to her that it is really important to him that she respects your wishes as their mother. maybe if he says something she will b able to see it from your perspective.



my parents coddled me when i was little and it has been nothing but a disservice to me. i love them and they did their best, but i still to this day cant always self soothe.  we have to think about the long term effects of our choices. and if you want your kiddos to be able to go to sleepovers etc, then they have to learn to put them selves to sleep so they rnt like me. i couldnt spend the night away from my parents untill i was almost 10. and my son, who learned to self soothe can sleep anywhere at anyones house and he is only 3.



hope this helps, i know MILs can b a real pain

Mikayl - posted on 03/06/2009

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No its not,  My son would not let me rock him to sleep just after he turned one!!  He is now 20 months and tells me that he wants to go to bed and falls asleep all on him own!!

Dawn - posted on 03/06/2009

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o i've put my foot down and we don't visit there very much anymore. and she hates it!! o well. i couldn't handle it...we were going there every sunday and my hubby would disappear outside to hang out with his dad and brother and leave me to deal with her! not anymore. if he want's to go he can but i stay home.

Dana - posted on 03/06/2009

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I have two little girls 3yrs and 16mo and they've always gone to bed on their own. They need to know how to put themselves to sleep. I don't let them scream their heads off when they're upset, I go in and rub their backs or what not. Yes, I think there's a time for cuddeling but not every night rocking them to sleep. As far as your MIL goes, that's up to you. You can just stand up and tell her what you want for your kids and ask her to respect it and follow it or you can just hack it up to her being your MIL and she's going to do what she's going to do. She may have raised her kids and done what she thinks is best but they're your kids and you're doing what you think is best. Don't let her nit pick you to much. Your kids may pick up on that when they're older.

Dawn - posted on 03/06/2009

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it's not that i think it's bad...but if the child is willing and able to fall asleep on their own shouldn't i encourage it? i'm not saying that rocking is bad either. i just don't like that if i choose to do it one way that i should be made to feel guilty for it. if they needed to be rocked then i would do it in a heartbeat!

Terry - posted on 03/06/2009

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I rocked all my babies to sleep and had no problems with them when they got older, they went to sleep just fine by themselves. It was a time to bond more with them and have some quite time with them. I thought bonding time was really important! I DON"T believe in sayin' " definitely not, don't do it"!! It's got nothing to do with you MIL, this is something you need to decide to do. whatever your comfortable with, you know your child better than anyone else.

Lynn - posted on 03/06/2009

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Definitely not. You have the right idea by putting them to bed by themselves. What's not right and what I consider being mean is keeping a baby awake until their nervous system says I can't take any more and they fall asleep. Or in other words their bodies shut down to protect itself. Make your mother in law read the book On Becoming Baby Wise. If you can't change her mind maybe a group of professionals can.

Millie - posted on 03/06/2009

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Every child is different. Your MIL does not need to know every little detail of your child's life. Just do what is best for your child. Some children need more cuddle time than others. Just do what is right in your heart for your child.

Kristen - posted on 03/06/2009

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i was always told that if you rock your baby to sleep they will get used to that and may not be able to put themselves back to sleep if they wake during the night.  just continue what you are doing....make sure your MIL respects your wishes and does what you do. afterall, you are their mother

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