Baby Won’t Sleep Without You Holding Him/Her?
Sleep training an infant early on saves a lot of headaches as they get older and may prefer to still sleep with you when he or she is age 5 if not sleep trained. If a baby won’t sleep without holding him or her, that can be a challenge in itself to help your little one become more independent while sleeping. If you have a baby that won’t sleep without holding him or her, then it’s time to make some modifications to your baby’s bedtime routine so that you can start getting some sleep, too!
When your baby won’t sleep without holding, try these 5 tips:
Get your little one on a set routine
It’s stressful for every parent to get a baby on a routine at a young age so he or she knows what to expect come bedtime. No matter the age of your infant or toddler, try the following routine or make up your own based on the routine provided. Start the routine an hour before baby’s actual bedtime.
- Give your baby a warm bath.
- Dress him or her in a nightie and a clean diaper
- Read a book or books of your choice.
- Sing a lullaby or two as you lay him down in the bassinet.
- Exit the room to let the baby try to self-soothe to sleep.
- If your little one is causing a big fuss, go in and give him or her a gentle, reassuring few pats and an “I love you” before going out the room again.
- Repeat as necessary until the child is asleep.
If you are not a fan of the cry it out method, there are other ways you can get your baby that won’t sleep without holding that does not require a lot of assistance from you. This includes:
- Lightly rocking the bassinet to help baby sleep.
- If the bassinet has a rock and/or vibration setting, put it on and monitor the baby as he or she falls asleep.
- If you are breastfeeding, giving a pacifier could give you a break from treating you like a pacifier.
Now if the baby is at the stage where night feedings are still needed, disregard the last few steps involving the cry it out method. Instead, you can:
- Breastfeed or bottle-feed your baby as normal.
- Burp your baby after the feeding.
- Put your baby won’t sleep without holding in the crib as they are still drowsy rather than when fully asleep.
Set bedtime cues
If baby won’t sleep without holding him or her, be sure that you are setting bedtime cues to let him or her know that it is time for sleep. Incorporate these bedtime cues into your set routine so baby knows when it is time to unwind for the night.
- Do not have the overhead light on.
- Keep a dim lamp in the baby’s room for the night time routine.
- Have a brighter lamp on for when reading a bedtime story, but turn it off immediately after you finish reading the tale.
- Put on white noise or some type of bedtime music to soothe your child’s mental state.
- Rub night time lotion on your baby before putting on the nightie and clean diaper.
If your baby won’t sleep without holding even after setting bedtime cues has trouble slumbering, you can always keep working on getting him or her used to the idea of sleeping alone in the crib.
Have the child lay in the crib while awake
The baby won’t sleep without holding needs to get acclimated to their sleeping quarters. You can follow these steps to lay your baby won’t sleep without holding awake in the crib so he or she can start becoming accustomed to being more independent during bedtime.
- When you first put your child in the crib, lay him or her down with a loving pat on the back and a reassuring, “I love you!”
- If needed, give little one a pacifier to encourage more self-soothing. Have a pacifier clip on his or her nightie to make keeping track of the pacifier easier so your baby can pop it back in his or her mouth if it gets lost.
- Be sure all other bedtime cues are set in the environment including very dim lighting and white noise in the background.
- Reassure that the crib is a safe area for sleep. No pillow, blankets, or even stuffed animals should be in the crib.
- After you exit the room, listen out for your baby’s cries.
- If baby’s cries indicate true need for assistance, return to the room to pat or rub your baby’s back and sing some more lullabies to attempt to put a baby won’t sleep without holding to sleep in the crib.
Laying the child in the crib while awake can be very challenging for a baby won’t sleep without holding. Stay consistent, remain patient, and keep strong during the transition so that your baby that won’t sleep without holding can change their sleep habits for the better for you both.
Gradually increase time in the crib
For a baby won’t sleep without holding, gradually increasing alone time in the crib is crucial for building a future independent sleeper. Follow these steps to get a baby won’t sleep without holding to finally sleep independently.
- Evaluate the amount of sleep time your baby usually spends in the crib.
- If your baby won’t sleep without holding spends about an hour sleeping in the crib, let him or her stay in the crib an extra 10 minutes before removing them from their sleeping quarters.
- As you increase time spent in the crib gradually, the more likely your child will get acclimated to their sleeping quarters and would want to sleep alone eventually.
- For a baby won’t sleep without holding, continue to follow this method until-eventually-your child begins to sleep through the night in the crib.
A baby won’t sleep without holding needs the extra time in the crib after waking up to understand that this is where they sleep for now as a baby. As with other tips on this list, keep consistent with the process for results to show for your baby won’t sleep without holding.
Swaddle your baby
Finally, swaddling your baby will imitate the closeness that baby feels when being held by you. For a baby that won’t sleep without holding, swaddling is the most effective in helping a baby sleep independently.
- Swaddle your baby immediately after the original bedtime routine ends.
- Use a swaddle blanket or wrap up your child in a swaddling blanket the traditional way.
- Rock the baby a little bit, sing a lullaby or two, and say your goodnights to your little one.
- Lay your swaddled baby down in the crib while still awake and/or drowsy and rub their nose to expedite falling asleep faster.
- Exit the room and monitor for your baby’s cries.
- If your baby breaks the swaddle while trying to put him or herself to sleep, repeat the above steps as necessary until he or she falls asleep.
A baby won’t sleep without holding can be a frustrating experience no matter the age of the child. As much as some parents may not mind being near their child as they both sleep, this can cause bad sleep habits for the baby to die-hard if they go on for too long. Remember that there other ways to get baby won’t sleep without holding to go to sleep independently.