Answering YOUR Sleep Questions – My Baby Will ONLY Fall Asleep If I…
It’s a common sleep challenge for parents. Your sweet baby will only fall asleep if you… (insert action here) hold, rock, feed, drive, jiggle, bounce in order to get to sleep.
First off, if it’s working for you, there’s absolutely NO problem with it.
You can read on to find something else that’s challenging for you. I know I certainly loved those pre-sleep cuddles with my little ones. I could nurse my youngest to sleep and she would sleep well and for long stretches. Other babies need more help to fall asleep and when they naturally wake up in the night (which we ALL naturally do. “Sleeping through” is a myth), they are looking for that same help to get back to sleep.
There’s one caveat, of course. If you have a newborn, it’s normal and expected that they need that help, so don’t sweat it or worry that you’re creating bad habits. You’re not.
Sometimes, however, the holding, rocking, feeding to sleep can start to take a LONG time (think HOURS instead of minutes) and babies need more and more help to get to sleep and it’s still a struggle. Two hours of rocking or bouncing can be difficult with other children who need attention or to get to bed, or can create back injuries, and may need to be repeated for wake-ups in the night. A family I recently helped was rocking their young toddler a total of 7.5 hours a day to get to sleep and getting him to fall asleep was still a struggle. If it becomes a problem for you, then there are solutions and they don’t need to involve sleep training. We didn’t use traditional sleep training for that little toddler and he falls asleep on his own and sleeps well every night and nap now.
This Week’s Question
This week’s sleep question is from Kate and she asks about her 12-month-old, who needs to be held to sleep and wakes as soon as she puts her down. She also just doesn’t like sleeping in her cot.
I’ve got a few tricks for her to help with this process! Find out more by watching below!
Got a sleep question?
I answer a sleep question every Monday. Submit yours here!
Mary Foster is a certified sleep consultant and founder of Sleepy Lambs Sleep Consulting and the popular Sleepy Lambs Sleep Academy. She has an amazing husband and they had 3 little ones in 3 years (along with an international move at 7 months pregnant with #3, which just means she’s a little crazy and adventurous). Their little “lambs” keep her busy, with their oldest newly 6, their middle one almost 5 and their youngest almost 3.
Mary is Canadian and is based in Surrey, UK, near the Hampshire and Berkshire border. She has supported hundreds of families in 11 countries. Mary’s unique approach is always holistic and focuses on emotional wellness, always respectful of parenting choices. Click here to send her an email.