Baby Hints & Tips

How do I stop rocking baby to sleep

Rocking baby to sleep

A common way to get baby to sleep, is by rocking baby off to sleep and then putting them down into their cot once they are asleep.  This can be an incredible way to bond with your baby and to put baby to sleep.

Issues with rocking baby to sleep

If rocking your baby to sleep is working for you, then please do NOT feel any pressure to stop.  However for some families, rocking your baby to sleep can create a sleep association that makes it hard for baby to settle off to sleep without being rocked.  And there can come a time when self settling becomes more important due to parents other time commitments.

How do I stop rocking baby to sleep

Community Question: How do I stop rocking  baby to sleep?

My 8 month old breastfed baby has always been fed on demand, fed or rocked to sleep and settled back to sleep on the boob at night. He used to sleep through the night but since about 5 months he’s progressively waking more and more ( up to 4 times through the night). He is fine with day sleeps and mostly will put himself off to sleep but I’m starting to really worry about nights, and if I should be doing something to help him get back to sleep on his own!? I need help with how to put baby to sleep without rocking. I’m panicking we’ll still be rocking him to sleep at 2 yrs old!

4 month sleep regression

  • I am just about to meet with Janelle Jeffries to sort our 8mo who sounds very similar to yours Jennifer

Drop a day sleep

  • Might need to drop 1 day sleep.  Around the 8 month mark my son went from 3 sleeps to 2. Rachael

Keep rocking baby to sleep

  • Do not feel like you have created a bad habit because you have not. What he is doing is normal. Just remember he is growing up fast and he wont always want to be rocked, or cuddled to sleep Kai
  • I thought I would be feeding or patting my youngest to sleep until he was 3 years old! Nope. At 16 months he wants to have a feed and snuggle and then off to sleep on his own. All of a sudden. In the last week. Just keep doing as you are doing. He’s still very young and going through such enormous changes and probably teething too. It’ll probably get worse (as it did with us!) before it gets better, but it’s not forever. Perhaps, if you are feeding him back to sleep, offer water every other wake up and pat/rock/comfort back to sleep. So that a feed is not what he expects every time he wakes up. Then again, often it is just best to do whatever gets him back to sleep quickly, so that you can get back to sleep quickly! Nat
  • My little girl is 6months and is breastfeed to sleep/rocked. Wakes 3/4 times a night for a feed. I’m not worried at all about rocking her to sleep. It’s a special quiet time we have together!! I love it Kiah
  • I’ve rocked all my kids. 1st bub was 10 months when he started putting himself to sleep 2nd bub was a little bit younger and I’m still rocking my now 10 month old to sleep but he is putting himself to sleep more and more. You’re not doing anything wrong Amie
  • Breastfed babies wake more for comfort and feeds. Check out Facebook page “the milk meg” she has heaps of tips and knows all about this sort of stuff. My 11 month old breast feeds on demand every 3 hours and wakes 4 times a night. It won’t be forever! Alisha-Jade
  • It is a beautiful thing and all too soon he won’t need you to feed or rock him to sleep. It is perfectly normal for his age, even up to 3 years of age to need to be rocked or fed to sleep and feed during the night. Through necessity, I formula fed my babies and like you, fed on demand. My youngest still needed night feeds for a long time, to the point where she would eat a bowl of Weetbix® a couple of times a night. Their tummies are little. Kyra
  • You haven’t created a bad habit. My daughter slept thru between 8 weeks and 6 months (I thought it/I was great) and then It all went out the window. She was shocking between 6-14months. Nothing to be up EVERY HOUR ON THE HOUR with her. Then it seemed to click and she was back to sleeping thru. Nothing particular to pin that I did. My biggest coping factor with her and then subsequent kids who never slept thru was to change my attitude. It is quite normal for babies to still be waking and needing help to go back to sleep. There are also major developmental changes going on which lead to sleep disturbances. Once I accepted it as normal, responded to her and settled her in the quickest way possible to meet her needs I coped so much better. Stressing over the lack of sleep and what I should be doing to get her sleeping more, listening to other people who seemed to have heaps of sleep and babies sleeping thru and them saying I should be doing this or that which didn’t feel right with my parenting was what was detrimental to my mental health. Rebekah
  • My 8 month old has been fed, rocked and patted to sleep since birth. The longest she’s ever slept at any one time is 6 hours and she did that once. She wakes every hour – hour and half at night a do feed her back to sleep each time. She has two sleeps during the day of around 45 mins each. She’s EBF and I’m the only one who can put her to sleep. I wouldn’t change things though. She’ll sleep more when she sleeps more. Erin
  • Nope I promise they won’t be. My dd was fed to sleep every time and around 18/19 months started to not need to fall asleep feeding and now doesn’t need it. Sleep takes 2 years to mature and your baby is just doing what they’re supposed to. No need to train them, as someone who fought and worried about her babies sleep, my best advice is to surrender to the process, sidecar babies cot to your bed and know it won’t last forever. No one goes to their deathbed wishing they hadn’t held their baby so much.  Kimmy
  • My 13 month old has been self settling since about 6 months, but night time is completely different. He needs to be rocked and patted and it’s usually a 2-3 hour effort😟 I use to be very anxious around bed time even working myself up so much I would just cry while rocking…. Over the last month I’ve learnt to relax I sit on the rocking chair next to the cot and don’t make eye contact, I talk to him really softly reassuring I am still there, and he drifts off by him self without much fuss… Such an improvement, but consistency and relaxing works!! He usually Wakes at 2am for a cuddle I cut the night feed when he turned 1..Sleep time is hard! Don’t beat yourself up, your doing a great job. Lisa

Try changing baby’s feeding/drinking routine

  • If he is breastfed it doesn’t hurt to try a formula feed before he goes down for the night. It help me with my Bub. Stephanie
  • Sounds like my little girl, she never took a dummy either, she woke about 5 times through the night from about 5 to 9months. Once it got to the 9 months and a few months of me being back at work and a zombie and a 2/3 year old to look after as well (hubby is a shift worker), we made the decision to try her on cows milk, a little at a time. Within a week she was having 2 bottles a day (morning & night ) & we both got our 1st full nights sleep in 9 months. I’m not saying try that but i figured maybe I wasn’t making enough anymore. Stacie
  • Because they move around a lot more during the day they burn a lot more calories. I have found this out with my second. So I feed him food before we have dinner then bath and a bottle so maybe finding a food that bub likes and giving a bit before bed might help but also remember this is teething stage and the stage of clingyness (separation anxiety) Tiffany

Growth spurt

  • It’s probably a growth spurt, it’s so normal for babies to need help getting to and staying asleep. Exhausting though! I say to myself mine will sleep when she’s 18 Ange
  • Bubs have normal changes to their sleep patterns all through the first 12-18mths. There are growth spurts, developmental leaps, teething, sleep regressions, illness, immunizations, a change in routine. Basically anything can and does throw out their sleep. I have fed my younger 2 (of 3) to sleep and will continue to do so with my youngest (14mths) until it doesn’t work for us anymore. My second is now 3.5yrs and he puts himself to bed/sleep and sleeps all night and he used to wake hourly. My third was sleeping through almost from birth and then hit the 3mth growth spurt and things changed. I find that relaxing and just going with the flow is the best method for me otherwise I get too stressed. Just do what works for you and remember they won’t need you to help them to sleep forever and you will miss it. Ruby

Sleep school and responsive settling

  • This sound just like my DS. Always went to bed on the boob up until 14 months. We went to sleep school in Brisbane and he now puts himself to sleep. And no over night feeds when he previously would have at least 2. Speak to your health nurse and look for info on self settling. He went from lots of crying to now laying down and going to sleep no problems after 2 months. I think it’s call responsive settling and there lots of technique but your health nurse or doctor should b able to direct you to info. The sleep school was Ellen Barron in Chermside. Yes and remember it’s not a bad thing cuddle and feeding are lovely but when your ready there will be a technique out there for you and sometime a little guidance and help from other can make it easier. Sarah

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