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When is a good time to start the process of getting baby to sleep without being rocked or held? Although she is only 2 months old now, I don't want to do it forever. :-)
I'd say as soon as you're ready is the best time to start. My daughter was always hard to get to sleep. I finally had to put her to bed and basically just let her cry it out. If I didn't then she would just go to sleep while I was holding her and then wake up when I laid her down. It's tough, but for some kids it's what you have to do. Good luck whenever you start the process!
This is a very personal and individual decision. Personally, I wouldn't even think about starting until around 6-9 months. Before then, a baby isn't really going to understand that you're still there if he needs you and is safe in his crib alone. They just are not developed enough to comprehend that because they can't see you, you didn't just cease to exist.
Many experts recommend at this age to rock or cuddle with your baby until he is drowsy enough to not have the energy to fight you when you put him down. He's learning to fall asleep on his own this way.
In my experience, this only goes so far, since when they hit that 6-9 month mark, they realize that they can get a reaction out of you if they cry. This is when they start testing limits and boundaries, which is why this is usually the age when parents begin to think about ways to get baby to fall asleep on his own.That said, some parents are perfectly happy to cuddle with their babies every night.
I'm kind of a mix, myself. I put my daughter (who is 2) down into her bed and dim the lights. While she puts herself to sleep, I lay on my bed reading. If I were to leave the room before she conks out, she'd flip out to the point where she'll make herself throw up. I really don't mind staying because it gives me some downtime.
But then there are also days that I let her curl up with me in my bed. Like this afternoon, she woke up less than an hour after she fell asleep for her nap. I offered to lay down with her in my bed and we both ended up napping for another two hours. I think it's all about what works best for you and your baby.
That is entirely up to you, but I would talk with the pediatrician about when he/she thinks your baby is physically able to sleep at night without feeding. I've never just laid my children down without rocking, singing, or reading. I might do those things and then lay them down drowsy, but awake. However, I love bedtime and the quiet time it allows me to have with my children. That is not to say that you are at all wrong for wanting your baby to go to sleep on their own. I remember how tired I was those first several months and even beyond that. Getting a little more sleep became all I could think about some days. Especially, since my children didn't sleep through the night until much later (8 months and 17 months). :)
Ask your Pediatrician. Ask your Mom. Ask your Mother-in-law. Ask your girlfriends. Ask the people who are closest to you, who know you and your baby the best.
I had a girlfriend ask me this same question and I told her she was being a selfish B-tch! Sorry, its true. She always puts herself first. When you're a parent its not about what you want. Its what is the baby wants especially when they are so dependant on you.
Obviously, the answer I gave my girlfriend does not apply to you. I dont know you.
We started putting him down for naps alone around 6 months. He's caught on fast and we've never had problems. We still rock him at night because he's gets that one bottle before bed!
Our daughter would fall asleep in my arms early on, from there we would lay her down and let her sleep. She would wake up in the same surroundings each night and learned quickly to fall asleep there without me carrying her. Some nights she'd wake up screaming (bad dreams or gas usually) and I would walk her until she fell asleep, but always returned her to the same bed so she would remain used to it.