How to get your baby to sleep without being held is one of the most common questions new parents ask. The answer is simple – it takes time, patience, and consistency. Newborn babies have different sleep patterns than adults. They need to self-soothe and become accustomed to sleeping in their environment. Here are some tips for helping your baby develop the ability to sleep without being held. Keep reading to learn more.
Why Do Babies Love To Sleep While Being Held?
Cuddling a baby in your arms and feeling them drift off and sleep soundly is a comforting experience for both parent and child. But why do babies feel so safe falling asleep in a parent’s arms? It is thought that infants take great comfort from being close to their caregiver, as when carried or held, they feel the familiar warmth of their parent’s body.
The soothing sounds their parents make, like humming or whispering, can also help ease them off into dreamland. Additionally, the gentle rocking motion generated by walking around with them can be just what they need to relax and doze off. Lastly, science has shown that cuddling increases serotonin levels in babies, making them feel much happier – which helps babies go right to baby sleep with ease.
All of this combines to create a cocoon-like environment that babies love – sleeping while being held!
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How To Get Your Baby To Sleep Without Being Held
Creating healthy sleep habits in our babies from an early age can prevent many sleepless nights for the whole family. A consistent and soothing bedtime routine is vital for getting your baby to sleep without being held. However, here are the top tips that can come in handy.
Establish a Consistent Bedtime Routine
Establishing a consistent bedtime routine is critical in getting your baby to sleep without being held. Having consistency helps babies to recognize when it is time to prepare for rest and settle into a nighttime routine. A typical evening would involve having a warm bath, comforting lullabies or stories, and loads of snuggles before placing your little one in their crib or favorite bassinet.
Going through the same pre-sleep activities each night will signal your baby that it is time for sleep and let them know what comes next. As a result, you may find that your child resists less and starts to relax more quickly as they become accustomed to their custom evening ritual.
Make Sure They’re Comfortable
Creating a comfortable environment is key to helping your baby settle down and fall asleep without being held. Ensure that the temperature in the room is appropriate by using lightweight cotton sheets or a light heat blanket on cold nights. Place a noise machine near the crib, playing soothing sounds to help lull them to sleep.
Also, ensure their clothing isn’t too constricting, which can cause discomfort and difficulty sleeping. If you wake up in the middle of the night to find your baby has kicked off their blanket, quietly tuck it back around their body to keep them warm and secure.
Put The Baby Down, Drowsy But Awake
This is a crucial step in teaching your baby to go to sleep without being held. Put them down when they are drowsy but still awake so they can practice self-soothing skills and learn to drift off independently. This can be hard at first, primarily if you are used to soothing your baby with rocking or cuddling until they fall asleep. It may take some time for them to adjust, but eventually, your baby will get the hang of it and start drifting off each night thus developing good sleep habits.
Read more: How To Get An Overtired Baby To Sleep
Offer Reassurance To Keep Them Calm
Your presence and reassurance can be exceptionally comforting for babies learning to sleep without being held. When you tuck your little one into bed, sit beside them for a few minutes or stroke their forehead and back lightly until they drift off to sleep. If your sleeping baby cries out, return to the room and let them know you are there – gently reassuring them without picking them up or rocking. Repeat this process as needed until your baby falls asleep peacefully.
Swaddle Your Baby
Swaddling is a popular and effective way to help soothe and settle your baby, promoting longer periods of sleep. When babies are newborns or small infants, they often startle themselves easily out of sleep. Swaddling is like giving them a warm hug, making them feel safer and more secure.
Make sure you create a snug fit by wrapping the blanket securely around their chest, arms, and legs without being too tight. This guaranteed feeling of security can be what your baby needs to stay asleep longer without being held every time they wake up.
Offer Them a Pacifier
While most babies can sleep independently from an early point, others may need help to stop them from needing to be held as they fall asleep. An effective way of doing this could be offering them a pacifier.
Not only is it comforting and helps distract them while they’re going to sleep, but sucking on a pacifier also releases endorphins in their brains, making the child relaxed and drowsy. It’s important to note that a pacifier should not always be used; finding alternate methods should be considered if your baby begins relying too heavily on it.
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Keep Your Hand on The Baby After You Lay Them Down
Doing this helps to reassure the infant that there is still contact with the parent, even though they are no longer physically carrying them. Additionally, gently patting or rubbing their back helps calm and relax babies, promoting more effective sleep.
Use Music or White Noise
These can be great tools for calming your baby and helping them to relax enough to fall asleep without being held. Consider playing a gentle lullaby or white noise in the evening and throughout the night if your baby wakes up. This will help to soothe them back into a peaceful slumber.
Encourage Independent Sleeping
Although it may seem like a lot of work, teaching your baby how to sleep independently is an essential skill they need to learn to develop good sleeping habits as they age. Establishing these sleep training routines will make things easier in the future while promoting good health and development in your child.
Read more: When Can A Baby Sleep With A Stuffed Animal?
As you can see, there are several ways to help your baby learn how to sleep without being held. When putting these strategies into practice, remember that it’s normal for babies to take a little time to adjust and develop good sleeping habits. Be patient with them and trust them – eventually, you and your baby will reap the rewards of better quality sleep for years to come!