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Your baby finds it hard to sleep.
You tried all the tricks in the book but none worked. You are tired and you need to sleep yourself.
You even tried to sing the lullabies you learned from your mom when you were young. But the more you sing it, the merrier the baby becomes. He loves it and doesn’t want it to stop.
You keep wondering what else you need to do to make the baby sleep.
The truth is:
It is normal for babies to sleep when you know the right trick to use.
In this article, you will learn how to rock a baby to sleep easily and right on time.
One thing little babies enjoyed is rocking them. It is like magic that never fails.
What does it mean to rock a baby?
When you rock a baby, you move them from one side to the other or forward and backward to help them sleep.
Why does rocking put babies to sleep?
Rocking a baby mimics the movement they experienced while in the womb. During such time, the mom moves around, bend down, dances, talk and it soothes them. So, when you rock them when they are little, it helps them to sleep very well. Apart from sleeping, when you rock a baby, it helps them to regulate the digestion process. So rocking a baby is soothing, makes baby sleep easily and provides comfort to them.
How to rock a baby to sleep
There are three methods of rocking babies to sleep: They are:
1. Hold your baby in your hand and gently rock them back and forth. You can do this while standing up or sitting down. Take the most comfortable position for you and the baby. You need to keep at it to create consistency and then the baby will fall asleep.
2. Use a rocking chair or glider – This is a perfect accessory for rocking. It makes it comfortable for both you and the baby. There are good rocking chair on Amazon such as the Windsor Glider and Ottoman (Windsor Glider and Ottoman, White with Gray Cushion) and a rocking chair such as The Gripper Non-Slip Omega Jumbo Rocking Chair Cushions, Chestnut. The ottoman is great as it gives you a place to rest your foot. This implies that you don’t have to move up and down, you can easily sit down and enjoy the rocking with your baby.
3. Use an infant swing: There are days that you are not just in the mood because you are tired or you don’t have the time to do it. At such a time, an infant swing will help to rock the baby to sleep. But you have to be near them also, to assure them you are close by. There are different baby swings, but these two are the best: The fisher -price snugabunny Cradle ‘n Swing with Smart swing and the Graco swing sway baby swing, Abington. You may want to check them out.
Rocking newborn to sleep
When babies are born, they need help to fall asleep naturally outside the womb, and this is where rocking them to sleep comes. It is good for them at this stage as they drift in and out of sleep cycles. It is taken that they are slowly getting used to being outside the womb and learning about their environment. But as the baby grows, it will start taking a long time to put them to sleep. At such a time, you can use a swing to help.
Rocking a baby to sleep at 3 months
When the baby grows to 3 months, they become heavier, and it takes longer to rock them. This is when you need to devise ways to reduce the rocking. At this time, they are used to being rocked to sleep, and they may not sleep on their own if you don’t rock them. This is the time to help them learn how to sleep on their own.
Rocking baby to sleep at 11 months
At 11 months old, your baby should have stopped rocking to sleep. You should have sleep train them to sleep on their own. However, much as you may try, if the baby is not ready, there is nothing much you can do, except you are ready to watch them cry it out every time.
When to stop rocking baby to sleep
The answer to the question, when to stop rocking baby to sleep depends on you and the baby. Sometimes, some babies are ready to stop and can just fall asleep on their own. Most often, babies get used to rocking and never want to stop. What you can do is to stop reducing the time to rock them to sleep. All you need is a commitment to stop rocking them to sleep. Actually, a baby only needs rocking to sleep in their first few months of life. This can be from 5 to 6 months. Thereafter, you need to reduce the rocking time.
How to stop rocking a baby to sleep – gradual withdrawal
The gradual withdrawal method is one of the best ways to stop rocking a baby to sleep. It involves trying to reduce your involvement in your baby’s sleep process so she can learn to cope on her own and sleep soundly. You can follow this process once your baby gets to 6 months of age. They should be able to sleep on their own. Below is the step-by-step procedure to achieve the best result with the gradual withdrawal process.
- If you used to hold the baby and rock them to sleep, start by holding them, but stop rocking them to sleep. Hold them till they are asleep and put them in the crib. Mind you, this may not work out well the first day. They will surely cry or wake up instantly, but don’t give up, carry them and when they are drowsy drop them back to sleep. Then put your hand on them to reassure them you are still around.
- The second step is this – hold the baby in your hand, but don’t allow them to sleep before you lay them down. Lay them in their crib and put your hand on them to gently stroke their back till they fall asleep.
- The third step is to lay them down awake and stop stroking. Stay there until they fall asleep. This is to ensure that there is no contact between the two of you, though you are close by.
- Gradually move away from the cot as you lay them to sleep. Reduce the distance between you and the cot each time. By this time, they should sleep on their own.
Rock baby to sleep machine
Imagine you have a baby who loves rocking to the extent that you have to hold him 24/7. Imagine the same baby sleeping for 2-3 hours at a time at night and you have to spend 1-2 hours every night to get the baby back to sleep. You will break down.
There is a great rock baby to sleep machine made by Harvey Karp, a pediatrician. It is called the Snoo Robo-cradle ( SNOO Smart Sleeper by Happiest Baby). It is a miracle for parents that are using it. It has amazingly glowing reviews on Amazon.
The bassinet is designed to help newborn babies sleep longer and parents getting more sleep too. To use it, you need to dress the baby in a swaddle suit that you will clip to the bassinet. It stops the baby from rolling over in the bassinet. The machine has a circular plate under the mattress that swivel to and from making it rock, speakers produce gently swooshing sound that looks like the sound in the womb. If the baby cries, the machine rocks the more. But if the baby does not stop crying that means they need a change of diaper or feeding. It comes with an app that will enable you to know what is happening.
Moms who are using it have testified that it makes their babies sleep for 8-9 hours at a time. That is a miracle bassinet for every parent who desires to rest and have an easy parenting at least for the first few months of life.
Rocking a baby too hard
Rocking helps the baby to relax and sleep well. However, you must be careful not to rock them too hard. Don’t make it fast. Don’t shake them violently too. There is a difference between shaking and rocking. Rocking is a gentle motion, don’t make it violent shaking for the sake of your baby.
Now you know the trick – Rock your baby to sleep
You have learned how to rock your baby to sleep. It is time to rest and watch your baby sleep for as long as they want.