Rocking a Baby to Sleep

Understanding baby sleep is not an easy thing to do, but everyone knows that rocking is part of it. Our mothers were rocking us; we are rocking out babies. Even though I was claiming different before giving birth - I also ended up rocking. The whole rocking world cannot be wrong, can it? Well, let’s take a look.


Why babies like it?

There are two easy explanations. First one is somewhat medical. Rocking is simulating how babies feel in the womb. Some even say that may help to accomplish many of the things they can’t do on their own, like stimulating digestion and regulating inner systems. That makes rocking a baby a natural way to soothe, comfort and help a child fall asleep.

The second one is more psychological, and it is about sleep associations. Every one of us has some: sleeping in the dark, using pillows and cover. What if you went to sleep with your pillow and woke up in the middle of the night and it was gone.

With rocking, it is pretty much the same. If you rock your baby to sleep, you should not expect the baby will fall back asleep without rocking again.


How to do that?

Most babies like to be rocked on the count of four - two moves in the front, another two in the back. But you should try different rhythms and speeds to see which your baby prefers. 

In fact, it may be best to have dedicated equipment not to let the baby get accustomed to sleeping in your arms, as then the child learns to fall asleep in your presence. A smart move would be to avoid such situation, so stop rocking will happen faster and be easier accepted. Your arms can be easily replaced by a rocking crib, baby bouncer, or swinging bed. There is a large selection on the market.

What’s also important, ideally, you want to stop rocking your baby until she is sleepy, but not sleeping. In the end, you will wish to teach your baby to fall asleep alone.


When do you need to stop?

If you’ve realized that at first, it was few minutes of rocking, but now it takes you several dozen minutes or even an hour to put the baby to bed - something is wrong. Babies can get used to rocking pretty easily and force extending rocking time. They start crying as soon as you put them down. Also, if your baby awakes in the middle of the night demanding more rocking - you may have a problem.


How to stop rocking a baby?

If only your baby is four months old, you can try Hold With Love method to stop rocking. It is gentle sleep training for everyone. With the guide, you get easy to follow step-by-step instruction. The method described works even if your baby is sleeping in your arm by now. It will effectively help your baby unlearn this habit.

Susan Urban

Matthew UrbanComment