Either by instinct or by habit, all parents lull our children by rocking them to calm them when they are restless when they have colic or we simply want to put them to sleep regardless of how many months the baby is. So, is it bad to rock a baby when it is time to sleep?

Parents buy products to facilitate the task of putting the baby to sleep such as baby carriers, battery-powered bouncers or rocking chairs, strollers, or hammocks. Many of us have been told that a friend’s cousin has had to take the car out for a walk and the child can sleep, for many it may be strange but it is true.

As the baby grows, we realize that it takes longer to sleep, the arms and back get even more tired due to the weight we carry and the time it takes the child to sleep. 

It does not matter which product we have used to put it to sleep, over time it will cost us more work or gasoline (from the cousin) to achieve the goal.

The time will come when the big baby gets used to rocking to be able to fall asleep because now for him it is an indispensable strong habit. 

This will become a problem for both the child and the parents because it will take 1 to 2 hours to sleep and each time the child wakes up, they will have to lull him again for 1 or 2 more hours . 

Children who sleep with their parents also get used to it and do not want to sleep in their crib or in their own room, children should not sleep with their parents.

Is lulling a baby bad when it’s time to sleep?

Before birth, the baby was on the move inside the womb; when the mother moved, so did the baby. So moving, rocking, rocking or cradling the baby is natural and very effective when we want to calm or put a newborn baby to sleep.

From the second month it is advisable to reduce the sway so that you do not depend on the movement to sleep or stop crying, you have to look for other techniques to achieve the goal. You can try gyms to get her distracted, play and exhausted so she can sleep, you can also try baby music to help her relax.

Lullaby infants younger than 3 months

When babies are newborns, the method you use to put them to sleep often doesn’t affect when it comes to bedtime. You can be holding or rocking it all night and the baby will sleep well. This is because newborns go in and out of sleep cycles, and they haven’t learned sleeping habits yet.

When you can have problems is at nap time. When the newborn baby falls asleep in your arms and you try to leave him in his crib, the baby may wake up because he no longer hears the sound of your heart and I believe that you are no longer with him.

There are newborn babies who do not like jiggling very much and prefer subtle movements to stay asleep, the use of a hammock is not a crazy idea so that the baby can sleep better and for longer.

Keep in mind that the sleep cycles of newborn babies change as the months go by. When they reach 5 months, most babies wake up 4 to 6 times during the night and have to go back to sleep but if they are still used to falling asleep only if they are rocked, we are going to have trouble doing it.

The faster we teach our baby to fall asleep without rocking, the easier it will be to get him to sleep and the longer we as parents will sleep.

What techniques can I use to get him to sleep without rocking?

Gradually reduce the amount of movement you use to put your baby to sleep.

If you used to rock your baby until he fell asleep, now do it until he is about to sleep or sleepy and place him in the crib partially awake and if necessary you can pat the diaper to finish him off.

When the previous step is easy, when it is time to sleep you have to leave him awake on the crib and let him just doze and fall asleep.

Babies older than 5 months, are you still awake at night?

If you want your baby to sleep through the night and be able to calm himself without help, then it is time for him to stop using the rocking chair so that he sleeps as he has to sleep just like the parents.

Before continuing it is important to know that all people have cycles or phases of sleep that go from Stage 1, 2, 3, 4, and REM, each cycle lasts from 90 to 120 minutes. 

When the baby reaches 5 months, he is fully awake between each sleep cycle (4 to 6 times a night). If they are used to being held at bedtime, every time they wake up at night they will cry until you charge them to fall asleep again.

When the above happens, the quality of sleep drops for babies (and for parents) because they no longer sleep as long as they need and then we see the children more loud and tantrum because they do not sleep enough because they spent half the night awake because they had to be lulled.

Another reason why they take a long time to fall asleep is that they are accustomed to having to be fed before sleeping and when they wake up during the night they cannot sleep until they are fed again.

Decide to stop rocking your baby to sleep

As mentioned several times, rocking to sleep becomes a very strong habit for the baby and parents believe that rocking is the only way to get him to sleep. 

To eradicate this strong habit is that both parents commit to teaching the baby that there are other alternatives to sleep. 

Choose the most appropriate alternative that you feel more comfortable with as a parent, different techniques work more for some children than others, it is only a matter of testing which one works best for your baby.

For the efforts of the parents to have results it does not depend on their child but on the perseverance and commitment that the parents themselves have to try any other way for the baby to sleep and not relapse into the use of the rocking chair or rocking to lull it. Start this great effort only when they are really ready.

How long will it take for my baby to learn to sleep alone?

You have to be aware that it will not be easy because the baby will insist that you cuddle him and you should not give in to his demands. 

Learning a new way of sleeping will take from several days to several weeks and you have to be firm with the baby until he realizes that you are not going to carry him anymore. 

If for some reason you carry and lull him, you are losing ground and you will throw away the effort of many days because the baby will understand that if he insists at some point you will carry him and the baby will have control and you will not.

Do babies need to eat at night?

Babies between 4 and 5 months do not usually need any food at night. 

If you’re not sure whether your baby can last without additional feeding, you won’t know until you try it! It’s worth trying to soothe your baby without feeding and see if he can get back to sleep with some extra warm bedding (babies often wake up cold rather than hungry).

A stomach full baby tends to sleep longer and better as compared to hungry ones. If you kid happen to sleep early without having food, you are going to see him waking up in the middle of the night for sure.

So, make sure if your baby goes to sleep a bit early anyday , give him a small nap of 5 minutes, wake him up and give food till he needs and then put him to sleep.