Does this sound familiar? You have your newborn in your arms and they're so cozy and comfortable that they just fall asleep? Eventually, you start to notice that they only fall asleep if they're being rocked or swung to sleep. Does that sound like your story?
If you're dealing with a newborn, please read and understand that this is for babies four months and older. Oftentimes, babies get so used to being rocked or swung to sleep that breaking that habit can be really hard. It's a sleep association that we (myself included) have created because it worked in the beginning. Now, hear me out.....if this doesn't bother you or effect you, then don't think ANYTHING needs to change. However, if you're looking for a change, then please keep reading.
A baby will FULLY wake up and look for whatever they're used to in order for them to get back to sleep, which is why if they are used to being rocked or swung to sleep, they can't go back to sleep until you provide them with that. That goes for feeding to sleep as well.
Whether your baby is used to being rocked or swung to sleep, START WITH A ROUTINE AND SCHEDULE. I can't express how important that is for a child. This really starts to adjust their body clock and sends signals to the brain that it's time to go to sleep.
The good new is that you don't have to stop doing either! Instead, you want to just move it to a different place in your routine. I always suggest the beginning so that they still have to be fed and changed. That way, if they start to get too comfortable and begin to fall asleep, you can keep them awake by doing their diaper change and their last feeding before going to bed.
Eliminating Rocking Before Laying Them Down (and throughout the night)
Move to the beginning of the routine
If they've already been fed and changed and start to fall asleep, place them in the crib right away.
Many times, they'll cry once placed in the crib because they're looking for more rocking. If that's the case, comfort them and have them calm down. Then lay them back down and exit the room. You want to give them a few minutes before intervening (1-2 minutes) and then repeat the steps.
Remain consistent and feel free to hold and cuddle them during their awake times. We want to make sure they still feel your love and know that they're cared for.
You may have to pair this with some sleep training but there are different methods to make you comfortable.
Eliminating Swinging Before Laying Them Down (and throughout the night)
If they are in an actual baby swing, you can start by reducing the speed of the swing. You can drop it down one notch or speed every two days until the swinging speed is at zero.
Bring them into their room and make sure they're familiar with their space.
Consider putting them in a sleep sack. I love Sleeping Baby. Link: https://www.gopjn.com/t/4-308662-261510-163601
You may have to pair this with some sleep training techniques so think about it ahead of time and have it ready.
Whatever way you use in order to get your baby to fall asleep, remember it takes time and consistency to teach them a new habit. They will learn. I promise.
If you need extra support, here is the link to book your free consultation with me https://calendly.com/littleonessleep/15min
If you're ready to make the change, here is the list of what I offer https://www.littleonessleepsociety.com/packages