Your baby won’t sleep unless held: How to put your little stubborn baby to bed?

Your baby won’t sleep unless held?

That’s a common problem of almost all parents in the world. However, it can significantly affect not only his health but also yours and daily activities. I don’t know anyone who can work well without sleep.

Therefore, in my article today, I will show you the most efficient methods that can put your little stubborn baby right to bed. Basing on experiences of 5 years raising two kids, I think they will be a huge help for you.

What you need to follow this article

Before learning how to put your little kid to bed, you need to know the reason why your baby won’t sleep unless held. It can be because:

• He does not have a bedtime routine

Symptoms: Perhaps, your baby cannot sleep without your arms because you don’t give him a chance to go to sleep on his own. You always hold him when bedtime comes, which makes he thinks that whenever he sleeps, he has to be held.

• He cannot put himself back to sleep

Symptoms: Your baby keeps interrupting his sleep. After you sing and rock him, he goes to sleep for five or ten minutes. But then, he wakes up again and you have to sing and hold him all over again until he is back to sleep.

• He still has much energy at night and still wants to play

Symptoms: Your baby can either be passive or yearns for interaction in this situation. If he is passive during the day, he still may have much energy at night and want to play with you.

In contrast, if your baby has too much energy and still craves interaction, he will want to be up and communicate.

• He cannot distinguish between day and night

Symptoms: This is a common problem of 1-2-month babies. Sometimes, he takes a nap through the day. However, in other times, he is awake all night long. It can be due to his misunderstanding between day and night. You will have a hard time holding him to sleep.

• He already has enough of sleep during the day

Symptoms: Baby’s sleeping all afternoon can give you much time for housework. Nevertheless, that is harmful for him because he will sleep less at night and his brain development will be limited.

If he takes a nap more than four hours by day and less than those by night, he needs to change.

The most efficient ways to put your baby to bed without your holding

Your baby won’t sleep unless held: How to put your little stubborn baby to bed?

1. Create a quiet environment 15 minutes before bedtime

It is a part of wind-down routines, which signals your baby to sleep and make him become drowsy. If you have two kids and the older one may disturb your baby, it’s best to go into a different room where you and your baby have some privacy.

This action will gradually change his routine and make him think that he can go to bed without your holding all night. Also, your baby will have the best relaxation and sweet dreams when he sleeps.

2. Change the way you soothe him

If you often rock him, you can change it a little and turn to holding him upright. Your baby will feel safe when having your chest to lean on and not being afraid of falling while sleeping.

You can hold him upright while sitting or standing. Buying a glider chair will be a great idea when your baby won’t sleep unless held. He will feel extremely comfortable when you hold him on the chair and push it forwards and backwards.

3. Turn down the light

Various mothers usually leave their lights on to make it more convenient when their babies cry at night. If you still have this routine, it is recommended to give it in. It can accidentally create long-term sleeplessness for both of you and your kid.

Instead, you can turn off or leave a dim light in your baby’s room while soothing him. Darkness is an integral factor to signal your baby to sleep and comfort his eyes. Besides, turning down the light can also make clear differences between day and night for him and help him follow your night time schedule.

4. Put some small soft toy or a blankie inside his crib

Your baby won’t sleep unless held: How to put your little stubborn baby to bed?

Toys and blankies can replace your arms. The root cause of your baby’s inability of going back to sleep without your holding is the love with your pleasant and comfortable warmth. Therefore, you need to change those when you want to sleep well at night.

Try introducing him with some small and soft toys first. They can distract him from the surrounding. And when you start cuddling and singing for him, wrap him inside a blankie. You should measure your baby’s size before purchasing a right one.

Otherwise, he will feel uncomfortable. And remember to choose only small as well as soft toys to put into his crib. You had better completely avoid blankets, pillow, or stuffed animals due to high risks of suffocation.

5. Lull your baby and leave before he falls asleep

You should not wait until your kid is sound asleep to leave him. When already familiar with your arms and warmth, your baby won’t sleep unless held. He will immediately cry again when you don’t cuddle him anymore.

The most efficient way is to lull him and put him in his crib or bassinet while he falls asleep for 2 or 3 minutes. Then, sit beside him for a moment and leave the room quietly. Your kid will sleep until the morning.

Your baby won’t sleep unless held: How to put your little stubborn baby to bed?

6. Encourage your baby to play during the day

This part involves not only mothers but also fathers. If you child does not participate in so many activities during the day, you can apply this tip. Sometimes, he will not even miss your arms when he is too tired. Tell your husband to play with him and pull him in activities.

Going to the nearby park, playing with a slide, or flying with a swing are some simple things to keep your baby active by day. And he will be tired by night. Just do whatever creating vestibular stimulation for him and he will sleep safe and sound every night.

7. Create calm activities before he sleeps

Is your baby restless?

Don’t worry! There are activities that can calm him down when you want to put him to bed and you need to work on them before he sleeps. Massaging, feeding, and bathing are what experts recommend.

Giving your baby a warm bath can increase his temperature, which can drop at night, and prevent him from getting irritated. Massaging can create the best relaxation and help you lull him to sleep much easier. Feeding is even better, which can make him your baby warm and comfortable from the inside.

However, pay attention to the maximum weight for feeding before bedtime. If your baby is over 12 pounds, you should avoid it because he may consider feeding time with bedtime.


Have you been finding my methods useful?

I hope the answer is yes. If you have any questions or opinions, just comment them under this article. I would love to reply. And if you are interested in my writing, do share it with other parents. I’m sure they will love it like you do.

Regardless, thank you for reading my article about “baby won’t sleep unless held” until the end and I hope that your kid will thrive strong and healthy in the future.

Emma Kelley

I am a housewife. I have a nearly one-year-old daughter. My preference is to raise kids and helping people develop skills in parenting.

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