New parents are often surprised by the need to rock their babies to sleep. Even more shocking to those parents is how often they need to do it.
It's not unheard of to have to rock your baby more often than not to get them to fall asleep. Many parents wonder how long they will have to continue this longtime lulling technique.
It may seem like a tedious task if you have a particularly fussy baby come sleep time, but luckily, you won't have to do it forever.
The need to do it ends before you know it, and that's good news for your back and own sleep schedule.
The real question is, how do you wean your baby from needing to be rocked? That's what we're going to address in this article.
Your child will eventually grow out of being rocked, but it feels like that will never happen as you continuously rock your baby to sleep every night or at nap times.
So, let's talk about how you will overcome this hurdle and finally wean your baby from being rocked.
Cutting Back on the Length of Rocking Time
If your baby is less than a few months old, you should not do anything to wean your child off from rocking.
Allow them to be rocked to sleep for however long is necessary.
After a few months, now is the time when you start to lessen the duration of time of the rocking.
What started as a free-for-all where you didn't care how long you rocked your baby to sleep, now you are taking it down to five minutes or less.
If you find that five minutes is not enough, you can extend the amount of rocking for as long as needed.
In the early days of your weaning, you will notice that your efforts are almost pointless because it will take the standard amount of time for your baby to fall asleep.
The only thing that matters, in the beginning, is that you start the transition process and make your baby comfortable with the idea of someday being rocked less.
One technique to try during your transition is the shush-pat method for sleep. This is a wonderful alternative to rocking your baby that can provide the same results.
Put Your Baby in Their Crib Before They Fall Asleep
You will get the hang of knowing if your baby is about to fall asleep. When your baby looks like they are about to doze off, put them into the bed.
If your baby puts up a fight, continue rocking until they fall asleep.
There is no harm in going back to rocking; however, what you're trying to do is get them accustomed to the idea that they can fall asleep by themselves.
Your baby doesn't realize in the beginning that they don't need your assistance to fall asleep.
It won't be long until they understand that rocking isn't necessary and can fall asleep without it.
Create a Relaxing Setting That Promotes Sleep
A problem that many babies have is as they don't feel relaxed enough to sleep.
The gentle rocking soothes and calms them down to the point where they can fall asleep.
Making sure your lights aren't too bright is one way to create the setting so that your child is capable of sleeping.
If you have the television on, now is the time to turn it off. The only sounds that should be heard in the background are those that are relaxing.
Nature sounds work great to soothe a sleepy baby and also instrumental music.
What you're trying to do above all else is to create an atmosphere where the baby feels calmed and can easily drift off to sleep.
If there are too many distractions in the background, sleeping will be next to impossible, and you will have to continue rocking until you realize something has to be done about them.
Temperature is important too. If it's a cool in your home, a comfortable sleep sack can go a long way to soothing your baby.
Keep Track of How Long You Are Rocking Your Baby
They say information is power, which is the truth when it comes to knowing how long you are rocking your baby.
Some might think it's silly to write down how long you rock your baby every time before they fall asleep.
There is no way of knowing for certain how long you have been rocking your baby without keeping a close eye on them.
How else will you know if you rocked your baby less yesterday than today?
The hope is that when you study the numbers, you will see that the amount of time spent rocking has decreased over the days and weeks.
Don't be surprised if some days you are rocking more than others since your baby sometimes will have more difficulty falling asleep some days.
The Need to Rock Your Baby Is Not Atypical
For whatever reason, some people believe that the need to rock their baby to sleep signifies some problem.
Your baby is perfectly healthy if they need to be rocked to sleep.
It is also common knowledge that you can't rock your baby to sleep forever. Just imagine how difficult it would be to rock your teenager to sleep.
All joking aside, there is a time when rocking becomes too much, and you must slowly cut back.
It will be difficult at first, but rest assured that your baby will not need to be rocked to fall asleep eventually.
Enjoy the Rocking While You Can
Some of you are going to balk at the idea of enjoying rocking your baby to sleep.
Your arms are tired, your back aches, and it is all you can do to sit still after a session of rocking.
You even find yourself rocking back and forth when you don't have your baby in your arms.
You will miss these days, and you will long for the feeling of having your baby in your arms as you walk back and forth.
Don't rush into stopping rocking your baby because it is a much-needed exercise for both of you.
Enjoy these fleeting moments and always remember them for as beautiful as they are.
You might not realize it today, but soon you will sink back to these times with great fondness as you wish somehow you could recapture them once again.