How to Get Newborn to Sleep without Being Held

How to Get Newborn to Sleep without Being Held

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It is interesting to know that most babies love to fall asleep while their mothers hold them. However, this situation isn’t quite feasible when you are a working mom and need to go to bed early. 

In fact, knowing how to get newborn to sleep without being held is the first thing you have to learn when nurturing your baby. It isn’t an easy task for most of the parents, as it requires patience and specific techniques. 

If you want your baby to develop healthy sleep habits, it’s essential to help him learn how to sleep without being held. Here, are some of the steps that you should think about following while making this process less stressful. 

Break the Link Between Sleep and Anything Associated With It 

It is quite common to observe that babies need you to feed them or want something to suck on before falling asleep. If this is the case, the baby will always ask for such a thing while sleeping. The situation gets worse when the baby wakes up during the night and requires a pacifier to fall back asleep. 

In order to prevent this from happening, the best way is to break the link between sucking, nursing, feeding, and falling asleep. Normally, babies settle down if you start rocking them. However, by doing this, you are offering another sleep crutch. 

Rocking is easy to break sleep association, as compared to sucking or nursing. Hence, you may use it initially for breaking the strong association like feeding and sucking. Later on, when your child starts to sleep on their own, you can break this link as well.

When it comes to feeding, make sure to feed your child a few minutes earlier to bedtime. During bedtime, experiment with rocking instead of feeding. In this way, your baby would gradually learn to fall asleep without any need to suck. 

The basic aim here is to break the association between sleep and sucking. To make this transition smooth, you can use some other ways to help your child fall asleep. You would observe that the baby starts to fall asleep without sucking. 

Allow Your Baby to Fall Asleep Without Rocking Them

Once the baby learns to sleep without the need for feeding or sucking, the next step is to get them to fall asleep without walking or rocking. To start with, try rocking when the baby isn’t sleeping. When you feel that your baby is sleepy, stop rocking them, and sit calmly. 

Start rocking the baby again if they protest. However, this time, try to rock them slowly and with less intensity. Although it sounds weird, you need to repeat this process until the baby falls asleep. You have to show patience before actually making it possible for your baby to sleep without being held.

It would be appropriate to follow this routine for a week or so. As a result, the baby will get used to sleeping without relying on any sleep association. This is the first sign of your victory!

Train your Baby to Fall Asleep in the Crib

Once you have achieved the milestone of breaking the sleep association, the next step is to put your baby in the crib. You need to start this step immediately after the baby falls asleep in your arms. While the baby has fallen asleep, hold them straight in your arms to adjust their sleeping position. 

By staying still, you are preparing your baby to get adjusted to the crib. Babies usually react to a change in the sleeping posture when they are sleeping. For instance, if the baby is sleeping in a straight position, they will react to any change in such a posture and start to cry. 

If everything goes fine and baby is almost asleep, start lowering them into the crib. If the child wakes up, immediately take them back in your arms for a while. Just keep on repeating this process until the baby falls asleep. 

When Putting your Baby Down to Sleep, Wake Them Up

Normally, babies will start crying when you put them down in a crib to fall asleep. Infants do this because they want a safe place to sleep, and there is nothing safer and warmer than your arms.

Although there are no authentic studies that throw light over the lasting effects of crying on the baby, it may not be a good thing for the baby to experience continuous crying or screaming for parents. 

The best way to do it is following Mother Nature. When the baby cries, give them attention and comfort. When the baby falls asleep, and you are putting him in the bassinet or crib, jostle him a bit. This is essential as the baby will feel that you are holding him, and he is safe. 

Try Rubbing or Touch Instead of Holding

Putting your baby into the crib is your victory, but before you celebrate it, just take a few notes for the next step. If the baby wakes up within a few minutes after lying in the crib, don’t pick them up. Just touch your baby gently to give them a feel of your presence. 

You can even try rubbing them if they aren’t feeling comfortable in the crib. Eventually, your hard work will pay off, and the baby will go to sleep. You need to follow this routine for a couple of weeks until the baby accepts the change and starts sleeping without being held. 


In this article, we have discussed how to get a newborn to sleep without being held. The process may appear to be tiresome and daunting, as you will need to follow it consistently for results. In the beginning, the baby will clearly show their discontent with a new sleep routine. However, as the days and weeks pass, you will experience a positive change in the sleep-wake cycle of your baby.

In order to achieve promising results, you have to implement sleep training techniques gently and less abruptly. By doing so, it will be possible to lower the impact of change felt by the baby. For more information, visit the Baby Sleep Miracle site.

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