Motherhood

Your Baby Won’t Sleep Unless Held – Reasons And Tips

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Usually, babies won’t sleep without being held as soon as they come to this world. As parents, you will love that feeling. But, when the child grows with time and with your busy life, you will be unable to hold him always until he sleeps.

So, it is important to know the reasons why that your baby won’t sleep unless held to find better solutions for it. Therefore, this article is all about baby’s sleep.

Why does your baby won’t sleep unless held? The child is the whole world of the parents. As soon as babies come to this world, they are unfamiliar with the surroundings. They have been inside the womb for 9 months. So, they need time to adapt to this new environment. And accordingly, it is normal that they do not sleep without being held just after the birth.

But some children do not sleep without being held after about 4 or 6 months also for many reasons like; feeling uncomfortable, having to sleep on your hands, etc. It will be a problem for you with your busy life. But, you can reduce this practice by; using a device like a swing, practicing patience, etc. You can stop holding your child until he sleeps when he is between 4-6 months.

Accordingly, in this article, I have covered why babies won’t sleep unless held, why your baby won’t sleep unless held, what are the effects of holding a baby to sleep, and finally, I have provided some tips to stop the habit of the baby who won’t sleep unless held. 

Let’s get started!

Won’t babies sleep unless held?

Parents are counting days to see the face of their little kids as soon as they get to know that they are going to be parents shortly.

So, after they get their birth, you will love to hold your baby throughout the day. But, this is impossible with the busy lifestyle of people at present. So, you need your little kid to sleep alone after passing about 4 or 5 months. 

But what happens if your baby won’t sleep unless held? Normally, newborn babies should be held to sleep because they want time to adapt to the new environment as they have come to this world by spending about 9 months inside a womb.

It can’t be done at once as a miracle. Mother is the only person who can give that warmth, affection, and overwhelming love for the child during this period until they get used to living in their new environment. 

Accordingly, it is not a secret that babies won’t sleep unless held during this period. Babies love to have the skin to skin contact with their mother, feel the warmth of the heart of their mother until they get used to sleeping alone.

Accordingly, they can sleep alone after about 4-8 months. So, it is better to practice them to sleep alone without holding them when they pass about three months. If not, it will be difficult for you to separate this habit from your child.

The thing is that you should help them to live in a new environment. Encourage them to sleep alone when you realize that the child has spent enough time practicing it. Until then, you should hold them to sleep. 

Why does your baby won’t sleep unless held?

Many busy parents are suffering from the sleeping issues of their babies who do not sleep alone unless held. But, there are many reasons behind that.

So, here let’s consider the reasons that your baby won’t sleep unless held.  

1. Babies won’t sleep unless held because of the comfort

If you are first-hand parents, you will not have enough practice to care for little children. So, your surface that keeps the child will be uncomfortable for him to sleep. Then they won’t sleep. And also, newborn babies are new to this environment.

They have been for about 9 months inside a womb. So, they need that comfort, warmth, and their familiar environment to be comfortable. They can seek that comfort on your hands. So, they won’t sleep unless held.

2. Comes as a habit

If your child gets used to sleeping on your hands from their birth, they need that comfort always when sleeping.

After passing enough time for the child to get used to sleeping alone on a surface, you should stop holding him until he sleeps. If not, he won’t sleep alone. 

3. Feeling cold

Your baby also won’t sleep if he feels cold. Your warmth can reduce that coldness, and therefore they found that your hand is the best comfortable place to sleep.

Not only newborn babies but also babies who are older than 6 months also won’t sleep unless held if they feel cold. 

4. Biological needs

It has been found that human beings are powerfully attracted to cuddles. And they feel protection when someone is cuddling them.

So, it is the same for the babies; they also have this biological influence. Accordingly, they found that protection when they are held by you. So, it is a biological need of them. 

What are the effects of holding your baby to sleep?

As soon as your baby comes into this world, you will love the feeling as a parent to hold him always. And on the other hand, the baby won’t sleep unless held. But, do you know that there are both negative and positive impacts of holding your baby to sleep. 

When talking about the positive effects of this, it strengthens the connection between the baby and the parent. When a baby is inside the womb, he only identifies the heartbeat of the mother.

So, they are very close to their mother even after the birth. Have you noticed that they sleep comfortably on their mother’s bosom by listening to the rhythm of their heart? So, no one can say that it is not good to hold a baby to sleep just after their birth.

It strongly builds up their mutual relationship. 

But, there are also negative effects of this. Normally, parents are very busy during the first few months of the birth of their baby.

So, you may feel more tired not only at night but also in the daytime. Therefore, you may fall asleep while holding your baby to sleep. Then what happens? It flourishes security issues for your baby.

Accordingly, holding your baby until he sleeps is not always safe for him. It is okay to hold him while you are awake. But, make sure to keep him somewhere safe if you feel tired. 

When babies grow with time, they will not sleep well while you hold them. It becomes a hindrance to move their hands, legs and cooperate with their surroundings.

But, sometimes, some children make it a habit to hold and sleep. It is also a negative effect both for you and your baby. So, make sure to let them sleep alone when they adapt to the new environment. 

Tips to stop the habit of the baby who won’t sleep unless held?

The best time to stop the habit of the baby who won’t sleep unless held is 4-8 months. When the baby is about four months, he starts to go through 4 stages of sleeping patterns, just like adults do.

So, at this period, you can practice him to sleep without holding. Here, let’s see how to do it.

1. Breaking up the associations slowly

This will be difficult to do as the babies can’t learn to sleep independently at once. And remember that the negative sleep associations can cause sleep regression.

But, you can overcome this sleeping challenge by slowly breaking the associations. Give sensible sleeping training for your baby. Then he will quickly adapt to sleep alone. 

2. Using a comfortable sleepwear

Most babies love to hold and sleep due to the comfort they feel while holding. So, if you can provide that comfort externally, they will adapt to sleep alone.

So, if your baby does not roll over, you can keep him in a calm sleeping bag or a light weighted swaddle.

4. Swaddle your baby

Just after the birth, you can see that the baby is finding the familiar comfort and warmth that he felt in the womb.

You can provide it and make him sleep well without holding by swaddling the baby. 

5. Feed the baby well before sleeping

Many babies have made it a habit to sleep while drinking mother’s milk by holding to her body. This will make it difficult to separate your baby’s holding habits even after 4 months.

So, the baby won’t sleep unless held. Therefore, make sure to feed him well before sleeping. When he is full and has no hunger anymore, he will sleep well even without holding.

6. Coddle your baby without picking up him

Crying is normal for babies. But, if you pick up him always when he cries, he adapts to stop crying only when you pick him up. So, he will not learn to sleep alone without holding.

So, try your best to soothe the baby without picking him up by doing something like; rubbing his belly or the top of the baby’s head, patting the one side of his hip, offering some reassuring words or sounds, etc.

Try out this for about 20 minutes and see whether you can soothe the baby. 

7. Put the baby down drowsy but awake

Always when your baby wants to sleep, you may put the baby down drowsy but awake.

Then, for sure, the baby will fall asleep at the place where he wakes up instead of waking up and finding where he is at the moment. There, he will learn how to sleep after he awakes in the middle of his sleeping cycle. 

8. Putting the baby down completely asleep

If your baby does not sleep well when you put him down drowsy but awake, you can try this. There, you can hold the baby until he is so sleepy and keep him in the crib or bassinet after sleeping well.

You can know whether the baby is completely sleeping by lifting his arm in the air and letting it go and if it is dropping completely limp, he is in a deep sleep. 

Conclusion – Why won’t your baby sleep unless held?

We have discussed; why your baby won’t sleep unless held with more details. I think this article will be important for all parents who have babies, as I have discussed more important areas like; do babies won’t sleep unless held, why your baby won’t sleep unless held, what are the effects of holding a baby to sleep, and finally, I have provided with some tips to stop the habit of the baby who won’t sleep unless held.

Baby becomes the whole world of parents as soon as he comes to this world. The feeling of being a parent can’t be measured. It is priceless. When talking about babies, they love to sleep while holding. You should give that comfort until they get about 4-8 months.

But after that, you should stop that habit although they like it for many reasons like; to seek warmth and comfort, to fulfill the biological need, etc. because there are negative effects of it along with the positive effect of strengthening the relationship.

There, you should; break up the associations slowly, use comfortable sleepwear, swaddle the baby, feed the baby well before sleeping, etc. Then you can successfully make your baby sleep without holding.

Thank you for reading. Stay tuned with BestFamilyLife for more good content.

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