1. home
  2. baby care
  3. baby sleep
  4. Expert Panel
  5. I have read that up to 3 months it doesn`t matter if you rock them to sleep or not; they won`t remember and make it a habit
Avatar Member
I have read that up to 3 months it doesn`t matter if you rock them to sleep or not; they won`t remember and make it a habit

Hi Maree,
I have an 8 week old little boy who is a really good baby. My problem is that he takes a long time to settle. In those first few weeks i was rocking his bassinette for at least an hour if not two. That didn`t last long due to sleep deprivation! I have resorted to rocking him to sleep as its the quickest way and usually only takes about half an hour. Its fine when he was small but now is getting quite heavy although i know that this is the least of my problems. My mums method with us was to let us cry oursleves to sleep which i have seen and i simply don`t have it in me to do it with my baby. At 8 weeks he is starting to understand that to go to sleep i will rock him and i have also noticed that he is getting more clingy and is reluctant to play on his own. Don`t get me wrong i enjoy the cuddle to put him to sleep but i am afraid i am doing more damage than good.

My questions to you are is the clingyness and not wanting to stay on his own for too long because he is a baby or is it something i am doing? Also, how do i get him to self settle? I have read that up to 3 months it doesn`t matter if you rock them to sleep or not; they won`t remember and make it a habit, but from my observations i have to question this theory. Please help!!
Anita

Maree...
Answer: Hi Anita, It`s never too early to start a good settling routine. It only takes about 3 days to create a habit and for many babies that are rocked or fed to sleep this becomes their sleep association and simply don`t know how to sleep without you. Studies have shown recently that a baby that is taught to self settle can reduce PND by up to 45% and the Government is teaching 220 M&CHN around Australia to teach parents how to settle baby awake into their cot. Mums way of letting you `cry it out` surely did work, but it`s harsh and what controlled comforting techniques do is teach baby to sleep with a hands on repetitive technique which teaches baby to sleep independently. A routine of feed/play/sleep is also a vital part of helping the techniques work. It`s not about sacrificing cuddles it`s about feeding in your arms, down to play and then settling baby awake once tired signs are shown. I hope this helps. Cheers, Maree
Answered: 15 Mar 2009