At our 6 month appointment, our pediatrician recommended beginning to put Baby Boy down in his bed when he was drowsy. This meant no more rocking my sweet baby to sleep and getting to rock him while he’s asleep.
Uhhh what? Excuse me? He’s a baby. I love rocking him to sleep. He loves being rocked to sleep. What crazy advice. We’ll revisit the issue at the next appointment. Okay? Thanks.
Fast forward a little bit. Baby Boy starts struggling and fussing a short bit when I rock him to sleep. By 7 months old, it’s more of a struggle. By 8 months, naps became a battle of strength and will, BUT putting him in his bed drowsy made him mad too.
At 8 1/2 months though, something had to change. I was winning the nap time battles, but losing the war.
I tried putting him in his bed to fall asleep on his own. Guess what? HE DID. No crying. Minimal fussing. He’s done this now for every nap and bed time for a few weeks. He only had one night when he wanted to be rocked to sleep. He started crying in his bed, so I picked him up. We rocked in the rocking chair. We snuggled, not struggled, and he stayed perfectly still in my lap until his eyes started to droop. The next day we were back to falling asleep on our own.
I watch him on the baby monitor while he falls asleep. He generally stands up for a little, then sits. He might roll around a little, sit back up, sway, tip over, wiggle a little, and gradually his movements get slower and slower until he falls asleep. The process usually takes fewer than 5 minutes and rarely longer than 15 minutes. After he’s asleep, I move him if he fell asleep in a awkward position.