How To Get Your Baby To Sleep Without Being Held [Step-by-Step Guide]

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how to get your baby to sleep without being held
Ever had this problem? You try to lay your baby gently, but the moment their back hits the bassinet, they start screaming? You pick it up, plop it gently on your chest, and the crying stops immediately? Don’t worry. This is a common exhausting struggle that many moms can relate.
Babies are not dumb! They know a good thing when they find it. Fortunately for you, in this article, we show you some simple steps on how to get your baby to sleep without being held that you can apply.

How Much Sleep Does a Baby Need?

Please note the amount of sleep your baby needs depends on her age. The National Sleep Foundation (NSF) suggests that newborns to 3 months old should get about 14-17 hours of sleep in 24 hours with short snoozes of about two to four hours. They wake up to be fed, changed, and soothed.
If your baby is 4-6 months old, 12-16 hours of sleep a day are enough with some overnight stretches.

How to Get Your Newborn to Sleep Alone?

Sleeping your baby into a bassinet is always recommended if they are below six months. After six months, it is when to stop using the bassinet. Gradually reduce and alternate bed-sharing routine. Start sleeping your baby on a playpen, especially during naptime.
Make the transition gradual by placing a playpen next to your bed. Ensure you know how much weight can a playpen hold to transfer your baby to a safer space such as the crib.

How to Sleep Train Your Baby?

Sleep training is the practice of creating a bedtime routine designed to help your baby work on a 24-hour clock. Starts by introducing the baby to a bedtime routine. Follow a consistent 25-50 minutes infant sleeping routine to present a transition between sleeping and awake. Start the habit early enough to help you finish before getting exhausted.
Sleep training your baby eliminates many mothers’ nightmares when babies won’t sleep unless held as it leaves them exhausted.

When Can Babies Fall Asleep on their Own?

Many babies fall asleep quickly when they are held. However, learning how to get newborns to sleep in a bassinet at an early age is the first step to making them sleep without being held.

Steps on How To Get Your Baby to Sleep Without Being Held ?

Many mothers, especially first-timers, complain that their babies won’t sleep unless held. However, coupling the bed routine with our suggested strategies will make your baby sleep on her own.

1. Make the Bed Warm

Make sure you lay your baby on a warm bed. Going from your warm and cozy hands to a cold bassinet can be an undesirable transition for the baby. Babies have a problem with a cold bed. You can add warm water in a bottle or a heating pad, place on the baby’s bed minutes before putting him to sleep, and withdraw it before putting him down. You will leave a warm place for the baby to sleep on. Ensure the temperature in the crib are moderate and not too high.
Besides making the bassinet warm, keep it clean. If you DIY, make sure you know how to clean a bassinet that does not come apart to ensure the thorough removal of hidden dirt.

2. Make the Room Dark and Use White Noise or Music

This is imperative as it trains the baby to associate sleep with darkness. Feed the baby while the bedroom lights are dimmed. You can also install black-out or darker curtains if the room has big windows to dim the natural light.
You can also use white light as it muffles sounds emanating from a quiet environment. With this trick, new generation mothers who love loud music and light will never complain that their baby won’t sleep unless held.

3. Put Your Shirt on the bed

Babies are typically accustomed to their mom’s smell during feeding. By hanging a small piece of used clothing close to the bed, the baby feels comfortable with their mother’s smell. However, be careful not to place the cloth loosely on the bed as it might cause breathing problems. The shirt should be close to the crib but far from the baby.
Alternatively, you can sleep with an extra baby sheet for a few days so that your smell can remain on the sheets.

4. Let Your Baby Lie Down Awake but Drowsy

We all have a given habit or ritual resulting from things we are used to and experiences. If your baby is used to falling asleep in your arms, he will always cry when you try to make him sleep in a bassinet—putting him down drowsy but awake is how to get your baby to sleep without being held. It is a good starting point to break such habits by allowing him to sleep away from your arms and comfortably in a bassinet.
If you are always holding your baby before he sleeps, he will think it is the only way for him to sleep. Consistently putting him away in a bassinet while drowsy but awake, you help him learn there is another way to fall asleep, which is okay.
Ensuring that the bassinet is clean is imperative before laying your baby down. Clean the bassinet after two to three days by adding two teaspoons of infant laundry detergent to a spray bottle containing warm water. Shake gently to make a homogenous solution and spray a section of the fabric with the solution, soaking it thoroughly.
If your baby reaches a height of 35 inches and above or he quickly climbs out of the pack and plays, it is time to stop using the playpen. The same goes for babies weighing more than 15 kilograms.

5. Don't Turn Naps into Sleep

Your baby should not sleep for long during the daytime, adversely affecting their sleep quality during the night. Let a nap be a nap. If he sleeps for too long, wake him up. Yes. It doesn’t sound kind, but it enables him to sleep well during the night.
Noise should not worry you too much during the day as the baby only needs some quiet during the night.


You need to know that our recommended the best steps on how to get your baby to sleep without being held will not always work at once. It is gradual progress. Therefore, make your baby’s crib warm, keep the room dark, place your shirt on the crib to trick the baby of your presence, and sleep her on the crib while drowsy to enhance the smooth transition of sleeping without being held.
Every mother desire to make their baby sleep without being held, and we hope this guide helps them realize this wish.

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