Member Articles

Write an article!

Can Rocking Your Baby Be Harmful?

A look at how your child falls asleep

by PickNicksBrain  |  8461 views  |  3 comments  |        Rate this now! 

One final thought. I want to reiterate that rocking your baby, using a pacifier, nursing or drinking a bottle before bed, etc. are not bad things to do. If you don't mind rocking your baby for 10 minutes and (s)he falls asleep, you transfer him/her to his/her bed (or take him/her to bed with you) and (s)he sleeps all night, then there is no problem. It's only when you can't keep up with the that it becomes a problem. Keep in mind that your sleep fragmentation that makes you exhausted is no better for your baby than it is for you. If you are cranky, don't you think (s)he will be too over time? I would have LOVED to rock my son to sleep every night and boy did I try over and over (unintentionally -- just in my nature). We slipped back into bad habits more times than I wanted to count, but it just became a hitch for him EVERY time. In the end, I was able to continue to nurse him to sleep once he learned the necessary skills to go BACK to sleep throughout the rest of the night. With opportunity and practice we can all learn a new way to sleep, even without a pillow! Well-rested babies make happy babies and well-rested parents make happy parents and happy parents make better parents!

About the Author

Nicole Johnson is the owner of Pick Nick's Brain - - specializing in sleep consulting services for children. Nicole is a wife, mother of two, Full-time work-at-home IT consultant and now, an entrepreneur. She attended UC Berkeley where she received her B.A. in Computer Science and received her MBA from Ohio State University after the birth of her first son. She received her Master's in Sleep Deprivation when her first son did not sleep and made it her mission to help other parents help their children learn healthy sleep habits, too.

Read more by PickNicksBrain

3 comments so far...

  • I had to sing to my oldest daughter to get her to fall asleep up to when she was a few months old. I didn't mind it and it allowed us some quality time together. I have to have a fan going when I sleep. I live on a corner where there is a lot of traffic and the noise would keep me awake until around 11:00. 11:00 is when there isn't much traffic. Also, I get so hot at night so the fan really helps with my night sweats. Maryland Secretarial Services, Inc.

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Cindy on 8th August 2008

  • Thanks for your comment, Diane! Rocking is definitely not a problem in all cases, only when you can't sustain it (and that breaking point will be different for everyone) or baby is losing too much sleep because of how long it takes (like when it took me 2-3 hours each night).

    I said I wouldn't do it the 2nd time, either, but somehow we still did. LOL But, we were able to break the habit much sooner and easier with #2. Some of it was just his more easy-going personality, though.

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by PickNicksBrain on 5th June 2008

  • That's what happened to me! The rocking routine is fine for a newborn, but somehow, somewhere along the way you need to transition out of the habit. For us, it ended up being hellish a few months later. :) On the other hand, not everyone would consider this a problem, you know what I mean? It sort of depends on the parents and what makes them happy. Having said that, I won't be rocking the next one to sleep!

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Diane on 4th June 2008