Help! My Baby Only Sleeps When Held

So you are a new parent and the baby is healthy and home from the hospital. Just one problem, your new baby will only sleep when help in your arms!

At first this might seem cute and even a little fun to hold your new bundle of joy while they sleep all the time, but eventually this feeling will fade!

After a few days and sleepless night of your baby sleeping on your chest you might be start wondering:

“Will my baby ever sleep without being held?”

If that sounds like you don’t worry, there is hope on the horizon!

First, lets remember your baby spent the first 9 months of it’s life in your womb. Now, they are out in the world and looking for a warm, safe place to rest and your arms are the perfect place! Plus, your child needs a warm place to sleep as much as it needs food and water.

Baby sleeping in a crib

Sleep and Oxytocin

New borns love skin contact, especially with their mothers. When humans touch they release a chemical called oxytocin.

Oxytocin is a hormone inside all mammals that makes you feel all warm inside when touched. It is the same chemical that makes your dogs ears relax when being pet!

Potential Attachment Issues

A common question from new parents is about future attachment issues, or having “clingy” kids. No one wants to have a momma’s boy, but don’t worry!

Studies have proven that allowing your kids to sleep in your arms or bed at night is not an indicator of future behavior problems. After some time this behavior will pass, but it may take some pushing from the parents. If this sounds like your try out the steps below!


One of our favorite ways to get babies to start sleeping alone is to swaddle! Swaddling newborns is a practice that dates back thousands of years. Wrapping and swaddling has been proven to help them fall asleep faster and stay down longer.

To swaddle a child wrap them with a blanket, keeping their arms by their side. Make sure to have the wrap tight enough to stay put, but lose enough to breathe.

Pacifiers and Swings

Pacifiers and swings and an easy way to help newborns fall asleep without their parents. Pacifiers focus attention away from their missing parents while motion from swings can lull kids to sleep.

Use a Sleep Sack

Sleep sacks – like the Nested Bean – are an interesting alternative to traditional swaddling. They offer many of the same benefits like warmth and sleep benefits but allow parents the ability to change diapers without waking up the baby. We recommend buying a few sacks so you always have a clean one nearby!

Get a Comfortable Chair

Sometimes there is no way around holding a sleeping baby. Enjoy this time together and start to get to know each other in a comfortable chair (we recommend a lay-z-boy). Don’t get stuck in a kitchen chair with a sleeping baby!

Your new child will be looking, listening and smelling all the new people in their life and you will be the main person! Make sure to keep comfortable and avoid future back problems by finding yourself a good chair.

Marie Seska

Marie Seska

Marie Seska is one of the most trusted sources on the net for sleep information. She searches the web - as well as the latest medical journals to bring her readers the latest news and information.

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