If your sleeping baby starts crying as you carry her to her room or the moment you set her down in her crib, you’re moving her too soon. Babies go through sleep stages just as adults do, although AskDrSears.com states that a baby’s sleep cycle is shorter--averaging 50 to 60 minutes. Waiting until your baby reaches the deep sleep stage and moving her around as little as possible gives you the best chance of putting her down without waking her up.
Rock or feed your baby to sleep in her room or in another room that’s close to her. A shorter amount of time spent moving her means there’s less chance of her waking up.
Sit in a chair that’s easy to get out of if you rock or feed your baby to sleep. If you do use a deeper chair or sofa, don’t sit all the way back against the cushions if you have trouble getting up. Sit closer to the front edge and prop pillows up behind you for support instead.
Hold your baby in the same arm you normally use when laying her down if you rock her to sleep so you won’t have to change her position when you get up. If you have her in the other arm and she falls asleep while nursing, switch her to the other breast and let her feed a little while longer before getting up.
Raise your baby’s arm up gently and let go. If her arm drops down right away,she should be sleeping deeply enough for you to move her without disturbing her. Babies typically reach this stage about five minutes after falling asleep, according to AskDrSears.com.
Pull your arm out from under her slowly when you put her down then rest one hand on her for a few minutes before walking away. Removing physical contact abruptly when you first put her down can startle her. If you bottle feed, leave the bottle in her mouth for a couple of minutes after laying her down then gently remove it.
- AskDrSears.com: 8 Infant Sleep Facts Every Parent Should Know
- "What to Expect the First Year"; Heidi Murkoff; 2003
- AskDrSears.com: Every Time I Put Down My Sleeping Baby She Wakes Up
- Ask Dr. Sears: Soothing Tricks