Putting a baby to sleep can be one of the most challenging things you’ll ever have to do as a mother. If you’re a new mom and you have a newborn, chances are, you have many questions on what to do if your newborn only sleeps when being held.

Naturally, newborn babies love sleeping in your arms. It’s warm, cozy, snug, and the feeling of skin-to-skin touch makes them feel safe. However, holding your baby all the time as they sleep in your arms is not the ideal thing for you as a new mom.

You’re exhausted, drained, and you also need to have some rest. So what’s the best thing to do?

Well, in this guide, we will talk about a few tips that you can try to help your baby sleep even without being held.

Now, these things may not work instantly, and for many, it can take weeks for your baby to get used to sleeping in a crib on their own but don’t worry. Eventually, your baby will learn to sleep through the night without being held, and you can finally have your much-deserved slumber after a full day of caring for your baby.

5 Tips on How to Get Your Baby to Sleep Without Being Held

While it’s still too early for a newborn to be sleep-trained, you can take some steps to make sure you won’t always be holding your baby as they sleep.

It’s important to note that these are not instant solutions, and they do take practice. Some tips will work while others won’t, so you’d need to do some trial and error to see which works for you and your baby.

And so, here are five tips to getting your baby to sleep without being held:

1. Make Sure Your Baby is Not Overtired

We tend to think that a tired baby is more likely to sleep, just like adults who feel sleepy when overtired. But the truth is, an overtired and cranky baby means it’s harder for them to fall asleep.

Make sure your baby sleeps when you see that they are tired, yawning at least three times, and if they have a bedtime routine, let them fall asleep in the same timeframe.

2. Make Their Crib a Snug Place

If your baby’s crib is flat with no pillows, the environment may be too cold and scary for your baby. Remember that a newborn is used to being inside your womb for 40+ weeks, and they’ll naturally want something similar to sleep in.

Create a feeling of being cupped or held by placing your baby in a baby wrap, swaddling your baby in a blanket, or putting your baby in an infant bouncer or infant cushion.

By placing them in a snug place, you’re creating the feeling of being in the womb, which can help them sleep better.

3. Put a Newborn Down While They’re Awake

Babies are creatures of habit, and if they always sleep through the night in your arms, placing them in a crib will be terrifying.

Instead of letting them sleep in your arms, why not place a newborn in their crib or bouncer as they’re drowsy but still awake. Your baby naturally associates your arms with sleeping, so they’ll only be sleeping that way if you don’t train them.

Make your baby get used to associating the crib to sleeping, so when you put them down, they’ll understand that a crib is a place for sleeping.

4. Keep Your Hands On Your Baby as You Put Them Down

Do not abruptly place your baby down in their crib. Slowly lower them down as you continue to hold the baby, making sure your chest is as close to their body as possible.

By doing this, you’re maintaining the sensation of being held until they’re entirely lying in the crib. You can also stroke them as they settle in, patting the newborn’s body, and just being physically close to your baby will give them the warmth they’re looking for until they entirely retreat to deep slumber.

5. Use White Noise or Music

Keeping the nursery completely quiet will only wake your baby at the slightest noise or sound. You can play white noise or music as your baby sleeps and place a baby monitor inside their room so you know if the music has continued playing or not.

White noise or music can muffle sudden sounds that could potentially wake your baby up in the middle of the night.

You can also play this same music as you nurse them at night, so they associate the sound to sleeping, as well as the warmth and comfort of your arms.


While a newborn needs all the love and care, it’s not healthy for new moms to hold their baby throughout the night as you need some sleep yourself.

If you don’t train your baby to sleep through the night in the crib or bed, you’ll end up holding them all night until they are a few months old, and you don’t want that. By that time, they will be heavier, and you’ll be exhausted, drained, and cranky. A tired mom is not a good mom because she can’t take care of herself and her baby anymore.

With these five tips to help your baby sleep without being held in your arms, you can help yourself get the rest that you need.


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