September 2015 Moms

Baby Suddenly Only Lets Dad Rock Him to Sleep

Is anyone else having this issue?

Little man is 9.5 months old and for the past week, he won't let me rock him to sleep like I've done since he was born. Before bed, he usually nurses to sleep and I lay him in his crib and he just rolls over and falls asleep. If he didn't fall asleep when nursing, I would rock him to sleep and then put him in his crib. We also rock him to sleep for nap time.

However, for the past week, he'll stop nursing and when I try to rock him he starts screaming his head off and won't stop no matter what I try. If I lay him down in his crib it's even worse; he's inconsolable ... until daddy comes in. I hand him over to dad and he sits down and starts rocking him and he immediately calms down and just lays there, falling asleep within a few minutes. What is going on?!

It's tough because I don't want my husband to have to be responsible for all bedtimes, nap times, and night wakings now, but it's been impossible for me to get him to sleep when he's so upset. The strange thing is two weeks ago we were on vacation and he slept all through the night and fell asleep for bedtime and naps just fine, as usual. He was even getting a tooth then!

I think he's getting another tooth now, but I can't chalk this up to teething since he's fine once my husband takes him. During the day, he always wants me and is calling for me, but suddenly he wants nothing to do with me at bedtime or nap time. What is going on?

Anyone else going through this or have any suggestions? Thank you!

Re: Baby Suddenly Only Lets Dad Rock Him to Sleep

  • kdoak2015 said:
    Nope, but I say snjoy it and let it be daddy's turn lol. They go through phases.
    Haha! There was a time it was all me, especially in those early days when I had to get up to feed him every 2 hours. So yes, it's his turn!

    I think the root of the problem might be not laying him down awake and letting him fall asleep on his own; transferring him to the crib after he's already fallen asleep isn't cutting it anymore now that object permanence and separation anxiety has set in!
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  • This happened with our first baby!  The nighttime routine became an ordeal because after I would nurse him and rock him then my husband would have to rock him and get him asleep then we would put him in his crib sleeping.  This went on from 9 months to 14 months.  Finally one night I nursed him and put him in his crib awake.  He cried hard for about 10 mins and went to sleep then had no problem falling asleep awake from then on.  Now that I have my second baby, I think looking back he was telling me that he wanted to be in his crib and not
    rocked anymore after nursing.  It could be a phase also.  I was just at my wits end and the crying while rocking every night was escalating.  At times it would take 2-3 hours to get him asleep then the night time wakings would also be sometimes 2 hours of crying while being rocked.  Wish we would have just put him in his crib haha.  One night of crying far beat all of the evenings and middle of the night crying he did while both me and my husband rocked him until he passed out!
    jen83mn
  • This happened with our first baby!  The nighttime routine became an ordeal because after I would nurse him and rock him then my husband would have to rock him and get him asleep then we would put him in his crib sleeping.  This went on from 9 months to 14 months.  Finally one night I nursed him and put him in his crib awake.  He cried hard for about 10 mins and went to sleep then had no problem falling asleep awake from then on.  Now that I have my second baby, I think looking back he was telling me that he wanted to be in his crib and not
    rocked anymore after nursing.  It could be a phase also.  I was just at my wits end and the crying while rocking every night was escalating.  At times it would take 2-3 hours to get him asleep then the night time wakings would also be sometimes 2 hours of crying while being rocked.  Wish we would have just put him in his crib haha.  One night of crying far beat all of the evenings and middle of the night crying he did while both me and my husband rocked him until he passed out!
    We just tried exactly that! Two nights ago my husband was gone so I had to put baby to bed and didn't have him as back-up. The little guy was screaming in my arms while rocking him so I figured if he's going to scream, he might as well do it in his crib where hopefully he'll fall asleep!

    He cried pretty hard the first few minutes, but then started to settle down. At the 5-minute mark (when I was going to go in and comfort him), he had settled completely down and was laying down and just whining a bit. 2 minutes later he was fast asleep! 7 MINUTES! I would have rocked him for 2 hours before he would have fallen asleep to the point I could lay him in his crib, and then he probably would have woken up!

    We had his grandmas try the same thing for his naps the next day, and sure enough, he fell asleep on his own in less than 10 minutes. Worked again last night, and in the middle of the night when he woke up (we tried once but he was still crying after 10 minutes so I just fed him in case he was hungry, then laid him down and he was out in less than 10 minutes). 

    So thankful we found something that works and so quickly! I have been against CIO from the beginning (especially when he was under 6 months and didn't understand object permanence), but at this point he was starting to learn that if he cried we would rock him and let him sleep in our arms (which was not our intention!). We are all MUCH happier now.

    I didn't have a problem with rocking him to sleep when it worked for us, but it obviously wasn't working anymore for any of us. Plus, I wanted him to be able to go to sleep on his own by 1 year 3 months anyways since his grandma will have a newborn to take care of then along with him and she won't have the time to spend 2 hours rocking him to sleep!
  • oceanlove13oceanlove13 member
    edited June 2016
    I'm so glad to hear you are all sleeping better!! I think consistnecy now is the most important thing. It took about 3 weeks or so for him to be put in the crib awake and not cry at all. You are well on your way and this will be the best thing you have ever done, especially if you are expecting again. 

    Also, I wouldn't worry about feeding him in the night if he won't go back to sleep after you've waited a bit. He may be hungry.  I think you did the right thing.  We are doing this now with our 8 month old.  If he's not asleep after 10 minutes during a night time waking and his crying is escalating, I feed him. More nights than not though he sleeps through the night.  
  • leeeahyoleeeahyo member
    edited June 2016
    This has just started happening with us like this week! Up until last week I was holding DS (will be 9m on the 30th) for every nap, all of a sudden he let me lay him in his crib for naps for the first time and has been napping so much better. I'm thrilled about that! However, getting him to stop rolling around on me and screaming to settle down for said nap is the rough part...is he telling me he's ready to go to sleep on his own? I did read where they do this because you're hindering their ability to fall asleep. 

    He is a hardcore sleep fighter and has been from the beginning. He doesn't really show sleepy cues until he's past tired (I think?!). 

    Any tips on the best way to try this?? I feel like he has a hard time settling down so how do you get your LOs to drowsy but not overtired? I've tried laying him down in the crib when he's crying in my arms because at that point may as well see what happens. It never works he just stands up and screams and I go in but I imagine he's past tired. Glad I'm not alone here! 
  • Do you have a nap and bedtime routine?  It's probably easier to start at bedtime.  We start bath every night at 7 and asleep by 8.  I look for a yawn, eye rubbing, frustration (whining, etc).  Just one yawn means sleep time for me, as I read in The Baby Whisperer after three yawns the baby is overtired.  Try at night doing your routine and hold him for a bit like normal then put him in his crib.  My son was a major sleep fighter, but I think a lot of his "sleep issues" were created by my husband and I.  Looking back, he wanted to be put down in his crib to fall asleep and instead we fought him by rocking him for hours for 6 months while he cried and eventually would settle and then we would put him in his crib asleep!! This started when he was 9 months to 14 months.  I think if he could talk he was telling us to put him down. I know all babies are different and they certainly do go through phases, teething and sickness which all effect sleep.  Babies respond differently to different kinds of sleep training.  You will have to figure out what works best for your baby if you choose to go that route.  If you put your baby in the crib awake and he's standing up, he will probably cry.  It may not be that long to your surprise and he may learn to sleep on his own after a few nights.  
  • To answer your last questions regarding tips: my husband and I agreed on a time limit we would be comfortable letting him cry.  We started with 5 mins. We noticed though when we would go in to soothe him he would get more upset.  We quickly realized we just shouldn't go in at all.  The first night he cried 20 mins, second 10, third less than 5 and never more than 1-5 mins for a few weeks then no crying at all.  Then we tackled naps.  He was 14 months though when we did this.  With the 8 month old now.  I give 10 mins then go in and feed him, especially if the crying is escalating.  If he's not crying at 10 mins, more so whining or content, I give more time and he usually falls asleep on his own.
  • @oceanlove13 thank you for the advice!! Our bedtime routine is white noise/nurse/rock (he doesn't fall asleep nursing it just settles him down) and nap time white noise & rock.  At nap time he can be so calm and look like he's about to be out and he'll suddenly go crazy kicking throwing himself and rolling all over me (I have bruises!). I did attempt to put him down drowsy but awake for his first nap today to see what would happen but it was a fail. I'm going to try bedtime tonight. My DH works crazy hours and bedtime & naps & pretty much everything is all on me. 
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