How do you get a baby to fall asleep on her own?

The baby in this Q&A is no longer breastfeeding to fall asleep, but still needs rocking and cuddling and parents want to teach the baby to fall asleep alone.

Here’s a two-step approach to try!

how to get baby to fall asleep on her ownPin


Mom’s Question:

My husband and I have recently got our 8-month-old to fall asleep without breastfeeding, but she still needs to be rocked and cuddled. I would like just to be able to put her to bed at night and for her naps and have her fall asleep on her own.

How can we do this with minimal crying? I have tried just putting her down, but I tend to give up and get her when the crying escalates too much, and I know that doesn’t help.

Thanx Kyla

Oh, and my husband works shifts, so sometimes he is not home at night!

Helping 8-Month-Baby To Fall Asleep Alone Without CIO (Cry-It-Out)

How about a two-step method:

Instead of putting your daughter down in her own bed, consider putting her down in your bed and lying down next to her. This way she’ll get used to falling asleep in a bed rather than in your arms.

If you first let her be in your arms for a while until she is really sleepy, and then put her down and lay down beside her, she will probably accept this at least after a while, since mom is still there. After a while, skip the rocking all together and just lay down next to her.

Once this works fine, you can start trying to lift her over to her own bed when she has almost fallen asleep in yours.

This method might take a while, but it has worked for my babies when they have had periods of refusing to fall asleep alone.

Being 8 months old, it is not strange that she wants to be close to you, considering the separation anxiety many babies experience at around this age.

Do you think this could work out for you? It might not be as fast as just letting her cry it out, but it seems to me you don’t like that (I agree!). Also, 8-9 months is a sensitive age so I’d recommend a gentle method!

Hope this helps,

More Babis That Won’t Sleep Alone

Find comments below.

Comments for “How to Get Baby to Fall Asleep On Her Own?”

Nov 21, 2012 same proplem
by: amira
I have a 9 months girl baby too, she hates to sleep alone. I had all the time to carry her in my arms and shaking, walking, singing till she falls asleep, but now she got heavier and I can’t do this anymore, but she still hates to sleep on her own, during the day and in the night, this is making our day a horror ..
I tried this way to put her with me in bed till she sleeps, yes it works, and then I move to her own bed, but after some few days, she refuses to sleep except in our own bed, and even if she does and I try to lay her down in her bed, she feels it, and she wakes up screaming like crazy ..
But simply to let her sleep in our own bed is not acceptable in any way, and I don’t know what to do.
Her grandmother tells me that I should let her crying in her own bed, no matter how she cries or how long; at the end she will sleep, and maybe after a week she will get used to this way and accept it, but I have fear to do this, to let her cry so much that she can’t breathe anymore and her face becomes really fully red. Maybe she’ll get a psyco problem … or she is a baby and this will not hurt ….
please please please help me sooooooon
my life is destroyed

Jan 19, 2013 Similar Problem..

by: Anonymous

I co-sleep with my 5-month-old baby girl but am having a tough time getting her to fall asleep on her own. I have been rocking her to sleep in my arms since she was a newborn. Now she needs to be rocked EVERY SINGLE time she wants to sleep. It is extremely tiring for me as I am the one looking after her for the whole day and I am simply exhausted. Can anyone teach me how to let her fall asleep on the bed without me carrying and rocking her?

Apr 01, 2013 Crying it out
by: Motherly love
I have an 8-month-old that I had to rock to sleep every night and every nap time, so I know where you are coming from. Finally, my mom told me to let her cry it out. I know it sounds so mean but it worked!!! Probably the HARDEST thing I have ever done and I felt so horrible listening to her cry, but it works great now. I put her to bed for two naps a day, both time I kiss her and hug her and say night, then lay her down. The first week she cried for almost an hour, but now she cries for about 10 minutes and then sleeps for 1-2hours. And bedtime is great now! I put her to bed, she cries a bit and is asleep by 8 pm and sleeps the whole night until 9 am the next morning. I’m telling any mother to really try it….. it’s really hard the first week, but after that, it’s easier. We even stayed at a hotel last week and I thought she could sleep with us for the night, she ended up tossing and turning so much we made a bed on the floor for her and she slept the rest of the night without moving.
I’m a new mom but let me tell you, how much easier it got around here with me just letting her cry it out for a few days.

Apr 11, 2013 Update on sleeping baby
by: Kyla
I wrote in a while ago about wanting to put my 9-month-old down in her crib and have her go to sleep on her own. I just wanted to let you know what we did. It was quite a long process but I am happy with where we have ended up.
First I used your technic of pressing the cheek to stop breastfeeding to sleep and then we walked and bounced her to sleep.After that, I walked her to sleep in the stroller for a while, because I felt that she needed to learn the tools of falling asleep on her own before I expected her to do it in her crib. We also did this in the middle of the night and it really cut down on those nighttime wakings (no snuggles, but very little tears).

Finally, I just put her to bed in her crib, but I didn’t leave her to cry on her own (I just can’t!) I stayed with her, sang, rubbed her belly, patted her chest, and calmly tucked her back in when she squirmed out of her blankets.

The first night it took her 40 minutes to go to sleep and there was some very angry crying. The next night was 10 minutes and then for 5 minutes!

We have stuck with this routine. It typically takes me less than 5 minutes in the room with her to send her off to dreamland. She practically puts herself to sleep on my shoulder on the way down the hall now and just closes her eyes and drifts off. She still gets up twice to nurse at night but sleeps for 12 hours so that’s still Ok with me.

The next step I plan is to slowly move away from the bed and into the hallway, but right now she goes to sleep so fast I don’t feel the need to do that right away. This was definitely what all of us needed at this time. I am amazed at how much faster she goes to sleep now.

When we were walking with her it would take 20-30 minutes and then she would sometimes wake up when I put her down.

Anyways, I just wanted to say thanks for your advice. I am really enjoying having some time in the evening to spend with my husband now.


Baby Help Line Response:

Kyla, I’m so glad for you! I know very well the relief when you suddenly get to be adults – not just parents – again in the evening!

You obviously did a great job with your daughter and completely without any “cry it out” – excellent, in my view!

Thanks a lot for writing back, it really makes my work very rewarding!

(The weaning process by pressing a baby’s cheek can be found here.


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  1. Toni

    I have a 2 year old and a 9month old who won’t fall asleep alone my 2 yr old did until my daughter was born and now I have to be in the room with them both if I sit near one the other crus I’ve tried walking out the room and leaving them to cry but my daughter has a pair off lungs in her and won’t stop do my 2 yr old cant fall asleep either I always give in as I leave in a top floor flat and wouldn’t want our neighbours thinking I was doing wrong I need advise please shall I put them in different bedroom and let hem cry please help !!