As a parent, you want nothing more than for your baby to be safe and comfortable. But what do you do when your little one will only sleep in your arms? It can seem like an overwhelming challenge, but rest assured that it is possible to find solutions that work for both of you.
Your baby still remembers sleeping in the cozy, secure environment of your womb for nine months, as well as hearing your heartbeat there for the first time. Therefore, the same comforting sleep association is activated when the baby takes a nap on your chest or in your arms.
First and foremost, make sure there are no underlying issues causing the problem. Consult your pediatrician if these symptoms persist because something else may be going on, such as teething pain or a medical issue, if this behavior has just started or if it's accompanied by other symptoms like fussiness or crying when put down.
Photography by Sarah Chai
If everything checks out medically then here are some tips which may help:
- Start off by trying to create an environment conducive to sleep; dim the lights, turn off any electronics nearby (including phones!), and keep noise levels low.
- Make sure they have all their needs met before putting them down such as feeding, changing and burping.
- Try swaddling! This helps recreate the feeling of being held close which can sometimes provide comfort enough for babies who won’t otherwise settle.
- Rocking can also help relax babies into sleeping peacefully; try rocking gently while holding them upright against themselves until they drift off.
- Don't forget to take care of yourself, too! Take advantage of the times your baby is napping or when someone else is able to help, this gives you some much-needed rest since you need time away from parenting as well.
It's important not to worry too much about getting things ‘just right' because every child is different and what works best today may not work tomorrow! The main element here is finding methods that allow parents and babies to feel confident knowing that everyone's needs are met and happy is the solution to this situation.